Early voting has started in many locations! Just as it is important to know that your vote counts, we need to know that you have the accessibility needed to make it count; therefore, we are collecting surveys to learn about the voting experiences of people with disabilities for the 2016 Election.
You can help us do that by completing a survey developed by Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE), Disability Rights Florida, and other Protection & Advocacy and self-advocacy organizations across the country.
Your Opportunity to provide input on Florida's Medicaid Home and Community Based Settings Rule Transition Plan
All states are required to comply with the new Medicaid Home and Community Based (HCBS) Settings Rule by 2019. The purpose of these rules are to ensure that individuals receiving HCBS waiver services (including iBudget HCBS waiver services) are integrated into the community and have access to supports in the community, including the opportunity to seek employment, work in competitive settings, engage in community life, and control personal resources. Florida has developed its Transition Plan for how it will achieve this community integration.
You have the opportunity to provide your input into this Transition Plan before it is sent to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. We encourage you to review this Transition Plan and provide your comments to ensure a high standard of community integration in Florida.
Provider Rate Crisis
Live and learn: housing strategies to success
Residential Options Of Florida (ROOF) and the Florida Association of People Supporting EmploymentFirst are excited to announce the 2016 Partners for Progress Conference to be held October 12-14, 2016 at the Florida Hotel and Conference Center in Orlando, FL. (Click Here for flyer) ROOF's specialized statewide network has partnered with the Florida chapter of APSE in hosting the event to unite stakeholders from around the state to discuss and provide resources regarding affordable housing and employment strategies for people with developmental disabilities in Florida. For more information please call (239) 744-7663 or to register please visit: www.flroof.org/conference/registration
- Click Here for the Toolkit - Creating A Developmental Disabilities Awareness day In Your Community
iBudget waiver waitlist training
the latest info on recovery & clean up efforts for Hurricane Matthew
- If you run a business or organization, you may qualify for public assistance (PA) from FEMA. You will want to contact your local emergency management office about the process. If you are interested in learning more about this process, you can refer to information at the following links:
- Crisis Clean Up - 800-451-1954 - Through November 4, 2016, Hearts & Hands Disaster Recovery, Information Technology Disaster Resource Center, and other relief agencies are staffing a free hotline for debris removal and home cleanup. This hotline will connect survivors with reputable and vetted relief agencies that will assist in mud-outs, debris removal, and cleaning up homes, as they are able. All services are free, but service is not guaranteed due to the overwhelming need.
- FAAST - Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology - has partnered with the Center’s for Independent Living located in the Hurricane Matthew impact area to provide recycled, refurbished, and gently used equipment if lost or damaged during Hurricane Matthew.
https://www.faast.org/regional-centers/faast-regional-reuse-centers for more information.
- Current SNAP customers who live in Baker, Brevard, Broward, Citrus, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Glades, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Indian River, Lake, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Polk, Putnam, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, and Volusia Counties, and have not received their SNAP benefits for October, will receive an early deposit of their benefits effective October 7, 2016. Current SNAP customers who live in Alachua, Bradford, Columbia, DeSoto, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hardee, Hamilton, Hillsborough, Levy, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Sumter, Suwanee, and Union Counties, and have not received your SNAP benefits for October, will receive an early deposit effective October 8, 2016.
If someone is requesting replacement of their benefits:
You can visit www.myflfamilies.com/disaster fill out the individual replacement form and fax to 1-866-886-4342 or mail it to the ACCESS Central Mail Center, P.O. Box 1770, Ocala, FL 34478-1770.
FDDC Fall 2016 Newsletter, Click Here
2016 FDDC Residential Options of Florida - Public Service Announcement, Click Here
The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act (Click Here)
Florida Among First States to Activate Qualified ABLE Program
During a recent press conference (click here), ABLE United launched a new opportunity for Floridians with disabilities to enhance financial support, independence and quality of life. Stemming from the Florida ABLE Act, persons with disabilities can now have a tax-free savings and investment account without negatively impacting their government benefits. Florida is among the first states to implement and launch an ABLE program.
One feature of the ABLE United Program is that an individual with unique abilities to save with the help of family and friends, since anyone can contribute to the account. A total of $14,000 per year can be contributed to an individual's ABLE United account. Funds in an ABLE Unites account are excluded from certain federal means-tested programs, allowing individuals to save up to $100,000 without impacting Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and even more without impacting Medicaid.
To be eligible to open an ABLE United account, the individual must meet the disability and severity requirements outlined by the Social Security Administration, have experienced the onset of blindness or the disability before age 26, and be a Florida resident. There is no cost to open an account and the monthly account fee is waived until July 1, 2017.
For more information about ABLE United CLICK HERE, or to open an ABLE account please visit ableunited.com
Community Coalition Up-Dates
The Council has developed a partnership with the Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities to develop four (4) sustainable coalitions in Florida that eventually can support the development of informal and volunteer services available in their area to help meet identified unmet needs of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are currently on Florida’s Medicaid Waiver waitlist. A long term goal of this project is to form grassroots coalitions throughout the state that are capable of identifying and increasing access to generic or shared services that can be utilized by the larger community. During the first year of this project, coalition building began in Escambia, Santa Rosa, & Okaloosa counties (Area 1), Jefferson, Madison & Taylor counties (Area 2) and Alachua, Bradford and Levy counties (Area 3).
for story about Project Enable's First Respite Day.
On January 21, 2015, Help Me Grow Florida welcomed 2-1-1 representatives and community partners from 66 countries across Florida. With the support of the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, the Office of Early Learning, the Children's Movement of Florida, and the Help Me Grow National Center, attendees from across the state were brought together to further the work of the HMG system on behalf f all children and families in Florida.
(Click Here) for Photographs
This is a guide to help individuals, families, and households that use home care services determine their responsibilities under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the federal minimum wage and overtime law that applies to most home care workers. Click Here
for a PDF version of the guidebook.