It’s not just a job, but the first step to a Career and Profession. As The Arc of Florida Advocacy Committee continues to meet, one focus has been on recruitment of Direct Support Professionals. 
While the Legislature and Governor have supported providers by raising salaries to $15/hr for all Direct Support Professionals, there still exists the challenge to educate job seekers that being a Direct Support Professionals is a great and rewarding career choice. Providers across the state are recruiting staff so we can build back the capacity we lost during the Covid years. Important qualities for someone who wants to start their career as a Direct Support Professional are enthusiasm, empathy, patience, reliability and the desire to make a positive difference in the life of people with a intellectual and developmental disability. A college degree isn’t required - just a passion to help others. New employees will be trained and quickly on their way to a rewarding and fulfilling career. Over the years, many have started their career as a Direct Support Professional and have gone on to become waiver support coordinators, job coaches, program directors and even CEOs. If you, or someone you know, is looking for a rewarding career where compassion and reliability are key assets, please take a look at Or, if you feel inspired and understand the importance of Direct Support Professionals, write a letter to your local newspaper thanking the Legislature and Governor DeSantis for making people with disabilities a priority, and urging job seekers to consider a career in this field.
Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Florida will be grateful 
for your support in this important initiative.
Governor welcomed with open arms at The Family Café. Governor Ron DeSantis connected personally with those who attended The Family Café. In a speech to a large crowd of advocates, the Governor gave kudos to all those who work with people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. He explained that the budget he would soon sign reflects just how much the people who work in this field are appreciated. The best part of the Governor’s speech came when he put the spotlight on many self-advocates, recognizing their contributions at many businesses throughout the state. Florida is an “Employment First” state, and you could see the pride of those who were recognized, as well as their families and friends. It was a real statement of support for the efforts we all make to ensure everyone can have opportunities and support to reach their full potential. 
Amending the iBudget –
A time to give comments. 
The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) has proposed amendments to the iBudget rules and has given the public 30 days to provide comments. The amendments would 1) update the service definition of adult day training and 2) add prevocational services as a new Waiver service to be effective October 1, 2022. There are other proposed changes to performance measure language and critical incident reporting. Once the period for public comment ends, APD will send the proposal to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for final approval. The comment period ends June 30. You can find the amendment on the Agency for Health Care Administration website at 
The Arc of Florida Rules Committee will be meeting to consider the proposed amendment and determine what, if any, comments we want to make. We are also working with a federal expert who has assisted other states in designing Medicaid Waiver services. Please consider reviewing the proposal and commenting. The directions are simple and are outlined below It helps an agency to hear from those who are impacted by changes, especially self-advocates, families and those who are committed to ensuring enhanced opportunities for self-determination and choice. Your insights could be pivotal. When submitting comments, please include “Proposed Amendment to the 1915(c) iBudget Waiver” in the subject line:
Submit email comments to:

Submit written comments by mail to Bureau of Medicaid Policy, Agency for Health Care Administration, 2727 Mahan Drive, MS 20, Tallahassee, Florida 32308.

For more information, you may contact: Catherine McGrath at (850)412-4256 or If you are hearing or speech impaired, please contact the agency using the Florida Relay Service, 1(800)955-8771 (TDD) or 1(800)955-8770 (Voice).
Year One. On the occasion of my one-year anniversary as Chief Executive Officer, I want to take a moment to thank The Arc of Florida for selecting me to lead its efforts in grass roots advocacy. I appreciate the Board Members who are amazing advocates and who always focus on those individuals we serve. I have enjoyed this past year, marveling at how everyone worked together for a common purpose through a challenging time. My job orientation was inspiring: I traveled the state and listened to self-advocates and family members who took the time to tell me what our goals should be. As with my years of advocating for youth in foster care, it didn’t take long to determine that the true experts were those who lived the experience. The same holds true in supporting people with disabilities. I look forward to Year Two as there is so much to do. - Thanks, Alan