Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities

Connecting you to the community.

Leave a comment


There are two Medicaid Managed Care Programs which recently have begun rolling out across the state by the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). These programs will impact your services, both medical and support services, if you sign up for them.

The first program is called the Managed Medical Assistance (MMA) program – this program has to do with your medical services. The second is called the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care (SMMC) – Long Term Care Program. This has do with the actual services you receive like Personal Care, Respite, and Support Coordination just to name a few. Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are considered a “voluntary” group for these programs. The Arc of Florida has written an Alert for each program. This is Alert Number 2 “SMMC”. Please visit our website: http://www.arcflorida.org for “Alert 1 – MMA”.

The State of Florida, Agency for Health Care Administration, is mandated to offer a “Managed Care” option to a number of groups of individuals including individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who receive services from the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD). Anyone served by APD is considered part of a “voluntary” group for this program as stated in Florida’s law. Voluntary means you have the option to continue your services just like you are right now – you do not have to change anything – you do not have to go into managed care.

As an individual served by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) you are either currently served on the iBudget Medicaid Waiver, or you are on a “waitlist” to receive services through the iBudget Waiver. The Medicaid Waiver was designed over 30 years ago to help support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live in Florida’s communities. The Medicaid Waiver program in Florida for people served by APD is called, “iBudget”. There are 25 services provided through the iBudget program. iBudget helps to keep people out of institutions by providing necessary services. The iBudget also allows you to pick all of your service providers including your Waiver Support Coordinator.

Your support coordinator helps you to coordinate all of your services; however, he or she cannot also provide your support services like supported employment or supported living. Your Support Coordinator can only provide support coordination to you.

The Statewide Medicaid Managed Care (SMMC) program has recently been implemented by the Agency for Health Care Administration. It is a different way to receive services. If you sign up with SMMC, you have to choose a “Plan”. These are much like insurance companies. They would manage all of your care and services. You would no longer have a support coordinator. You would have a care coordinator who works for the “Plan”. We understand that there is currently a waiting list for SMMC. To find out more about the SMMC program you can go to: http://www.flmedicaidmanagedcare.com

Some individuals may sign up for SMMC by Accident. If you feel you accidently signed up, you can call the AHCA number on the back of this Alert and tell them you want to be taken out of SMMC and want to go back on the iBudget waiver. Make certain you write down the name of the person you talk to. You can ask for assistance from your Waiver Support Coordinator to contact the SMMC program.

Leave a comment

Fanning Springs Disability Expo!

The Fanning Springs Disability Expo  will be held on May 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Fanning Springs State Park.  We are so excited to offer you and your family a fun filled day of inclusive activities, information, and education!  Below is a list of registered vendors participating in the event:

The Agency for Persons with Disabilities

Florida Disabled Outdoors Association

Special Olympics


The National Spinal Cord Injury Association

Department of Health

The Arc of Levy County

Social Security Administration

Florida Developmental Disability Council

Project Enable

Dixie, Gilchrist, and Levy Couny Health Departments

North Florida Eye-Center

Vocational Rehabilitation

Children’s Medical Services North Central Region

Family Care Council

George’s Angels 

We also encourage you to use social media while you are at the Expo so we can share your day and adventures.  APD is on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook.  If you plan on posting pictures or comments on your page during the event please use #FanningSprings or #DisabilityExpo – or use both!!  If you would like to tweet directly to our page our Twitter handle is @FloridaAPD.  We are so looking forward to your attendance and participation — See you there!

Leave a comment

Sunland Center

Guest post by Sunland Center Superintendent Merlin Roulhac


Sunland Center is a Developmental Disabilities Center operated by the Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities. Sunland Center comprises Sunland at Marianna, the Developmental Disabilities Defendant Program in Chattahoochee, and Rish Park in Cape San Blas.

Sunland is focused on becoming recognized as a world-class organization through superior management, respecting people, focusing on our customers, and implementing performance improvement through our Organizational Performance Improvement teams.

April has been a busy and exciting month at Sunland.  The warmer weather of April brings on many fun filled events and activities for both staff and residents. Special Olympics kicked spring into high gear and the Sonic Basketball team secured a solid victory among the other great competitors.

The Pathways TEAM launched their first Jam Blast which was a resounding success. Residents and staff entertained everyone with melodic sounds by various recording artists, to include Luke Bryan, The Temptations, R. Kelly, and Billy Weathers, just to name a few.

An appreciation picnic for Sunland’s volunteers was held on April 10 at the Sunland Environmental Park.  Approximately 100 volunteers and staff attended.  Awards were presented to Maria Johnson, Volunteer of the Year and the Marianna Women’s Club as the Volunteer Group of the Year.  Thank you volunteers for everything you do – Sunland values and appreciates you!   Baskets of delicious goodies will be delivered to the residents’ homes on April 17, followed by the annual Special Olympics Equestrian show which takes place on April 18 and is a highly anticipated event for both residents and staff.  Family Day rounds out April with great eagerness and anticipation as residents and their families enjoy a relaxing day and delicious picnic lunch at the Sunland Environmental Park.

These activities would not be possible without the dedication of our employees. Sunland administration certainly appreciates their devotion and commitment to those we serve.  Understanding that employee appreciation has long been recognized as key to a successful, positive workplace environment, we have worked diligently to build a vibrant employee recognition program. The Sunland Employee Recognition Program is alive and well, with a very robust Star Employee program.   This program operates systematically, recognizing and honoring the extraordinary achievements of our employees by publicly announcing such accomplishments to the Sunland community and celebrating these achievements monthly, quarterly, and annually.  Staff may be recognized with an individual Star Employee award, or as a member of a Star Team.  We are pleased to report that calendar year to date, a total of 77 employees have been recognized as Star employees!  Sunland appreciates our workforce and strives to create and maintain a positive work environment where employees have an opportunity to excel in their chosen professions.

In other news, Maria, a Sunland employee and Robert, a Pathways resident placed first and third, respectively, in a city art show held in Marianna.

Recently, Sunland teamed up with the APD State Office Webmaster and launched a website that includes Sunland at Marianna, Pathways, the Developmental Disabilities Defendant Program (DDDP), and a link that will take site visitors to the Rish Park page. To visit the site, go to http://apdcares.org/sunland/.

Finally, William J. (Billy Joe) Rish Park is open year round for people with disabilities and their family members, guardians, and caregivers.  The 2014 summer season is off to a very busy start with daily reservations and renovations on the bay side of the park. For reservations at (or questions about) the park, you can contact Onna Lipford at (850) 482-9386 or e-mail Onna.Lipford@apdcares.org.

Leave a comment

Fanning Springs Disability Expo

The Arc of Levy County, Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), the Florida Disabled Outdoors Association (FDOA), and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) are partnering up to host the Fanning Springs Disability Expo in the Dixie, Levy, Gilchrist tri-county area.  The event will be held on May 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Fanning Springs State Park.  Other event partners include the three county commissions, local businesses, several nonprofit partners, local providers, and other state agencies.

The Expo’s goal is to provide a fun filled day for individuals with disabilities and their family members.  FDOA has organized a SportsAbility Sampler, which includes many inclusive recreational activities such as bocce ball and sit volleyball.   Attendees can also enjoy participating in prize raffles, watching dance performances by Tacachale, and sitting down to a sack lunch from the concession stand.

In addition to the recreational experiences, attendees will have the opportunity to listen to presentations, and learn about the various services that APD and other agencies can provide.  Special Olympics will also be providing the Special Smiles health screening for APD waiting list customers.  For questions or more information, please contact Resource.Directory@apdcares.org.


Fanning Springs Picnic Area Playground

Leave a comment

Tacachale’s Upcoming Spring Events

Guest post by Tacachale Center Administrator Michael Mayfield


Tacachale is a Developmental Disabilities Center located in Gainesville, and is operated by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities.    We recently celebrated the return of warmer weather with the annual Spring Fling event.  There were games, prizes, music, sno-cones, cotton candy, and other treats!   Several volunteers from the University of Florida helped make it a fun day for our residents.

Tacachale has many exciting upcoming events, too.  Several residents of Tacachale are involved in AKtion Club, which is a service oriented club under the umbrella of Kiwanis.  The residents and staff are busy preparing 40 Easter baskets to be presented to children from a local domestic violence shelter on April 16.  Everyone involved has been having a great time, and we have invited the children to receive their baskets at a pizza party held in one of our activity centers.  This way the residents and staff can see the excitement and joy of the children firsthand, reinforcing the belief that giving pays off!

Controlled Chaos is back from their well-deserved hiatus.  This talented and enthusiastic singing and dancing group comprised of residents and a few staff members have performed at a local theater in Gainesville, outside the Capitol in Tallahassee, in addition to many other places.  Their next performances will be April 19 at the Alachua Arc’s Disabilities Day celebration, before heading up to Fanning Springs on May 10 for performances at the Disability Expo being co-sponsored by APD and the Florida Disabilities Outdoor Association.  In all, April should prove to be an exciting and fun-filled month!

Leave a comment

Attorney General Bondi’s Office Announces the Arrest of a Tallahassee Woman for More Than $25,000 in Medicaid Fraud

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.–Attorney General Pam Bondi announced today that following an investigation by her Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, Tallahassee resident Melinda Warren turned herself in to the Leon County Jail, for more than $25,000 in Medicaid fraud. The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit began its investigation into Warren’s billing practices after receiving a referral from the Agency for Persons with Disabilities.

According to the investigation, Warren billed the APD Consumer Direct Care Plus program for more than $25,000 worth of unauthorized services. Allegedly, Warren knowingly hired a person who had not passed the required background check and was, therefore, not authorized to bill for services provided by this person. Warren allegedly billed the Medicaid program for the services provided by the unauthorized person as if she had provided them herself.

Warren has been charged with Medicaid Fraud, Grand Theft, and a misdemeanor for Employing a Provider without a Background Screening. If convicted, Warren could face up to 30 years in prison and more than $125,000 in fines. The case will be prosecuted by the State Attorney’s Office for the Second Judicial Circuit.

Leave a comment

Cabinet to Declare Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

Governor to Recognize Gulf Coast Enterprises

TALLAHASSEE, FL—Attorney General Pam Bondi will introduce a resolution at the Florida Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, March 18, declaring the month of March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in Florida.

Representatives from the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), Family Care Council, Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, The Arc of Florida, and the Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities will be there to accept the resolution.

Cheryl Govea, a parent of a child with developmental disabilities, will address Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet on the importance of funding community services for people with disabilities.

In addition, Governor Scott will present his Business Ambassador Award to Gulf Coast Enterprises for the company’s longstanding commitment to employing hundreds of people with disabilities at military bases throughout the state.

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

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).

Leave a comment

March is DD Awareness Month!

Here are some more tips to have….Manners that Matter!  If you are in the Tallahassee area on March 18, join APD and others at the Capitol for Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day.  Speak with your legislators about issues that are important to you.  Hope to see you there!!


Manners that Matter


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 58 other followers