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“Fighting for Florida’s Future” Proposed Budget Eliminates the Critical Needs Waiting List for the Fourth Year

By Barbara Palmer

I am happy to share that the Governor Rick Scott’s “Fighting for Florida’s Future” Budget is recommending $1.3 billion in total funding for the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD). This historic investment will eliminate the critical needs waiting list for the fourth year in a row and help Floridians with disabilities live, learn, and work in their communities. 

“The Fighting for Florida’s Future” Budget Will Create Opportunities for Generations of Floridians

Governor Rick Scott announced his “Fighting for Florida’s Future” budget which proposes $618 million in tax cuts to help Florida families and small businesses. The Governor’s recommended budget also invests record funding in Florida’s education system, strengthens environmental protection efforts, supports law enforcement, and fights for Florida’s growing job market.

APD Moving Forward on New Software System

The Agency for Persons with Disabilities has contracted with Mediware to develop a new central client data management system for APD customers called APD iConnect.

Family Centered Care Options Meeting

On January 20, self-advocates, families, and providers gathered together in Orlando for an opportunity to speak with the leaders from the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), and the Department of Children and Families (DCF).

Patience Pays

Houston Lee set a goal for himself to get a job. He endured months of job hunting remaining patient and holding out for the right job that fit his abilities and needs and had the right environment to provide the best opportunity for his success.

Speakin’ Up and Movin’ Out

The 2017 FL SAND (Florida Self Advocates Network’d) Annual Conference, held January 6 through 8, began with a hearty ‘Let the festivities begin!’ Its title, Speakin’ Up and Movin’ Out, as well as the event itself, represent a commitment to initiate and create positive change, not only at the grassroots level, but also on a statewide level.

Disability Employment Awareness

Julius puts his talents to work at Farmer, Jaffe, and Weissing Law Firm by doing data entry and scanning documents. “At the end of the day, it’s good…to think about what I’ve accomplished,” said Julius. Learn more about Julius here:


Around the State

The Spice of Life

Cinnamon Edgar is a remarkable individual. Her “joie de vivre” is infectious and evident in her artwork. The colors and natural beauty of her surroundings come through vividly. You could say that Cinnamon’s view of the world around her is uniquely hers and that she finds beauty where others may not.

Internet Reunion - Brothers Reunited Through Online Search

Terry Richardson of Avon Park experienced a Christmas miracle this year that was featured in the Highlands News-Sun by writer Phil Attinger. Richardson’s present was not wrapped in red paper with a bow on top, though. It came in the form of a reunion with his brothers whom he had lost touch with nearly 30 years ago.

Shane Dahlen – APD Supported Employee

Shane Dahlen has always loved animals, and inspired by his passion for animals, he started working as a kennel assistant at Eastbay Animal Hospital in May 2013.

Champion Staff
Melanie Mowry Etters - Editor
Katie Strickland - Writer
Anne Elizabeth Clark - Writer
Kimberly Tharpe - Masthead Design
John Milton - Webmaster