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April 1, 2013
  CONTACT: Melanie Mowry Etters
Communication Director

Advocates Call on Lawmakers to Support Governor Scott’s Proposal To Fund the Waiting List

TALLAHASSEE—Floridians with developmental disabilities, their families, friends and caregivers will gather at the Florida Capitol on March 7 for Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day 2013, co-sponsored by the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council (FDDC), The Arc of Florida, and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD). During a news conference, supporters of individuals with developmental disabilities will call on lawmakers to fund essential programs and services for individuals with developmental disabilities, especially Governor Rick Scott’s budget recommendation to provide additional funds for Florida’s waiver waiting list.

The waiver waiting list is composed of more than 20,000 individuals with developmental disabilities who have been waiting for services such as supported employment, supported living, respite care, and transportation services. Some individuals have been waiting for many years to enroll onto the APD Medicaid waiver.

“We appreciate Governor’s Scott’s recommendation to provide $36 million for the APD Medicaid waiver waiting list for the first time in eight years, said Barbara Palmer, APD Director. “APD currently provides services to about 30,000 individuals with developmental disabilities, and we look forward to serving those on the waiting list who have the most critical needs with this additional funding.”

Kathy McAllister, Chair of the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, said, “Individuals with developmental disabilities on the waiting list need services to help them find and retain jobs. If the state can provide more money for supported employment services and other types of job training, it will help individuals with developmental disabilities to become, productive tax-paying citizens.”

“If the Legislature approves the additional funds recommended by the governor, our state-wide chapters will be able to help more Floridians with developmental disabilities enhance their lives,” said Michele Poole, president of The Arc of Florida.

Governor Scott, Cabinet members, legislators, and self-advocates have been invited to speak.
The day’s activities also include:
· Exhibits: 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. on the Second Floor Rotunda
· Advocate visits with legislators throughout the day

The FDDC is a non-profit organization charged with advocating and promoting meaningful participation in all aspects of life for Floridians with developmental disabilities. For more information, visit or call 1-800-580-7801.
The Arc of Florida is a nonprofit charity whose mission is to improve the quality of life for persons with developmental disabilities. For more information, visit or call 1-800-226-1155.
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 or call toll-free 1 866 APD CARES (1 866 273 2273).