45 CFR § 1326.27 - Access to service providers and individuals with developmental disabilities.
(1) Such access shall be afforded upon request, by the P&A system when:
(i) An incident is reported or a complaint is made to the P&A system;
(ii) The P&A system determines that there is probable cause to believe that an incident has or may have occurred; or
(2) A P&A system shall have reasonable unaccompanied access to public and private service providers, programs in the State, and to all areas of the service provider's premises that are used by individuals with developmental disabilities or are accessible to them. Such access shall be provided without advance notice and made available immediately upon request. This authority shall include the opportunity to interview any individual with developmental disability, employee, or other persons, including the person thought to be the victim of such abuse, who might be reasonably believed by the system to have knowledge of the incident under investigation. The P&A may not be required to provide the name or other identifying information regarding the individual with developmental disability or staff with whom it plans to meet; neither may the P&A be required to justify or explain its interaction with such persons.
(c) In addition to the access required under paragraph (b) of this section, a P&A system shall have reasonable unaccompanied access to service providers for routine circumstances. This includes areas which are used by individuals with developmental disabilities and are accessible to individuals with developmental disabilities at reasonable times, which at a minimum shall include normal working hours and visiting hours. A P&A also shall be permitted to attend treatment planning meetings concerning individuals with developmental disabilities with the consent of the individual or his or her guardian, conservator or other legal representative, except that no consent is required if the individual, due to his or mental or physical condition, is unable to authorize the system to have access to a treatment planning meeting; and the individual does not have a legal guardian, conservator or other legal representative, or the individual's guardian is the State (or one of its political subdivisions).
(1) Access to service providers shall be afforded immediately upon an oral or written request by the P&A system. Except where complying with the P&A's request would interfere with treatment or therapy to be provided, service providers shall provide access to individuals for the purpose covered by this paragraph. If the P&As access to an individual must be delayed beyond 24 hours to allow for the provision of treatment or therapy, the P&A shall receive access as soon as possible thereafter. In cases where a service provider denies a P&A access to an individual with a developmental disability on the grounds that such access would interfere with the individual's treatment or therapy, the service provider shall, no later than 24 hours of the P&A's request, provide the P&A with a written statement from a physician stating that P&A access to the individual will interfere with the individual's treatment and therapy, and the time and circumstances under which the P&A can interview the individual. If the physician states that the individual cannot be interviewed in the next 24 hours, the P&A and the service provider shall engage in a good faith interactive process to determine when and under what circumstances the P&A can interview the individual. If the P&A and the service provider are unable to agree upon the time and circumstance, they shall select a mutually agreeable independent physician who will determine when and under what circumstances the individual may be interviewed. The expense of the independent physician's services shall be paid for by the service provider. Individuals with developmental disabilities subject to the requirements in this paragraph include adults and minors who have legal guardians or conservators.
(2) P&A activities shall be conducted so as to minimize interference with service provider programs, respect individuals with developmental disabilities' privacy interests, and honor a recipient's request to terminate an interview. This access is for the purpose of:
(i) Providing information, training, and referral for programs addressing the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities, information and training about individual rights, and the protection and advocacy services available from the P&A system, including the name, address, and telephone number of the P&A system. P&As shall be permitted to post, in an area which individuals with developmental disabilities receive services, a poster which states the protection and advocacy services available from the P&A system, including the name, address and telephone number of the P&A system.
(ii) Monitoring compliance with respect to the rights and safety of individuals with developmental disabilities; and
(iii) Access including, but is not limited to inspecting, viewing, photographing, and video recording all areas of a service provider's premises or under the service provider's supervision or control which are used by individuals with developmental disabilities or are accessible to them. This authority does not include photographing or video recording individuals with developmental disabilities unless they consent or State laws allow such activities.
(d) Unaccompanied access to individuals with developmental disabilities including, but not limited to, the opportunity to meet and communicate privately with individuals regularly, both formally and informally, by telephone, mail and in person. This authority shall also include the opportunity to meet, communicate with, or interview any individual with a developmental disability, including a person thought to be the subject of abuse, who might be reasonably believed by the P&A system to have knowledge of an incident under investigation or non-compliance with respect to the rights and safety of individuals with developmental disabilities. Except as otherwise required by law the P&A shall not be required to provide the name or other identifying information regarding the individual with a disability with whom it plans to meet; neither may the P&A be required to justify or explain its interaction with such persons.
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