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.

 

Florida ARF & RESPECT of Florida Wish John McBride Success in New Endeavour

Tallahassee, FL (August 17, 2018) After seven years with the RESPECT of Florida Program, John McBride has moved on to a new adventure in the world of sales.  During his time at RESPECT, John was instrumental in negotiating many contracts that provided jobs for individuals with disabilities, including Rest Area contracts with the Department of Transportation and its vendors.  In coordination with the President & CEO, John began the Business Development Committee to bring in business leaders to assist in creating additional jobs for Floridians with disabilities.  Also during his tenure, RESPECT created RESPECT microenterprise grants to assist individuals with disabilities in launching their own businesses.  Florida ARF and RESPECT of Florida offer a hearty “thank you” to John for his contributions to the RESPECT of Florida program, and we wish him great success in his new career.  

 

Florida ARF Celebrates 28 Years of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Tallahassee, FL (July 26, 2018) Today marks the 28th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), signed into law by President George H. W. Bush.  This historic legislation expanded civil rights for people with disabilities and raised awareness regarding the challenges people with disabilities face.  Florida ARF is proud to stand with the disability community in honoring the dedication and hard work that resulted in landmark legislation prohibiting discrimination based on disability.

As we celebrate the 28th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we confirm our commitment to supporting individuals with disabilities by working with member agencies, disability stakeholders, and other partners to improve the availability and quality of the services and supports people need to live in their communities.  Working together, we can fully realize the promise of the ADA!