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Our Mission

The mission of the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, Inc., is to advocate and promote meaningful participation in all aspects of life for Floridians with developmental disabilities.

Strengthening Transition & Employment
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Supporting Community Inclusion
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Building Self-Determination & Advocacy
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Improving Services and Supports
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News and Events


Florida Postsecondary Comprehensive Transition Program Grants

The Florida Center for Students with Unique Abilities has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for grants to establish or enhance a postsecondary education program that serves students with intellectual disabilities. This grant opportunity was provided with enactment of the Florida Postsecondary Comprehensive Transition Program Act and is intended to foster development of Florida Postsecondary Comprehensive Transition Programs. Institutions of higher education as defined in the RFP may apply. The maximum grant award is $300,000, which can be applied across a single or multiple fiscal years. December 19, 2016 is the deadline for proposal submissions with a project start date in early 2017. A March 20, 2017 deadline is set for projects to start on July 1, 2017. For more information about this funding opportunity and an informational webinar on December 6, 2016, at 11 AM, see the links below.

Provider Rate Crisis

  • Provider Rate Crisis Brochure
  • Provider Rate Webinar, 03/02/2017: Click Here 


Legislative Activities

  • DD Days at the Capitol - Tuesday, March 21, 2017 - Click Here for more information 
    Floridians concerned about funding and services for people with developmental disabilities are invited to join us at the state Capitol for the annual Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day presented by The Arc of Florida and the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council. For more information contact Margaret Hooper at (850) 488-4180.
    DD Day Agenda, March 21, 2017 - Click Here

    Media Advisory, March 21, 2017- Click Here

    March 15, 2017 Op-Ed - Click Here:    

    Floridians concerned about funding and services for people with developmental disabilities are invited to join us at the state Capitol for the annual Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day presented by The Arc of Florida and the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council. For more information contact Margaret Hooper at (850) 488-4180.


  • The 2017 Idelio Valdes Leadership and Advocacy Award
    Idelio Valdes was a self-advocate who had a tremendous impact on the people around him and the community in which he lived and worked. His life’s journey included many ups and downs but he always stayed the course to self-realization, commitment to service and a belief that he and others with developmental disabilities can be included in the community. His demonstrated advocacy activities, his belief in building partnerships, his initiative in challenging the status quo and his enthusiasm for life and its possibilities endeared him to all who were fortunate enough to know him. This award is dedicated to his memory and will be presented during DD Days at the Capitol on March 21, 2017.


WEIL Survey Request

    The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council invites you to participate in a brief survey for the  
    Waiver Eligibility Income Limits (WEIL) Study. The purpose of the survey is to allow you the
    opportunity to provide input about the impact of income limits as it relates to individuals with 
    intellectual and developmental disabilities seeking employment and pursuing self-determination 
    In particular, we are looking for input on how Medicaid and Medicaid Waiver income limits have 
    impacted individuals' ability to pursue employment Your feedback is very important. 

iBudget waiver waitlist training


New FDDC Executive Director Announcement - Press Release, Click Here

Media Advisory for DD Day, March 21, 2017, Click Here

2017 Media Toolkit for holding a DD Awareness Day in your town, Click Here

FDDC Newsletter, Click Here

FDDC Residential Options of Florida Ad, Click Here

Look At Me, Not My Disability Ad, Click Here

Florida Employment First Grassroots Group

A grassroots group is made of people at the local level who get together to identify, plan, and accomplish goals that help address community needs. The Employment First Florida Grassroots Group is made up of people with disabilities and people who support them to improve employment opportunities.  The Employment First Grassroots Group is a way for people to share their ideas and experiences about employment. Anyone who wants to share their experiences, make recommendations about how to improve employment, and learn new ideas about employment can join. All meetings are held online and by phone. If you would like to participate, call Sheila Johnson at 617-287-4367, or email her at:         
The Grassroots meetings Schedule:                                                                 
All meetings are scheduled from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. (EST) 

Tuesday 4/18/17 – Nassau County Pilot

Tuesday 7/18/17 - Peer Curriculum/Self Advocacy

Tuesday 10/17/17 – Success Stories

For more information about Florida Employment First please visit:


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 

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).
Click Here for story about Project Enable's First Respite Day.

Florida Unique Abilities

The FDDC is a proud partner of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunities Florida Unique Abilities Program.  

This program recognizes businesses in our state that are committed to providing career and financial opportunities to individuals with unique abilities and to the organizations that support them.

Thanks to dedicated business partners and advocacy organizations, the Florida Unique Abilities Partner Program will strengthen our state’s economy and workforce by giving a talented but untapped group of Floridians who want to work more opportunities to do so.

The program is designed to raise awareness about the economic and social benefits of employing individuals with unique abilities. Participating businesses demonstrate their dedication to strengthening communities and the economy by helping these Floridians with untapped talents to become more independent. The program also provides opportunities to partner with other businesses, organizations and state resources in this endeavor.

We encourage other businesses and non-profits to join in. For more information, please CLICK HERE.  






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