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July 13, 2022

Melanie Mowry Etters
Communication Director

What They Are Saying: Governor Ron DeSantis Secures Record Provider Rate Increases for those who Serve Floridians with Disabilities

TALLAHASSEE, FL—Last month, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Florida’s Freedom First Budget for FY22-23, which included record rate increases for providers who aid Floridians with developmental disabilities served by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD). Rate increases took effect at the beginning of this month. Community leaders are excited to see this record commitment to APD customers and their caregivers with increased provider rates.

Here is what they are saying…

Support Coordination Association of Florida Chair Laura Mohesky said, “Support Coordination Association of Florida would like to thank the Governor and Director Palmer for their commitment to individuals with disabilities and the rate increase for direct support professionals (DSPs). SCAF congratulates Florida Stakeholders, provider's, families and of course customers for the hard work they put in this past Legislative session advocating for DSPs. SCAF members are hopeful that this funding increase will make a huge difference in current provider/DSP shortage.” 

The Arc of Alachua President/CEO and The Arc of Florida Board President Mark A. Swain said, “The Arc of Florida is grateful to Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Legislature for funding higher wages for direct support professionals. This will help us attract and retain qualified staff to work with people who have disabilities. We look forward to continuing the important work of improving the quality and stability of services to these citizens of our State.”

Sunrise President & CEO Zach Wray said, “Sunrise Community would like to express our gratitude to Governor DeSantis, Director Palmer and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities for their commitment to providers and the people we support.  This unprecedented increase in funding will be life changing for Direct Support Professionals and will help us recruit and retain frontline healthcare workers. We can’t thank you enough for all that you do.

The Association of Support Coordination Agencies Chair Ryan Chandler said "The Association of Support Coordination Agencies appreciates the Governor and Legislators continuing to demonstrate their commitment to individuals with disabilities. This increase in rates for service providers will allow for more competitive wages for direct care staff, increasing the availability and quality of care for this vulnerable population. As Support Coordinators, locating services for families has proven difficult due to traditionally low wages in the field, inflation, and labor shortages. This increase for direct care staff will help alleviate this issue, allowing us to better locate quality services for the individuals we serve."

APD supports people with developmental disabilities to live, learn, and work in their communities. The agency annually serves more than 58,000 Floridians with severe forms of autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, Phelan-McDermid 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).