Interview with Valerie Breen, Florida Developmental Disabilities Council

Valerie Breen, executive director of the FDDC, joined Employment First Florida on July 28, 20202 presentation to highlight the collaborative work being done to support the Employment First Florida initiative.

The initiative grew out of the council’s seven year commitment to improve employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. From 2013 until present, the council’s investment in time and dollars has resulted in many returns. Listen to Valerie’s recording to learn more.

Sarah's profile pic

Sarah thinks accommodations should be the norm. We do too.

In August 2020, the Orlando Sentinel published an article by FDDC member Sarah Goldman. In it Sarah provides an eye-opening perspective on accessibility and how society should consider accommodating needs for all abilities. Read Sarah’s inspiring message by clicking here

If you are having trouble reading the article on the website, click here for a PDF version.

Interviews with the FDDC & FL DVR on July 28

On July 28, Employment First Florida interviewed staff from the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, Inc. and the Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation These conversations were the second in an online series profiling the Employment First Florida Interagency Collaborative Team. The series provides people with an update on the progress being made by the agencies who signed the Employment First Florida Interagency Collaborative Agreement. Watch the recording to learn about the projects, initiatives, and experiences both organizations have had since the signing. 

Watch the presenter interviews:

Valerie Breen
Holly Hohmeister
Jan Pearce
Brandi Boyer-Rutherford
Kathy Davis


Our final session is scheduled for Tuesday, October 27, from 3-4pm ET. Registration is now available at

Fast Facts

How many Floridians with disabilities are working?

There are many different ways to answer this question. Check out our latest Fast Facts featuring data from the sources below!

#6 American Community Survey

One way is to look at data from the United States Government. It collects information through the United States Census. This survey is called the American Community Survey (ACS).

#7 Indicator 14: Post-School Outcomes

Indicator 14: Post-School Outcomes measures the percent of youth with disabilities who are no longer in high school, had Individualized Education Plans when they left school, and were enrolled in higher education or working in the community within one year of leaving high school.

#8 National Core Indicators Project

Data from the National Core Indicators (NCI) Project can help us understand what percentage of people are working and what percentage of people want to work.

#9 Rehabilitation Services Administration-911

Florida’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation reports data every year to the Rehabilitation Services Administration, which is part of the US government.The report shares the outcomes of the services Florida VR gave to job seekers with disabilities.

#10 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Florida reports data on individuals who got behavioral health services that are funded through grants from the national Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Behavioral health services are ways of helping people with mental illnesses or substance use disorders.