Snyder Executive Order Reforms Disability Services



LANSING — Gov. Rick Snyder Thursday issued Executive Order 2012-10 that will make services easily available for Michigan residents with disabilities.

This order transfers the duties of the Michigan Rehabilitation Services to the Department of Human Services, and reconfigures the Michigan Commission for the Blind as the Bureau of Services to Blind Persons within the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).

“After discussion and collaboration with disability advocacy groups and individuals throughout Michigan, this executive order provides for efficient delivery of services while, at the same time, addressing the specific concerns and suggestions of citizens,” Snyder said. “I want to thank those who participated in this productive process to ensure the very best services for Michigan residents with disabilities.”

Snyder previously issued Executive Order 2012-2 last February, but it was rescinded in April to work with advocates to ensure the best possible services for residents who are blind or visually impaired. The new E.O. maintains two separate entities to address needs of people with disabilities and keeps services to blind persons, including the Business Enterprise Program (BEP), within LARA. Today’s E.O. reflects the recommendations of federal and state advocates to provide the best customer service and resources to Michigan citizens.

The E.O. also appoints the director of the new Bureau of Services for Blind Persons and Michigan Rehabilitation Services to serve as ex officio members of the newly-created Michigan Council for Rehabilitation Services, which will include a range of individuals with disabilities and advocacy groups. It also clarifies the requirement in the federal regulations for the Talent Investment Board representative on the Michigan Council for Rehabilitation Services.

The order also mandates an implementation date of October 1 for all portions of the order except matters related to the Disability Concerns Commission, whose transfer to Department of Civil Rights takes effect 60 days after the order is filed. This provides time for public meetings and amendments to the two new bureaus’ state plans.

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