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For Immediate Release:                                          Contact:
November 14, 2017                                                     Melanie Mowry Etters
                                                                                    Communication Director


The Securing Florida’s Future Budget to Fund Waiting List for the Sixth Year in a Row
Historic $1.4 Billion Investment Will Support Floridians with Disabilities

TALLAHASSEE, FL—Governor Rick Scott’s Securing Florida’s Future budget is recommending $1.4 billion in total funding for the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD). This historic investment will enroll approximately 900 people on the waiting list into the APD waiver program. This marks the sixth year in a row the Governor is recommending funding for waiver enrollment.

Governor Scott said, “I am proud to propose historic funding to help Floridians with unique abilities and move Floridians in greatest need off the APD waiting list for the sixth year in a row. We want every person in our state to have the opportunity to live the American dream and I look forward to working with the Legislature on this important investment.”

The Securing Florida’s Future Budget includes:

  • $18.1 million to offer enrollment to approximately 900 individuals with developmental disabilities who are in crisis into the APD waiver program. This funding will serve individuals who are in a crisis situation, in extended foster care, or those in foster care who are adopted or reunified with their families.
  • $1 million to provide employment services for approximately 800 individuals with developmental disabilities who are ready to work.

APD Director Barbara Palmer said, “Governor Scott is a strong advocate for people with developmental disabilities. I appreciate the Governor continuing his support of individuals with unique abilities by recommending funding to serve people on the waiting list six years in a row as APD works to help all Floridians with developmental disabilities receive the resources they need to succeed.”

Family Care Council Florida Chairperson Mary Smith said, “A top priority for the Family Care Councils is serving additional individuals with developmental disabilities on the waiting list. We are happy to see Governor Scott’s Securing Florida’s Future budget will move 900 people from the waiver waiting list to being served in the community.”

Parent and past chairperson of the Family Care Council Florida Pauline Lipps said, “Families need state support to meet the needs of their child with a developmental disability. I am pleased to see Governor Scott’s ongoing support of APD in its mission of serving people with developmental disabilities.”

The Association of Support Coordination Agencies of Florida Chairperson Janice Phillips said, “Governor Scott’s Securing Florida’s Future budget reflects his ongoing support of people with different abilities being involved in their communities. We extend our appreciation to the Governor for recommending funding to move individuals off the waiting list.”

Support Coordination Association of Florida Chairman Thomas Buddington said, “I want to thank Governor Scott for his continued support of people with disabilities in his budget recommendation. Providing vital support to people with special abilities so they can stay in their homes and communities is critical.”

Special Olympics Florida President and CEO Sherry Wheelock said, “Special Olympics Florida praises Governor Scott for recognizing the health and safety needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and providing funding to meet those needs. This admirable leadership continues to support the work of Special Olympics Florida by improving access to local services, promoting inclusion at schools, and helping us build communities where all individuals are prized.”

APD supports people with developmental disabilities to live, learn, and work in their communities.  The agency annually serves more than 50,000 Floridians with severe autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, Phelan-McDermid syndrome, and Prader-Willi syndrome. For more information about the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, visit or call toll-free 1-866-APD-CARES (1-866-273-2273).