Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities

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Surf’s Up!

One of the best things about living in Florida is that you’re never too far from the beach!  The Northeast Region has some great summer events coming up that APD customers may be interested in participating in.

Surfers For Autism events provide a safe, fun, judgment-free environment where highly skilled surf instructors carefully guide them into waves. Surfers and their families are treated like rock stars and will enjoy a day filled with a wide range of activities including stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, live music, face painting, games, fire engine tours, and much more. A catered lunch is also provided, all at no cost to registered participants, their families, and volunteers.

This is a very special day where children with developmental delays can wow families with their capabilities!  There are two events coming up in the Northeast Region in August.  The 5th Annual Inlet Surfers for Autism Beach Festival will be held on August 2 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Ponce Inlet.  The Best Western Plus Aku Tiki Inn will be the host hotel for the event.  Reservations for the Surfers with Autism block can be made until July 1 by calling 1-800-258-8454.  The 5th Annual First Coast Surfers for Autism Beach Festival will take place on August 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Flagler Beach Pier.

For more information on Surfers For Autism and upcoming surfing events, visit http://surfersforautism.org/.


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FSU Police Donate to Send Families on Vacation

TALLAHASSEE, FL—The Florida State University (FSU) Police Department will donate $2,000 to the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) for Rish Park on Friday, February 28, at 11 a.m. FSU Police Chief David Perry will present the check to APD Director Barbara Palmer on FSU’s campus outside Doak Campbell Stadium next to the Unconquered statue. This is the second year the FSU Police Department has made this donation.

The money will be used to send four families to William J. (Billy Joe) Rish Recreational Park on Cape San Blas for a four day and three night vacation. The money will pay for gasoline to get to the park, food while at the park, and a disposable camera to capture the weekend. The families will be selected from individuals on the APD Medicaid waiver waiting list.

Rish Park, which originally opened in 1975, is the state’s only park specifically for people with disabilities and is operated by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD). The park is located at 6773 Cape San Blas Road in Gulf County.

The park is named after former State Representative Billy Joe Rish who was instrumental in securing the land from the federal government in 1968 and designating it for use by people with disabilities. The park is open to visitors with disabilities and their families year round. If you would like to make a reservation, contact Sunland in Marianna at (850) 482-9386 or visit RishPark.org.

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).