Hurricane Season is Here!

By Director Barbara Palmer

Today marks the official start of hurricane season, which runs through November 30. Last year’s hurricane season brought many major storms to Florida including Hurricane Irma, which affected millions of Floridians. This hurricane season is predicted to have 10-16 named storms and 1-4 major hurricanes.

APD Recognized by Florida Public Relations Association

The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) won two awards at the Image Awards ceremony of the Florida Public Relations Association’s Capital Chapter on April 19 in Tallahassee.

My Stay at Rish Park

My name is Scott Andrews. I'm a C-5/6 quadriplegic from Waterford, Wisconsin. Recently while searching the web, I came across a park in Florida that was developed specifically for the disabled community and their families to enjoy nature, the beach, and the Gulf of Mexico, barrier-free. I immediately began making plans to make the trek to Rish Park.

Looking to Become a Provider? IT'S FREE!

All forms required to become a provider are available for free on 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.

Grayson Elmer, The 'Slam Dunk' Student Manager

Grayson Elmer has always loved playing and watching sports. He’s done everything from flag football and baseball to gymnastics and taekwondo, and never let his cerebral palsy slow him down. He’s built his passion into a budding career.

Around the State

This is Only a Drill

Fortunately, it was only a drill for the Southern Region as Joel Hernandez and Rosa Llaguno received important annual training from the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Miami-Dade County on May 2.

Manage My Money

The Agency for Persons with Disabilities recently partnered with the Department of Financial Services and The Arc Tampa Bay to bring a financial literacy event called Manage My Money to people with developmental disabilities and their families.

National Nurse Appreciation Week

May 6-12 was National Nurse Appreciation Week, and we recognized Lori Gephart, Lori Kohler, and Sabah Bissainthe, our favorite APD State Office nurses.

Early Screening Matters, Escambia!

Dr. Paul Dworkin, child development expert and founder of Help Me Grow, was in Pensacola on May 21-22 meeting with business and government leaders, faith-based leaders, and the community. His topic of discussion was “A Call to Action.”

Arc Gateway South Santa Rosa Opens Day Program

The Arc Gateway South Santa Rosa celebrated the opening of the first day program for adults with disabilities in the area on May 2. The program is located at 5668 Gulf Breeze Parkway, Unit B-8, Gulf Breeze, across from the Gulf Breeze Zoo, making for convenient field trips.

Tacachale Goes Green and Blue

On April 19, Tacachale celebrated Earth Day and recognized autism awareness by sporting matching blue T-shirts with a special Earth Day design. 35 staff members and 47 residents joined volunteers from the University of Florida to engage in this worldwide event and learn about environmental issues.

Don’t Fear Fraud – Fight It!

With the 2017 Equifax data breach affecting 143 million Americans, the realities of cyber-crime and fraud can no longer be ignored. What some may consider “yesterday’s news” is becoming a common occurrence, and no one is immune.

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