News & Information > News Releases

February 11, 2020

CONTACT: Melanie Mowry Etters
Communication Director

APD Participates in Developmental Disabilities Day

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Governor Ron DeSantis issued a proclamation recognizing today, February 11, as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day in Florida. To read Governor DeSantis’s proclamation, click here.

Hundreds of disability advocates came to the Capitol in Tallahassee to talk with legislators about issues facing Floridians with disabilities. The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) joined dozens of disability organizations at the Capitol sharing information about their programs.

Governor DeSantis said, “I am proud to proclaim today as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day in Florida. We want every person in our state, including those with unique abilities, to have the opportunity to achieve their goals. We will keep working to ensure every Floridian has the resources they need to be successful.”
Governor DeSantis’s Bolder, Brighter, Better Future budget recommendation proposes $1.5 billion to serve Floridians with developmental disabilities. Some of the proposed investments include:

  • $56.5 million to offer waiver enrollment to approximately 1,200 individuals with developmental disabilities who are in crisis
  • $1 million to provide employment services for approximately 800 individuals with developmental disabilities who want to go to work

APD Director Barbara Palmer said, “Governor DeSantis’s budget recommendation of $56.5 million to enroll individuals on to the waiver who are in crisis is vital so APD will be able to meet the needs of these vulnerable Floridians in their local communities. I appreciate the Governor’s continued support of individuals with unique abilities.”

Family Care Council Florida Chairperson Patricia Oglesby said, “Family Care Council members across the state are excited to be in Tallahassee for Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day. It is a great opportunity to meet with our legislators to share concerns, as well as express our gratitude for the services and programs that help Floridians with developmental disabilities live in their communities. We are truly stronger together!”
To learn more about the Bolder, Brighter, Better Future budget recommendations, visit

APD supports people with developmental disabilities to live, learn, and work in their communities. The agency annually serves more than 55,000 Floridians with disabilities. For more information about the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, visit or call toll-free 1‑866‑APD‑CARES (1‑866‑273‑2273).