The International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Tallahassee, FL (December 3, 2018) In 1992, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed December 3rd as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.  This special day promotes the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and increases awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities.  Today, current UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said: “On this International Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to work together for a better world that is inclusive, equitable and sustainable for everyone, where the rights of people with disabilities are fully realized.”  Guterres also released a report titled UN Flagship Report on Disability and Development | 2018 – Realizing the Sustainable Development Goals by, for and with persons with disabilities.”  Florida ARF supports many of the comments and concepts within the report including: “Upholding the rights and ensuring the full inclusion of the world’s one billion persons with disabilities is a moral imperative.  It is also a practical necessity if we are to build healthy, sustainable societies to the benefit of all people of all ages and abilities.”  We encourage all provider agencies whose mission is to serve individuals with disabilities to join us in our efforts to achieve this goal. 


Thankful for Our Member Agencies and the Work They Do

Tallahassee, FL (November 2018) November is the month the Thanksgiving Holidays are celebrated, and it is the time we are reminded of the opportunity to represent so many wonderful agencies.  Our staff want to recognize and thank you for all the wonderful work member agencies perform each day.  Because of your efforts, thousands of individuals with disabilities are receiving quality services and supports that are making a meaningful difference in their lives.  We are indeed thankful for the opportunity to represent your agency’s mission. 


Florida ARF & RESPECT of Florida Celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Tallahassee, FL (October 2018) The 2018 National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) theme is “America’s Workforce: Empowering All.”  Observed each October, NDEAM celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and educates about the value of a workforce inclusive of their skills and talents.  Florida ARF and REPSECT of Florida believe workplaces should be welcoming of the talents of all people, including people with disabilities.  In this spirit, we recognize the need to raise awareness about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of people with disabilities.  The Association participated in the 13th annual celebration hosted by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), Blind Services, and Vocational Rehabilitation to recognize 12 businesses that hire and retain people with disabilities.  The businesses from around the state were honored with a plaque made by individuals with disabilities from Inspire of Central Florida through the RESPECT of Florida program.


Florida ARF Celebrates DSP Recognition Week & 42nd Annual Conference

Tallahassee, FL (September 30, 2018) September is always a month of recognition at Florida ARF.  During the week of September 9 – 15th, the Association and the Florida Alliance for Direct Support Professionals recognized direct support professionals (DSPs) who are making a meaningful difference in the lives of the people they serve.  DSPs are the backbone of our service system and without them, the IID service system could not function.  To all DSPs in Florida, “Thank you” for your continued service and support for the individuals served.

During the last week of September, the Association hosted our 42nd Annual Conference.  Members came together and discussed issues critical to the delivery of quality services to individuals with disabilities and completed the annual business of the Association.  The Annual Awards ceremony was an inspiring event where we celebrated the achievements and accomplishments of our peers, and they were indeed impressive.  Several members commented they were touched by the post humous award presented to the family of the late Denise Arnold, and we were delighted that her children were in attendance to receive the award.  Everyone enjoyed seeing and hearing the reactions of our 2018 Circle of Champion and RESPECT of Florida awards recipients.  Having the award winners and their loved ones in attendance was truly inspirational.