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Improving Services and Supports

Guardianship Training for Attorneys & Families
The primary purpose of this project isto increase the knowledge of individuals with disabilities and their families about the various ways to provide decision-making assistance under Florida law. The Council has partnered with the Office of the Public Guardian, Inc. (OPG) to host a series of two-dayworkshops (one day for individuals and families and one day for attorneys) on guardianship and other decision making alternatives. Workshops have been held throughout the state over the course of the last three years.While there are currently no face to face workshops scheduled at this time, the Council has a self-paced web curriculum on this website for individuals and families who are interested in learning about this very important issue.

Guardianship & Guardianship Alternatives Guide
Entitled “Lighting the Way to Guardianship & Other Decision Making Alternatives”, this guide for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families provides up to date information about alternatives to guardianship. The guide also describes Florida’s guardianship and guardian advocacy process. This resource is currently available for distribution.

Restoration of Capacity Study & Work Group
The Council has developed a partnership with the Office of the Public Guardian to explore the need for restoration of capacity for individuals with developmental disabilities under Florida guardianship. When completed, the Research and Feasibility Report will contain information about the unique challenges the Florida guardianship system. In addition, the Council will convene a Stakeholders’ Work Group whose membership will understand the issues surrounding restoration of capacity and will have the capacity to effectuate positive change on Florida’s current system. The members of the work group will assist with developing recommendations for next steps for the Council to consider.

Developing Community Coalitions
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 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.

The project is currently in the second project year. Participants of each coalition meet monthly to discuss the needs of their communities, conduct resource mapping and networking activities and to develop a cohesive structure for their coalitions. Please contact the Council office to learn more about meeting dates and times for these coalitions. The location for the fourth coalition will be selected before the end of the second project year.

DD Wait List Strategic Plan
The Council has partnered with the Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida to develop and convene a DD Home & Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver Wait List Stakeholders’ Task Force. The members of this task force will assist the Council with developing a comprehensive written strategic plan that will be useful in providing verifiable information and recommendations about the HCBS Waiver Wait List to key state decision makers such as the Governor and the Florida Legislature. This initiative is a collaborative effort with the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the Family Care Council of Florida, the Arc of Florida, Disability Rights Florida, families and individuals with developmental disabilities, as well as representatives of other developmental disabilities organizations and other stakeholders. It is anticipated that the DD Wait List Strategic Plan will be completed by October 2013.

Oral Health Care Training for Caregivers   (coming soon)
This initiative will provide training to caregivers of individuals with developmental disabilities on how to perform daily oral hygiene in a home setting using materials previously developed for the Council.

Community Wellness Needs Assessment
This initiative conducted a needs assessment and interest survey to determine the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities as it relates to pursing health and wellness activities in their communities. The Council plans to use the results of the assessment to plan health and wellness programs in the communities where the assessment was targeted for administration: Jacksonville, Ft. Lauderdale, and Okeechobee and Bradford Counties. This will impact individuals with developmental disabilities by creating programs tailored for their specific area of the state that will improve access to inclusive community health and wellness activities which will lead to the reduction of obesity and other secondary health conditions (like diabetes and high blood pressure). Please click here to access the report

Physician Training Program
This initiative developed a continuing education program for physicians about how to provide effective care to adults with developmental disabilities. A 12 hour webinar series was conducted July – October 2012 covering topics such as best practices in the care of adults with developmental disabilities, strategies for addressing the psychological and support needs of adults with special health care needs, practical strategies for providing care in medical offices and facilities, and effective billing and reimbursement practices. The webinar series is available at http://aadmd.org/page/pedd-webinar-series. The second year of this initiative will focus on integrating the topics covered in the webinar series into physician residency programs.

Child Development Screening Initiative
This initiative is continuing the work of the Child Development Screening Initiative Task Force established in 2011. The Task Force will continue to develop recommendations and policy changes needed to implement a comprehensive statewide system for the developmental screening of children aged zero to five. For more information visit:                                                               http://snowstrategies.com/child_development_screening_initiative.php and http://www.helpmegrownational.org/pages/affiliate-states/affiliate.php?Affld=6

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