Florida ARF Reflects on the 19th Anniversary of the Olmstead Ruling

Tallahassee, FL (June 22, 2018) 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.  Nineteen 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.

 

On Being Brave . . .

Tallahassee, FL (May 30, 2018) This week we were pleased to celebrate Memorial Day to honor the brave men and women who have sacrificed their time, and in some cases their lives, to protect the freedoms we enjoy in this country.  To these individuals, we offer our heartfelt thanks!  We also want to express our gratitude to the families of these brave men and women, for they too sacrificed when their loved ones served.  As someone once said, “The families of brave men and women must themselves be brave.”  To those who served, and to those who stood with their loved ones who served, Thank you!

 

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.