Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities

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

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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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