Reporting Abuse, Voting Rights, Physical Restraints

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IMPORTANT NEWS & UPDATES

If You See Abuse, Report It

If You Don’t, Who Will?

If you see abuse of a child or a vulnerable adult, report it.   Don’t overthink it.  Don’t second guess yourself.   Don’t try to do an investigation yourself.  Simply call the abuse hotline at 1-800-962-2873.   You do not even have to provide your own name to make a report.  Call the hotline at 1-800-962-2873 and a Hotline counselor will interview you.  It is the counselor’s job to decide if your report needs to be investigated.  The Hotline has counselors available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  If you have a loved one in a facility or group home, talk to them about abuse and give them this number.  They can report abuse too.

If you already made an abuse report, and you see abuse again, report it again.  Unfortunately, some people and/ or organizations are reported many times.
For example, Carlton Palms, a residential facility for persons with disabilities, has received 140 abuse / neglect reports, and counting.

Everyone, including professionally mandatory reporters, should contact the Florida Abuse Hotline when they know or have reasonable cause to suspect that a child or a vulnerable adult has been abused, abandoned, neglected, or exploited. The Abuse Hotline Counselor will determine if the information provided meets legal requirements to accept a report for investigation.  All reports are confidential.   You do not have to give your name in order to make a report. Florida Abuse Hotline Counselors will not acknowledge the existence of any report, will not acknowledge that they have previously spoken to a particular caller, nor will they release any information provided by a caller or any information contained in a report.

To make a report you can:
– Report online at https://reportabuse.dcf.state.fl.us/
– Call 1-800-962-2873
– Use 711 for Florida Relay Services
– Fax your report to 1-800-914-0004
READ MORE
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Upcoming Events:

– 6th Annual SportsAbility October 3-4, 2014. (Flyer)

– October 6, 2014 Deadline to Register to Vote

_______________________________________________Read more here:http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/article2102470.html#storylink=cpy

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Don’t Like It?  Vote!

Most Persons With Disabilities Have The Right To Vote

Persons with disabilities have been ignored too long.  The 20,000 person wait list for services is too long.  Many of the hoops people need to jump through to get services are unnecessary. Group homes are allowed to stay open after multiple abuse / neglect reports.    There is one proven way to make change.  Vote. Vote and be counted.

This will be an interesting election year for Florida. Both Charlie Crist & Rick Scott have had their chance in office. Hopefully people will remember what each has done at the BEGINNING of their term, and not just the sweet stuff at the end. Everyone needs to vote this year. Remember, people with disabilities have the right to vote (unless taken away in court). Vote! These elections are extremely close every year and you WILL make a difference if you vote.
If you want your legislators to listen to your concerns, get registered to vote, then get in line to vote!  Voting helps to determine which laws will be passed.  Politicians look at which communities are active in the political process and will address their needs first compared to those who aren’t registered and who don’t vote. It is a right and a privilege to vote.

People who have a disability almost always have the right to vote. The only exception is if that right is taken away in a court of law. There are only two ways you can lose your right to vote under Florida law:

  1. 1) A judge can take away your right to vote if the judge finds that you are mentally incapacitated with respect to voting.
  2. 2) A person who has been convicted of a felony and whose civil rights have been suspended, may not vote unless the right to vote has been restored.

Only a court can take away your right to vote. No one else-  not a guardian advocate, not an election official, not a caregiver, not a family member or anyone else, has the legal authority to prevent you from voting.
Having a disability does not disqualify you from voting.

If you have any issue with voting or registering to vote due to a disability, please contact our Voting Rights Hotline at1-800-342-0823 extension 6000.

Monday, October 6, 2014 is the last day to register to vote if you plan on voting in the 2014 General Election.  Election day is November 4th.
If you live in Florida, you can check HERE to see if you are already registered to vote. 
To Vote in Florida:

  • You must be a resident of Florida
  • You must be a United States Citizen
  • You must be at least 18 years old on or before Election Day
  • You must be registered to vote.

Need help with voting? This nonpartisan web site was created by state election officials to help eligible voters figure out how and where to go vote.
http://www.canivote.org/

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Restraint in Developmental Disability Facilities

Including group homes, Developmental Disability Centers (DDC), and the Comprehensive Transitional Education Program (CTEP or “Carlton Palms”)

In Florida, an individual who has a developmental disability (DD) can only be restrained to control behaviors that create an emergency or crisis situation. Restraint is not to be used as punishment, to compensate for inadequate staffing or for the convenience of staff.  Each facility or provider must have policies and procedures related to the use of restraints that follow the standards outlined in the Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.) 65G-8. Florida law has specific requirements about who can provide restraints and what training they require; how long the restraints can be used; and what circumstances call for the use of restraints. READ MORE

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