Do You Know About the James Patrick Personal Attendant Services & Employment Assistance Program?

The James Patrick Memorial Work Incentive Personal Attendant Services and Employment Assistance (JP-PAS) Program was created by the Florida Legislature in 2002 as a pilot project. The pilot was a success – and in 2008, JP-PAS was established as a permanent, statewide program in Chapter 413.402, Florida Statutes. JP-PAS provides monthly stipends to adult Floridians with significant disabilities who require personal assistance services to attain and maintain competitive and integrated employment.
To be eligible for the JP-PAS program, participants must earn an income that is at least 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Level and no more than $150,000 per year. Participants may not receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and they cannot be receiving Medicaid Home and Community-based Services while they are enrolled in the program.
The JP-PAS Program is funded with revenues collected through the Tax Collection Diversion Program, which was established to recover the revenue due from individuals who have not remitted their collected sales tax. The Tax Collection Diversion Program currently operates out of the Office of the State Attorneys in eight Florida Judicial Circuits: Circuit 4 (Duval County)
Circuit 6 (Pinellas County) Circuit 9 (Orange County)
Circuit 11 (Miami-Dade County)
Circuit 13 (Hillsborough County)
Circuit 15 (Palm Beach)
Circuit 17 (Broward County)
Circuit 20 (Lee County)
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The Florida Association of Centers for Independent Living (FACIL) receives its authority to administer the JP-PAS Program in Fla Stat. Chapter 413. In collaboration with FACIL, and adjunct to the Florida Department of Education, the JP-PAS Oversight Council is also authorized for the purpose of advising FACIL on policies and procedures and recommending the program’s annual operating budget for activities of the association associated with operations, administration, and oversight. The Oversight Council includes representation from the following organizations and areas of expertise:  The director of the division or his or her designee; A human resources professional or an individual who has significant experience managing and operating a business based in this state, recommended by the Florida Chamber of Commerce and appointed by the Governor; A financial management professional, appointed by the Governor; A program participant, appointed by the Secretary of Health or his or her designee; The director of the advisory council on brain and spinal cord injuries or his or her designee; The director of the Florida Endowment Foundation for Vocational Rehabilitation or his or her designee; and The director of the Florida Association of Centers for Independent Living or his or her designee.

For more information about the JP-PAS Program, email jppas@floridacils.org

Programs & Services Offered at Disability Achievement Center

I’d like to introduce you to the 5 Core Services funded by HHS that all Centers for Independent Living (CILs) throughout the country offer, as well as the unique programs Disability Achievement Center offers based on the needs of the local community.  Please help us help others by sharing this information in hopes of touching someone in Pasco or Pinellas who can benefit from our services.  Help begins with a phone call:  (727) 539-7550.

5 Core Services:

  1. Information & Referral:  Our bylaws require that the majority of our Board of Directors and staff must be persons with disabilities so we are who we serve!  We are deeply embedded into the community and partner with many agencies, with current knowledge of available resources.  When someone calls us not knowing where to begin, we do!
  2. Independent Living Skills Training:  We teach the skills you need to live safely and independently.  Popular topics include budgeting, shopping, using public transportation, cooking, job hunting, and emergency preparation.
  3. Peer Mentoring:  We can all learn from each other, especially those with like experiences and we introduce those who would benefit from each other’s knowledge.
  4. Individual and Systemic Advocacy:  We are passionate about our work to support the disability community.  We help people with disabilities find their voice through Self Advocacy training and support their efforts for independence.  On a systemic level, we have a strong voice in the Florida Legislature and support all efforts that advance the interests of all people with disabilities.
  5. Transition/Diversion: Change is difficult.  Change is more difficult when living with a disability and can include going from school to the workforce or moving to your first apartment.  Diversion is the effort to keep a person with a disability living in the least restrictive environment possible and out of a nursing home where one loses independence.

Disability Achievement Center Other Programs:

  1. Medical Equipment Recycling Program (MERP):  We accept gently used durable medical equipment that we sanitize before giving it to someone with a disability who cannot afford to purchase these needed items.  Items we accept include: wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, rollators, commodes, shower chairs, Hoyer lifts, and canes.

Disability Achievement Center partners with the Florida Association for Assistive Services & Technologies (FAAST) as a Regional Reuse Center and obtain items that improve the lives of people with disabilities through advocacy and awareness activities that increase access to and acquisition of assistive services and technology.  As a Regional Reuse Center, we repair or refurbish equipment using FAAST funding for items such as replacing tires or batteries armrest, and handgrips wheelchairs.

  • Consumer Equipment & Modification Assistance Program (CEMA):  This our most requested and asset limited program where we use grant funding and monetary donations to purchase items that are not available through MERP or items that cannot be recycled such as alerting equipment for the deaf and grab bars.  Recyclable aluminum ramps are loaned to consumers for as long as they need them and we remove & reuse parts whenever possible to reduce costs.  Currently there are 41 people on the waitlist, with an average wait time of 2 years.
  • Diapers for Dignity: We provide incontinence supplies to anyone in need.  Donations of unopened packages of diapers, liners, and underpads are always welcome!
  • Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services:  A staff member who is fluent in ASL provides a wide range of services to people who are deaf, hard of hearing or have other communication needs.
  • Food Distribution:  We partner with Feeding Tampa Bay to provide food to anyone with a disability who is not receiving food from other sources.  We receive a variety of fresh produce, fresh and frozen foods weekly for distribution.
  • PPE/Activity Kits:  Face masks, hand sanitizer, and hygiene kits are available upon request.  We also offer word finds, coloring books, and puzzles to help overcome isolation and keep the mind occupied.

DAC Awarded Grants for the CEMA Program!

Many thanks to Pasco Aging Network for your grant that will serve seniors with disabilities in Pasco County and Senior Citizens Services for the grant that will serve seniors with disabilities in Pinellas County with durable medical equipment that enables them to safely remain independent in their homes!

Some examples of equipment provided through our Consumer Equipment & Modification Assistance (CEMA) Program include walkers, rollators, wheelchairs and batteries, raised commodes, transfer benches.  Minor home modifications include installation of grab bars, handrails, and ramps that improve safety and accessibility in the home!

Call us if we can be of assistance to you!  Our phone number is (727) 539-7550.

“Diapers for Dignity” Program

Disability Achievement Center is the designated Mid-County Distribution Center for AAAPP’s “Diapers for Dignity” Program.  If you have excess incontinence supplies, your donation is greatly appreciated.  If you are in need of incontinence supplies, you can pick them up at the Center.

DAC Designated as “Diapers for Dignity” Mid-County Distribution Center

The AAAPP is proud to announce that Disability Achievement Center is our newest partner in Diapers for Dignity, an adult incontinence supply bank for those that cannot afford to purchase the supplies that they need. Disability Achievement Center has experience working on this need and will continue to accept donations of unopened packages of adult incontinence supplies, including pads, pull-ups, tabbed briefs, etc.  Adults in Pinellas County who are unable to afford incontinence supplies can go to their Largo location to receive products, Monday – Friday, 9 AM to 4 PM. Disability Achievement Center is located at 12552 S Belcher Rd, Largo, FL 33773.

Hotel Suite Construction Continues!

While it may be hard to imagine what the final result will be, it’s always interesting to watch the transformation!

Disability Achievement Center will train students with disabilities to perform the skills necessary to begin a career in the hospitality industry.  Classes begin in January 2018!

Independent Living Skills Students Planning Garden at DAC

The Disability Achievement Center in conjunction with the University of Florida/IFAS are kicking off a Garden to Education to Community project beginning November 1st. Ms. Malory Foster, District Food Systems Specialist of Family Nutrition Program of Family Youth and Community Sciences will be spearheading this innovative program with the youth attending the Independent Living Skills class every Wednesday at DAC. Containment gardening will be developed in the small plot of land adjacent to the building. Raised planters, earth boxes and a hydroponic area will house the variety of seedlings and plants that are provided through the $500 allotment from University of Florida. The youth will be involved from the ground up and with the ongoing nurturing of their garden. A cooking event with Chef Donna Sagan-Hortez, Program Assistant, of the Family Nutrition Program will occur around the holidays featuring the vegetables, fruits and herbs harvested.