Agency for Persons with Disabilities

Cases Spur COVID-19 Testing At North Florida Disabilities Facility

May 13, 2020
a scientist drops samples into little tubes using a pipette.

The state Department of Health is testing 244 residents and 800 staff members of a Northwest Florida facility for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities after two residents tested positive for COVID-19, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration said Tuesday.

Florida Legislature
Florida House of Representatives

While House Speaker Jose Oliva is using health care as a bargaining chip to end the 2020 legislative session, Senate Republican leaders have their own health-care priorities they want resolved in the waning days.

Sunland Center from the outside
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Florida is testing the health of more than 200 residents of a state-managed institution for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities, after a 145-page report showed severe mold problems in 16 buildings on the Marianna campus.

Senate Eyes Changes For Disabilities Program

Jan 10, 2020

A legislative proposal to overhaul a program that helps Floridians with developmental and intellectual disabilities was released Thursday --- and is quickly sparking fears among people who work with the thousands of residents who rely on assistance from the state. 

Medicaid Advisory Committee Reshaped

Nov 4, 2019

The membership of a statewide Medicaid advisory committee has been reshaped and now includes a representative from the state Agency for Persons with Disabilities. 

Union Requests Probe Of Working Conditions At Two Florida Disability Facilities

Oct 2, 2019
Sunland Center from the outside
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A union that represents rank-and-file state employees is calling for an investigation into working conditions at two state-owned facilities in Northwest Florida that serve people with disabilities. 

Lawmakers Tweak Extended Foster Care Law

Apr 14, 2015
Wikimedia Commons

  Lawmakers are working on changes to a two-year-old law that extended foster care in Florida from ages 18 to 21 and sought to give kids more time to prepare for independence.

Hailed as groundbreaking --- in fact, it was named the "Nancy C. Detert Common Sense and Compassion Independent Living Act" for its Senate sponsor --- the law is likely to get a tweak this session.

Plans to cut $4.2 million from this year's Early Steps budget were put on hold Friday by the Department of Health, the News Service of Florida reports. Department officials told a House subcommittee last week that federal budget cuts were to blame, while some lawmakers said they heard the state's move to a third-party claims administrator was the real cause, the News Service reports. Also in Tallahassee last week, Gov. Rick Scott announced plans to invest $8 million for the state's Agency for Persons with Disabilities.

A Lake County home where a severely disabled teen died after 10 days of fever and illness has been the source of 148 neglect or abuse claims since 2001, the Miami Herald reports (paywall alert).

Though Paige Elizabeth Lunsford died in July 2013, the state’s Agency for Persons with Disabilities only filed an administrative complaint against the Carlton Palms Educational Center on Friday, after learning that the Herald was preparing to publish a story.

Nurse escorts elderly man using walker
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 About 1,200 Floridians with critical needs will be getting enrollment letters from the Agency for Persons with Disabilities in the next two weeks.

Those with critical needs on the agency’s waiting list as of July 1 will be offered enrollment in the Home and Community-Based Services Medicaid waiver.

Overall, there are 21,141 on the waiting list as of June 1, according to Melanie Etters, the agency's communications director.

The waiver provides personal care for people who need it, along with speech, behavioral and occupational therapy and respite for caregivers.

A Marion County woman accused of defrauding Medicaid said in an affidavit she was caught up in living well and "got greedy," the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

Gov. Rick Scott announced the state is increasing to 1,600 the number of people with critical needs moving off the waiting list for disability services.

Communications Office / Gov. Rick Scott

Gov. Rick Scott has approved an increase in funding for the Agency for Persons with Disabilities to help about 750 people who are on the the waiting list for the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Medicaid waiver.

There are about 22,000 people on the waiting list.

A Senate panel approved a measure that would block some people who have voluntarily gotten mental health treatment from purchasing a firearm, the News Service of Florida reports. The bill will go to the Senate floor for a vote next.