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State to Serve New Disability


By Barbara Palmer

Today, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities will begin serving individuals with Phelan-McDermid syndrome. During the Legislative Session, Phelan-McDermid syndrome was added to the list of developmental disabilities served by APD beginning July 1.


Family Cafe


The 18th Annual Family Café was held June 10-12 at the Hyatt Regency in Orlando. The three-day event featured breakout sessions, an exhibit hall, speakers, and opportunities to interact with families.

Nominate an Exceptional Employer Today!


We are gearing up for October which is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. APD and its partners want to recognize exceptional businesses from around the state who are committed to employing people with disabilities.

Summer Jobs


The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation has a funding opportunity for providers who are interested in providing services to students with disabilities during the 2016 summer. VR will provide funds this summer to support activities which deliver career exploration, work readiness skills, work experience, or self-advocacy training.

Good Things Really Do Come in Small Packages


Working in the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) Communications Office in Tallahassee is a little stick of dynamite named Stacia Woolverton. Woolverton was born 40 years ago with de Morsier syndrome or also called Septo-optic dysplasia which typically affects a person’s vision and pituitary gland.

Around the State


Employee Wins Award


APD employee Melody Taylor, who works in the Lakeland Field Office, recently was recognized by the Ridge Area Arc with the People First! Advocate Award.  The honor is given to an individuals who consistently demonstrate a leadership role in the advocacy of people with developmental disabilities.

Hope That HEALS Open House


The Panhandle organization, Hope that Heals, is looking for more volunteers so there is one volunteer for every participant. If you are restless and looking for something to do in Gulf Breeze, visit Community Life Center at 1508 Soundside Drive, Gulf Breeze.

Ability Awards


The Able Trust hosted its annual Ability Awards on June 17 in Tallahassee to recognize individuals, non-profit agencies, employers, and other organizations that have made outstanding contributions toward providing employment opportunities for Floridians with disabilities.

SHIP Continues to Keep People with Developmental Disabilities Independent


The State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) program provides funds to all 67 counties to distribute to citizens for home improvements and to develop or maintain affordable housing. The 2016 Florida Legislature appropriated $10 million for housing for people with developmental disabilities and another 20 percent of each SHIP allocation for special needs housing as defined in s. 420.0004.

Employment and Housing Conference


Partners for Progress is sponsoring a conference in Orlando on October 12 through 14 at the Florida Hotel and Conference Center, 1500 Sand Lake Road. The conference is to learn more about employment and housing opportunities for Floridians with disabilities.

Champion Staff
Melanie Mowry Etters - Editor
Christine Call - Writer
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John Milton - Webmaster