Announcement From

The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council

WEBINAR: Understanding Asset Building & Public Benefits for People with Disabilities in Florida

Visit our Website 

This series consists of two 90-minute installments and will give participants a basic understanding of many benefit programs offered by local, state and federal governments, many of which have applications and rules that change often and can be confusing. Sharon Brent, Director of Training & Technical Support at National Disability Institute will conduct the training sessions.

After participating in this series, you will have a better understanding of:

  • Public benefits and differences of programs under Social Security – SSI & SSDI.
  • The value and effect of how earned income (wages) and unearned income affect cash and medical benefits for both programs.
  • Work Incentives and which benefit program they apply to, when to use them & the value they offer when applied.
  • The difference between Medicaid & Medicare rules and the value when individuals earn income.
  • Available information from the SSA website & other important web resources for updates and continuous learning.

Who should participate in this two-part series?

  • SSI and/or SSDI beneficiaries who work or want to work
  • Parents & family members of SSI & SSDI beneficiaries who work or want to work
  • Direct service professionals who work with a SSI or SSDI beneficiary who earns or wants to earn income
  • Vocational rehabilitation managers & staff serving people with disabilities who work or want to work
  • School-to-work transition staff
  • Anyone interested in learning more about public benefits and the interaction between benefits, employment and asset building

THIS IS A TWO-PART SERIES. Participants must attend both sessions – access to the September 24th session will be given only to those who attend the September 10th session. REGISTER NOW!

This webinar is presented by:


Date: September 10 & 24, 2012

Visit our Website

Time: 1:30 to 3:00 PM Eastern

Captioning will be provided during this webinar. If you use a screen reader and would like a copy of the powerpoint presentation ahead of time, please contact Katie Metz.

Visit our Website


Florida Developmental Disabilities Council

124 Marriott Drive Suite 203

Tallahassee, FL 32301





Please Vote No on HB 371- Planned Residential Communities for individuals with Developmental Disabilities unless the following amendments are adopted:

Amendment 1:  600677 by Rep. Sachs

Create new subsection (3) of section 419.001 to read:
Planned residential communities must by their characteristics be community based and satisfy federal guidelines and state rules regarding the characteristics that distinguish community based settings from institutional settings.

Amendment 2:    530169 by Rep. Sachs

Create new subsection (3) to 393.501 Rulemaking

(3)  Such rules shall also address planned residential communities and define, consistent with federal guidelines, the characteristics a planned residential community must have to be considered community-based as distinguished from institutional.     

Contact your legislator and as many others as you can in the Florida House of Representatives (you can find them by going to our website( ) and ask them to vote YES on Representative Sachs amendments for HB 371(600677 and 530169) and NO on HB 371 if the amendments fail.

Hurry because HB 371 could be heard as early as this afternoon on the House Floor!
·HB 371 would allow the Developmental Disabilities Home and Community Based Waiver dollars to be used for congregate residential communities that serve, with minimal exceptions, exclusively individuals with developmental disabilities and, as such, segregates individuals with developmental disabilities from the full community and individuals without developmental disabilities. 
·According to HB 371, the planned residential communities that could receive Developmental Disabilities Home and Community Based Waiver funding as a result of this legislation, could be developed with the many of the same attributes as an institutional campus such as Sunland Marianna:  gated, serving exclusively individuals with developmental disabilities, staff living on site with reduced rent as part of compensation, employment provided on site, day programs provided on site, congregate eating on site, and work days required of residents.
·HB 371 would mark a sweeping and far-reaching change to public policies toward people with developmental disabilities in Florida. Many individuals, families and advocates believe that enacting this proposal, particularly using funding that was intended for an alternative to institutional funding would be a move backward toward segregation, rather than progress forward toward integration.   




Consumer and Families Leadership and Development Assistance Program    
 RE: Opportunity for People with Disabilities

People  with  developmental disabilities and their families are offered the opportunity  to  apply  for  financial  assistance  to  attend conferences, workshops  and  other learning opportunities through a grant awarded to The Florida  Center for Advocacy, Research and Education (Florida CARE) through the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, Inc.

This  project  will  enable individuals with developmental disabilities and their  families   to become better self-advocates and enhance their quality of  life  through  improved  knowledge  of  many  aspects of the disability system.   In  addition,  this knowledge will facilitate their inclusion and
participation  in  numerous  planning and decision-making committees, forum and leadership in organizations in their communities.

More  than  35  people with disabilities and their families will enjoy this opportunity.  These  individuals  will  come from different demographic and targeted  groups around Florida and will be selected through an application process.   Interested  families  should  go  to and complete  an  application  for  consideration.   There  is  also a calendar listing upcoming opportunities.

Florida  CARE  passionately  advocates  for  people  with  disabilities  by providing   corporations,   school  districts,  groups  and  families  with employment  coaching,  transitional  skills, ADA compliance tips, diversity planning and outreach, disability awareness and hiring techniques.

Ben Waggoner and James Fraser left comments regarding the ten percent rule described in the article “Providing a Safer Environment.”  I was afraid that someone might miss them.  Therefore, I felt they deserved their own post.  I only wish I had said what they said, as well as they said it.  Thanks Ben and James for adding to the discussion.   First, is what Waggoner had to say.  Then read Fraser’s comments.

I do not know how I managed to go this long without hearing about the 10% rule until now, but I am stunned that anyone would think for five seconds that it is an advisable idea –or is even acceptable– to pass a law of that nature. In a document produced for the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, this rationalization is offered:

“Historically, people in group homes and other congregate settings have not “fit into” their neighborhood due to the obvious difference in their home (e.g. vans in the driveway, people going in and out, etc.). If neighborhoods become “communities of individuals in supported living”, they too will have difficulty truly becoming part of their community.”

While that may have sounded altruistic or high-minded to the author when he or she wrote it, the truth is that it is nothing more than an elitist control measure.

Groups of people who share similar challenges may gravitate toward neighborhoods that are close to health facilities or other service providers that can meet their needs, or which are close to their employment or their family. They may choose to share a home for mutual assistance, or live near each other because they have common interests, need camaraderie, or want to live within walking or cycling distance of [insert destination here]. In fact, individuals with disabilities are likely to choose where they want to live based on criteria that parallel, or may even be identical to, those used by the person who wrote the above paragraph.

The 10% density rule reads (in part):
“The homes of recipients receiving supported living shall account for no more than ten percent of the housing in the smallest identifiable geographical area in which the homes are located, which may be a city block, subdivision, neighborhood, apartment complex or mobile home park. The recipients’ homes shall be scattered, non-contiguous, and dispersed throughout the area.”

What possible justification can there be for dictating how many law-abiding citizens may be permitted to find housing in a certain neighborhood or subdivision? These are people we’re talking about. These are not cattle that threaten to over-graze our shared a pasture lands. They are citizens who have hopes and dreams and own the same rights as the bureaucrats who seek to impinge on their freedom. If our government were to attempt to apply a restriction such as this to any other segment of the population, the National Guard would deploy _in_support_of_ all the riots in the streets, not to quell them.

“The homes of blacks shall account for no more than ten percent of…”

“The homes of Jews shall account for no more than ten percent of…”

“The homes of Puerto Ricans shall account for no more than ten percent of…”

“The homes of Irish immigrants shall account for no more than ten percent of…”

“The homes of Catholics shall account for no more than ten percent of…”

“The homes of Muslims shall account for no more than ten percent of…”

“The homes of Baptists shall account for no more than ten percent of…”

“The homes of diabetics shall account for no more than ten percent of…”

“The homes of amputees shall account for no more than ten percent of…”

“The homes of quadriplegics shall account for no more than ten percent of…”

“The homes of ignorant bureaucrats shall account for no more than ten percent of…”

Welcome to your new job with an alphabet-soup government agency. Who would you like to discriminate against today?

 Finally, from James Fraser:

I agree with Ben Waggoner on this.

This is beyond unconstitutional. It is discrimination, and of the worst kind – it puts undue burdens on those who can barely get by as it is. When I heard about this, I was flabbergasted, and at a complete loss to understand how anyone could conscionably pass such a heinous law. It is cruel and callous. It isolates those who already suffer a burden of loneliness; it impairs access to help facilities for those who are already impaired in their mobility; it separates families and imposes an unnecessary strain on the social support systems of its victims.