Legislative Session is Underway


By Director Barbara Palmer

The Florida legislative session is moving at a rapid pace at the Capitol. It is a very busy time for the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD). The House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services have issued their proposed budgets and most of the agency requests are being supported in both proposed budgets.


Opening Day of the 2020 Florida Legislative Session


Florida Governor Ron DeSantis delivered the State of the State address to a joint session of the Florida Legislature on January 14. APD Director Barbara Palmer attended the event and said she looks forward to a successful legislative session this year. To watch a highlight video, click here.


Children’s Day at the Florida Capitol


Florida’s children were celebrated in Tallahassee at the Children’s Capitol for a Day event on January 28. Kids enjoyed games, storytelling, and Florida food samples. Teachers and parents learned more about the many services offered to our state’s youngest citizens, and many stopped by APD’s information booth. Check out APD’s highlight video from the event here.


Florida Celebrates Seniors


Thousands of citizens from across Florida gathered in Tallahassee to celebrate Senior Day at the Capitol on January 29. Many stopped by the APD booth to say hello and learn more about the agency. A special highlight was when Governor Ron DeSantis was honored with the AARP Rx Price Fighter Award. Click here to view APD’s highlight video from Senior Day.


January Family Care Council Florida Meeting


Representatives from across the state gathered together for the Family Care Council Florida (FCCF) meeting in Orlando on January 10 and 11. During the meeting, APD Director of Operations Clarence Lewis shared information about the agency’s legislative budget requests, Senate Bill 82, and The Arc of Florida dental contract.


Masessa is the Queen of Burger King


Linda Masessa enjoys living independently in Martin County with her cat, Brady. She worked for 18 years at Winn-Dixie as a bagger, until the store closed in April 2018. She is friendly and energetic and wanted badly to find another job.


Around the State


The Able Trust Awards Arc Broward $52K Grant


The Able Trust and Arc Broward have partnered to make a difference in employment for Floridians with disabilities. The Able Trust awarded Arc Broward with an employment grant of $52,188 for its Arc Works career support for working-age adults with disabilities. The grant was presented at special event on January 16.


The Arc of the Bay Holds Its First Culinary Institute Graduation


The Arc of the Bay’s Culinary Institute program held its inaugural graduation on December 18, where six students became the first to graduate from the program. Two of the graduates have had job offers and will start working soon.


Job-A-Palooza Bay County


APD employees from the Northwest Region and representatives from various local businesses came together for Job-A-Palooza, a supported employment event hosted by The Arc of the Bay.

Caregiver College Held in Pensacola


Emerald Coast Hospice, in partnership with Northwest Florida Area Agency on Aging, Inc., held a Caregiver College event on January 16 at the Area Agency on Aging’s Pensacola office.

Connecting the Dots 2020


The Area 4 Family Care Council will be hosting its sixth annual Connecting the Dots conference on April 23 at the Schultz Center in Jacksonville. This year’s keynote speaker is District Aide for the Florida House of Representatives and self-advocate Sarah Goldman.

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