New Resources Available about ABLE Accounts for People with Disabilities
January 30, 2015
After many years of advocacy and bipartisan work in Congress, the Stephen Beck, Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was signed into law on December 19, 2014. The Arc of the United States has recently released two fact sheets about the new law. The first fact sheet is an overall Summary of the ABLE Act, and the second is a more In-Depth Look at the law. These fact sheets will help better explain and educate the disability community about how this law will work. The Arc of the United States will be continually producing more materials as updates on federal regulations are released and the accounts are set up in states. Continue to check back here, as we will keep you posted about the implementation of the ABLE Act here in Florida.
The law allows eligible individuals with disabilities the ability to establish "ABLE accounts" for qualified beneficiaries that resemble the qualified tuition programs, often called "529 accounts", that have been established under that section of the tax code since 1996. The new ABLE accounts will allow more individual choice and control over spending on qualified disability expenses and limited investment decisions, while protecting eligibility for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, and other important federal benefits for people with disabilities.
Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day 2015 Has Been Announced
January 27, 2015
The Arc of Florida has teamed with the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council to host the 2015 Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day at the Florida Capitol Thursday, March 5, 2015. The Agency for Persons with Disabilities will also participate.
Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day is an opportunity for members of the disability community to meet with legislators and advocate for issues important to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. (I/DD) Exhibitor opportunities are also available.
For more information on DD Awareness Day or exhibitor opportunities, please contact Vanda Bowman at
The Arc of Florida Chapters are Recommended for $2.171 million for Construction Projects
January 13, 2015
Tallahassee, FL (January 13, 2015) – The staff of the Florida Housing Finance Corporation today voted to recommend to its Board of Directors to award grants to seven chapters of The Arc of Florida. Funds were appropriated by the Florida Legislature during the 2014 Legislative Session. Funding will be used to build new and renovate existing homes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. (I/DD) The Florida Housing Finance Corporation received 20 funding requests and awarded a total of $3,676,000 for 14 projects statewide. Of the amount awarded, chapters of The Arc of Florida received 7 projects for a total of $2,171,000.00. The Board of Directors of the Florida Housing Finance Corporation will make the final decision on funding.
"Funding from the Florida Housing Finance Corporation assists us in providing community-based homes to individuals who might otherwise live in institutions" said Deborah Linton, chief executive officer of The Arc of Florida, a non-profit organization that advocates on behalf of individuals with I/DD. "We are very appreciative of the Legislature's willingness to help the individuals we serve to live in safe and updated homes in their communities. This funding will continue to greatly enhance their quality of life."
The Arc of Florida chapters recommended for funding include:
The Arc Gateway - $367,000.00
The Arc of Putnam County - $367,000.00
The Arc Nature Coast - $367,000.00
The Arc Indian River County - $367,000.00
The Arc Sunrise of Central Florida - $367,000.00
The Arc Jacksonville $148,000.00
The Arc St. Lucie County $188,000.00
Notice of Training Opportunities
January 2, 2015
We encourage programmatic staff as well as self-advocates and family members to participate in learning more about these changes by attending the forums listed below.
The new assurances set forth by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for states requires revisions to current Delmarva Discovery tools and processes. The new CMS rules focus on the experience of the person with the service delivery system; person centered planning (PCP), community integration, and residential and day settings.
Please visit Delmarva's website at www.dfmc-florida.org to register for training in a location in your APD Region:
January 5th, 2015 Central Region: Orlando
Shrine Auditorium Event Center, 2300 Pembrook Dr., Orlando, FL 32810
10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
January 6th, 2015 Southeast Region: Ft. Lauderdale
Urban League of Broward 560 NW 27th Avenue, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33311
9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. or 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
January 7th, 2015 Southern Region: Miami
Venue Coming Soon
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. or 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
January 8th, 2015 Northeast Region: Jacksonville
Jacksonville Main Library, 303 North Laura St., Jacksonville, FL 32202
11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
January 9th, 2015 Suncoast Region: Apollo Beach
Calvary Lutheran Church, 5309 U.S. Highway 41 N., Apollo Beach, FL 33572
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. or 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
January 9th, 2015 Northwest Region: Tallahassee
Tallahassee Community College - Turner Hall, 444 Appleyard Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32304
10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
January 12th, 2015 Northwest Region: Pensacola
Marcus Pointe Baptist Church, 6205 North W. Street, Pensacola, FL 32505
10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Registration is not required, but is recommended to assure seating availability due to limited capacity in some venues.