Tarpon Springs Accepts Forward Foundation Grant for MobiMat at Sunset Beach

It’s been a long road of advocacy, but with the Forward Foundation’s grants to beach facing municipalities to install beach access mats, that road has an end in sight! Tarpon Springs unanimously and happily authorized the acceptance of the grant during Tuesday evening’s Commission meeting. The most telling comment, “Why didn’t we think of this first?” indicates that advocacy for equal access for all persons, especially those living with disabilities, must robustly continue!

So, what happens next? The City already submitted their planned drawing to FWC for review and comment. Once the response is received, the mat will be ordered, and placed upon arrival! We look forward to a ribbon cutting to celebrate this wonderful advancement!

Continued thanks to the Forward Foundation and HelpUsGather.org #HelpUsGather for recognizing the need to include everyone on our area’s most precious resource, our sandy beaches!

USA Patriots Amputee Softball Team is Coming To Madeira Beach on 10/23

Join the City of Madeira Beach as they play host to the USA Patriots – Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team for a day of fun surrounding a charity softball game. The USA Patriots will be spending Friday – Sunday in Madeira Beach, visiting with military support organizations like the American Legion and VFW as well as enjoying their time in Florida, all while raising awareness for their underlying objective which is raising money for their fully funded summer camp for Amputee Children. Their visit to Madeira Beach is fully supported through donations and the money raised during the softball game with the proceeds above and beyond going towards the summer camp initiative.

Admission is FREE

Dorian King Crushes Songs in ASL

I was blown away when I saw this guy! He is @defboycotton on Instagram, #defboycotton on TikToc and also on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNgSsPDK4c1cyqcOTt327Gg/featured. Enjoy!

Songs include: Ho Hey, A Horse with No Name, Changes, Atomic Dog, Purple Rain, and Stand By Me.

Do You Need Personal Assistance Services to Maintain Employment?

The Florida Association of Centers for Independent Living (FACIL) is accepting applications for the JPPAS Program. The JPPAS Program provides monthly stipends to adult Floridians with disabilities who require personal assistance services to maintain employment.
Check out the links below to learn more about the program and the application!



Personal Care Attendant (pca) pROGRAM

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