Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities

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Meaningful Work A Priority

By Director Barbara Palmer

One of the top priorities of the Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) is to help people with developmental disabilities find employment. APD customers tell us they want to be able to find and keep a job just like anyone else. The agency provides services, like job coaching, to ensure that individuals are able to keep their positions for the long term.

October is when the entire nation focuses on employment opportunities for people with disabilities because it is Disability Employment Awareness Month. Florida’s theme for the month is Abilities Work.  On September 23, Governor Scott and the Cabinet declared October as Disability Employment Awareness Month in Florida.

This past year, Governor Rick Scott recommended and the Florida Legislature supported providing $500,000 for on-the-job training and internships. These dollars helped 170 people find jobs or internships, many for the first time. These opportunities to learn job skills are invaluable. Additionally, APD has more than 3,500 of its customers who are successfully working.  When people with disabilities are working they are relying less on others to meet their needs. Anyone who is working feels more valued and better about themselves. It is a smart investment.

APD customer Rachel Caylor has worked at a Pensacola Walmart for seven years. Caylor recently moved up to a cashier position, which was her goal. Caylor’s Supervisor, Shalawn Kennedy, was impressed with Caylor’s persistence and willingness to volunteer to help as a cashier so they offered her the permanent cashier position. Kennedy said, “Rachel has a great work ethic. She is an all-around girl because she is knowledgeable about a lot of areas. She is reliable and dependable. Rachel does what is asked of her, then more. She is also great with customers.”

Individuals just want a chance to prove themselves to a willing employer. APD works in partnership with the state’s Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program to provide support that the individual and the employer may need to ensure a successful job match.

I hope to see more people with disabilities finding long-term careers, like Caylor. We need companies that are willing to provide job opportunities to all people who are qualified and able to perform the work. I want to assure you that APD, VR, Blind Services, Department of Economic Opportunity, Veterans’ Affairs, and other programs are here to help your organization make the best job match. And we will be there in the future should either party need assistance. We want the partnership to be a win-win for everyone involved and your organization to have a dedicated employee, just like Rachel Caylor.

 

To read the rest of the October edition of The Champion visit our website  at http://apdcares.org/champion/


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Disability Employment Awareness Month Resolution

WHEREAS, Florida’s Agency for Persons with Disabilities provides services to more than 50,000 Floridians with developmental disabilities annually so they can live and work in their local communities; and

WHEREAS, Florida’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services programs within the Department of Education, assist people with disabilities so they may become employed; and

WHEREAS, Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity, through Career Centers, help people with disabilities, including veterans, locate jobs; and

WHEREAS, these four programs have had an overwhelming impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of citizens with disabilities by offering services including job placement, training, support services, and job coaching; and

WHEREAS, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities has assisted 3,581 Floridians with disabilities with maintaining gainful employment, and Vocational Rehabilitation assisted 7,214  people, and Blind Services helped 713 individuals with achieving their employment goals last year; and

WHEREAS, The Able Trust, also known as the Florida Endowment Foundation for Vocational Rehabilitation, has awarded more than $29 million in grants to organizations throughout Florida, enabling thousands of Florida’s citizens with disabilities to enter the workforce; and

WHEREAS, Florida has the third largest population of disabled veterans in the nation with more than 272,000, including more than 2,500 wounded Floridians from service in Afghanistan and Iraq; and

WHEREAS, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Department of Economic Opportunity are working together to find employment opportunities for veterans with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, Vocational Rehabilitation, Blind Services, Department of Economic Opportunity, Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and The Able Trust have substantially contributed to the tax revenues of Florida by helping individuals with disabilities go to work, thus enabling many to leave public assistance and become taxpaying citizens; and

WHEREAS, Florida’s Disability Mentoring Day is hosted on October 15th which provides mentoring and job shadowing employment opportunities for students and job seekers with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, Florida joins the rest of the Nation in recognizing the contributions of the 5.7 million Floridians with disabilities by celebrating October 2014, as Disability Employment Awareness Month with the theme Abilities Work.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Governor and Cabinet of the State of Florida do hereby recognize October 2014, as

DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT AWARENESS MONTH


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Cabinet to Declare Disability Employment Month

TALLAHASSEE, FL— Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi will introduce a resolution at tomorrow’s Cabinet meeting declaring October as Disability Employment Awareness Month in Florida.

Department of Health employee, Jonathan Show, will address Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet on the importance of including people with disabilities in the workforce.

The Cabinet meeting will begin at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, September 23, in the Cabinet meeting room on the lower level of the Capitol Building.

Along with Show, leaders from the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, Vocational Rehabilitation, Blind Services, Veterans’ Affairs, Governor’s Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities, and the Able Trust will be there to accept the resolution.

The Agency for Persons with Disabilities supports people with developmental disabilities to live, learn, and work in their communities.  The agency annually serves more than 50,000 Floridians with autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, and Prader-Willi syndrome. For more information about the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, visit APDcares.org or call toll-free 1‑866‑APD‑CARES (1‑866‑273‑2273).


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Florida First to Help Military Families with Waivers – State will Provide Services to those Transferred to Florida

TALLAHASSEE, FL—Florida is the first state in the country to offer Medicaid waiver services to active military families deployed from another state where they were already receiving services. The Florida Legislature passed and Governor Rick Scott signed the 2014-2015 It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget which created this program.

The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) provides Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Medicaid waiver services to individuals with developmental disabilities so that they may participate in their local communities. The Medicaid waiver services are funded with state and federal tax dollars. All states provide Medicaid waiver services, however, because they are very popular programs there is a waiting list in most states including Florida.

Military families are frequently transferred and as a result their family member with a developmental disability loses Medicaid waiver services they were receiving at their previous post. This new program will prevent that from happening and will be a huge help to individuals with disabilities and their families transferring to Florida. It is receiving unanimous praise from disability stakeholders.

APD Director Barbara Palmer said, “I am very excited that Florida is the first state in the country to offer this benefit to military families.  Men and women in the military sacrifice many things to serve our country. Offering community services to their loved one with a developmental disability is the right thing for our state to do. This idea came from people who attended our APD Military Town Hall meeting cohosted by Governor Scott at Eglin Air Force Base earlier this year.  I am very happy Governor Scott and the Legislature took the nationwide lead to enact this measure to benefit military families.”

Eglin Air Force Base Airman & Family Readiness Center Director Mark Wilke said, “We appreciate Florida’s plan, which will reduce delays for military families with members who have disabilities so they may receive the APD Medicaid waiver when relocating to Florida. It will be a tremendous help.”

Family Care Council Florida Vice-Chairperson Pauline Lipps said, “I sincerely thank Governor Scott and the Florida legislators for being the first in the country to allow Military families, who are transferred to Florida, the ability to enroll in Florida’s Medicaid waiver program. The continuity of services for individuals with developmental disabilities in military families will help them realize a smooth transition to Florida while continuing to serve our country and preserve our freedom.”

“The Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (Florida ARF) says thank you to Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature for passing legislation that will make Florida the first state in the country to allow military families who are already receiving waiver services in another state and are transferred to Florida to enroll in Florida’s Medicaid waiver. What a fitting way to serve those who give so much to serve our great country!  We hope to see similar legislation in all states within the near future,” said Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities Executive Director Suzanne Sewell.

The Association of Support Coordination Agencies of Florida chairperson Janice Phillips said, “Our association fully supports Governor Scott and Legislature’s initiative to provide support to those military families who serve our country. Military families are stressed with frequent transfers. These families with members with developmental disabilities are particularly challenged. This groundbreaking legislation will help alleviate the hardship of added bureaucracy when these military families move to Florida, often leaving behind their sources of paid and natural support in other states. Florida’s willingness to facilitate assistance for service members’ loved ones with developmental disabilities is not only very commendable and deeply appreciated, but will help our economy by integrating them more rapidly into the community.”

Area 2 Family Care Council Chairperson Lou Ogburn said, “It is a good thing to allow Florida’s military families to continue on the Medicaid waiver program if they were on it in another state when transferred. The military personnel usually have no say in where they are stationed and families need the consistency that the waiver provides their loved one.”

APD supports people with developmental disabilities to live, learn, and work in their communities.  The agency annually serves more than 50,000 Floridians with autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, and Prader-Willi syndrome. For more information about the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, visit APDcares.org or call toll-free 1‑866‑APD‑CARES (1‑866‑273‑2273).


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APD Seeks Admission Moratorium on Provider – Agency Insists upon Improvements at Facility

TALLAHASSEE, FL—The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) has filed an administrative complaint seeking a moratorium that prohibits any new residents from being served at Carlton Palms Educational Center in Lake County. Carlton Palms is a large facility which serves more than 200 individuals with developmental disabilities with intense behavioral needs. The facility is currently operating under an APD imposed corrective plan that requires the facility to improve medical procedures and record keeping. An inspection this week found that Carlton Palms has not complied with the corrective plan to improve its medical record keeping.

Since the initial corrective plan, Carlton Palms has been under heavy scrutiny by APD. The agency has required cameras and enhancements to recordings to capture what is occurring at this large facility. APD has dedicated staff that make unannounced visits, including during the middle of the night and on weekends. Videos are reviewed from each residence, and visits are made to the many buildings on the campus.

APD Director Barbara Palmer said, “We have taken this action because the health and safety of the residents is our top priority. We are very serious about the need for improved oversight and care at Carlton Palms. Not only will this moratorium motivate this facility to enhance its care for the individuals currently residing there, but if we do not see improvements we will begin the process of identifying other potential providers.”

This administrative complaint filed today seeks to impose the maximum fine by law of $10,000, and seeks immediate improvement in medical procedures and record keeping. Carlton Palms would not be able to accept any residents funded by the Medicaid waiver until the moratorium is lifted.

Carlton Palms is the only Comprehensive Transition Education Program (CTEP) in the state providing all the required services an individual with intense behaviors may need.

APD supports people with developmental disabilities to live, learn, and work in their communities.  The agency annually serves more than 50,000 Floridians with autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, and Prader-Willi syndrome. For more information about the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, visit APDcares.org or call toll-free 1‑866‑APD‑CARES (1‑866‑273‑2273).


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Notice of Development of Rulemaking

AGENCY FOR HEALTH CARE ADMINISTRATION

Medicaid

RULE NO.:           RULE TITLE:

59G-13.071          Developmental Disabilities Individual Budgeting Waiver Provider Rate Table

PURPOSE AND EFFECT: The purpose of new Rule 59G-13.070, F.A.C., is to incorporate by reference the Florida Medicaid Developmental Disabilities Individual Budgeting Waiver Services Coverage and Limitations Handbook, ___________. The handbook establishes provider qualifications and enrollment; covered, limited, and excluded services; and standards for implementing the Developmental Disabilities Individual Budgeting Waiver.

SUBJECT AREA TO BE ADDRESSED: Developmental Disabilities Individual Budgeting Waiver Services.

An additional area to be addressed during the workshop will be the potential regulatory impact the amendment to Rule 59G-13.070, F.A.C., will have as provided for under Sections 120.54 and 120.541, Florida Statutes.

RULEMAKING AUTHORITY: 409.919 FS.

LAW IMPLEMENTED: 393, 409.902, 409.906, 409.907, 409.908, 409.912, 409.913 FS.

A RULE DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP WILL BE HELD AT THE DATE, TIME AND PLACE SHOWN BELOW:

DATE AND TIME: Tuesday, September 2, 2014, 3:00 p.m. ‒ 4:00 p.m.

PLACE: Agency for Health Care Administration, 2727 Mahan Drive, Building 3, Conference Room A, Tallahassee, Florida 32308-5407

Pursuant to the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, any person requiring special accommodations to participate in this workshop/meeting is asked to advise the agency at least 48 hours before the workshop/meeting by contacting: Sophia Whaley. If you are hearing or speech impaired, please contact the agency using the Florida Relay Service, 1(800)955-8771 (TDD) or 1(800)955-8770 (Voice).

THE PERSON TO BE CONTACTED REGARDING THE PROPOSED RULE DEVELOPMENT AND A COPY OF THE PRELIMINARY DRAFT IS: Sophia Whaley, Bureau of Medicaid Services, 2727 Mahan Drive, Mail Stop 20, Tallahassee, Florida 32308-5407, telephone: (850)412-4284, e-mail: sophia.whaley@ahca.myflorida.com

Please note that a preliminary draft of the reference material, if available, will be posted prior to the workshop at http://ahca.myflorida.com/Medicaid/review/index.shtml. Comments will be received until 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 9, 2014.

THE PRELIMINARY TEXT OF THE PROPOSED RULE DEVELOPMENT IS:

59G-13.070 Developmental Disabilities Individual Budgeting Waiver Services.

(1) This rule applies to all providers of Developmental Disabilities Individual Budgeting Waiver services who are enrolled in the Florida Medicaid program.

(2) All providers of Developmental Disabilities Individual Budgeting Waiver services who are enrolled in the Florida Medicaid program must be in compliance with the provisions of the Florida Medicaid Developmental Disabilities Individual Budgeting Waiver Services Coverage and Limitations Handbook ____________. The handbook is available from the Medicaid fiscal agent’s Web site at www.mymedicaid-florida.com. Select Public Information for Providers, then Provider Support, and then Provider Handbooks.

(3) The following form is included in the Florida Medicaid Developmental Disabilities Individual Budgeting Waiver Services Coverage and Limitations Handbook and is incorporated by reference: Medicaid Waiver Services Agreement, AHCA Form 5000-_____, _______.

Rulemaking Authority 409.919 FS. Law Implemented 393, 409.902, 409.906, 409.907, 409.908, 409.912, 409.913 FS. History–New__________.


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Family Care Council Wins Award

On July 23, The Family Care Council Suncoast Region was honored with the Tom Ulvenes Outstanding Community Service Award at the Annual ADA Disability EXPO Advocacy Awards Ceremony and Community Forum. The event was hosted by the Alliance for Citizens with Disabilities Hillsborough County.

The award is given for outstanding accomplishments and contributions to the Hillsborough County community through courageous advocacy, education, and diligent persistence in pursuing goals which improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.

“This was a great honor for all Family Care Council Members, this award will reside in the Regional APD Office in Tampa for all of us. It means a lot for the entire Suncoast Region Family Care Council to be recognized,” said Family Care Council Florida Chair Pauline Lipps.

Family Care Council members Nancy Simmons, Patricia Oglesby, Ann Graybeal, Joanna Rydzewski, Kathy Colombrito, and Peter Ciccarello also attended the event.

 

Check out this story and more – in The Champion newsletter!

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