(a) The division of vocational rehabilitation shall provide for the establishment and operation, including the payment of all reasonable expenses, of a committee of blind vendors to be elected biennially by the licensed blind vendors. Members of the committee of blind vendors shall be elected by secret ballot and the division of vocational rehabilitation in cooperation with the members of the committee of blind vendors shall adopt rules and regulations pertaining to the election of members and the filling of vacancies that may occur on the committee of blind vendors that will assure every blind vendor an opportunity to cast a secret ballot.
(b) The committee of blind vendors shall actively participate in an advisory capacity in the carrying out of all program management responsibilities assigned to the division of vocational rehabilitation in this article, and the division of vocational rehabilitation shall assure active participation with this committee.
These advisory responsibilities include:
(1) Major administrative decisions in policy and program development decisions affecting the overall administration of the state's food services facilities program;
(2) Receiving and transmitting grievances at the request of blind vendors and serving as an advocate for blind vendors in connection with such grievances;
(3) Development and administration of a state system for the transfer and promotion of blind vendors;
(4) Development of training and retraining programs for blind vendors; and
(5) Sponsorship of meetings and instructional conferences for blind vendors within the state.