Director’s Column

Happy New Year!

By Director Barbara Palmer

New Year’s Day brings a fresh start to the year, opening up all kinds of possibilities for the coming months. 2017 looks bright for the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD). We are preparing for the upcoming Legislative Session which begins in March. We are working with the Governor’s Office to develop budget recommendations that will help APD customers in the future.

I want our customers to know that beginning January 1, the agency will begin updating support plans with the new and improved algorithm. APD customers will be working with their waiver support coordinators to review important service needs and prepare a support plan to address all of those critical services. This will be the same process we used when we initially began the iBudget Florida system several years ago. Your waiver support coordinator will work with you to ensure your needs are met.

Some people may be nervous about using the new algorithm to calculate their iBudget. This algorithm is even better at calculating a more accurate amount for your service needs. The algorithm amount is the base budget amount for an individual. Please remember our system also has safeguards in place to address changes that occur in someone’s life. The goal of establishing an annual service needs budget is to ensure the health and safety of our customers.

As we continue to collaborate with our customers, families, partners, waiver support coordinators, stakeholders, and others, we expect 2017 to be another fantastic year for APD and the people we serve. Because we are working together, we have been successful. Let’s continue the momentum in the coming year.

I wish you a very Happy New Year and here we go, 2017!