Historic $1.3 Billion Investment Will Support Floridians with Disabilities
Governor Rick Scott’s “Fighting for Florida’s Future” Budget is recommending $1.3 billion in total funding for APD. This historic investment will eliminate the critical needs waiting list for the fourth year in a row and help Floridians with disabilities live, learn and work in their communities.
Governor Scott said, “For the fourth year in a row, we are fighting to eliminate the critical needs waiting list, which will provide 680 Floridians with unique abilities the opportunities they need to receive the services and support they deserve. These investments are a testament to our commitment to making Florida the best place for all families to live and achieve their dreams and we will continue to do all we can to make our state the first for choice for families for years to come.”
The Fighting for Florida’s Future Budget includes:
- $7.5 million to enroll more than 680 individuals with developmental disabilities on the critical needs waiting list onto the APD Home and Community-Based Services Medicaid iBudget Florida waiver.
- $3.3 million to provide employment services to more than 2,500 individuals with developmental disabilities who are ready to work. These employment services include job training and coaching, employment assistance and transportation to and from their place of work. These services will help more individuals with disabilities get the opportunities they need to find a great job and live more independently.
- $4.6 million to support APD customers with extreme behaviors transitioning from institutional settings into the community. The new Waiver Intensive Behavior Models will assist the agency in meeting federal CMS Rule requirements for living settings.
APD Director Barbara Palmer said, “I appreciate Governor Scott continuing his strong support of individuals with disabilities. For the fourth year, Governor Scott is recommending funding to serve people with critical needs on the waiting list. Additionally, the Governor recognizes the need to increase support for our wonderful partners who deliver direct services to our customers in the community. This funding is vital to protecting the health and safety of our vulnerable customers.”
Family Care Council Florida Chairperson Mary Smith said, “Serving additional individuals with developmental disabilities is a priority of the Family Care Council. We are thrilled Governor Scott’s ‘Fighting for Florida’s Future’ Budget moves more than 680 people with critical needs from the waiver waiting list to being served in the community. I am very happy that the state of Florida is committed to helping people with developmental disabilities live as full lives as possible.”
Parent and past chairperson of the Family Care Council Florida Pauline Lipps said, “Families need state support to meet the needs of their child with a developmental disability. I am pleased to see Governor Scott’s ongoing support of APD in its mission of serving people with developmental disabilities.”
Betty Kay Clements, parent and past chairperson of the Family Care Council Florida, said, “I appreciate the increased funding being recommended by Governor Scott in his ‘Fighting for Florida’s Future’ Budget to serve an additional 680 people on the waiting list.”
Support Coordination Association of Florida Chairman David Alexander said, “On behalf of our association, I want to thank Governor Scott for supporting the needs of people with disabilities with his budget recommendation. We are pleased that more people will be able to receive community support through APD with this budget recommendation.”
Special Olympics Florida President and CEO Sherry Wheelock said, “Special Olympics Florida praises Governor Scott for supporting the needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Florida by allocating needed funds to continue to protect their well-being. The Governor’s leadership in this area directly supports the work of Special Olympics Florida by improving access to health care services, promoting inclusion at schools, and helping us build communities where all individuals are valued.”
APD supports people with developmental disabilities to live, learn, and work in their communities. The agency annually serves more than 50,000 Floridians with autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, Phalen-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).