Goals, Priorities & Objectives 2020

For over 40 years, Florida’s statewide Protection and Advocacy system has advocated for the civil rights of Floridians with disabilities.

This summer, we asked you to provide input on what you would like to see our organization accomplish over the next year. You told us what disability issues are most important to you, and the results of our 2020 Public Input Survey (PDF) helped us learn what you have on your mind.

Your responses played an integral role in formulating the following Board-approved Goals, Priorities, and Objectives for Fiscal Year 2019-20.

Goal 1. Increase opportunities for independence and community integration by eliminating barriers to inclusion.

Priority 1. Improve the transition-to-independence process for individuals with disabilities of all ages. (PADD, PAIMI, CAP, PAAT, PAIR, PATBI, PABSS)

  • Objective 1. Students who are negotiating the transition process from secondary education to post-secondary education or employment will have supports and services to ensure successful outcomes.
  • Objective 2. Individuals with disabilities receiving benefits will not be penalized for obtaining competitive employment.
  • Objective 3. Individuals with disabilities shall have access to long-term care programs that encourage individual choice and community-based service delivery.

Priority 2. Improve access to safe, affordable integrated housing and comprehensive, effective emergency planning and management within inclusive communities. (PADD, PAIMI, CAP, PAAT, PAIR, PATBI, PABSS)

  • Objective 1. Advocate for meaningful inclusion of the varied needs of all individuals with disabilities in all levels of emergency and disaster planning, preparation, and response.
  • Objective 2. Individuals with disabilities will have access to a variety of inclusive residential options within their chosen community.
  • Objective 3. Encourage development of appropriate and accessible programs and services, including transportation, recreation, and emergency shelters that support inclusion within fully integrated communities.

Priority 3. Advocate for free and appropriate educational opportunities. (PADD, PAIMI, CAP, PAAT, PAIR, PATBI)

  • Objective 1. Students in public schools will receive reasonable accommodations, supports and related services and will have access to education in the least restrictive educational environment.
  • Objective 2. Investigate denials of free and appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment, including restraint, seclusion and other inappropriate discipline, review of increased use of Baker Act in schools, and implement appropriate strategies to protect this educational entitlement.

Priority 4. Identify and address abuse, neglect and rights violations in facilities using appropriate available strategies. (PADD, PAIMI, PAIR, PAAT, PATBI, PAVA)

  • Objective 1. Respond to complaints of rights violations in facilities using authorized protection and advocacy system tools.
  • Objective 2. Investigate complaints of abuse or neglect, including restraint or seclusion of adults in congregate community placements or public and private facilities, including forensic programs, jails, prisons, and detention centers or other institution-like settings.
  • Objective 3. Investigate complaints of abuse or neglect, including restraint or seclusion of youth in congregate community places, or public and private facilities, including schools, forensic programs, detention facilities, jails, prisons or other institution-like settings. 

Priority 5. Challenge barriers to equal opportunity and autonomy. (All Grants)

  • Objective 1. Maximize successful employment outcomes through education and advocacy for individuals eligible for career programs such as Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Division of Blind Services, Ticket-to-Work, etc.
  • Objective 2. Ensure individuals with disabilities receive appropriate accommodations in the workplace.
  • Objective 3. Promote full participation in the electoral process for individuals with disabilities to include educating candidates on campaign accessibility and encouraging exercise of constitutional rights. 
  • Objective 4. Ensure individuals with disabilities have equal access to places, programs and services. 

Priority 6. Advance Supported Decision Making as a means of self-determination for people with disabilities. (All Grants)

  • Objective 1.  Promote independence through alternatives to guardianship, such as supported decision-making.
  • Objective 2.  Educate legal actors and the community regarding supported decision making as an alternative to guardianship.
  • Objective 3. Review and analyze supported decision-making legislation and changes to Florida’s guardianship laws to further the self-determination for people with disabilities.
  • Objective 4. Organize stakeholders to collaborate on the use of supported decision making for people with disabilities, including implementation and best practices.

Priority 7. Collaborate with state and local disability advocates to identify and resolve issues that decrease community integration and independence. (All Grants)

  • Objective 1.  Continue to partner with public and private organizations. committed to increasing access to opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
  • Objective 2.  Improve efforts to identify systemic issues from individual service requests.
  • Objective 3.  Adult and juvenile ex-offenders shall have access to community reentry programs regardless of disability.
  • Objective 4.  Improve outreach to veterans with service-related disabilities and increase awareness of and access to services that will enable successful transition to civilian life.
  • Objective 5.  Advocate for the preservation and expansion of Medicaid coverage and benefit options for individuals with disabilities.
  • Objective 6.  Promote the integration of peer services and support within recovery-oriented systems of care for both youth and adults with disabilities.
  • Objective 7.  Advocate for law enforcement to ensure competency necessary to recognize the symptoms of mental illness and other disabilities, and appropriately and safely provide crisis intervention services.


Goal 2.  Evaluate DRF services to individuals with disabilities to ensure consistent excellence in service delivery at all levels.

Priority 1.  Continually improve the intake and case-management process across the agency. (All Grants)

  • Objective 1.  Hire diverse staff, especially individuals with disabilities and Spanish-speaking staff.
  • Objective 2.  Promote regular cross team training opportunities across the agency for intake and program staff.
  • Objective 3.  Use client feedback through year-round surveys to consistently improve DRF services.
  • Objective 4. Set consistent timeframes for different stages of the case management process and evaluate results.

Priority 2.  Hire and retain quality staff. (All Grants)

  • Objective 1.  Implement compensation study recommendations.
  • Objective 2.  Evaluate and implement learning management systems for all agency staff.

Priority 3.  Increase pro-bono counsel to allow us to work on more cases. (PADD, PAIMI, CAP, PAAT, PAIR, PATBI, PABSS)


Goal 3.  Increase awareness of our work, particularly among people with disabilities and their families.

Priority 1.  Raise public awareness about DRF and the issues we work on. (All Grants)

  • Objective 1.  Hire a Director of Communications and Outreach.
  • Objective 2.  Implement a communications plan that includes traditional and new media.

Priority 2.  Increase public engagement and dialogue through training and information. (All Grants)

  • Objective 1.  Highlight the scope of services and resources available to individuals with disabilities through information and referral, outreach and social media.
  • Objective 2.  Individuals with psychiatric disabilities and families of students with psychiatric disabilities shall receive improved information and referral on available programs and services.


Goal 4.  Provide leadership on disability issues.

Priority 1.  Craft and implement a public policy agenda. (All Grants)

  • Objective 1.  Research, monitor and analyze data and other information; communicate information to legislative and executive officials at the federal, state and local levels.
  • Objective 2.  Monitor state and national legislation and regulations and comment as necessary.
  • Objective 3.  Educate policymakers at local, state and national levels through events and meetings including via DRF board engagement.

Priority 2.  Engage stakeholders including other disability-focused organizations in our work, seek to work in coalition when possible. (All Grants)

  • Objective 1.  Lead in convening stakeholders to identify and act on issues of mutual concern.
  • Objective 2.  Communicate DRF priorities, actions and reports on a regular basis to stakeholders.