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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of February 20, 2020

Title 47Chapter ISubchapter BPart 64Subpart GG → §64.6207


Title 47: Telecommunication
PART 64—MISCELLANEOUS RULES RELATING TO COMMON CARRIERS
Subpart GG—National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program


§64.6207   Certification to receive funding.

For each state, including the District of Columbia and U.S. territories, the Commission will certify a single program as the sole entity authorized to receive reimbursement for NDBEDP activities from the TRS Fund. Such entity will have full responsibility for distributing equipment and providing related services, such as outreach, assessments, installation, and training, in that state, either directly or through collaboration, partnership, or contract with other individuals or entities in-state or out-of-state, including other NDBEDP certified programs.

(a) Eligibility for certification. Public or private entities, including, but not limited to, equipment distribution programs, vocational rehabilitation programs, assistive technology programs, schools for the deaf, blind, or deaf-blind, organizational affiliates, independent living centers, or private educational facilities, may apply to the Commission for certification.

(b) When to apply. Applications for certification shall be filed:

(1) Within 60 days after the effective date of this section;

(2) At least one year prior to the expiration of a program's certification;

(3) Within 30 days after public notice of a program's relinquishment of certification; and

(4) If an application deadline is extended or a vacancy exists for other reasons than relinquishment or expiration of a certification, within the time period specified by public notice.

(c) Qualifications. Applications shall contain sufficient detail to demonstrate the entity's ability to meet all criteria required for certification and a commitment to comply with all Commission requirements governing the NDBEDP. The Commission shall review applications and determine whether to grant certification based on the ability of an entity to meet the following qualifications, either directly or in coordination with other programs or entities, as evidenced in the application and any supplemental materials, including letters of recommendation:

(1) Expertise in the field of deaf-blindness, including familiarity with the culture and etiquette of individuals who are deaf-blind;

(2) The ability to communicate effectively with individuals who are deaf-blind (for training and other purposes), by among other things, using sign language, providing materials in Braille, ensuring that information made available online is accessible, and using other assistive technologies and methods to achieve effective communication;

(3) Administrative and financial management experience;

(4) Staffing and facilities sufficient to administer the program, including the ability to distribute equipment and provide related services to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind throughout the state, including those in remote areas;

(5) Experience with the distribution of specialized customer premises equipment, especially to individuals who are deaf-blind;

(6) Experience in training consumers on how to use Equipment and how to set up Equipment for its effective use;

(7) Familiarity with Covered Services; and,

(8) If the applicant is seeking renewal of certification, ability to provide Equipment and related services in compliance with this subpart.

(d) Conflicts of interest. (1) An applicant for certification shall disclose in its application any relationship, arrangement, or agreement with a manufacturer or provider of Equipment or related services that poses an actual or potential conflict of interest, as well as the steps the applicant will take to eliminate such actual or potential conflict or to minimize the associated risks. If an applicant learns of a potential or actual conflict while its application is pending, it must immediately disclose such conflict to the Commission. The Commission may reject an application for NDBEDP certification, or may require an applicant, as a condition of certification, to take additional steps to eliminate, or to minimize the risks associated with, an actual or potential conflict of interest, if relationships, arrangements, or agreements affecting the applicant are likely to impede its objectivity in the distribution of Equipment or its ability to comply with NDBEDP requirements.

(2) A certified entity shall disclose to the Commission any relationship, arrangement, or agreement with a manufacturer or provider of Equipment or related services that comes into being or is discovered after certification is granted and that poses an actual or potential conflict of interest, as well as the steps the entity will take to eliminate such actual or potential conflict or to minimize the associated risks, within 30 days after the entity learns or should have learned of such actual or potential conflict of interest. The Commission may suspend or revoke an NDBEDP certification or may require a certified entity, as a condition of continued certification, to take additional steps to eliminate, or to minimize the risks associated with, an actual or potential conflict of interest, if relationships, arrangements, or agreements affecting the entity are likely to impede its objectivity in the distribution of Equipment or its ability to comply with NDBEDP requirements.

(e) Certification period. Certification granted under this section shall be for a period of five years. A program may apply for renewal of its certification by filing a new application at least one year prior to the expiration of the certification period. If a certified entity is replaced prior to the expiration of the certification period, the successor entity's certification will expire on the date that the replaced entity's certification would have expired.

(f) Notification of substantive change. A certified program shall notify the Commission within 60 days of any substantive change that bears directly on its ability to meet the qualifications necessary for certification under paragraph (c) of this section.

(g) Relinquishment of certification. A program wishing to relinquish its certification before its certification expires shall electronically provide written notice of its intent to do so to the NDBEDP Administrator and the TRS Fund Administrator at least 90 days in advance, explaining the reason for such relinquishment and providing its proposed departure date. After receiving such notice, the Commission shall take such steps as may be necessary, consistent with this subpart, to ensure continuity and effective oversight of the NDBEDP for the affected state.

(h) Suspension or revocation of certification. The Commission may suspend or revoke NDBEDP certification if, after notice and an opportunity to object, the Commission determines that an entity is no longer qualified for certification. Within 30 days after being notified of a proposed suspension or revocation of certification, the reason therefor, and the applicable suspension or revocation procedures, a certified entity may present written arguments and any relevant documentation as to why suspension or revocation of certification is not warranted. Failure to respond to a notice of suspension or revocation within 30 days may result in automatic suspension or revocation of certification. A suspension of certification will remain in effect until the expiration date, if any, or until the fulfillment of conditions stated in a suspension decision. A revocation will be effective for the remaining portion of the current certification period. In the event of suspension or revocation, the Commission shall take such steps as may be necessary, consistent with this subpart, to ensure continuity and effective oversight of the NDBEDP for the affected state.

(i) [Reserved]

(j) Certification transitions. When a new entity is certified as a state's program, the previously certified entity shall:

(1) Within 30 days after the new entity is certified, and as a condition precedent to receiving payment for any reimbursement claims pending as of or after the date of certification of the successor entity,

(i) Transfer to the new entity all NDBEDP data, records, and information for the previous five years, and any Equipment remaining in inventory;

(ii) Provide notification in accessible formats about the newly-certified state program to state residents who are in the process of obtaining Equipment or related services, or who received Equipment during the previous three-year period; and

(iii) Inform the NDBEDP Administrator that such transfer and notification have been completed;

(2) Submit all reimbursement claims, reports, audits, and other required information relating to the previously certified entity's provision of Equipment and related services; and

(3) Take all other steps reasonably necessary to ensure an orderly transfer of responsibilities and uninterrupted functioning of the state program.

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