Disabilities

Florida Lawmakers Weigh Whether To Ban Discrimination In Organ Transplants

Feb 17, 2020
Florida Senator Aaron Bean.
Sam Thomas / Fresh Take Florida

Florida's Legislature is moving toward ensuring new protections for disabled people who may need organ transplants, part of a national trend among states.

Will Dickey / Florida Times-Union

Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) is rolling out a new on-demand service transit service for people with disabilities.

Alese Bodiford
Daylina Miller

Imagine being stranded without a ride to the doctor or arriving hours late to medical appointments that your life literally depends on. Those are Florida patients’ most common grievances with a company the state pays to arrange medical transportation for people with disabilities.  


Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

The holidays are coming early for some Jacksonville children with disabilities. On Friday evening, they’re getting special vehicles and toys modified just for them.

University of North Florida students adapted the toys as part of a class that meshes engineering and physical therapy.

On Thursday, students were putting the finishing touches on the cars they’re upgrading for eight lucky patients, like Brycen, who has Down syndrome. His vehicle is a mini BMW with lots of customization.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

A Jacksonville couple wants to open a lounge serving up sweet treats and sweet music in Springfield.

The Sweet Spot and Urban Lounge is a step closer to becoming a brick and mortar location after winning a national small-business contest — and now it’s in the running for a $25,000 grand prize.

 

  Some recent state and federal legislation is meant to better the lives of people with disabilities. But at least one disability advocate here in Jacksonville says there are some unintended negatives.

Florida Senate President Andy Gardiner has made it a personal crusade to pass legislation benefiting people with intellectual disabilities.

We discuss disability issues with longtime advocate Nancy Keating, CEO of Clay County-based Challenge Enterprises.


Michelle Corum / WJCT News

Although the overall job market has improved, the U.S. Labor Department finds an increasing number of Americans with disabilities are unemployed. 

Three women living with blindness in Jacksonville are searching for jobs, and not finding any. 

Independent Living Center

Jacksonville residents are bracing for the possibility of a Category 1 hurricane. Many are buying water and stocking up on batteries.

For people living with disabilities, preparation involves more steps.

The Independent Living Resource Center has a new guide to help them keep an emergency from becoming a tragedy.


baby's shoulder
Lisa Williams via Flickr

Blaming a budget shortfall, the Florida Department of Health has laid off most of the administrators at the Early Steps program, which serves babies and toddlers with developmental disabilities and delays.

The department said the cuts won't affect services to families. But critics of the move say it will leave the program --- which gets the majority of its funding from the federal government --- unable to meet requirements that keep the money flowing.

The workers received letters of termination Thursday, advising that their last day would be March 2.

child smiling
David Biasack via Flickr

President Barack Obama has signed into law what’s being called the greatest advance in disability protection in 25 years. Northeast Florida Congressman Ander Crenshaw (R-FL4) has been pushing for passage of the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act, or ABLE Act, for nearly a decade. 

On a recent March morning, the students in Debbie Capple’s class sat in a circle in the center of the classroom. Capple held a card with the word “green.”

“Somebody help me with the green,” she asked, surveying the circle for traces of the color.

Florida Department of Education

Florida's top education official has responded  to growing concern and criticism over testing requirements for the state’s most severely disabled students.