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

To be eligible for services, a person must have a confirmed diagnosis of a developmental disability prior to age 18 years.

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 Settings. Individuals in the community may live in their own home, a family home, or group home. The needs of people in the community range from requiring minimal or limited support to needing more extensive support to remain in the community. During Fiscal Year 2018-19, the agency served 34,732 individuals in the community who were active on the iBudget waiver.
  • Developmental Disability Centers. Some adults with developmental disabilities cannot be well served in home or community settings and therefore reside in state-run institutional settings. The two state-run developmental disability centers, located in Gainesville and Marianna, provide structured care 24 hours per day, including social outings, team sports, therapeutic hobbies, trade-skill development, and employment in a campus-like setting. During Fiscal Year 2018-19, the centers provided services to an average daily population of 540 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.  DDDP is a residential service provided in a secure setting for criminal defendants with a diagnosis of intellectual disability or autism. 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 and is not a part of the waiver program.  The agency also has 34 secure beds in the Pathways program located at Sunland Center and an additional 21 beds (11 secure and 10 non-secure) are in the Seguin facility located at Tacachale. The Seguin facility is an unlicensed forensic program for individuals with developmental disabilities. During Fiscal Year 2018-19, the average daily population to whom the DDDP provided services was 145 individuals.
  • Intermediate Care Facilities. 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, and coordination and integration of health and rehabilitative services. Individuals served in intermediate care facilities tend to be the most severely disabled, e.g., those requiring respirators and feeding tubes. These settings are designed to provide the highest level of intervention and supports. During Fiscal Year 2018-19, Florida intermediate care facilities provided services to an average daily population of 2,533 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 (also available in 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. As of July 2020, the agency reported 22,986 individuals requesting enrollment in a waiver that could not be enrolled. During Fiscal Year 2018-19, six individuals with critical needs on the wait list were enrolled in the APD Home and Community-Based Services Medicaid waiver and received services in their local communities.

How does the agency track performance?

The agency tracks key performance measures in its Long Range Program Plan. In Fiscal Year 2018-19, the agency reported that 94.1% of people receiving services met key health, safety, and quality of life measures, exceeding the approved standard of 77.9%. The agency also reported serving 4,457 clients via supported living, which did not meet the agency's goal of serving 5,600 individuals. In addition, the agency reported that 39% of clients were employed in integrated settings, exceeding the approved standard of 27%.

How are these activities funded?

The Legislature appropriates additional funding to the Agency for Health Care Administration for services through intermediate care facilities.
Fiscal Year: 2020-21
Fund Dollars Positions


Individuals with Disabilities. The 2020 Legislature enacted Ch. 2020-71, Laws of Florida, which makes operational changes to the iBudget program by eliminating the statutory criteria for authorizing supplemental funding for a client, and instead, creates a standard definition of a "significant additional need" to judge supplemental funding requests. This process will be centralized at APD headquarters. The bill also requires waiver support coordinators to be employed by qualified waiver support coordination agencies, establishes criteria for those agencies, and requires all service providers to bill for services and submit all required documentation through the agency's electronic client data management system. The bill also repeals a directive requiring APD to develop and submit a waiver redesign plan if program deficits continue in the current fiscal year and eliminates the requirement to submit a plan to address spending deficits in future. 

iConnect. The agency's planned roll-out of iConnect, a centralized data management system, is progressing. The Florida Legislature appropriated over $3.5 million in FY 2019-20 to continue the implementation of this statewide system for management, reporting, and trending of data for all agency clients. The agency completed APD iConnect system training of APD staff and Waiver Support Coordinators (WSCs) in October 2018. The first rollout of APD iConnect to APD Staff and WSCs was completed in December 2018. Plans are in place for a second rollout in 2020 to providers.  The system will be phased in because of the large number of users and available functions. When completed, APD expects that iConnect will house the records of more than 56,000 clients and is part of the agency’s strategy to more efficiently manage ever increasing caseloads.

The Agency for Persons with Disabilities is responding to COVID-19, and as of June 2020, its response to the global pandemic has included the following. 

  • All APD buildings remained closed to the public.
  • Family visits in facilities are only allowed in the case of end of life situation.
  • If the family wishes to take their family member home or for an outing they may do so.  Prior to reentry into a group home or ICF, the individual must pass a pre-screening questionnaire.

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)