Save the Adults With Disabilities Grant
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WHITE PAPER/ POLICY BRIEF
Adults with Disabilities (AWD) Program
Nearly 20 years ago the State began funding an AWD program that was designed to provide intellectual stimulation, life and job skills lessons, quality of life, and other services for those with a wide range of intellectual disabilities. During the 2015 Florida Legislative Session, $10 million in statewide funding for the AWD program was omitted from the final budget passed by the Florida Legislature and presented to the Governor. AWD funding has historically been distributed to state colleges and school districts across the state, who then contract with community providers for services. The program has served more than 13,000 intellectually and physically disabled Floridians statewide. Broward County Schools made the unprecedented decision to fund the AWD program during the 2015-16 school year. Concerned parents, teachers, and caregivers fought a year long battle to have the AWD funding reinstated and were successful after a trip to Tallahassee as well as meetings with local Broward politicians and influential people.
Presently, Broward County Public Schools uses AWD funding to provide services for 375 adult students with disabilities at Seagull Alternative High School and Whispering Pines Off Campus Programs during the present 2016-17 year.
Broward County Public Schools, parents and caregivers urge the Florida Legislature to refund the AWD program.
Broward County Public Schools is the 6th largest school district in the nation and the second largest in the State of Florida. The District serves over 265,000 students, of which more than 31,000 have disabilities.
We encourage the Florida Legislature to support the funding of the AWD program which impacts the lives of 375 intellectually disabled adults and their families.
For 20 years, more the 13,0000 Floridians with disabilities have relied on this funding provided by the AWD Grant. The Florida Legislature should refund the AWD Grant for 2017-18 and future years without having to fight each year to retain funding. We, the teachers, parents and caregivers urge the Legislature to do the right thing and find a resolution that continues services to those served by the AWD Grant.
Please sign and repost this petition if you agree that a quality program funded by the State is important for adults with disabilities and their families.
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