Happy New Year!

By Director Barbara Palmer

I hope 2020 gives us all clear insight into the coming year for success. Everyone at the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) is looking forward to the new year. We are preparing for the legislative session, which begins on January 14. We will be meeting with legislators to support the funding of Governor Ron DeSantis’s budget recommendations that will help APD and its customers next fiscal year.

Tacachale Celebrates the Holidays

There wasn’t an empty seat at Tacachale’s 35th annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, held on December 5. Residents, staff, volunteers, and members of the community braved the cold weather to celebrate the holidays, drink cocoa, eat cookies, and enjoy the festive performances of 1000 Voices of Florida, Inc., Annasemble Community Orchestra, and the Tacachale Carolers.

For Hightower, Welcoming Customers is Personal

Matt Hightower has been a greeter/host at Sweet Tomatoes in Sarasota since 1997. Four days a week, he greets every person who walks in the door and tells customers about the restaurant, the fresh food, any promotions, and featured menu items.

APD Recognized by Florida Fusion Center

This fall, the Florida Fusion Center (FFC) publicly recognized the Agency for Persons with Disabilities for our commitment to local, state, and national security. Based in Tallahassee, the FFC is our local branch of a security network of state, local, tribal territorial, and federal agencies.

Around the State

Participants Needed for a Study on Social Media Safety

A researcher at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville is looking for individuals with intellectual disability, age 13-24, to complete a survey. The study is examining the way that individuals use social media, to determine whether there is a need for social media safety instruction.

The Arc Gateway PALS 2019 Graduation Held in Pensacola

The Arc Gateway Program for Adult Learning and Support (PALS) held a graduation ceremony for the Class of 2019 on December 12, 2019 at Pensacola State College in Pensacola. Thirty-two students graduated with certificates in food services, general studies, cleaning and maintenance, retail services, administrative services, or horticulture.

Caregiver Appreciation Luncheon Held in Pensacola

The passion and service of our neighbors who dedicate their lives to the care of others often goes unrecognized. The love and care given by caregivers’ day after day is paramount to the successes realized by those living with disabilities in our community.

DCF Child Protection Summit

On the week of December 16, APD participated in the Annual Child Protection Summit, the largest child welfare event in Florida. The event is sponsored by the Department of Children and Families in Orlando. This year’s theme was Strong Team Strong Families.

DEO Seeks Feedback on State Action Plan

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that $633 million in first-of-its-kind funding would be available to the state of Florida for disaster mitigation projects in areas impacted by presidentially declared disasters in 2016 and 2017.

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