Goals & Objectives 2017

Goal 1: Protect the rights of all individuals with disabilities

  1. Respond with all authorized protection and advocacy system tools to rights violations in facilities.
  2. Investigate complaints from youth and adults, in facilities and in community placements and implement appropriate protection and advocacy system strategies that focus on a reduction of unnecessary incarceration or involuntary commitments for those with disabilities.
  3. Investigate denials of free and appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE) and implement appropriate strategies to protect this educational entitlement.
  4. Investigate complaints regarding students who are negotiating the transition process from secondary education to post-secondary education or employment and implement appropriate strategies to increase successful outcomes.
  5. Students entitled to reasonable accommodations, supports and related services will have access to education in the least restrictive environment.
  6. Challenge discrimination based on disability in the workplace utilizing available tools that ensure inclusion under relevant state or federal law.
  7. Implement strategies to promote full participation in the electoral process, to include campaign accessibility, compliance with voter registration laws and exercise of constitutional rights.

Goal 2: Ensure full participation by individuals with disabilities in the community by applying state and federal remedies to implement systemic reform of benefits, programs, housing, employment, services, transportation, and recreation.

  1. Implement initiatives to increase availability of affordable, accessible housing within fully integrated safe communities for individuals across disabilities.
  2. Individuals shall have equal access to places, programs and services.
  3. Individuals with all disabilities, including psychiatric, will have equal access to quality health care and services with adequate treatment options at all ages.
  4. Individuals waitlisted for services from any state agency will receive those services on a reasonably timely basis in an appropriately integrated community setting.
  5. Maximize successful employment outcomes and reduce barriers through advocacy and education.
  6. Establish and coordinate collaborative relationships with other public and private organizations to reduce barriers and increase access to integrated opportunities in the private and public sector.
  7. Promote independence.
  8. Promote and monitor development of appropriate and accessible services, including transportation, emergency shelters and recreational opportunities in support of inclusion in fully integrated communities.

Goal 3: Protect individuals with disabilities in facilities from abuse and neglect.

  1. Investigate complaints of abuse or neglect, including restraint or seclusion, of adults in community placements or public and private facilities, including forensic programs, jails, detention centers and prisons. 
  2. Investigate complaints of abuse or neglect, including inappropriate restraint and seclusion, of youth in community placements or public and private facilities, including juvenile justice facilities, foster care, competency restoration programs and educational settings.
  3. Monitor facilities, group homes and other congregate living environments to evaluate compliance by providers with statute and regulations and appropriate oversight by applicable state agency.

Goal 4: Individuals with disabilities shall have knowledge of available resources, rights and responsibilities.

  1. Staff will provide prompt and thorough responses to all requests for service. Including information and referral.
  2. Training and outreach initiatives will be developed and implemented to increase public awareness of disability issues, especially within unserved, underserved or limited English proficiency populations.
  3. Implement strategies to educate policymakers at all levels on the importance of integrated communities, inclusion and reduction of stigma and monitor the effectiveness of education efforts.
  4. Increase public awareness about Disability Rights Florida through media, networking, publications and training and measure effectiveness through public input and dialogue.