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IBUDGET: Lawmakers have agreed on the largest funding increase in recent history!

(April 28, 2021 update)

The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council is pleased to share that Florida lawmakers have agreed to spend an additional $95 million a year to provide more people with intellectual and developmental disabilities access to services they need to live in their communities and out of institutions.
This is the largest funding increase in recent history and will help reduce the iBudget Waiver waiting list.
“We are very excited about (the $95 million). It will certainly help with getting a larger number of individuals off the waitlist than what we originally anticipated,” said Florida Developmental Disabilities Council Executive Director Valerie Breen.
We want to thank everyone who has contacted their legislator and made their voice heard on behalf of the iBudget Waiver and its services as well as for all Floridians with disabilities. It is because of your efforts we were able to Preserve the iBudget Waiver this legislative session.
While this funding is what we were asking for during our Preserve the iBudget initiative, we are still closely monitoring the estimated 50 percent vacancy rate of direct support staff. We are hoping this will be something that the Legislature will also address.
Boy in wheelchair in van

Transportation: Recommendations from the FDDC

We all know how important frustrating transportation can be. It’s one of the main issues people seem to struggle with and we are always looking to solutions. It would be nice if Oprah could give us all new cars but that just isn’t a reality.

Back in 2017, the FDDC conducted a study to look for ways to help people with disabilities find good options for transportation.  They found 5 areas of need:

  • More money
  • Stronger agencies
  • More driver training
  • More routes and hours
  • Additional issues

Read the report to learn about their recommendations and advice.

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

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Sarah Goldman

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.

Asking Florida House of Representatives for Support

On February 20, 2019, the Florida House of Representatives Children, Families & Seniors Subcommittee welcomed a representative from APD, David Darm, to talk about the importance of employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Mr. Darm is responsible for identifying policy and collaborating with stakeholders to support competitive employment and community inclusion for people with IDD. We encourage you to watch the recording at

Self-Advocate Ashley Wolfe Presents at Florida Conference

Ashley Wolfe, an ICI research liaison, presented at the Florida SAND Conference in Orlando on February 3. Wolfe, who has intellectual disabilities, spoke about a new curriculum the ICI developed to help people with disabilities find fulfilling jobs and advocate for what they need.

The Explore Work Curriculum provides a chance for people with all kinds of disabilities to think about what kind of work they might like to do and to explore employment options. The curriculum includes short videos focused on asking for accommodations and finding transportation to the workplace.

Wolfe explained that the curriculum is intended “to give a sense of confidence and independence…giving real hope that you can work, capable of working, can be given the right kind of employment services.”

Wolfe said that the most fun part of the conference for her was meeting other participants from Florida. They had the chance to “socialize, dance, go out to eat and have a nice Italian dinner.”

When asked why others should attend this conference, Wolfe said, “This can be a way of connecting and having social interaction with [a] new and diverse population…People of different backgrounds, cultures, interests.”