DAC Featured on FOX13 “What’s Right With Tampa Bay”

Disability Achievement Center helps people of all ages with a disability. We quietly conduct business and sometimes we get noticed. Manny and his Mom are both deeply grateful for our assistance and let FOX 13 know! Please share because there may be someone who needs to see this and ask for help. We are a phone call 727-539-7550 or email info@mydacil.org away! Check us out at www.mydacil.org.


Florida Medical Clinic Foundation of Caring Presents DAC with Grant Award

FMC presents DAC w/ grant award

This morning Disability Achievement Center received a visit from Angela Pottinger with Florida Medical Clinic Foundation of Caring. Angela brought a $10,000 grant award that will support our CEMA Program in Pasco County! CEMA stands for Consumer Equipment & Modification Assistance, which in layman terms is our program that provides durable medical equipment & assistive technology, as well as grab bar & ramp installation to keep individuals with disabilities safe and independent. It is our most requested service and last year we delivered 254 pieces of equipment, 109 pieces of alerting equipment for the deaf, made 149 home modifications, and installed 27 ramps! This generous grant from Florida Medical Clinic Foundation of Caring will help individuals with disabilities in Pasco County to remain independent and a part of their communities. Thank you FMC Foundation of Caring!

New COVID Testing Options for People Who Are Blind/Low Vision

clear bottles with blue caps labelled COVID-19

On June 23, 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration launched a new initiative to expand the availability of testing options that are more accessible for people who are blind or have low vision. This initiative complements the Administration’s efforts to expand production of more accessible tests and work with private sector partners on the development of new accessible tests. 

How to get the tests:  

Order  online or by calling 1-800-232-0233.

  • Each order will include 2 rapid-antigen tests that are more accessible for people who are blind or have low vision. 
  • Orders will ship free, while supplies last.  

What’s needed to use the tests:

To use the tests, you must:

What makes the tests more accessible:

The test works with the app to provide:

  • Audio step-by-step instructions for administering the test.
  • Audio test results.

Who should order these tests:

Because of limited supply, we ask that you only order the more accessible tests if you do not have other options for using the standard COVID-19 tests, such as:

  • Receiving help from a household member, family, or trusted friend (in person, or through video calling platforms like FaceTime or Zoom).
  • Using assistive technology, such as AIRA or Be My Eyes, to help you take the test and obtain results.

Need more assistance?

The trained staff at the Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) can provide additional assistance with:

  • Ordering tests. 
  • Understanding instructions for test administration and test results.
  • Providing alternative instructions for traditional at-home tests for people who are unable to access, read, or understand the manufacturer’s version.
  • For those who cannot use an at-home test, DIAL operators can:
    • Assist with ordering “swab and send” kits to collect a sample and mail it back for results.
    • Connect callers to local organizations for assistance locating other testing options in their community, including in-home testing programs or transportation or companion support to visit a community-based testing site.

Call 888-677-1199 Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Eastern) or email DIAL@usaginganddisability.org.

Need more tests?

If you are covered by Medicare:

  • Medicare will pay for up to eight free over-the-counter COVID-19 tests per month, including tests that are more accessible. This includes people with Medicare Advantage plans.
  • Call ahead to make sure your local retailer has the tests you need in stock.
  • Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) with any questions.

If you have private insurance, your insurer may provide reimbursement for more accessible tests:

  • Call your plan to learn more about how they will reimburse you for the cost of tests.
  • Call ahead to make sure your local retailer has them in stock.

Florida’s Purple Alert Program Starts July 1st

Purplke Alert sign

What is it and why do I need to know about this?

A Purple Alert can be issued when an adult goes missing who is at least 18-years-old and has:

  • A mental or cognitive disability that is not Alzheimer’s or Dementia
  • An intellectual or developmental disability
  • A brain injury
  • Another physical, mental, or emotional disability not related to substance abuse

Follow the link below for more details.

Family Center on Deafness Conducts Survey

FCD logo

Family Center on Deafness, in partnership with Jabil Electronic Manufacturing Solutions (EMS) and St. Petersburg Instructional Technology Center for Public Safety have created a brand new survey to collect data on ALL people in Florida with any degree of hearing loss.  Currently, the most accurate data was collected in the year 2000!  

Florida residents, either full time or part time who are Deaf or hard of hearing are asked to complete this survey.  To get the most data we are asking everyone to share with their D/HH friends in Florida. 

The link to the survey is: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FCD

Thank you in advance for completing this important survey and for sharing with others who are deaf or hard of hearing!

JP-PAS Program Lends Needed Support, Gains Terrific ROI

JR Harding head shot

“The Florida Legislature got it right by passing the “James Patrick Memorial Work Incentive Personal Attendant Services and Employment Assistance Program” in 2002. The program’s goal was to mitigate personal care costs by collecting and using a portion of delinquent sales tax dollars.”

If you want to learn more about the JP-PAS Program, see: http://www.floridacils.org/pca-services-program

JP-PAS Program Overview

Every morning, working people in Florida wake up and lie in bed…thinking ahead to their day..ideas to try out…plans to make…projects due…reports to be written. Some of these people have something extra on their minds…the arrival of their Personal Care Attendant (PCA) who will transfer them out of bed, bathe them, assist with catheter and bowel management, dress them, and get them out the door, because without this assistance they can’t go to work.

Persons with severe and chronic disabilities have tough choices with respect to how they live their lives – they can depend on meager government support, family members, and social service agencies, they can live in a nursing home, or they can work for a living to support themselves.

If they work, they have the opportunity to have what other people have – to live a self directed, community-based life that includes interaction with family and friends, productivity and meaning. Research indicates that people with disabilities want to work and they can work. Persons with disabilities of all kinds use accessible technology and accommodations to enable them to work in jobs and professions of all kinds.

To work, persons with severe and chronic disabilities need assistance with basic activities of daily living, like dressing, grooming and eating. They receive this help from a Personal Care Attendant (PCA) who must be reliable, honest, capable and affordable.

This is where things get difficult. PCA expenses range from $500 to over $2,000 per month; for persons with disabilities this expense is a disincentive and a great barrier to gaining and maintaining employment. This is especially true for young people with disabilities transitioning from home into their first job. To address this barrier, in 2005, the Florida Legislature established the Personal Care Attendant Program for persons who have quadriplegia as a result of a spinal cord injury.

In 2006, the Florida Legislature created a pilot project to determine if the program could be expanded to serve persons with severe and chronic disabilities of all types. In 2008, the Florida Legislature merged the two programs to create the James Patrick Memorial Work Incentive PAS Program for persons with all types of disabilities who need help with at least two activities of daily living.

Funding for the PCA program comes from the Tax Collection Enforcement Diversion Program. Currently, seven State Attorney’s offices in Florida operate a program in which unremitted sales tax is collected from delinquent business owners. In addition to the Diversion Program, the PCA program also receives revenues from the Bikers Care specialty motorcycle license plate.

The JP-PAS program is administered by the Florida Association of Centers for Independent Living and is governed by the JP-PAS Oversight Committee. The statutorily mandated Oversight Committee’s purpose is to assure that this program is delivered in an appropriate, fair and consistent manner according to FS 413.402.

The Florida Legislature and Governor Charlie Crist approved this program because they know that people with disabilities

  • Contribute a wide range of skills and talents to the workforce
  • Pay taxes – according to a survey done by the Able Trust in 1999, working persons with disabilities put 23% of their income back into the economy by paying taxes
  • Create jobs for and pay personal care attendants
  • Spend money in the community
  • Act as role models to young people with disabilities
  • Would be more likely to remain out of a nursing home because they are employed, independent, and assisted by a personal care attendant

For more information, see: https://www.floridacils.org/pca-services-program

James Patrick Memorial Work Incentive Personal Attendant Services and Employee Assistance Program

The JP-PAS Program was created by the Florida Legislature to help working adults with disabilities obtain and maintain competitive and integrated employment. The program provides financial assistance to individuals with disabilities who are gainfully employed and require assistance from a personal care attendant (PCA) for at least two activities of daily living such as ambulation, bathing, dressing, eating, grooming, and other similar tasks. Participants will receive a monthly stipend to help cover the cost of personal care services they rely upon to help with daily activities. Additionally, applicants must be a Florida resident and at least 18 years of age.

For additional information about this program and how to apply, visit www.floridacils.org/pca-services-program or contact the JP-PAS Program Office at (850) 575-6004.

JP-PAS Program Testimonial

JR behind the wheel of his hand controlled vehicle

JR has a successful career supported by the JP-PAS Program. His message: “Are you working? Sitting on the sidelines of life and watching it go was very frustrating. The possibilities of a full and active life are endless through gainful employment! JP-PAS Program is a fantastic Florida tool to help you move from dependency to self-sufficiency, empowerment, and a world of choices. Try work, you might like it!”

JP-PAS is a phenomenal program that pays for a personal care attendant so you can work competitively. Get started today by calling (850) 575-6004 or emailing jppas@floridacils.org  today!