Cheers to 30 Years

Tallahassee, FL (July 25, 2022) On July 22nd, the Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities d/b/a RESPECT of Florida celebrated Contracts & Finance Manager Nancy Perlman on her 30th anniversary with RESPECT. During Nancy’s tenure with RESPECT she has worn many hats and seen many changes, but the one thing that has remained constant for 30 years is her advocacy for the RESPECT program to further employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Staff lean on Nancy for advice and historical data on how to handle various aspects of the service contracts segment of the program. Her knowledge is instrumental in the operations of  RESPECT. Florida ARF and RESPECT of Florida thank Nancy for her years of service and look forward to many more years together to expand employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. 

 

Florida ARF Reflects on the 23rd Anniversary of the Olmstead Ruling

Tallahassee, FL (June 22, 2022) The right to live independently, integrated into the community, is a cornerstone of the disability rights movement. For decades, people with disabilities have worked to turn this into a reality. Looking at this history, certain moments stand out as turning points. For example, the passage and implementation of landmark legislation including the Americans with Disabilities Act, Rehabilitation Act, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act have each helped make community living possible for more Americans. Today, Florida ARF celebrates the anniversary of another important milestone. Twenty three years ago, the Supreme Court ruled in Olmstead v L.C. that people with disabilities cannot be unnecessarily segregated into institutions and must receive services in the most integrated setting possible. The Olmstead decision opened the door to innovations and programs that make services and supports more available, allowing people to live the lives they choose, in the communities they choose, with family and friends. Florida ARF strives to fulfill Olmstead’s promise and to make a difference in the lives of Floridians with disabilities.

 

Florida ARF Joins Family Care Council Florida to Serve on Legislative Panel

Tallahassee, FL (May 21, 2022) President & CEO Tyler Sununu participated in a virtual panel discussion with representatives from The Arc of Florida, Disability Rights Florida, and the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council to discuss the outcomes from the 2022 Legislative Session with the Family Care Council of Florida. Panelists discussed the huge win in the Fiscal Year 2022-2023 budget to increase wages for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) to $15 a hour. This monumental increase will hopefully help with the staffing crisis our industry has been facing. Panelists also discussed the substantive legislation that passed, and didn’t pass, and the continued needs which will be advocated for next session. Council members asked inciteful questions of panelists from their observations of the Session and the outlook moving forward. It was a pleasure to be part of this conversation with our Stakeholder partners and families across the state making an impact on the lives of Floridians with intellectual disabilities. 

 

Florida ARF Celebrates ANCOR’s DSP of the Year for Florida

Miami, FL (April 13, 2022) During the 2022 ANCOR Annual Conference: Elevate, ANCOR announced the 51 recipients of the association’s Direct Support Professional of the Year Awards. DSPs are extraordinary and essential professionals that work tirelessly every day to solve problems, engineer solutions, adapt, innovate, listen, and support. Because of their work, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are better equipped to live quality lives in truly inclusive communities. This year's class of award recipients includes 51 award recipients, including four special category award recipients. Florida ARF is proud to announce that Sherry Ellis from ResCare Community Living was selected as the Florida 2022 ANCOR DSP of the Year. Congratulations to Sherry and the ResCare team in Florida!