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By Sunrise Group on June 9, 2016

Don’t Miss Sunrise Speakers at the 18th Annual Family Cafe in Orlando!

This year’s 18th Annual Family Cafe will once again include more than 160 breakout sessions on relevant topics, a series of engaging keynote events, an Exhibit Hall with dozens of booths, and plenty of opportunities for connecting with other families. Sunrise professionals from the northern and southern ends of the state will converge in Orlando to provide outreach and education designed to prevent abuse, neglect, and exploitation of people with disabilities as well as to empower self-advocates and allies with the tools of online advocacy. Come see us on Friday in Bayhill 20 at 4:30 p.m. for the latest and greatest on online advocacy and stop by Bayhill 29 the next morning at 11:00 a.m. to learn about the recently launched “Respect Every Ability” Campaign. See you there!

By Sunrise Group on June 6, 2016

Public Policy: Plan To End Subminimum Wage Stirs Debate

The presidential nominees’ call to raise the minimum wage for Americans with disabilities who earn pennies per hour has families and caregivers fiercely debating whether the real benefit of the jobs comes from pay or an intangible sense of self-worth. The lower pay, permitted by a policy in place since 1938, has been scrapped for federally contracted employees.. The issue, with shades of the national row over raising the minimum wage to $15, is hardly one of economics alone. It pits individuals’ capability and dignity against a business model built on a cheap labor pool. Sunrise supports the option that allows workers to choose from a wide array of employment options. Which side of the debate do you support?

By Sunrise Group on June 3, 2016

Inclusive Voices: Self-Advocates Take on Hollywood

Hollywood has a history of snubbing minority groups, but there’s been some incremental progress recently. Just look at “Master of None,” “Creed,” “Transparent,” “Straight Outta Compton” and “Fresh Off the Boat.” Disabled characters, however, remain an anomaly, and when they do show up, they’re usually either tragic victims or sources of inspiration. That may be changing. Self-advocates are outraged at the new movie “Me Before You” for its disabled lead character who feels his life is no longer worth living. Going forward, there’s pressure for other writers to get it right. Next up is “Speechless,” a sitcom starring Minnie Driver as the mother of a disabled boy, and the movie “The Fundamentals of Caring,” in which Paul Rudd plays a young man’s caregiver. Thanks to the response to “Me Before You,” those projects face a new world, in which disability activists feel more empowered than ever to share their feelings.

By Sunrise Group on June 1, 2016

Letter from the President: 40 Years and Growing

It is with personal regret but warm wishes that Sunrise announces the retirement of our President & CEO, Les Leech, effective June 30. Les’ departure marks the end of an era for Sunrise Community. He was the leader who expanded Sunrise operations outside the state of Florida, managed through the devastation of Hurricane Andrew and tirelessly fought for community inclusion and the rights of people with disabilities. We are indebted to his vision and commitment for propelling us to our present position in the industry. His work has assured our established a strong foundation for our future success. In his last letter from the President, Les shares his thoughts on Sunrise’s future.

By Sunrise Group on May 23, 2016

Inclusive Voices: Hometown Paradise

Ah vacation. How many of us don’t sometimes wish we could escape the hustle, bustle, & day-to-day responsibilities of our normal lives for a week of fun and relaxation somewhere far, far away? The truth is that for many of us a traditional vacation is not always in the cards. Between restaurants, hotels, and transportation, travel costs can add up fast especially when those costs are multiplied for a family. And even when the cost isn’t a factor, sometimes physical limitations, transportation and accessibility issues or health concerns prevent us from leaving town anytime the urge strikes. But who says you can’t enjoy a “staycation” in your own backyard? Cape Coral Sunbeam writer shares his favorite hometown spot.

By Sunrise Group on May 20, 2016

National Public Policy: Disability Providers Get Reprieve From New Wage Rule

The U.S. Department of Labor is giving disability providers more time to comply with a new rule expanding overtime pay amid concerns that the change could negatively impact services for people with disabilities. After heeding widespread concerns from providers of home and community based services to people with developmental disabilities, the administration announced its committing to delay enforcement of the new mandate for such providers through March 17, 2019. The Labor Department said that the non-enforcement period will apply to providers of Medicaid-funded services to people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in residential homes and facilities with 15 or fewer beds.