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Site Policies

Current Features

Site Policies

Please click on the plus sign to review the relevant Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) policy.

Website Usability and Accessibility Policy

Website usability and accessibility encompasses all disabilities, including visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive and neurological. Two rules became effective on Sept. 1, 2006, that are related to the accessibility of content on state of Texas Internet and intranet websites, including non-HTML documents such as PDFs, PowerPoint presentations and others. These rules are:

DADS strives to ensure that its web pages display properly in the current and two previous versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox. When linking to other file types, such as PDFs, website users need to ensure they have downloaded the appropriate file viewing software. The following are some file types that you may find on the DADS website with links to downloading viewers or players.

To improve the accessibility of our website, DADS tests major redesigns with several tools including:

  • W3C HTML Validation Service
  • W3C CSS Validation Service
  • JAWS Screen Reader
  • Various versions of different Web browsers

If you use assistive technology and the format of any material on our websites interfere with your ability to access the information, please contact the DADS Stakeholder Relations Unit, 512-438-4157, or email mail@dads.state.tx.us.

To enable us to respond in a manner most helpful to you, please tell us:

  • The web address of the page you are having difficulty with
  • The accessibility problem you are having
  • Your contact information

Additional information about accessibility programs in Texas is available from the Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities.

Disclaimer

DADS provides information through this website as a public service.

All of the information provided is believed to be accurate and reliable; however, DADS assumes no responsibility for any errors appearing in rules or otherwise. Further, DADS assumes no responsibility for the use of the information provided. If you are using this information for legal research, we recommend that you verify your results by consulting the official sources of the information. In some cases, you also may need to update the information. Do not rely on the text of a statute or regulation contained in this website if the precise language is important for your purposes.

DADS specifically disclaims any and all liability for any claims or damages that may result from providing the website or the information it contains, including any websites maintained by other parties and linked to the DADS site.

Information available through DADS may include facts, views, opinions and recommendations of individuals and organizations. DADS does not endorse, assert, or guarantee the truthfulness or the reliability of any such facts, views, opinions, assertions or recommendations, nor any statements made by persons other than authorized service spokespersons, including, without limitation, information contained in the public postings areas of DADS, and information provided or statements made by celebrity or "expert" guests of DADS.

In administering its programs, DADS does not discriminate, directly or through contractual or other arrangements, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, age, sex, disability, political belief or religion. DADS in an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

Link Policy

This document outlines the policies for linking to the DADS website and information about the agency linking to your site.

Linking to the DADS Website

Both organizations and individuals are encouraged to link to DADS information. You do not need to get advance permission before linking. You should make your links using the appropriate base URL of http://www.dads.state.tx.us. Because we may change subpages at any time without notice, you should also routinely verify links to our subpages.

What Site Owners May Not Do in Linking to the DADS Website

When linking to the DADS website, you may not:

  • capture our pages within your frames;
  • present our website content as your own;
  • otherwise misrepresent the content of the our pages; or
  • misinform users about the origin or ownership of the content of the our website.

Any link to a DADS site should be a full forward link that passes the client browser to the DADS site unencumbered. The “back” button should return the visitor to your site if the visitor wishes to back out.

Although the content of our website is available to the public, certain information may be trademarked, service marked or otherwise protected as our intellectual property. All content created by DADS is protected by federal copyright laws. You must use protected intellectual property according to federal and state law and must reflect our ownership of the copyright, trademark, service mark or other intellectual property.

You should not link to graphics or tables within our pages, especially in an effort to place the downloading burden on our servers. Such an action may be considered a misuse of state resources.

Anyone wishing to use the photographs or other graphics on this website must contact the DADS Webmaster.

Accessibility

Owners of sites linked to DADS pages shall use reasonable efforts to ensure that persons with disabilities may access these sites.

Copying and Use of Information by Website Owners Linking to DADS Sites

DADS asserts its copyright on all content it creates. Unless otherwise noted on an individual document, file, web page or other website, DADS grants permission to copy and distribute information on its website for noncommercial and nonprofit use, as long as all the following conditions are met:

  • The content remains unaltered.
  • The information is not presented in a misleading way.
  • The information does not imply that either it, as it is presented on your website, or you are endorsed by the state.
  • The information is accompanied by a statement that neither it, as it is presented on your website, or you are endorsed by the State of Texas or any state agency.
  • The information identifies DADS as its source and gives the DADS web address and the date the information was copied from the DADS website.

DADS may not charge a fee to access, use or reproduce information on its website or to link to information on its website. To protect our intellectual property rights, copied information must reflect our copyright, trademark, service mark or other intellectual property rights.

Links from the DADS Website

DADS provides links to the websites of other organizations through its website. These links are provided for additional information only. When choosing external sites to which we link, we consider the external site's appropriateness and the relevance of the subject matter to our functions. We do not endorse the content, products, services or viewpoints of these external sites or of any external sites that may provide links to our website. Furthermore, we do not guarantee that the information on websites linked to or from our website is accurate, complete or current. We do not independently verify nor exert editorial control over information on pages outside of the "www.dads.state.tx.us" domain. You are responsible for checking the information presented on websites linked to or from the DADS website.

Reciprocal Links

The DADS website does not enter into reciprocal link agreements. We provide links to sites that are appropriate to our mission. Our creation of a link to your site does not obligate you to provide a link back to the DADS site, but you are, of course, welcome to do so in compliance with this linking policy. We always appreciate a note telling us of new links to our site. Send link information to the DADS webmaster. State Web Site Link and Privacy Policy, Texas Department of Information Resources.

Privacy and Security Policy

DADS, like all governmental bodies in Texas, is subject to chapter 552 of the Texas Government Code, also known as the Texas Public Information Act. The Texas Public Information Act creates a presumption that all information collected and maintained by a governmental body is public information that is available to members of the public who ask for it. The only information that a governmental body may refuse to release is information that the Public Information Act specifically excepts from disclosure. Accordingly, in most circumstances, the law will require DADS to release to the public the information collected about visitors to its website if the information is requested.

Although the law will usually require DADS to release information collected about visitors to its website, DADS does not automatically collect any personal information.  For site management functions, information is collected for analysis and statistical purposes. This information is not reported or used in any manner that would reveal personally identifiable information. We use log analysis tools to create summary statistics, which are used for purposes such as assessing what information is of most interest, determining technical design specifications, and identifying system performance or problem areas.

The only personal information that DADS obtains about website visitors is the information the visitors provide when they communicate with the agency through the website. State law makes your email address confidential in most circumstances. However, website visitors who wish to communicate with DADS through the website should keep in mind that the law probably requires the agency to release most of the other information they provide if the information is requested.

DADS uses cookies for some activities, like the DADS search, the Quality Reporting System, and website analytics. However, no personally identifiable information is stored on either the visitor's or DADS' computer.

DADS contracts with a company called GovDelivery, Inc., to provide email updates. When you sign up for email updates, you are giving your information to both DADS and to GovDelivery. When DADS has your information, it is subject to this privacy policy. When GovDelivery has your information, it is subject to their privacy policy. Click here to go to the GovDelivery privacy policy.

Anyone may ask for any information about themselves collected by DADS. The request should be put in writing and mailed, hand-delivered, faxed or emailed to DADS. Consult the Public Information Policy and Procedures on this website for more details about how to ask DADS for information.

Individuals may also ask DADS to correct information it collects about them. A request to correct information must be in writing and must

  • identify the individual asking for the correction;
  • identify the information that is allegedly wrong;
  • state why the information is wrong;
  • include any proof that shows the information is wrong; and
  • include information that will allow DADS to contact the subject of the information.

A request to correct information should be sent to the portion of DADS with whom the subject of the information does business. Anyone who does not know where to send a request to correct information should send it to the Public Information Director in the closest regional office or to the DADS Information and Referral Unit, P.O. Box 149030, Austin, Texas 78714-9030.

DADS is not responsible for the privacy policies, or lack of policies, in place at any site linked to or from the DADS site and not within the domain of "www.dads.state.tx.us." This includes the State of Texas Assistance and Referral System (STARS).

For site security purposes and to ensure that the site remains available to all users, DADS uses software to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. Except for authorized law enforcement investigations, no other attempts are made to identify individual users or their usage habits. Raw data logs are used for no other purposes. Unauthorized attempts to upload information or change information on this site are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the Texas Penal Code Chapters 33 (Computer Crimes) or 33A (Telecommunications Crimes).

Public Information Policy and Procedures (Open Records)

Under Chapter 552 of the Texas Government Code, DADS must release public information in response to requests from members of the public. The following material is provided to help you get information from DADS.

How Do I Request Information?

Put your request for information in writing and mail, hand-deliver, fax or email it to DADS. All DADS offices will accept your request or give you information about the best place to send your request.

Members of the News Media
Phone: 512-438-3056
Fax: 512-438-3884
Email: cecilia.cavuto@dads.state.tx.us  or  melissa.gale@dads.state.tx.us

Members of the news media must contact the DADS Press Office to make an open records request.

DADS Programs and Services
Fax: 512-438-5136
Email to brett.norbraten@dads.state.tx.us
Requests related to public information about DADS programs and services except for survey and licensing material handled by DADS Regulatory Services as outlined in the paragraph below.

DADS Regulatory Services
512-438-2633
Fax: 512-438-2738
rs.recordsmgmt@dads.state.tx.us
Requests related to public information about licensed nursing facilities or other settings that care for people or are older or who have disabilities.

What Should I Say in My Request for Information?

If you are requesting public information regarding investigations at long-term care facilities and  have a complaint intake number, or date of investigation and the name and address of the facility, that is all we need. If you do not have any of the above, please contact the Consumer Rights and Services at 1-800-458-9858 or the Regulatory Services Records Management unit for assistance. Your request should also include your name and how to contact you, including an email address or a telephone number. DADS may need to contact you to clarify your request and will need to contact you to provide the information.

How Long Will It Take to Fill My Request?

The amount of time it takes to fill a request depends on the type and amount of information requested. However, if DADS cannot give you the information you want within 10 working days after you ask for it, DADS will provide you with a time estimate. If you have a particular need to get the information quickly, DADS will try to meet that need, but cannot promise that it will do so.

Will Getting the Information Cost Me Anything?

Getting information from DADS, or any government agency, may cost you something. The Office of the Attorney General sets what DADS may charge for information. The rules may be found at Texas Administrative Code, Title 1, Sections 70.1-70.11. If DADS believes that fulfilling your request will cost more than $40, you will be told in writing of the likely cost and given a chance to withdraw or change your request before you have to pay any costs. The letter you receive will tell you what to do; please read the letter and follow the directions carefully. If you want to lower the costs of getting the information you want, DADS staff are available to help you figure out what information DADS has and how it can meet your needs. Please feel free to ask questions.

Will I Always Get the Information I Ask For?

You will not always get the information you ask for. The law makes some information confidential and prohibits DADS from giving it to members of the public. The law also permits DADS to choose to withhold other kinds of information. If DADS does not give you everything you ask for, DADS will tell you why information is being withheld. In some cases, DADS will ask for a decision from the Texas Attorney General about whether DADS can withhold the information. DADS will send you a copy of the request for a decision.

For more information about Chapter 552 of the Texas Government Code, click here to go to the Attorney General's Open Government publications.

Information Made Confidential by Law

The following are examples of information made confidential by statute. This list is not exhaustive, nor does it include information made confidential under common-law or constitutional privacy.

  • Information concerning  people who apply for or receive services from the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS).
  • Identifying information about people who live in nursing facilities, intermediate care facilities for individuals with an intellectual disability (ICF/IID) and assisted living facilities as well as people who receive services from home health agencies, hospice agencies and adult day care centers.
  • Attachments to inspection reports regarding nursing facilities, ICF/IIDs , assisted living facilities, home health agencies, hospice agencies and adult day care centers.
  • Medical records obtained in the course of conducting investigations.
  • Reports of resident deaths required from nursing facilities and ICF/IIDs under sections 242.134 and 252.134 of the Texas Health and Safety Code.
  • Information in a license application related to the competence or financial resources of a home health or hospice agency.
  • Social Security numbers of applicants for or holders of licenses or other legal authorization to practice occupations or professions issued by DADS.
  • Home addresses, home telephone numbers, Social Security numbers and family information regarding current or former DADS employees who choose to keep this information confidential.
  • Federal tax return information, such as the Form W-4, the Form W-2 and the Form W-2P.
  • Form I-9, used to verify eligibility for employment under the immigration laws.