All Abilities Want to Work


By Director Barbara Palmer

Governor Rick Scott and the Cabinet have declared October as Disability Employment Awareness Month in Florida. This is when our state and the nation focus on job opportunities for people with disabilities. Florida’s theme is “Abilities Work."


Family Care Council Celebrates 25 Years of Service


The Area 8 Family Care Council (FCC) celebrated 25 years of service by hosting a community awareness day last month. During the event, Fort Myers City Attorney Grant Alley shared the joy of parenting a child with Down syndrome and thanked the council members for their continued service on behalf of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.

Looking to Become a Provider? IT'S FREE!


All forms required to become a provider are available for free on apdcares.org. There is no need to pay a third party for APD's free updated forms. Click here to learn more about becoming an APD provider and to view the free forms. APD is not affiliated with any third-party vendor for provider enrollment.


Florida Missing Children’s Day Promotes Child Safety and Celebrates Heroes


Agency for Persons with Disabilities Communications Director Melanie Mowry Etters and Operations employees Jackie Shaffer and Christy Smiley joined hundreds of law enforcement personnel, public officials, and citizens for the 2018 Florida Missing Children’s Day ceremony in Tallahassee.

DCF Child Protection Summit


APD was represented at the Department of Children and Families 2018 Child Protection Summit in Orlando. This year's Summit afforded our agency the opportunity to share our programmatic functions to promote the most efficient practices as we collaborate with our DCF partners to ensure we are facilitating the best operational procedures, thus providing the best sources of services for children and families.

Cooking Up Creations


For more than two years, Jeannine Canales has been cooking breakfast, lunch, or dinner for the many residents of East Ridge Retirement Village. The facility is a not-for-profit retirement community in Cutler Bay, south of the city of Miami in Miami-Dade County.


Gov. Scott Appoints Five to Florida Developmental Disabilities Council


Governor Rick Scott recently announced the appointment of five to the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council.

Around the State


A Study in Strength


You can say that Clelia Carcases is a study in strength and perseverance. Born in November 1968 in Venezuela and diagnosed with spina bifida, she immigrated to the United States with her family at the age of 10.

The Children’s Trust Family Expo 2018


Last month, the Eligibility and Waiting List teams manned the Agency for Persons with Disabilities table at the annual Children’s Trust Family Expo. The event featured activities and entertainment for the entire family with the goal of providing parents with direct contact to health and social services, as well as educational opportunities.

Tacachale’s “80s Block Party” a Great Success


Music has a way of taking us back in time, and the music provided by local DJ King Gene at Tacachale’s “80s Block Party” transported the crowd. An energetic group of volunteers from the University of Florida’s Catholic Gators got everyone up and dancing, even “Walking on Sunshine!

Innovative Imaging


Local providers of APD’s Northwest Region attended Pensacola Civitan Club’s Innovative Imaging, a community educational awareness event presented at The Hilton Garden Inn Airport/Medical Center in Pensacola.

Supported Decision-Making: Protecting Rights, Ensuring Choices


The Arc Gateway and the Area 1 Family Care Council sponsored the “Supported Decision-Making: Protecting Rights, Ensuring Choices” presentation by Jonathan Martinis, Senior Director for Law and Policy at the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University, at the Pollak Training Center in Pensacola last month.

Life Stories: Let Us Help You Write Yours


 “Life Stories: Let Us Help You Write Yours” was a conference held at Marcus Pointe Baptist Church in Pensacola for parents of children with disabilities of any age on September 14-15, 2018.

Northwest Region Job-A-Palooza Events


The Arc Big Bend Tallahassee, The Arc of The Bay/St. Andrew Bay Center, and Jackson County Arc, Inc. all hosted a Job-A-Palooza, a job fair for high school and transition-age students with intellectual and developmental differences to demonstrate their unique abilities while exploring various career interests.

Bank of America Disability Awareness and Education Fair Held in Jacksonville


The corporate office of Bank of America in the Gramercy Woods complex off Southside Boulevard in Jacksonville was the setting for the third annual Disability Awareness and Education Fair last month.

Champion Staff
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