Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability
Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Agency for Persons with Disabilities

What is the purpose of the agency?

The agency supports persons with developmental disabilities in living, learning, and working in their communities.

Who is eligible to receive services?

The agency serves Floridians with developmental disabilities as defined in Ch. 393, Florida Statutes. This includes individuals with the following disabilities.

  • Autism
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Spina bifida
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Down syndrome
  • Prader-Willi syndrome
  • Phelan-McDermid syndrome
  • Children aged 3-5 who are at a high risk of a developmental disability

What services are provided?

The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) works with local communities and private providers to support people who have developmental disabilities and their families in living, learning, and working in their communities; provides assistance in identifying the service needs of people with developmental disabilities; and educates the public on disability issues while focusing attention on employment for people with disabilities.

  • Home and Community-Based Services (HBCS). The HCBS waiver is the agency's largest program, providing Floridians who are eligible for Medicaid services an alternative to institutional-based care. Known as the iBudget Florida waiver, the program provides social, medical, behavioral, and therapeutic services and living arrangements in the community. As of June 30, 2020, there was a total of 35,073 individuals in the community who were active on the iBudget waiver.
  • Developmental Disability Centers (DDCs). The two state-run developmental disability centers, located in Gainesville and Marianna, provide structured care 24 hours per day, including social outings, team sports, community events, learning a trade, and working onsite. During Fiscal Year 2019-20, the centers provided services to an average daily population of 528 individuals.
  • Developmental Disabilities Defendant Program (DDDP). Individuals with developmental disabilities charged with committing a felony crime may be court-ordered into the agency’s DDDP. DDDP is a 146-bed secure facility located in Chattahoochee for defendants with developmental disabilities who are deemed incompetent to participate in their own defense or stand trial. In this program, residents with a secure court order receive competency training and other services in accordance with their needs. This is not a voluntary residential setting. The agency also has 34 secure beds in the Pathways program located at Sunland. During Fiscal Year 2019-20, the average daily population to whom the DDDP provided services was 106 individuals.
  • Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (IFC/IDD). Intermediate care facilities provide health and rehabilitative services to individuals with developmental disabilities in a protected residential setting. Services include ongoing evaluation, service planning, 24-hour supervision, coordination and integration of health/rehabilitative services to help individual's with severe disabilities function at their greatest ability. Individuals served in intermediate care facilities tend to be the most severely disabled, including, those requiring respirators and feeding tubes. These settings are designed to provide the highest level of intervention and supports funded by the federal government for people with developmental disabilities. During Fiscal Year 2019-20, Florida intermediate care facilities provided services to an average daily population of 1,859 individuals.

How do people apply for services?

People who have or might have a developmental disability may apply for services by completing an application for services (available on the agency's website in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole) and hand delivering or mailing it to the agency's local area office where the applicant lives.

What limits apply to program services?

The iBudget system allows the state to receive federal Medicaid matching payments for services provided to developmentally disabled persons in the community. Because there are not enough home and community-based services waiver slots to serve all eligible persons, the agency maintains a waitlist of individuals who have requested services. The agency reported that there were 22,939 individuals on the iBudget waitlist as of June 1, 2021, and that during Fiscal Year 2019-20, 1,003 individuals had been moved from the waitlist to the iBudget waiver.

How does the agency track performance?

The agency tracks key performance measures in its Long Range Program Plan. In Fiscal Year 2019-20, the agency reported that 89.3% of people receiving services met key health, safety, and quality of life measures, which did not meet the approved standard of 92.0%. The agency also reported serving 4,794 clients via supported living, which exceeded the agency's approved standard of serving 4,000 individuals. In addition, the agency reported that 40% of clients were employed in integrated settings, exceeding the approved standard of 30%.

How are these activities funded?

Fiscal Year: 2021-22
Fund Dollars Positions


HCBS Applicants. The 2021 Florida legislature enacted Ch. 2021-100, Laws of Florida, which directs the agency to provide certain information to individuals applying for the Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waiver services, regardless of eligibility for such services. The information is required to be provided in writing to the applicant, their parent, legal guardian, or a family member annually. The law also requires APD to provide a written disclosure stating that each program and service has its own eligibility requirements and that APD does not guarantee eligibility or enrollment. The information and disclaimer must also be posted on the agency's website.

iConnect. The implementation APD iConnect, a centralized client data management system, continues to progress. The Florida Legislature appropriated over $1.5 million in FY 2020-21 to continue the implementation of this statewide system for management, reporting, and trending of data for all agency clients. The agency successfully completed the second rollout of APO iConnect in Fiscal Year 2019-20. This rollout included two key interfaces with the Florida Medicaid Management Information System (FMMIS): Consumer Eligibility and Service Prior-Authorizations. Additionally, the agency is preparing for the next rollout of APD iConnect to occur in Fiscal Year 2020-21. It will include functionality comprised of client budgets, service plans, service authorizations, and Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) for personal care services. This functionality will be rolled out to APD staff, Waiver Support Coordinators, and a segment of direct service providers with specific service authorizations (e.g., personal care services). According to the agency, APD iConnect will house the records of more than 58,000 client records when completed.

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

A complete list of related OPPAGA reports is available on our website.

Where can I get more information?

Other Reports
The Auditor General reports on agency operations are available on its website.
Agency Reports, Agency for Persons with Disabilities.
Websites of Interest
Agency for Persons with Disabilities
Agency for Persons with Disabilities, iBudget
Florida Family Care Council
Disability Rights Florida
Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities
Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, Inc.
The Arc of Florida
Performance Information
Performance measures and standards for the department may be found in its Long Range Program Plan.

What are the applicable statutes?

Chapters 393, 400, and 916, Florida Statutes.

Whom do I contact for help?

Agency for Persons with Disabilities, 850-488-4257 or 1-866-APD-CARES (1-866-273-2273)