Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for 2022

Tallahassee, FL (December 15, 2021) As we close out 2021, many of our member agencies and the individuals they serve are celebrating the holiday season. The staff of Florida ARF and RESPECT of Florida wish each of our member agencies, employment centers, and stakeholders a happy holiday season and a prosperous 2022. The Association is totally committed to assisting the 100+ community agencies we represent to achieve their mission to provide quality services and supports to individuals with disabilities. Please know we will be continuously working to ensure that our members needs and messages will continue to be communicated to policy and lawmakers in 2022. Florida ARF and RESPECT thank each of you for allowing us the opportunity to represent your interests over the last year. We look forward to serving you in 2022!


Florida ARF Shares 2022 Legislative Platform During Annual Consortium

Tallahassee, FL (December 3, 2021) Florida ARF joined with multiple stakeholders and self-advocates in the disabilities field to review each entity’s 2022 Legislative Platform. The event was sponsored by the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council. Florida ARF President & CEO Tyler Sununu presented the Association’s platform and stressed the need for provider rate relief. Participating organizations and self-advocates expressed that they recognize the strain that exists within the provider network that serves individuals with disabilities as well as the dire need for rate relief so that individuals can receive the quality services and supports they need. Sununu pointed out that our members recently reported the average hourly wage paid to Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) is $11.40, but even at that rate 23% of positions remain unfilled and 75% of providers have had to reduce or discontinue services. He also discussed needed funding for the community Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IIDs). Florida ARF looks forward to working collaboratively with other stakeholders to address the rate relief issues needed for programs serving individual with disabilities.


Florida ARF Wishes You A Happy Thanksgiving

Tallahassee, FL (November 19, 2021) Next week, most of us will be celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday season. We hope and trust that all our member agencies will be enjoying the holiday with family and friends but realize festivities will likely be tampered down again this year because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic concerns. Our wish to you is that you and those you serve remain healthy and happy. Florida ARF is thankful for our member agencies and the great work they do in spite of the many challenges we are facing!


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

Tallahassee, FL (October 7, 2021) Each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is a time to celebrate the many contributions of people with disabilities to America’s workplaces and economy. This year's theme, "America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion” reflects the importance of ensuring that people with disabilities have full access to employment and community involvement during the national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. To kickoff this year’s campaign, President Biden issued the annual Presidential Proclamation. In the proclamation he stated “All Americans should be proud that we have made substantial progress since the days before the ADA — when an employer could refuse to hire you because of a disability, when a person using a wheelchair could not take a bus or a train to work, and when a person with a disability could be denied service in a restaurant or grocery store. Now, 31 years later, it is the shared responsibility of all of us to tear down the barriers that remain for people with disabilities and to ensure that all Americans have the chance to find good jobs and build good lives — for themselves and for the good of our entire Nation.” As part of the Florida festivities, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued a proclamation extending greetings and best wishes to all observing October 2021 as Disability Employment Awareness Month. Florida ARF and RESPECT of Florida will be joining with other stakeholders to celebrate the contributions of over 2.8 million Floridians with disabilities this month. We are pleased to celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness month and recognize all of our member agencies who work so diligently to assist individuals with disabilities in achieving their employment goals.