Chapter 3: Environmental Standards

3.1 Overview

 A facility-based provider that provides CRS must follow all state and federal guidelines for accessibility and must maintain a safe environment for participants. A facility-based provider must develop and maintain safety protocols and meet all of the applicable building occupancy codes as outlined in this chapter.

3.2 Language Services

CRS purchased for its participants must be accessible in the participant’s primary language. The provider is responsible for ensuring translation services are provided to the participant.

3.3 Accessibility

Comprehensive rehabilitation services purchased for participants must be accessible.

A provider who is subject to these standards must complete the self-evaluation survey published on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Checklist for Existing Facilities page:

  • before being approved to provide services to CRS participants for the first time;
  • before renewing a contract;
  • before being approved to provide services at a new address; and
  • at the request of CRS program staff members.

The self-evaluation explains how the provider will make services accessible. In addition to completing the survey, the provider may also submit a written explanation, if necessary.

If the CRS program receives a complaint about the accessibility of services, the CRS program will investigate to determine whether the provider has violated the terms and conditions of the contract.

The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board has issued the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) that must be applied during the design, construction, and alteration of buildings and facilities covered by Titles II and III of the ADA. The U.S. Department of Justice has adopted these guidelines as Appendix A to its ADA Title III rules. These guidelines are published on the United States Access Board's ADA Standards page. To obtain a copy of the ADAAG or other information from the U.S. Department of Justice, call 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 TTY. For technical questions, contact the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board at 800-USA-ABLE.

In addition, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation administers the state’s Elimination of Architectural Barriers Act, Texas Government Code, Chapter 469. The Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS) are based on the ADAAG Standards and apply to buildings and facilities constructed on or after April 1, 1994.

3.4 Facility Safety Protocol

The provider must identify the person or persons serving as the governing body of the facility and directing the facility’s general policy, budget, and operation.

The provider’s facility must comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and codes pertaining to health, safety, and sanitation. The provider must have a plan to ensure that continuing attention is provided to the safety and health of the staff members, the participants, and the visiting public.

The plan must include:

  • quarterly fire drills for each shift of personnel;
  • procedures for following in emergencies and disasters (such as, fire, severe weather, or when a participant is missing);
  • emergency exit diagrams;
  • procedures for getting emergency medical services from a doctor, hospital, or emergency medical service unit; and
  • special procedures for participants with disabilities who require particular attention or action, including those whose behavior may be detrimental to his or her own or to others health, safety, or successful program completion.

The provider must develop a form for reporting incidents and a system for reporting and responding to incidents. The incident report form must include:

  • the date, time, and place of the incident;
  • the nature of incident;
  • the names of CRS participants, witnesses, or others involved;
  • the name of the person making the report;
  • a description of the incident; and
  • any actions taken and planned by the provider because of the incident.

Upon request, the provider must make copies of incident reports pertinent to CRS participants available to CRS program staff members.

The following incidents must be reported to CRS at the time of the incident to CRS_Program@hhsc.state.tx.us or eFax at 512-206-3981:

  • the use of emergency medical services;
  • treatment at an emergency room;
  • allegations of abuse, neglect, or exploitation involving a CRS participant;
  • injuries involving a CRS participant;
  • hospitalization;
  • participant substance abuse;
  • inappropriate behavior(s) that may result in participant being removed or dismissed from the facility;
  • elopement; or
  • death.

3.5 Provider Vehicles

The provider must ensure that transportation for the participant is safe and accessible. Access to transportation must be available in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and with all applicable state laws.

Each vehicle used to transport participants must have:

  • appropriate inspections and liability insurance;
  • a working safety belt for each passenger;
  • a first aid kit;
  • a working heating and air conditioning system; and
  • a working ABC fire extinguisher.

The Class ABC fire extinguisher can be used on the following three kinds of fires:

  • Class A (ordinary combustibles, such as wood or paper)
  • Class B (flammable liquid fires, such as grease or gasoline)
  • Class C (electrical fires)

The Federal Transit Administration in Washington, D.C., has information about transportation accessibility, including small passenger vans. Contact the administration at 888-446-4511 or 800-877-8339 (TDD/Relay).

3.6 Building Occupancy Codes

Environmental safety must comply with local building occupancy codes, the Americans with Disabilities Act, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes, and all applicable state laws and standards. Documentation of compliance is provided to the CRS program at the time of the original approval and the effective date when there is a change of a location of services. Renters should contact the property owner to get such documentation. A certificate of occupancy from the local municipality is also required.