§ 7–1304.13. Advocate for a person with an intellectual disability.
(a) Persons with an intellectual disability who have been committed, and persons whose commitment is sought under § 7-1303.04(b-1), shall have the assistance of an advocate for a person with an intellectual disability in every proceeding and at each stage in such proceedings under this chapter.
(b) The Court shall appoint a qualified advocate for a person with an intellectual disability selected from a list of such advocates it maintains.
(c) Advocates for persons with an intellectual disability shall have the following powers and duties:
(1) To inform persons subject to the procedures set forth in this chapter of their rights;
(2) To consult with the person, his or her family and others concerned with his or her habilitation and well being;
(3) To ensure by all means, including case referral to legal services, agencies and other practicing lawyers, that the person is afforded all rights under the law; and
(4) To guide and assist the person in such a manner as to encourage self-reliance and enable the person to participate to the greatest extent possible in decisions concerning his or her habilitation plan, and the services to be provided under this plan.
(d) The advocate for a person with an intellectual disability shall receive notice and shall have the right to participate in all meetings, conferences or other proceedings relating to any matter affecting provision of services to the person including, but not limited to, comprehensive evaluation, habilitation plan, petition and hearings for commitment and for periodic review of the commitment.
(e) The advocate for a person with an intellectual disability shall have access to all records, reports and documents affecting his or her client.
(f) The advocate for a person with an intellectual disability shall have access to all personnel and facilities responsible for providing care or services to his or her client and shall be permitted to visit and communicate with his or her client in private, and at any reasonable time without prior notice; provided, that he or she shows reasonable cause for visiting at times other than visiting hours.
(g) The advocate for a person with an intellectual disability shall be a person with training and experience in the field of intellectual disability.
(h) Advocates shall be provided directly by the Court or by a contract with individuals or organizations including local associations for persons with intellectual disabilities; however, the Court shall ensure that contracts and other arrangements for selection and provision of advocates provide that each advocate for a person with an intellectual disability shall be independent of any public or private agency which provides services to persons subject to this chapter.
(i) In the selection, training and development of the advocacy provision of this section, the Court shall explore and seek out potential sources of funding at the federal and District levels.
(j) Advocates shall be provided with facilities, supplies, and secretarial and other support services sufficient to enable them to carry out their duties under this chapter.
(k) All communication between advocates and their clients shall remain confidential and privileged as if between attorney and client.
(l) The Court shall promulgate such rules amplifying and clarifying this section as it deems necessary.
(m) Persons with an intellectual disability subject to this chapter may knowingly reject the services of an advocate for a person with an intellectual disability and shall be so advised by the Court. Advocates whose services have been rejected by the person with an intellectual disability shall not have the rights set forth in subsections (c), (d), (e), (f) and (j) of this section.
(n) If so authorized by the Court, the advocate for a person with an intellectual disability shall be permitted to grant, refuse, or withdraw consent on behalf of his or her client with respect to the provision of any health-care service, treatment, or procedure, consistent with the provisions of Chapter 22 of Title 21.