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Director's Column

By Barbara Palmer

As the cooler weather is making its way back into Florida, most of us are beginning to think about the upcoming Holidays. November is the perfect time of year to give thanks and remember how much has been accomplished at the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), while also knowing there is always more to do.

Companies Honored as Exceptional Employers

Eight businesses that hire and retain people with disabilities as part of their workforce were recognized by the state of Florida for being exceptional employers of people with disabilities.

Journey to a Job

On October 19, APD participated in Tallahassee Community College’s Workforce Development’s Building Legacies, Avenues to Independence conference that focused on employment for people with disabilities.

Perseverance is the Ticket

Christopher Comis is a pleasant, smiling, outgoing, hard worker. He is a ticket taker and usher with Paragon Theaters Cinépolis in Deerfield Beach. He works two or three days a week and is excited to be working in the community.

APD Begins Development of Centralized Customer Data System

The Agency for Persons with Disabilities is excited to announce that it has contracted with Mediware to develop a new central client data system for APD customers which will capture much needed information to help all of us improve services to individuals with developmental disabilities. The new system will be the hub for all APD customer related data.

Will You Create an ABLE Account?

Earlier this year, Governor Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 642 creating the Florida ABLE program for individuals with disabilities to save money in a tax-free savings account for future services without losing their eligibility for state and federal benefits.

Home Care Rule Update

The Federal Department of Labor (DOL) adopted the Home Care Rule extending minimum wage and overtime protections to most home care workers.

iBudget Rule Meeting

The agency held an iBudget Florida rule hearing October 8 at APD’s state office in Tallahassee. The purpose of the meeting was to gather public comment and to answer questions about the iBudget rule changes.

Around the State

She’s Got Spirit

On October 14, the Arc of Florida hosted their annual awards ceremony in Tampa. At this year’s event, they honored APD’s very own Miranda Johnson with the President’s Award for Team Spirit.

Family Care Council and APD Out and About

Marty Norris and Gilda Pacheco, co-chairs of FCC-10, next to the APD table sharing information with families at the Children with Special Needs Resource Fair on September 26 at the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Davie

Bay County Celebrates Disability Mentoring Day

Students and adults with disabilities from Bay County celebrated National Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM) on Disability Mentoring Day (DMD), October 21. Approximately 80 participants spent the morning job shadowing at a local business of their choice and then attended a luncheon where they shared their experiences.

Mock Job Interviews Help Build Confidence for Future Employees

Twenty-one eager job seekers participated in a mock job interview session held in Agency for Persons with Disabilities Northeast Region’s Field Office 12 in Daytona Beach on October 14th.

Customer Enjoys FSU Game

Jacob Whittington enjoyed watching the Florida State University Seminoles team win its football game over the University of South Florida Bulls with a score of 34-14 recently. Whittington attended his first FSU game with his family.

Family Care Council 12 Collaborates with Local Self-Advocacy Group

 On October 3 and 4, members from the Family Care Council 12 and members of the East Volusia Self-Advocacy Group combined together to attend a community outreach effort at the Port Orange Family Days. The cost of the two-day event was shared by both groups.

Northwest Region Holds Student Mock Interview Workshop

The Northwest Region of APD celebrated Disability Mentoring Day with a Student Mock Interview Workshop at eight high schools in Leon and Escambia County School Districts.

Champion Staff
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