Florida ARF Attends Provider Forum for Families

Mt. Dora, FL (April 25, 2018) The Agency for Persons with Disabilities hosted a two-day residential provider forum on April 24 and 25 for families whose loved ones will be transitioning out of the state’s only Comprehensive Transitional Education Program.  Families were given the opportunity to meet with APD representatives to discuss the transition process and interact with more than 20 group home providers who offer intensive behavior services.  The Agency reported about 60 families attended the forum and other families held meetings via telephone.  Ten (10) Florida ARF member agencies participated in the forum.  President & CEO Suzanne Sewell also attended day one of the fair.

 

Florida ARF & RESPECT of Florida Participate in Declaration of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

Tallahassee, FL (March 7, 2018) During a meeting of the Florida Cabinet, Governor Rick Scott and the Cabinet issued a resolution recognizing March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in Florida.  Florida ARF and RESPECT of Florida joined stakeholders from the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), Family Care Council, Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, The Arc of Florida, ABLE Trust, Vocational Rehabilitation, Blind Services, Association of Support Coordination Agencies of Florida, Support Coordination Association of Florida, and the Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology to accept the resolution from the Cabinet.  In his comments, Governor Scott said “I’m proud to join the Florida Cabinet in recognizing March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in Florida.  Our state is fully committed to supporting Floridians with developmental disabilities.  We’ll continue to work so every Floridian has the opportunity to live their dreams in our state.”  This month Florida ARF will be reflecting on the accomplishments of community agency providers and most importantly the achievements of thousands of individuals with developmental disabilities who contribute daily to our communities.
 

Florida ARF & RESPECT of Florida Celebrate DD Days at the Capitol

Tallahassee, FL (February 14, 2018) Today, Florida ARF and other DD stakeholders gathered at the Florida Capitol to celebrate Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day.  This year stakeholder groups were unified in their support and expressed the need for legislators to “Pay Fair For Care.”  For this to occur, Legislators need to appropriate a provider rate increase for key iBudget services.  The increases are needed to ensure that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families have stable and qualified staffing to deliver their waiver services.  This can only be done by increasing the compensation providers receive.  During a press conference, many speakers talked about how hard it is to find staff willing to continue working for the compensation that community agencies are able to afford when there are jobs with other companies offering higher hourly compensation.  Without adequate rates, advocates are concerned about the continued sustainability of Florida’s iBudget service system.  Florida ARF and the DD Stakeholders will remain a united front in pushing for the needed resources to increase provider rates!

 

Florida ARF Advocates for Community Agency Provider Needs

Tallahassee, FL (January 2018) It’s that time of year again!  Session started early this year and Florida ARF is actively advocating on issues of importance to member agencies and the individuals they serve.  We have been advocating for a provider rate increase for key iBudget waiver services, adequate funding for ICF/IIDs, proviso language modifications for ICF rate calculations, legislation that allows participants in certain work experience activities to be considered state employees for workers’ compensation purposes, and modifications to proposed legislative changes to medication administration provisions in Florida Statutes.  Florida ARF has also been presenting the need for rate relief through the Pay Fair For Care campaign as a joint effort with the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council and The Arc of Florida.  While we do not know the outcome of our efforts until the last day of Session, we are confident that the needs of community agency providers have been conveyed to lawmakers!