Florida ARF & Stakeholders Support Employment of Individuals with Disabilities

Tallahassee, FL (February 20, 2019) Today, Florida ARF and other stakeholders attended the Florida House of Representatives Children, Families & Seniors Subcommittee to support testimony provided by David Darm from the Agency for Persons with Disabilities.  Darm explained the state of employment for individuals with disabilities and encouraged the Committee members to support options that assist individuals in achieving their employment goals.  Florida ARF dba as RESPECT of Florida was pleased that one of the success stories featured was an individual who received a RESPECT microenterprise grant.  According to President & CEO Suzanne Sewell, Darm’s testimony was well received by Committee members and helped raised awareness about the barriers confronting many individuals and their families who want to work. 


Florida ARF Represents Member Agencies on Governor DeSantis’ Transition Advisory Committee on Health & Wellness

Tallahassee, FL (January 30, 2019) Florida ARF President & CEO Suzanne Sewell was pleased to serve on Governor Ron DeSantis’ Transition Advisory Committee on Health and Wellness.  The committee was comprised of a diverse group of health care experts from a variety of different medical fields, as well as health care providers, addiction counselors, and mental health professionals, in addition to current and former leaders of Florida’s health care system.  Sewell and the other committee members advised the Transition Team as they developed their plan to implement Governor DeSantis’ vision of empowering patients and expanding provider reach, fighting addiction and mental health problems, and protecting Florida’s most vulnerable populations while lowering costs and respecting taxpayers’ money.

On behalf of the membership, Sewell submitted the following recommendations to the new Administration:

  • Address the Direct Care Hiring Crisis,
  • Adopt a “Substantial Compliance” Concept for iBudget Medicaid Waiver Services,
  • Conduct a Comprehensive Review of Regulatory Requirements to Eliminate Documentation Requirements That Are Overly Burdensome and Do Not Have a Clear Relationship to Client Health, Safety, and Quality of Care,
  • Task Involved Agencies (APD, DBPR Building Code, and the Department of Insurance - State Fire Marshal) to Resolve Contradictory Requirements for Licensure of Homes that Serve Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities,
  • Fund Cost of Medicaid Transportation Services for Providers, and
  • Pursue Use of Remote Technology.

Florida ARF looks forward to working with the new Administration to address these and other issues that affect the lives of individuals with disabilities and the provider agencies that exist to provide quality services for individuals with disabilities.


Happy Holidays from the Staff at Florida ARF

Tallahassee, FL (December 21, 2018) As 2018 ends, many of our member agencies and the individuals they serve are celebrating the holiday season including Christmas, Hanukkah, Kawanzaa, and New Year’s Eve.  We wish everyone the best holiday season ever and a prosperous 2019!  Please know we will be continuously working to ensure that your needs and messages are communicated to policy and lawmakers in 2019, so please have a happy holiday season and know that we are excited about the opportunities the new year will bring!


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.