APD a Big Part of 20th Annual Family Café


By Director Barbara Palmer

I had a fabulous time at the 20th Annual Family Café held June 15-17, in Orlando. It is always wonderful to talk with so many of our customers and their families.


Core Forum


Communications Director Melanie Etters and Deputy Communications Director Zoe Linafelt represented APD at the inaugural Community Outreach of Resources and Education (C.O.R.E.) Resource Fair hosted by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, Office of Prevention and Victim Services on June 19 at the LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library in Tallahassee.

Looking to Become a Provider? IT'S FREE!


All forms required to become a provider are available for free on apdcares.org. There is no need to pay a third party for APD's free updated forms. Click here to learn more about becoming an APD provider and to view the free forms. APD is not affiliated with any third-party vendor for provider enrollment.


Front Line Customer Service with a Smile


At the end of the checkout line of a Publix Supermarket in Riverview, Michael “Kaleb” Dees bags groceries for customers with a smile.


Around the State


2018 Empower Florida Conference


In partnership with the Agency for Persons with Disabilities and Title Sponsor Family Home Health Care of Orlando, Empower Florida hosted over 600 participants at the May 25-26 Training Conference at the Doubletree Orlando SeaWorld.

Gainesville’s Julie Waldman Receives Florida Bar’s Claude Pepper Outstanding Government Lawyer Award


Julie Waldman, Deputy Center Administrator at the Tacachale Center and Gainesville attorney, recently received the Claude Pepper Outstanding Government Lawyer Award at The Florida Bar's annual convention in Orlando.

Tacachale Celebrates its Champions


The Tacachale community came together in June to celebrate the stellar achievements of their athletes, including Special Olympics competitors who have competed over the past year, and to thank them for representing Tacachale so well. Prior to the main event, a musical slideshow presentation delighted the crowd with images of the athletes along their journeys.

Volusia County Project SEARCH Graduations


Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach recently hosted the graduation for eight students from the 2018 class of Project SEARCH of Volusia County. This is the second year the program has operated from within the medical center’s premises.

Autism Speaks and SUNTRUST Foundation Town Hall on Special Needs Financial Planning Held in Jacksonville


Autism Speaks and The SunTrust Foundation partnered to hold a Town Hall on Special Needs Financial Planning at the Crowne Point Hotel in Jacksonville on May 19.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day


The Northwest Region participated in the Department of Elder Affairs’ World Elder Abuse Awareness Day seminar in Pensacola on June 15 at the Bayview Senior Center.

Calling Tomorrow’s Leaders!


The 11th Annual Youth Summit, hosted by the Florida Youth Council, will be held August 3-4 in Orlando. This event is for young people with disabilities ages 15-30 throughout the state of Florida to come together to learn, share, and network.

Champion Staff
Melanie Mowry Etters - Editor
Zoe Linafelt - Writer
Anne Elizabeth Clark - Writer
Kimberly Tharpe - Masthead Design
John Milton - Webmaster