Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities

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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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Governor Rick Scott Appoints Eight to Family Care Councils

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

Area Seven, Family Care Council

Jackie Aikens, 56, of Lake Mary, is a retired senior software engineer with the McKesson Corporation. She fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term beginning December 19, 2014, and ending April 5, 2015.

Area Nine, Family Care Council

Kevis Jones, 43, of Delray Beach, is an assembler for the Palm Beach Rehabilitation Center. He fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term beginning December 19, 2014, and ending December 18, 2017.

Chantal Hyppolite, 61, of Boca Raton, is an advocate for persons with disabilities. She succeeds Robert Gardner and is appointed for a term beginning December 19, 2014, and ending July 1, 2016.

 Area Ten, Family Care Council

Jeannette Hand, 55, of Plantation, is real estate agent with ARG Realty. She succeeds Patrice Laurie and is appointed for a term beginning December 19, 2014, and ending August 26, 2017.

Lynda Olds, 45, of Cooper City, is an advocate for persons with disabilities. She succeeds Denise Crosnick and is appointed for a term beginning December 19, 2014, and ending August 26, 2017.

Gilda Pacheco, 66, of Miramar, is a retired teacher and administrator with Dade County Public Schools. She is reappointed for a term beginning December 19, 2014, and ending June 29, 2017.

Area Thirteen, Family Care Council

Troy Davidson, 47, of Inverness, is an advocate for persons with disabilities. He fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term beginning December 19, 2014, and ending December 11, 2016.

Caroline Short, 72, of Bushnell, is a retired licensed massage therapist. She is reappointed for a term beginning December 19, 2014, and ending April 30, 2017.


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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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Grandparents May Now Join Family Care Councils — Stakeholders Applaud Addition

TALLAHASSEE, FL—Florida Governor Rick Scott has signed legislation that expands the membership of Family Care Councils (FCC) to now include grandparents. There are 15 FCCs around the state that advise the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD). FCCs are made up of self-advocates, parents, siblings, guardians, and now grandparents who are appointed by Governor Scott. Governor Scott has appointed or reappointed 99 Family Care Council members since taking office.

APD relies on the FCCs to share information and support all families throughout the state. The membership works each and every day to collaborate on issues and encourage independence for agency customers.

APD Director Barbara Palmer said, “I thank our FCC bill sponsors, Senator Nancy Detert and Representative Jose Felix Diaz, who supported this measure and made sure it was passed during the Legislative session. I also want to thank Governor Scott for his continued support of our FCCs. Our Family Care Councils are vital to APD. They share with us their concerns and issues that affect our customers in their local communities.”

Senator Nancy Detert said, “I was happy to sponsor the FCC bill, and am very pleased my fellow senators agreed to support it. I believe grandparents are an integral part of families, and should have a role in helping to advise APD on issues affecting loved ones with developmental disabilities. Now that Governor Scott has signed the measure into law, I hope many grandparents volunteer to serve on the 15 FCCs all over the state and begin sharing their wealth of knowledge and experience to benefit our citizens with developmental disabilities.”

Representative Jose Felix Diaz said, “It was a great pleasure to work with the Agency for Persons with Disabilities on this good bill that will allow grandparents to become more involved in advocating for individuals with developmental disabilities through their membership on Family Care Councils. I consider it a priority of mine to work towards the well-being of these vulnerable individuals and I am humbled to have been a part of this effort.”

Family Care Council (FCC) Florida incoming Chairperson Pauline Lipps said, “I thank Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature for supporting the expansion of membership for the Family Care Councils to now include grandparents. The FCCs have an important role in advising APD and advocating for families. Grandparents have a vital role in families and we are very appreciative of them being allowed to join the FCC’s in the future.”

“Grandparents are an important part of the fabric of the developmental disabilities community,” said Deborah Linton, chief executive officer of The Arc of Florida, a non-profit organization that advocates on behalf of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. “We are pleased to see them included in the Family Care Council.”

“The Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (Florida ARF) thanks Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature for recognizing the important role that grandparents play in the lives of their grandchildren and that these grandparents can now be actively involved in influencing and shaping the Agency for Persons with Disabilities’ policies and resources that are dedicated to serving their grandchildren. The new legislation is a win-win for all involved and will bring wisdom and experience to the table for Florida’s Family Care Councils,” said Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities Executive Director Suzanne Sewell.

“The Association of Support Coordinators is very pleased that Governor Scott and the Legislature have broadened the scope of Family Care Councils to include grandparents. It’s crucial that individuals with disabilities receive the full benefit of interaction presented by an extended family. With more Floridians living longer and more active lifestyles than ever before, and many already functioning as primary caregivers, our grandparents present an active and vital natural source of support. The voice of these grandparents can now be heard through the Family Care Councils,” said the Association of Support Coordination Agencies of Florida Chairperson Janice Phillips.


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Central Region Events and Information

Guest post by Community Resource Coordinator, Charles Steen

 

APD’s Central region covers 12 counties with its regional headquarters in Orlando and field offices in Lakeland and Wildwood. This diverse region stretches from coast to coast, covers urban and rural, beachside and inland.

APD recently participated in four autism walks and fairs in Lakeland, Melbourne, Ocala, and Orlando. This was a great opportunity to meet families, providers, organizations, and community leaders. APD was able to give information to numerous families. We also had an APD resource table at the Special Olympics State Games at Disney, and the Best Buddies Friendship Walk at Lake Eola in Downtown Orlando.

On May 2, APD hosted its Disability Employment Expo at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando. This event had 525 attendees and participants were hired on the spot by the Krystal Company. Interviews were arranged with Sea World and job shadowing opportunities were set up with Florida Hospital.

The Area 14 Family Care Council hosted a presentation by Kathie Snow, parent, advocate and author of Disability is Natural. A diverse group of parents, individuals, and professionals were in attendance to learn specifics about the importance of inclusion, how and where to set good expectations, people first language, and positive attitudes.

There are many exciting events on the horizon in the Central Region. Most notable is Family Café, June 6-8. Thousands of participants are expected to attend.  The event will include countless activities, educational experiences, and opportunities to network with people from around the state. APD will also be hosting an Employment Expo at Café on June 6 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. This is free to individuals with disabilities and those who accompany them. It is a great opportunity for individuals to participate in mock interviews, get their resume critiqued, and to meet employers. Some employers include Walgreens, Universal Orlando, and Krystal.

Other upcoming events in the Central Region include Nathaniel’s Hope-Make ‘m Smile Walk at Lake Eola in Orlando on June 7. Make ‘m Smile is an annual community festival dedicated to celebrating VIP Kids (kids with all types of special needs and disabilities) and their families. This is a great opportunities for families to meet resource exhibitors and make new friends.

The Area 13 Family Care Council will be hosting a community forum on June 14 at the Sunrise Arc in Leesburg. All families are encouraged to attend.

For those able and interested, Lift Disability network, a faith-based organization in Central Florida, is having their annual Breakaway Camp July 8-12 at Lake Yale in Leesburg. This camp allows families to break away from the grind so they can enjoy a week of fun and relaxation. For more information and an application packet, visit http://www.liftdisability.net/2014-fl-breakaway .

In the Ocala area, the Ocala Autism Support Network (OASN) is offering to sponsor 30+ children with Autism for free swimming lessons. The child must be 18 or under and must have an autism diagnosis to be eligible. For more information, you can reach OASN at (352) 462-0168 or oasninfo@gmail.com.


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APD Northwest Region Spring Happenings

Guest post by APD NW Region Operations Manager Lynne Daw

 

The Northwest region, one of six geographic regions within APD covers the 16 most western counties in the panhandle of Florida.  Due to the large coverage area, the region also has field offices in Pensacola, Panama City, and Marianna with the regional office located in Tallahassee.

Spring has finally sprung and with it several exciting events are blooming in the region!

Marcus Pointe Baptist Church in Pensacola hosted a Disability Ministry Conference on March 29. The purpose of the event was to recruit other churches into developing ministries dedicated to individuals with disabilities and their needs.  The guest speaker was Joni and Friends, Charlotte team. This organization is committed to train, disciple, and mentor people with disabilities exercise their gifts of leadership and service in the church and in their communities. Twelve churches were represented at the conference. One topic discussed was how to set up respite opportunities like the one offered by Marcus Pointe one Saturday per month. Two other churches will be partnering with Marcus Pointe in setting up a similar respite program.

On April 5, the Northwest Region 2 Family Care Council sponsored a nutritional workshop for family members, paid caregivers and self-advocates.  Presenters at the workshop included nationally renowned dietician, Sandra Woodruff who provided information on making wise choices when grocery shopping.  She included tips on how to read food labels, when to choose fresh versus frozen foods, and how to get the best value when shopping.  Jim Bellamy, of the Frenchtown Project, presented the exciting opportunity for individuals who have EBT dollars and how to double their value by purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables!  Participants learned that importance of combining exercise with good food choices with a presentation by Gold’s Gym Owner, Joe Burtoft. The highlight of the event was the cooking demonstration presented by Chef Shafrica Simmons who prepared stir fry using brown rice and a variety of fresh greens and vegetables. Along with enjoying food samples by Chef Simmons, participants were also provided with a free nutritious lunch sponsored, in part, by Newk’s restaurant.

Regional staff are making great strides in identifying both employment and internship opportunities for individuals utilizing the Employment Enhancement Project (EEP) grant.  Since January 2014, over 13 individuals have become employed in new jobs and more than 18 individuals are actively participating in paid internships in the community!  We have seen great response on the part of the community in developing these internship opportunities. On April 11, about 300 students participated in the Transition Services Fair at University of West Florida in Pensacola. During this fair, APD set up mock interviews with 12 employers and teachers to provide students with interview experience.  As a result, one individual was given the opportunity for a real interview with anticipation of hire.  Regional Employment Liaison Katrina Washington presented with Brenda Clark of the University of South Florida at the Visions Conference in Tampa April 29 to May 2, which will help attendees use creative writing as a tool toward employment.


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Governor Rick Scott Appoints Thirteen to Family Care Councils Across Florida

Tallahassee, Fla. – Governor Rick Scott today announced four appointments and nine reappointments to Family Care Councils across the state.

 Area One, Family Care Council

Deborah Moore, 41, of Pensacola, is an engineer specialist with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. She fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term beginning April 28, 2014, and ending June 15, 2014.

John Collins, 34, of Pensacola, is an advocate for persons with disabilities. He is reappointed for a term beginning April 28, 2014, and ending September 14, 2015.

Dina Justice, 46, of Pensacola, is the owner of Justice Marketing Group. She is reappointed for a term beginning June 16, 2014, and ending June 15, 2017.

Daniel “Danny” Parker, 56, of Pace, is a pipeline operations tech with the Florida Gas Transmission Company. He is reappointed for a term beginning April 28, 2014, and ending June 17, 2015.

Area Two, Family Care Council

Elizabeth Burr, 52, of Tallahassee, is a paraprofessional with Leon County Schools. She is reappointed for a term beginning April 28, 2014, and ending September 23, 2016.

Area Six, Family Care Council

Ann Graybeal, 66, of Sarasota, is an advocate for persons with disabilities. She is reappointed for a term beginning April 28, 2014, and ending July 7, 2016.

Area Seven, Family Care Council

Daniel Bayley, 41, of Palm Bay, is an advocate for persons with disabilities. He is reappointed for a term beginning June 30, 2014, and ending June 29, 2017.

Area Nine, Family Care Council

Cindy Donelson, 56, of Lake Worth, is a senior communications specialist with Florida Power and Light. She fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term beginning April 28, 2014, and ending April 27, 2017.

Karen Oberg, 75, of Lake Worth, is an advocate for persons with disabilities. She succeeds Veronica Pappas and is appointed for a term beginning April 28, 2014, and ending September 14, 2015.

Area Fourteen, Family Care Council

Brenda Taggart, 42, of Lakeland, is an advocate for persons with disabilities. She succeeds Sherre Crouse and is appointed for a term beginning April 28, 2014, and ending August 28, 2014.

Area Fifteen, Family Care Council

 Heather Bohlander-Misner, 37, of Port St. Lucie, is an advocate for persons with disabilities. She is reappointed for a term beginning April 28, 2014, and ending October 4, 2016.

Andrew Magnolia, 53, of Port St. Lucie, is an advocate for persons with disabilities. He is reappointed for a term beginning April 28, 2014, and ending October 4, 2016.

Chantai Snellgrove, 48, of Vero, is the editorial director for Parenting Special Needs Magazine. She is reappointed for a term beginning April 28, 2014, and ending October 4, 2016.