Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities

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WHAT THEY ARE SAYING…Stakeholders Praise Gov. Scott’s Budget

TALLAHASSEE – Governor Rick Scott signed the Keep Florida Working Budget for Fiscal Year 2015-2016. It invests $1.2 billion to support people with disabilities so they may live and participate in their local communities. It includes $40 million to enroll more than 2,000 people from the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) waiting list into the iBudget Florida Medicaid waiver so they may receive ongoing services. The budget also includes $1 million dollars to help people with disabilities receive on-the-job training and internships so they are able to land a permanent job.  Here’s what disability advocates are saying about the budget:

Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) Director Barbara Palmer said, “We are very excited about the budget for the coming year. I thank Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature for their continued leadership and support of individuals with disabilities in our state. This is the third year that APD has received funding to serve people on the waiting list. This money will allow those with immediate needs to enroll into the Medicaid waiver. I appreciate Governor Scott’s confidence in APD and the people we serve.”

Family Care Council Florida Chairperson Pauline Lipps said, “We thank Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature for continuing to reduce the APD waiting list of individuals with developmental disabilities across the state. We are grateful that an additional $40 million will serve more than 2,000 people in need of community services. We are also pleased that $1 million will go toward employment programs for individuals with developmental disabilities who need additional assistance on the job.”

Parent and past chairperson of the Family Care Council Florida Betty Kay Clements, said, “I am pleased about Governor Scott’s 2015-16 Keep Florida Working Budget and how it strongly supports people with disabilities. With $1million for the Employment Enhancement Project, APD will be able to continue to support the employment contributions that individuals with developmental disabilities can make as they highlight their many abilities. Individuals who have received APD support for employment say they are proud to work and make a difference in their communities.”

The Association of Support Coordination Agencies of Florida chairperson Janice Phillipssaid, “We are thrilled with the 2015-16 Keep Florida Working Budget that provides an $8 million rate increase to waiver support coordinators.  We thank Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature for this much needed increase to these front line workers who advocate for people with developmental disabilities. This critical increase will help keep these dedicated and diligent professionals out in their communities working to assist individuals with disabilities so they are successful in reaching their goals.”

Florida Developmental Disabilities Council Executive Director Debra Dowds said, “We appreciate Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature for their continued support to address the needs of Floridians with developmental disabilities. This additional funding will allow many more people with developmental disabilities on the APD waiting list to be offered waiver enrollment and to receive employment services so they may be independent and meaningfully participate in their communities.”

The Arc of Florida Chief Executive Officer Deborah Linton said, “The Arc of Florida is grateful for the ​opportunity​ to help end pain and suffering for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities through the dental funding provided in the Florida budget. ​I​n addition, we appreciate the opportunity to once again serve more individuals off of the waiting list and to continue our pursuit of better quality affordable housing through funding​ approved​ in the budget.”


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Northwest Takes a Look Back as the Year Closes

By Lynne Daw, APD Northwest Region Manager

Ah, the month of June! While school kids are literally counting the days until the start of summer vacation, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) and other state agencies focus on June as the end of the State fiscal year. This “New Years’ Eve” provides a great opportunity to look at all of the current year’s accomplishments, as well as a great time for setting goals for the upcoming year. There’s been so much to celebrate!

Katrina Washington, employment liaison, and Lynne Daw, Northwest regional manager, display the Making a Difference Award.

From left, Katrina Washington, employment liaison, and Lynne Daw, Northwest regional manager, display the Making a Difference Award.

Jobs, jobs, jobs!  One of the agency’s priorities is providing opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities to become competitively employed. We are thrilled to report that, through the agency’s Employment Enhancement Project (EEP), 45 individuals on the waiting list, in their last year of high school, found jobs through this funding in the Northwest Region  and several others are currently involved with internships that are leading them toward paid employment. This exceeded the region’s goal and we’re not done yet!  Our employment liaisons have been actively working with our supported employment providers and with all of the school systems within the region to identify transitioning students who are ready to graduate and get to work!  Through community partnerships, the region held Job Clubs, set up mock interviews, hosted resume writing workshops, and participated in multiple transition fairs to educate students on the importance of working and how to be job-ready upon graduation. In addition to the students involved in the EEP program, the region currently has more than 750 people who are working! Our own Katrina Washington, employment liaison, was recently honored with the Making a Difference Award on May 7 at the Visions Conference in Orlando for her ongoing commitment to supporting employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The award was presented by the Florida Division on Career Development and Transition.

Our agency is committed to helping individuals on the waiting list. This fiscal year, the waiting list coordinators in the Northwest Region, under the strong leadership of supervisor Sharon Stephens, have been able to provide services to over 450 individuals on the waiting list.

Have you seen the agency’s Resource Directory lately? If not, I would encourage you to check it out! Annette Zeeb, the Northwest Region’s community liaison, has identified countless additional resources in the past year that were added to this comprehensive resource database.

We so appreciate the wonderful partnership with our local Family Care Councils (FCCs). Each has active members who are committed to supporting families in our region, as well as providing valuable feedback to the agency. This year, the FCCs sponsored several great educational workshops for families and self-advocates and also helped provide some families with the opportunity to attend this year’s Family Café conference!  This is always a popular event and the FCCs look forward to hearing from the attendees on what they learned during this action-packed weekend. We also hope that you will commit to attending the upcoming FCC-sponsored workshop with nationally renowned speaker Kathie Snow, scheduled for Tuesday, June 16, at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, Florida. If you’ve not had the chance to hear Ms. Snow speak, you’ll definitely want to make plans to attend this exciting event!

Pat Green celebrates her retirement from APD.

Pat Green celebrates her retirement from APD.

All employees look forward to the time when they can retire. The region has already had two employees retire earlier this year and we are ending the fiscal year with two of our longest standing employees, Pat Green in our Pensacola office and Bonnie Williams in our Marianna office, ending their careers.  Collectively, these two women served the State of Florida in excess of 73 years! We can’t imagine an APD without these two dedicated workers!

While finishing out this year, we are already looking forward to an exciting new year. We are diligently working with some of our residential providers in developing new behavior focus and intensive behavioral homes to enable some of our customers to return back to their home region to be closer to their families and friends.

Portrait of Bonnie Williams

Bonnie Williams retires from APD’s Marianna Office in the first week of June.

Our regional work streams are developing a quality improvement process to identify patterns and trends in service delivery to better identify ways that we can collaborate with our providers in improving services to our customers and identifying opportunities for improvement within our own internal processes.

Finally, we are looking at additional ways to inform the public about our agency, identify students earlier in their school career who meet APD eligibility, and find ways that we can improve our responsiveness to individuals on the waiting list.

The successes we had this year were possible because of the amazing team of dedicated employees I have the honor of working with each day. They consistently come to work with a great attitude and are “raring to go!”  We can’t wait to see what is in store for us next year!


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Governor Rick Scott Appoints Twelve to Family Care Councils

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced ten appointments and two reappointments to Family Care Councils across the state.

Area Two, Family Care Council
John Chafin, 78, of Tallahassee, was the former Leon County Tax Collector from 1980-2001. He succeeds David Norton and is appointed for a term beginning March 20, 2015, and ending October 11, 2016.

Area Four, Family Care Council
Shiela Bryant Butler, 52, of Middleburg, is the president of Black Creek Supports and Services Inc. She succeeds Maria Quinones and is appointed for a term beginning March 20, 2015, and ending August 6, 2016.

Area Eight, Family Care Council
Barbara Jamison, 59, of Cape Coral, is an advocate for persons with disabilities. She succeeds Susan Robertson and is appointed for a term beginning March 20, 2015, and ending August 27, 2016.

Patricia Oglesby, 54, of Fort Myers, is an advocate for persons with disabilities. She is reappointed for a term beginning March 20, 2015, and ending August 24, 2017.

Area Nine, Family Care Council
Ruthie Bunkelmann, 52, of North Palm Beach, is a social worker with Pediatric Partners and Positive Behavior Supports Corporation. She fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term beginning March 20, 2015, and ending March 19, 2018.

Terri Harmon, 56, of Boca Raton, is the executive director of Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization. She fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term beginning March 20, 2015, and ending March 19, 2018.

Elaine Scola, 63, of Lake Worth, is a partner at Equity Financial Services LLC. She fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term beginning March 20, 2015, and ending March 19, 2018.

Martha Stuart, 63, of Lake Worth, is a retired teacher for Chariho Regional Schools. She fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term beginning March 20, 2015, and ending March 19, 2018.

Area Twelve, Family Care Council
Christopher Spears, 40, of Ormond Beach, is an advocate for persons with disabilities. He fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term beginning March 20, 2015, and ending March 19, 2018.

Joseph Young, 44, of Ormond Beach, is an advocate for persons with disabilities. He fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term beginning March 20, 2015, and ending March 19, 2018.

Mary Ellen Ottman, 60, of Ormond Beach, is an advocate for persons with disabilities. She succeeds Susan Tanner and is appointed for a term beginning March 20, 2015, and ending January 23, 2017.

Area Fourteen, Family Care Council
Michael Daniels, 48, of Lakeland, is an advocate for persons with disabilities. He is reappointed for a term beginning March 20, 2015, and ending June 29, 2017.


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Cabinet to Declare Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month – The Arc Dental Program to be Highlighted

TALLAHASSEE, FL—Attorney General Pam Bondi will introduce a resolution at the Florida Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, March 10, declaring the month of March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in Florida.

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

Department of Revenue employee and APD customer Talmadge Morton will address Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet on the importance of funding employment services for people with disabilities.

In addition, The Arc of Florida Executive Director Deborah Linton will share successes from its dental program that serves people with developmental with disabilities throughout the state. More than 11,600 dental procedures have been performed on needy individuals who are unable to locate a dentist to meet their needs.

The Cabinet meeting will begin at 9 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).


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Support Employment Best Practices

Agency for Persons with Disabilities is sponsoring 24 hours of Best Practices in Supported Employment and the Introduction to Social Security Work Incentives certification. A four day Supported Employment Pre-Service training is scheduled for March 12-13 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (Supported Employment) and March 26-27 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (Social Security Work Incentives). The training will be held at 4030 Esplanade Way in Tallahassee. If you would like to attend the event, please click on the following link http://ptc.apd.myflorida.com/AvailableTraining.aspx?TrainingType=2 . Find LeeAnn Herman’s class and click register to attend. You must register online. For additional information contact LeeAnn Herman at LeeAnn.Herman@apdcares.org or 850-414-5876.


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Notice of Meeting/Workshop Hearing

DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES

Agency for Persons with Disabilities

The Agency for Persons with Disabilities announces a public meeting regarding the iBudget algorithm to which all persons are invited.

DATE AND TIME: March 2, 2015, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., EST This meeting will involve Microsoft Lync for sharing presentations over the internet. If you already have access to Microsoft Lync, please use the following link to join the meeting and then choose “Don’t join audio”: https://meet.lync.com/apdfl/eva.fambro-price/J39B2WT0

In addition to the Microsoft Lync meeting it is necessary to also call in to the following number in order to access the audio. The call-in number and code are: 1.888.670.3525 Code: 510 653 9718. If you do not already have Microsoft Lync installed, please follow the hotlink below and choose “Meeting Readiness”: http://office.microsoft.com/client/helppreview.aspx?AssetId=HA102621125&lcid=1033&NS=OC O14&Version=14 You will be presented with two options: 1) install Active X or 2) download and install Microsoft Attendee. We recommend you install Microsoft Attendee.

PLACE: Agency for Persons with Disabilities, 4030 Esplanade Way, Room 301, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0950

GENERAL SUBJECT MATTER TO BE CONSIDERED: To invite input and feedback from Agency stakeholder groups, including self-advocates, family members, service providers, waiver coordinators, and advocacy organizations in updating and improving the algorithm formula used to predict resource needs for clients enrolled on the iBudget waiver and waiting list and used in the establishment of individual budgets for individuals on the waiver. The algorithm will provide an equitable distribution of available resources among individuals on the waiver based on an assessment process that includes client characteristics and a valid formal assessment instrument, and client choice of services and providers once the individual budget is determined. http://apdcares.org/publications/legal Written comments may be submitted to iBudgetAlgorithm@apdcares.org.

A copy of the agenda may be obtained by contacting: Eva Fambro-Price, 4030 Esplanade Way, Suite 360, Tallahassee, Florida 32399, (850)922-2550, eva.fambro-price@apdcares.org. 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 72 hours before the workshop/meeting by contacting: Eva Fambro-Price, 4030 Esplanade Way, Suite 360, Tallahassee, Florida 32399, (850)922-2550, eva.fambro-price@apdcares.org. 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). For more information, you may contact: Eva Fambro-Price, 4030 Esplanade Way, Suite 360, Tallahassee, Florida 32399, (850)922-2550, eva.fambro-price@apdcares.org.

The agenda can also be found online at: http://apdcares.org/publications/legal/


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Meeting/Workshop Hearing Notice – March 23

Notice of Meeting/Workshop Hearing

DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES Agency for Persons with Disabilities

RULE NOS.: RULE TITLE:
65G-4.0213 Definitions
65G-4.0214 Allocation Algorithm
65G-4.0215 General Provisions
65G-4.0216 Establishment of the iBudget Amount
65G-4.0217 iBudget Cost Plan
65G-4.0218 Significant Additional Needs Funding

The Agency for Persons with Disabilities announces a public meeting to which all persons are invited. DATE AND TIME: March 23, 2015, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 Noon PLACE: Agency for Persons with Disabilities, 4030 Esplanade Way, Room 301, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0950 GENERAL SUBJECT MATTER TO BE CONSIDERED: MEETING HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED and replaces original meeting scheduled for February 26, 2015, as noticed in the Florida Administrative Register, Vol. 41, No. 17. Proposed Rules 65G-4.0213 through 65G-4.0218 noticed in the Florida Administrative Register Vol. 40, No. 235, published on December 5, 2014, regarding the implementation of iBudget Florida as required by Section 393.0662, F.S. A copy of the agenda may be obtained by contacting: David De La Paz, Esq., Agency for Persons with Disabilities, 4030 Esplanade Way, Suite 380, Tallahassee, Florida 32399. 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 72 hours before the workshop/meeting by contacting: David De La Paz, Esq., Agency for Persons with Disabilities, 4030 Esplanade Way, Suite 380, Tallahassee, Florida 32399. 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).

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