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By Sunrise Group on April 1, 2016

April is National Autism Awareness Month!

April is National Autism Awareness Month! Having just past its 30th year, National Autism Awareness Month remains singular in its focus to promote awareness, acceptance, inclusion and appreciation for all individuals living with an autism diagnosis. Awareness is just the first step in the journey to improve the lives of those affected by autism. Awareness must lead to acceptance and acceptance must lead to action. True progress is achieved when individuals diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder are appreciated for their unique contributions to society.

By Sunrise Group on March 29, 2016

Public Policy: Disability Providers Warn Overtime Rule May Impact Services

A federal proposal to require overtime pay for many professionals who support people with disabilities living in the community could force service cuts, providers say. That change could have big consequences for people with disabilities. An analysis commissioned by ANCOR suggests that paying overtime for workers who are currently exempt will add over $1 billion in costs for agencies serving those with disabilities in the first year alone. That’s a problem, ANCOR says, since providers are paid primarily through Medicaid. “That is why we are calling on Congress to pass legislation to provide states with temporary assistance to increase Medicaid funding support for providers accordingly so that they can afford to comply with this rule and other unfunded mandates like it,” said Gabrielle Sedor, chief operations officer at ANCOR.

By Sunrise Group on March 23, 2016

Kevin E. Vance Elected Interim Chairman of Sunrise Board of Directors

Kevin E. Vance, a partner in the Miami law offices of Duane Morris, has been elected Interim Chairman of Sunrise’s Board of Directors. “I am honored to be elected chairman of such a remarkable organization that is devoted to strengthening communities and ensuring people with disabilities become full participants in community life,” said Vance. “I look forward to working alongside the Board to further the organization’s mission and continue to impact the lives of so many deserving individuals.” Sunrise looks forward to the upcoming year and Mr. Vance’s strong leadership.

By Sunrise Group on March 21, 2016

CBS4’s Ted Scouten To Emcee Sunrise’s 10th Annual Magnolia Gala

Sunrise announced that CBS4’s Ted Scouten will Emcee the festivities at its upcoming 10th Annual Magnolia Gala. “We are so pleased continue our working partnership with CBS4’s talent pool. We believe that Ted’s personal connection to the greater disabilities community is perfectly aligned with Sunrise’s mission,” said Les Leech, Sunrise President & CEO. Scouten is the youngest of five adopted children, the oldest two of which are developmentally disabled. As a sibling, Ted is a strong advocate for adoption, diversity and for the inclusion of people with intellectual and physical disabilities. ” This makes him the perfect emcee for a night celebrating people of all abilities… plus, he is a lot of fun!” added Leech. Get your tickets early!

By Sunrise Group on March 14, 2016

Lakeland ADT Welcomes Its Newest Pet Therapists

For years, Sunrise’s Lakeland Training program (TEC) had a resident tetra-pod or “Aves” — yes, a bird therapist named Ramsey. Ending a successful career of dedicated service, Ramsey recently retired and went on to new opportunities with a very loving family. While both excited and happy about Ramsey’s golden retirement, day center program trainees and staff alike missed their daily interactions with a pet therapist. Enter “Dr.” Willow and her associate, “Dr.” Bubba. Working with Lakeland’s ASPCA, Sunrise’s Chief Philanthropy Officer, Rebecca McGuire, arranged for the adoption of two felines for TEC’s training center. Feline “office hours” opened on Friday, March 11th. Please help us welcome our youngest, furriest and cuddliest pet therapists to the Lakeland Training Center!

By Sunrise Group on March 11, 2016

Florida’s Governor Scott Includes People With Disabilities To Make Florida First!

On Thursday, March 10, 2016, self-advocates and staff from Sunrise operations in Tallahassee made their way to the Capitol to award appreciation plaques to the Governor, Senate President, Speaker of the House and other key legislative champions that worked to include Floridians of all abilities in this year’s record $8.2 Billion State Budget. Florida’s House and Senate put together a spending plan for this year that increases the state budget by roughly 5 percent. Sunrise was represented at the appreciation awards by self-advocates from UCP Tallahassee’s LifeLinks program, Jeremiah Johnson and Grant Williams. UCP LifeLinks Program Coordinator, Sarah Whittington, and Direct Support Associate, Shareka Frazier accompanied the self-advocates as they met with Florida’s legislative leaders to thank them for their support of people with intellectual and physical disabilities.