1.8 Environmental Standards for Facility-Based Providers

1.8 Environmental Standards for Facility-Based Providers amcelwee Fri, 08/26/2016 - 18:11

1.8.1 Accessibility Requirement

1.8.1 Accessibility Requirement amcelwee Fri, 08/26/2016 - 18:12
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DBS purchases products and services only from providers who comply with the intent and language of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This law requires that services must be accessible to persons with disabilities.

Contract service providers, therefore, must provide services to DBS consumers in a location that meets ADA accessibility standards. The location may be owned, operated, or controlled by the provider or it may be some other public or private location that meets ADA accessibility standards.

If the contract service provider's primary place of business does not meet accessibility standards, the provider must provide a written explanation of how services will be offered in an accessible manner to persons with disabilities.

1.8.2 Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board

1.8.2 Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board amcelwee Fri, 08/26/2016 - 18:14
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The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board has issued ADA Accessibility Guidelines that have been adopted by the Justice Department as Appendix A to the Americans with Disabilities Act Title III rules.

1.8.3 ADA Accessibility Guidelines

1.8.3 ADA Accessibility Guidelines amcelwee Fri, 08/26/2016 - 18:15
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All services purchased by DARS DBS for its consumers must be provided in an accessible manner.

Effective June 1, 2000, each provider subject to DARS DBS standards must provide the results of a self-evaluation along with a written explanation, if necessary, of how its services are provided in an accessible manner

  • before being approved to provide services to DARS DBS consumers for the first time,
  • before the renewal of their contract,
  • before being approved to provide services at a new address, or
  • at the request of DARS DBS monitors.

For a sample of a self-evaluation instrument, see The U.S. Department of Justice, Checklist for Readily Available Barrier Removal.

If DARS DBS receives a complaint about the accessibility of the services of a particular provider, DARS DBS investigates to determine whether contract terms have been violated.

The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board has issued ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) to be applied during the design, construction, and alteration of buildings and facilities covered by ADA Titles II and III. These guidelines are adopted by the U.S. Department of Justice as Appendix A to its ADA Title III rules.

For more information, see ADA Accessibility Guidelines.

To obtain a copy of the ADAAG or other information from the U.S. Department of Justice, call 1-800-514-0301 Voice, (202) 514-0381 TTY, or 1-800-514-0383 TTY. For technical questions, contact the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board at 1-800-USA-ABLE.

In addition, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation administers the state Architectural Barriers Act, Article 9102, Texas Civil Statutes. The Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS) are based on the ADAAG and apply to buildings and facilities constructed on or after April 1, 1994.

For more information, see the Texas Accessibility Standards.

To purchase copies of the TAS, contact

Office of the Secretary of State Texas Register Division
PO Box 13824
Austin, Texas 78711-3824
(512) 463-5561
(512) 463-5569 Fax
1-800-735-2989 (TDD)

1.8.4 Safety Program

1.8.4 Safety Program amcelwee Fri, 08/26/2016 - 18:15
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Each provider with a facility must design and maintain a safety program that ensures continuing attention to the health and safety of DBS staff members, consumers, and the visiting public.

The plan must include

  • quarterly fire drills;
  • emergency evacuation procedures;
  • emergency exit diagrams;
  • procedures for obtaining emergency medical services from a doctor, hospital, or emergency medical service unit; and
  • special procedures for consumers with disabilities who require particular attention or action, including those whose behavior may be detrimental to the health, safety, or successful program achievement by themselves or others.

In addition, each provider must have an incident reporting system in place including a form for staff members to use to report incidents.

The incident report form must include at least the following information:

  • the date, time, and place of the incident;
  • nature of the incident;
  • names of DARS DBS consumers, witnesses, or others involved;
  • name of the person making the report;
  • a description of the incident, and
  • actions taken and planned by the provider as a result of the incident.

Upon request, copies of incident reports pertinent to DARS DBS consumers must be made available to DARS DBS staff members.

The following incidents must be reported to the referring DARS DBS counselor and liaison counselor by the close of business the next working day following an incident.

  • emergency Medical Services (EMS),
  • emergency room treatment,
  • hospitalization, or
  • death.

1.8.5 Building Occupancy Codes

1.8.5 Building Occupancy Codes amcelwee Fri, 08/26/2016 - 18:16
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Contract service providers must ensure the environmental safety of each location where they provide services. The service locations must comply with local building occupancy codes. Providers must give documentation of compliance to the DARS DBS staff members upon request at the time of the original approval and whenever the physical plant location changes. A provider who rents should contact his or her landlord for the documentation.

1.8.6 Local Fire Codes

1.8.6 Local Fire Codes amcelwee Fri, 08/26/2016 - 18:16
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Each facility-based provider must

  • comply with the local fire code (for example, the Fire Inspection Report), and
  • provide a copy of the appropriate certificate of compliance to DBS upon request.

A provider who rents must contact his or her landlord for the appropriate documentation.

In the absence of a local fire code, or at the discretion of the DBS liaison counselor, an inspection by the fire marshal with jurisdiction is required.

Most fire departments conduct inspections but need advance notice to schedule an appointment. If the local fire department does not conduct inspections, you may request an inspection from the

Texas Department of Insurance
State Fire Marshal's Inspection Services Division
333 Guadalupe Street
Austin, Texas 78701
(512) 305-7900

1.8.7 Reporting Fires

1.8.7 Reporting Fires amcelwee Fri, 08/26/2016 - 18:17
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Facility-based providers must have a written policy to report all fires at the facility to the DARS DBS liaison within one working day.

1.8.8 Fire Warning Signals

1.8.8 Fire Warning Signals amcelwee Fri, 08/26/2016 - 18:17
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Visible and audible fire warning signals must be in all areas where services are provided. The signals must be interrelated so that when the audible signal sounds, the visible signal is initiated simultaneously. The signals may be activated by a manual switch or by an automatic control designated for this purpose. Smoke detectors are also required and may be integrated into the system.