On this Good Friday, it’s great to smell the roses.  Our Christian life is often like a large waiting game.  It’s hard sometimes to remember that Sunday will come.

About 10 years ago, after years of neglect, I began working on my garden.  I started by cleaning out one flower bed.  Then I planted some spring flowers.  It seemed that I would never be able to get the entire yard looking decent and I have a VERY small yard.  However, over the years, I kept at it.  Now it’s good to hear people talk about my garden.  “It’s like a Garden of Eden,” one visitor exaggerated, but I was thrilled.  All my hard work was finally paying off.  I could smell the roses.

Sometimes advocacy within the disability community seems equally futile.  You work for years.  You write and demonstrate and communicate with politicians and professionals and parents; and the glorious result?  Nothing.  Nothing seems to be accomplished.  Then WOW!  things begin to break. 

 This is an e-mail I received that originated from Jack Kosik of Noah’s Arc of Central Florida.  It appears that the 10 percent rule has been eliminated.  This rule enforced in Florida mandated that property could not be rented or sold to mentally challenged persons, if the population in a condo/apartment complex contained 10 per cent of people who are developmentally delayed.  We discussed this issue in the blog, “Providing a Safer Environment” on February 26. 

This is good news and reflects the good work done by advocates across the state of Florida.   Smell the roses as you read the e-mail from Kosik:

 

GREAT NEWS!

I talked with Pam Kyllonen earlier this morning and confirmed that the APD and AHCA have agreed to remove all of the density language from the Medicaid Home and Community Based Waiver Services Manual.

Pam told me that the rule amendment was on their Director’s desk for signature and would be sent to the Florida Administrative Weekly for publication.

I asked Pam whether there was any “substitute language” (the APD previously indicated that they would be developing a “new rule” restricting development of “larger congregate living developments”), she said there was no new language, but suggested that we watch the Florida Administrative Weekly for any notices by the APD on new rule development.

Lila Klausman has been relentless in this cause and has devoted endless hours to gathering the right troops…THANK YOU LILA.

We must remember that this change only happened because we came together as a unified group and everybody pitched in their expertise and shared their influential contacts. TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN!This is great news, but we now need to refocus our efforts in getting an amendment to FS 419 (the 1000′ rule). Over the next few days, we will be developing a strategy and asking you to join in on a conference call next week so we can all get on the same page and be highly focused in our efforts.We have momentum and we need to keep our eyes on the bullseye, not just the target.CONGRATULATIONS…YOU ARE AWESOME!Jack Kosik
Noah’s Ark of Central Florida
(863) 687-0804 Office
(863) 698-1159 Cell