Director’s Video Column

By Director Barbara Palmer

APD Director Barbara Palmer provides the latest updates on provider funding and hopes to see everyone soon at The Family Café.

APD Home and Community-Based Care Providers to Receive $502.7 Million to Benefit Floridians with Disabilities

The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) and Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) are excited to announce the recent approval of $502.7 million in Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) funding to be distributed to providers.

APD Recognized by Florida Public Relations Association

The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) received two awards at the Florida Public Relations Association’s Capital Chapter Image Awards ceremony on April 19 in Tallahassee. APD Communications Director Melanie Mowry Etters, APR, CPRC, CPM, accepted on behalf of the agency.

Independence Landing

APD Director Barbara Palmer participated in the groundbreaking event for Independence Landing, an affordable, supportive, and safe housing community for individuals with developmental disabilities. The anticipated opening is January 2023.

Torch Run for Special Olympics Florida

On April 12, Attorney General Ashley Moody hosted local and state law enforcement in Tallahassee for the 2022 Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Florida.

Breadwinner at Panera Bread Company

Christina Angelis attained a high school degree and had a strong previous employment history while living in New York. When her family moved to Palm Harbor several years ago, Angelis wanted to continue working.

Pinwheels for Prevention

Hundreds gathered at the Old Capitol on April 4, to kick off the state’s Pinwheels for Prevention campaign, coordinated by Prevent Child Abuse Florida, the Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida, and the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Around the State

Orlando Magic Night

On April 5, the Orlando Magic partnered with the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) to host the inaugural Orlando Magic ASL/Disability Inclusion Night. Individuals with unique abilities attended a jam-packed evening that included watching the Magic take on, and defeat, the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Autism Fun Day

The Central Region Community Supports team represented the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) at The Autism Society of Greater Orlando’s 17th Annual Autism Family Fun Day on April 16.

Public Guardian

The APD Central Region team presented training to the Department of Elder Affairs Office of the Public Guardian at its statewide meeting on April 22.

Best Buddies Friendship Walk

Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee was the host location of this year’s Best Buddies Friendship Walk on April 10. The event included a friendship walk, free food, games, live DJ, photo booth, and more.


The SportsAbility Alliance hosted sampler recreational events on April 9 at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park. The event included an adaptive trail adventure, boating excursion, adaptive biking, and other activities.

Easter Fun

Hundreds of children from all walks of life gathered on April 16 to enjoy fun, games, treats, and a petting zoo at the Governor’s Mansion in Tallahassee.

Children and Youth Cabinet Meeting

On April 28, Director Barbara Palmer attended the quarterly Children and Youth Cabinet Meeting in Tallahassee. Palmer presented the legislatively approved state budget items impacting the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) and the vital funding for vulnerable Floridians.

Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity hosted their annual Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day event on April 28, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., on the 22nd Floor of the Florida Capitol. State agencies and partners were in attendance, highlighting the diverse career opportunities available throughout Florida.

FSU Developmental Disabilities Research Registry and Repository

Florida State University is seeking children with a disability between birth and 17 years of age for its Developmental Disabilities Research Registry and Repository. This registry will connect interested families with ongoing research within our school that could benefit children with disabilities, and it will offer opportunities for parents to gain more information about their child’s communication and literacy.

Champion Staff
Melanie Mowry Etters - Editor
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