APD Participates in the 19th Annual Family Café

The 19th Annual Family Café was held on June 16-18, in Orlando. The Family Café provided breakout sessions, an Exhibit Hall with dozens of vendors, and a series of special events including keynote speakers and the Governor’s Summit on Disabilities. The weekend-long event offered families exposure to a wide range of public and private resources, as well as opportunities to find support by networking with other families or discussing issues with the agencies that provide services.

Beginning on Friday morning, APD hosted a booth with informational materials and displays in the Exhibit Hall. Staff members were on hand to assist attendees of the Family Café with questions and to receive their comments.

Governor Rick Scott hosted the annual Governor’s Summit on Disabilities Friday evening, where he highlighted two APD families. The Governor recognized Casey Stewart along with his mother, Doreen, as well as Karen DeLeon and her mother, Christine. Casey Stewart, a past member of the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, has been a fulltime employee of Publix for more than 13 years. Karen DeLeon has been employed with SeaWorld for over 20 years and was even able to purchase a condo. Governor Scott commended both Casey and Karen for their hard work and their commitments to excelling in the workplace.

APD Director Barbara Palmer, Education Commissioner Pam Stewart, Surgeon General Celeste Phillip, Division of Blind Services Director Robert Doyle, Vocational Rehabilitation Director Aleisa McKinlay, Kevin Thompson from Florida Prepaid College Board, Bill D’Aiuto from Department of Children and Families, and State Senator Bill Galvano joined Governor Scott for the Summit to thank him for his commitment to serving people with disabilities.

APD staff members presented numerous breakout sessions on wide array of subjects related to the agency. These breakout sessions included:

If you were unable to attend Family Café this year and would like to view the PowerPoints presented by APD, please visit: http://apdcares.org/publications/cafe/

Director Palmer presented an agency overview on Saturday morning to a packed room. She covered a range of critical topics such as the iBudget algorithm to transportation issues for those with disabilities. The Director along with staff members were available to take questions from the audience and to provide assistance and information.

Left to Right: Maria Goris, Stephanie Deschamps, Rafael Dones, Nancy Rosario, Stacie Cleveland, Director Barbara Palmer, Chief of Staff Karen Hagan pose for a photo and Deputy Communications Director Katie Strickland is available to assist with questions at the APD booth.

Director of Community Supports Meghan Murray talks about navigating APD services.

CDC+ Administrator Rhonda Sloan discusses the CDC+ program.

FAAST Director Michael Daniels accepts the 2017 Chef of the Year award.

Karen DeLeon and Christine DeLeon are introduced by Governor Rick Scott.

From left to right: Governor Rick Scott, Doreen Stewart, Karen DeLeon, Casey Stewart, Christine DeLeon, Senator Bill Galvano.