With the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) offering Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Medicaid waiver enrollment to individuals on the waiver waiting list, advocates are applauding Governor Ron DeSantis’ commitment to serving people with disabilities in Florida. [Read more…] about APD Offers Waiver Enrollment to Individuals on Waiting List
agency for persons with disabilities
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis today signed the state budget for Fiscal Year 2020-2021 which demonstrates his commitment to helping Floridians served by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD). [Read more…] about Governor Signs Budget Supporting Floridians with Unique Abilities
The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) issued Emergency Order 20-01 to outline which provider rules and regulations are being suspended due to the state of emergency in Florida regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). [Read more…] about APD Issues Emergency Order and Guidance
Governor Ron DeSantis issued a proclamation recognizing today, February 11, as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day in Florida. [Read more…] about APD Participates in Developmental Disabilities Day
By Zoe Linafelt
Linda Masessa enjoys living independently in Martin County with her cat, Brady. [Read more…] about Masessa is the Queen of Burger King
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis today signed his A Bold Vision for a Brighter Future Budget that demonstrates his commitment to helping vulnerable Floridians, including those served by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD). [Read more…] about Governor Signs Budget Supporting Vulnerable Floridians
Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), Blind Services, and Vocational Rehabilitation recognized 12 businesses that hire and retain people with disabilities with an Exceptional Employer Award today. The businesses from around the state were honored with a plaque made by people with disabilities. [Read more…] about Companies Honored as Exceptional Employers
Disability Employment Awareness Month is Coming
On Thursday, October 4, The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), Blind Services, and Vocational Rehabilitation will recognize 12 businesses as Florida Exceptional Employers for hiring and retaining employees who have disabilities. [Read more…] about 12 Exceptional Employers to be Recognized
The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) today filed for a receivership of Carlton Palms to ensure a safe transition of all residents. APD is selecting a company to take over operations of the facility after Bellwether Behavioral Health notified APD that it will cease operations in Florida on May 31, 2018. APD’s action to revoke Carlton Palms license is ongoing. Bellwether also notified the agency that it intends to close its two six-bed group homes in Central Florida.
APD Director Barbara Palmer said, “We continue to work diligently to ensure the safe transition of residents from Carlton Palms while holding Bellwether Behavioral Health accountable. Today’s action is a major milestone in our efforts to shut down the facility that has proven it does not have the best interest of our clients in mind. I am very excited to see these residents transition into smaller group homes in their local communities. Keeping our APD customers safe and healthy is the top priority of the agency, and moving them into smaller homelike settings lends itself to a happier and healthier environment.”
APD has taken multiple actions to hold Bellwether Behavioral Health accountable, including an agreed moratorium on new residents, extensive video monitoring in all homes, an outside monitoring and transition team, along with other administrative sanctions and a prior $10,000 fine.
Residents will continue to be safely transitioned to other community settings over the next few months. Parents or guardians are being encouraged to make their selection of a new residential option for their loved one. The goal is to give parents or guardians choices in their local communities while ensuring that the new homes can meet the unique needs of these clients.APD is working with community providers to develop additional group homes for individuals with intensive behavioral needs. These specialized services will help APD customers live in their home communities near families or guardians.
To date, 58 people have transitioned into new community group homes. Guardian Healthcare has been contracted to provide daily health and safety oversight during this transition period.
APD supports people with developmental disabilities to live, learn, and work in their communities. The agency annually serves more than 50,000 Floridians with severe forms of autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, Phelan-McDermid syndrome, and Prader-Willi syndrome. For more information about the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, visit APDcares.org or call toll-free 1‑866‑APD‑CARES (1‑866‑273‑2273).
On April 10, an employee of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities was a victim of a malicious phishing email. APD immediately began investigating this potential security breach. To date, there is no indication that any sensitive information has been misused. However, in an abundance of caution we are sending a notification to 1,951 APD customers or guardians, and providing a one-year membership with a credit monitoring service because client names, addresses, birth dates, health information, telephone numbers, and Social Security numbers were potentially included in these email accounts.
APD takes this matter very seriously and has taken steps to protect personal information, including taking swift action to help prevent this type of event from happening again. On April 13, APD implemented a security upgrade to prevent unauthorized persons from gaining access to APD’s email system. APD will also be enacting additional training for staff members regarding appropriate email security protocols.
At this time, APD has no reason to believe individuals’ information has been misused. Again, in an abundance of caution and to help individuals detect any possible misuse of this information, we are providing a one-year membership with a credit monitoring service for those who could have been affected. This service will be free for APD clients. For more information, individuals may call APD’s hotline at 1-855-476-1180. If you are writing on this event, it is imperative to include APD’s hotline phone number in your reporting.
APD is notifying all potentially affected customers in accordance with state and federal law, including information on credit monitoring services. Pursuant to 45 CFR 164 and Section 501.171, Florida Statutes, this is notification that the Agency for Persons with Disabilities had a security breach, which may have affected 1,951 individuals in the state of Florida.
APD supports people with developmental disabilities to live, learn, and work in their communities. The agency annually serves more than 50,000 Floridians with severe autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, Phelan-McDermid syndrome, and Prader-Willi syndrome. For more information about the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, visit APDcares.org or call toll-free 1‑866‑APD‑CARES (1‑866‑273‑2273).