HB 697

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to disability awareness; amending s.
31003.4205, F.S.; requiring district school boards to
4provide disability history and awareness instruction in
5all K-12 public schools during the first week in October;
6requiring certified individuals in disability awareness or
7teachers who specialize in exceptional student education
8to provide the disability history and awareness
9instruction; requiring the Governor's Commission on
10Disabilities to initiate a study on training in disability
11awareness to be conducted by a private nonprofit entity;
12providing requirements for the study and requiring
13submission of findings to the commission; requiring the
14commission to oversee a statewide program for providers of
15training in disability awareness; providing program
16components to include requirements for approval of
17providers and certification of individuals who provide
18instruction in disability awareness; providing for the
19payment of certain fees; requiring the commission to
20promote training in disability awareness in all public
21entities in the state; requiring the commission to
22encourage those public entities to participate in
23activities that provide instruction to expand knowledge,
24understanding, and awareness of individuals who have
25disabilities; requiring the commission to adopt rules;
26providing an effective date.
28Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
30     Section 1.  Section 1003.4205, Florida Statutes, is amended
31to read:
32     1003.4205  Disability history and awareness instruction.-
33     (1)  Each district school board shall may provide
34disability history and awareness instruction in all K-12 public
35schools in the district during the first week 2 weeks in October
36each year. The district school board shall designate this week
37these 2 weeks as "Disability History and Awareness Week Weeks."
38     (2)(a)  During this 1-week 2-week period, students shall
39may be provided intensive instruction to expand their knowledge,
40understanding, and awareness of individuals with disabilities,
41the history of disability, and the disability rights movement.
42Disability history must may include the events and timelines of
43the development and evolution of services to, and the civil
44rights of, individuals with disabilities. Disability history
45must may also include the contributions of specific individuals
46with disabilities, including the contributions of acknowledged
47national leaders.
48     (b)  The instruction shall may be integrated into the
49existing school curriculum in ways including, but not limited
50to, supplementing lesson plans, holding school assemblies, or
51providing other school-related activities. Beginning with the
522012-2013 school year, the instruction must may be delivered by
53individuals who are certified to provide instruction in
54disability awareness qualified school personnel or by
55knowledgeable guest speakers, with a particular focus on
56including individuals who have with disabilities as instructors,
57or by teachers who are currently employed at a school and who
58specialize in exceptional student education at the school.
59     (3)  The goals of disability history and awareness
60instruction include:
61     (a)  Better treatment for individuals who have with
62disabilities, especially for youth in school, and increased
63attention to preventing the bullying or harassment of students
64who have with disabilities.
65     (b)  Encouragement to individuals who have with
66disabilities to develop increased self-esteem, resulting in more
67individuals who have with disabilities gaining pride in being an
68individual with a disability, obtaining postsecondary education,
69entering the workforce, and contributing to their communities.
70     (c)  Reaffirmation of the local, state, and federal
71commitment to the full inclusion in society of, and the equal
72opportunity for, all individuals who have with disabilities.
73     Section 2.  Disability awareness training standards,
74protocol, and curriculum; certification.-
75     (1)  The Governor's Commission on Disabilities shall
76initiate a study regarding training in disability awareness
77beginning July 1, 2011, to be conducted by a private nonprofit
78entity that promotes disability awareness in the classroom and
79the community at large and provides training in disability
80awareness. State agencies and programs shall cooperate with the
81private nonprofit entity as it conducts the study to establish
82training standards, protocol, and curriculum with regard to
83disability awareness. Within the study, the private nonprofit
84entity shall:
85     (a)  Evaluate and recommend to the commission standards and
86criteria necessary for authorizing providers to conduct training
87in disability awareness.
88     (b)  Establish guidelines and curriculum for a
89certification program for disability awareness instructors.
90     (c)  Provide to the commission a summary of the current
91trends in training in disability awareness.
93The private nonprofit entity conducting the study shall submit
94its findings to the commission by July 1, 2011.
95     (2)  Beginning July 1, 2012, the commission shall oversee a
96statewide program for providers of training and certified
97instructors in disability awareness which includes, but is not
98limited to, the following components:
99     (a)  A training provider must meet all criteria established
100and published by the commission in order to be approved to
101conduct continuing education courses for certifying individuals
102as instructors in disability awareness. A provider may charge a
103service fee for the continuing education courses in an amount
104that is sufficient to cover its costs in providing the courses.
105     (b)  In order to be approved by the commission, a provider
106of training in disability awareness must have a minimum of 5
107years of experience working in the field of disabilities, submit
108an application to the commission to provide training in
109disability awareness, pay an application or renewal fee set by
110the commission not to exceed $200, and submit an annual report
111to the commission which documents the provider's training
112activities. An approved provider shall renew its approved status
113with the commission every 3 years.
114     (c)  An approved provider shall use the commission's
115approved training methods and curriculum materials for
116conducting continuing education courses.
117     (d)  The commission shall publish and make available to the
118public a list of providers approved to offer training for
119certifying individuals as instructors in disability awareness.
120     (e)  An individual seeking certification to provide
121instruction in disability awareness shall participate in
122continuing education courses conducted by a commission-approved
123provider. The commission shall certify an individual as an
124instructor who successfully completes the required continuing
125education courses in disability awareness. This individual shall
126pay a certification or certification renewal fee set by the
127commission not to exceed $100, and the certified individual
128shall renew certification with the commission every 3 years.
129     (3)  The commission shall promote the inclusion in society
130of, and the equal opportunity for, individuals who have
131disabilities through training in disability awareness in all
132public entities in the state. The commission shall encourage
133those public entities to participate in activities that provide
134instruction to expand knowledge, understanding, and awareness of
135individuals who have disabilities, the history of disability
136awareness, and the disability rights movement.
137     (4)  The commission shall adopt rules pursuant to ss.
138120.536(1) and 120.54, Florida Statutes, to administer this
140     Section 3.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.