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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.
Students in a classroom

Thinking about college?

College is for everyone!

There are many college programs that serve students with intellectual disabilities. They provide individual supports and services for the academic and social inclusion of students with intellectual disabilities in academic courses, extracurricular activities, and more. Follow this link for a list of inclusive college programs from our friends at Thinkcollege.net!

What am I interested in?

Not sure what you want to do for a job? Think about what interests you?

  • What are/were my favorite classes in school?
  • What do I like to do in my free time?
  • What things am I good at?

The things you are good at are also called “skills.” These skills can help you decide what a good job might be. For instance, if you are very organized, you might want to work in a library or an office. If you’re friendly, you might want to work at the check-in desk at a gym. If you know a lot about music, maybe you could work in a music store.
Learn more by visiting our Explore Work lessons!

Top 3 reasons people want to work

  1. Money. People work to make money. They need money for food, for rent, and to have fun with their friends and family. 
  2. Independence. Money isn’t the only reason to work. Working can also give you more independence and more control over your own life. When you work, you are learning new things, getting more skills, and making friends with people you meet through your job.
  3. Community. People work to be part of and contribute to their communities. This means that jobs exist not only for your benefit, but jobs also let you help others. For example, let’s say I have a job in an office delivering the mail. I’m helping the whole office save time and get stuff done.

Do you know why you want to work? Visit our Explore Work lessons to read and do exercises about community employment.

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Apprenticeships Benefit both Employers and Job Seekers in Florida

Apprentice Florida

Businesses are searching for employees with specialized skills and training, while job seekers want to gain work experience and earn good wages. In Florida, the apprenticeship employment model is helping to meet both the needs of job seekers and employers. The state’s goal is that by 2030, 80% of Floridians will have essential work skills. The policy of CareerSource Florida, the state’s workforce investment board, supports the use of sector strategies to align educational and economic resources in support of this goal. Apprentice Florida is a strategy to implement this policy and reach the state’s goals.

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Continue reading “Apprenticeships Benefit both Employers and Job Seekers in Florida”
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Nominate a self-advocate! Deadline 2/26

2021 Idelio Valdes Leadership and Advocacy Award
The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council is collecting nominations for the Idelio Valdes Award! The Idelio Valdes Award was created in honor of self-advocate Idelio Valdes, who had a tremendous impact on the people around him and the community in which he lived and worked. This award program is facilitated by the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council annually year during Developmental Disabilties Awareness Day to recognize those who are committed to advocating for themselves and others with developmental disabilities. The submission deadline is Feb. 26, 2021 – 5 p.m. ET. Visit for all the details on who, how, what! ddday2021.com/#!/awards You can also find out more information on the 2021 Virtual Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day (DD Day) set for Tuesday, March 30 at ddday2021.com/#!/up

Virtual DD Day is March 30!!

Florida Developmental Disabilities Council (FDDC) is thrilled to announce that the 2021 Virtual Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day (DD Day) is set for Tuesday, March 30! Join them as we make our voices heard in support of Floridians with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their family members and our dedicated caregivers.
Continue reading “Virtual DD Day is March 30!!”
people talking

Announcement – How to Talk to People about Work presentation: January 19, 2021

Ever wonder what you can do to help someone with a disability obtain a job in the community?
Join us January 19 for some guidance!

The How to Talk to People about Work presentation will introduce the Employment Empowerment Toolkit. It will also offer ideas and actions job seekers, families, teachers, case managers, employment staff, and adult day training staff can take to help people with disabilities work in their communities. 
Date: January 19, 2021
Time: 3-4pm ET
Format: Zoom webinar

Register now! 

Arc of the Bay, Lynn Haven, FloridaThe Arc of the Bay Supports Staff to Transform Employment Services

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EMPLOYMENT FIRST SUCCESS STORIES: EMPLOYMENT SERVICES

 The Arc of the Bay’s board of directors developed and implemented a plan to transform the agency’s ADT to support employment in the community as a priority outcome. “We decided to play offense and lead the way,” said Ron Sharpe, the Arc of the Bay’s executive director during a recent presentation about this transformation for Employment First Florida.

They framed ADT and employment services around supporting adults with IDD to build employment skills and find employment in the community. This led to the development of organizational goals and objectives to achieve this mission.