APD > Employment Initiatives

Abilities Work

  • Abilities Work Flyer

  • Abilities Work Brochure

  • Employment First Interagency Cooperative Agreement - The general purpose of this interagency cooperative agreement is to provide a framework for a long-term commitment to improving employment outcomes for persons with disabilities in the State of Florida. The agencies and organizations that are parties to this agreement are fully committed to working together to improve the number and percentage of growth in competitive employment for individuals with disabilities.

Employment Enhancement Project (EEP)

APD has received special appropriation for the past 4 years to provide supported employment services to individuals on the APD Waiting List to find and maintain competitive employment and participate in meaningful internships that have a high likelihood of resulting in competitive employment. The legislature and Governor appropriated $750,000 to APD for FY 2017/18 to provide supported employment services to individuals who are on the APD Waiting List who would like to work. For each person who participates as a job seeker in the Employment Enhancement Project (EEP), APD will allocate funds to provide the following services: Supported Employment coaching to secure a good job match; Supported Employment follow-along services to help retain the job; assistance with transportation needed for work and securing paid internships as pathways to competitive employment. Individuals meeting the criteria in any Florida county may be considered for participation in the EEP. The intent is for APD, local school districts, local work force career centers, and other collaborating agencies and organizations to work together to assist young adults who are leaving school, and others who are currently on the APD Waiting List, to secure competitive employment. We anticipate having another very successful year of the EEP!

This data shows our efforts to date.

Below is a link to some of the Employment Enhancement Project Success Stories

Human Trafficking

Federal Law: The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000

Severe forms of human trafficking –

    • a) Sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age; or
    • b) The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery
  • Florida Statute Chapter 787.06(2)(d)
    • Transporting, soliciting, recruiting, harboring, providing, enticing, maintaining, or obtaining another person for the purpose of exploitation of that person

Florida is ranked number 3 in the Nation for potential Human Trafficking.

Important Facts:

  • People are trafficked into many industries.
  • Trafficking is visible; trafficking is accepted.
  • Supply and demand fuel trafficking.
  • “People smuggling” is not considered human trafficking.
  • As many as one in five trafficking survivors fell prey a second time.
  • Boys and men are trafficked to.
  • Disability is attractive to traffickers.
  • There is no one “profile” of a trafficker.

Victims of Human Trafficking:

  • Anyone can be a victim
  • Some populations are more vulnerable to victimization.
  • These may include: Undocumented immigrants, runaway and homeless youth, victims of trauma and abuse, individuals with intellectual disabilities, refugees and individuals fleeing conflict, and oppressed, marginalized, impoverished groups and individuals, and/or individuals with low self-esteem.
  • People with intellectual, cognitive or developmental disabilities are 7 times higher of a risk of becoming victims.

Increased Vulnerability:

People with developmental disabilities are more likely to be victimized because of social stigma.

  • Unable to report the crime
  • Not considered credible reporters
  • Unable to differentiate between appropriate and inappropriate touching
  • May be socially isolated
  • Dependence on others for long-term care
  • Lack of economic independence
  • Lack of participation in abuse awareness and personal safety programs
  • Less education about sexuality and healthy intimate relationships
  • Communication challenges
  • Physical barriers to accessing supports and services
  • Victims of sexual, physical or mental abuse

Red Flags of Human Trafficking

Common Work and Living Conditions:

  • Is under 18 and is providing commercial sex acts
  • Is in the commercial sex industry and has a pimp / manager
  • Is unpaid, paid very little, or paid only through tips
  • Works excessively long and/or unusual hours
  • Is not allowed breaks or suffers under unusual restrictions at work
  • Owes a large debt and is unable to pay it off
  • Was recruited through false promises concerning the nature and conditions of his/her work
  • High security measures exist in the work and/or living locations (e.g. opaque windows, boarded up windows, bars on windows, barbed wire, security cameras, etc.)
  • Poor Mental Health or Abnormal Behavior:
  • Is fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense, or nervous/paranoid
  • Exhibits unusually fearful or anxious behavior after bringing up law enforcement
  • Avoids eye contact
  • Poor Physical Health:
  • Lacks health care
  • Appears malnourished
  • Shows signs of physical and/or sexual abuse, physical restraint, confinement, or torture
  • Lack of Control:
  •  Has few or no personal possessions
  •  Is not in control of his/her own money, no financial
  •   records, or bank account
  •  Is not in control of his/her own identification documents (ID
  •   or passport)
  •  Is not allowed or able to speak for themselves (a third party 
  •   may insist on being present and/or translating)
  • Other:
  •  Claims of just visiting and inability to clarify where he/she is
  •   staying/address
  •  Lack of knowledge of whereabouts and/or do not know
  •   what city he/she is in
  •  Loss of sense of time
  •  Has numerous inconsistencies in his/her story
  •  New commodities (Cell phone, clothes, etc.)
  •  Sudden Manicured nails, hair and jewelry

Hard to Recognize

  • Victim does not recognize abuse, neglect, or exploitation
  • Communication challenges
  • Some symptoms may be interpreted as behavioral problems or traits of their disability
  • Victims may be coerced and not appear to be a victim
  • Fear and training prevent disclosing

Reporting Suspected Human Trafficking

  • Call DCF Abuse Hotline


  • Call National Human Trafficking Hotline


  • Department of Homeland Security

1-866-347-2423 or at www.ice.gov/tips

  • Contact local law enforcement

Mandated Reporters

  • Everyone in Florida has a responsibility to report known or suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation
  • Failure to report known or suspected cases of abuse, neglect, or exploitation is a 3rd degree felony.

Professionally Mandated Reporters

  • Physician, osteopathic physician, medical examiner, chiropractic physician, nurse, or hospital personnel engaged in the admission, examination, care, or treatment of persons;
  • Health or mental health professional ;
  • Practitioner who relies solely on spiritual means for healing;
  • School teacher or other school official or personnel;
  • Social Worker, day care center worker, or other professional child care, foster care, residential or institutional worker;
  • Law enforcement;
  • Judge.

Helpful Links

Employment Stability Plan (ESP)

Let's Get Everyone to Work: Marketing Toolkit for Employers - Videos

Let's Get Everyone to Work: Resource Toolkit for Students and Families - Videos

Supported Employment Links

What can YOU do? whatcanyoudocampaign.org Button

Outstanding State Disability Employment Winners

The 2016 award-winning businesses were:

  • Barrette Outdoor Living (Brooksville)
  • Bealls
  • Flowers Baking Company of Jacksonville LLC
  • Greenspoon Marder (Fort Lauderdale)
  • Humane Society of Bay County Thrift and Gift Store (Panama City)
  • Mantiques Clock Shop (Inverness)
  • The Pickle Baron of Key West
  • The Print Shop (Naples)
  • Rosen Shingle Creek Resort (Orlando)
  • Walgreens

The 2015 award-winning businesses were:

  • Kilwins Jacksonville
  • LEGOLAND Florida (Winter Haven)
  • Lowe’s Home Improvement 
  • Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department
  • OfficeMax/Office Depot
  • Popeyes (Panama City)
  • 3 Daughters Brewing (St. Petersburg)
  • Winter Park Memorial Hospital

The 2014 award-winning businesses were:

  • 2-1-1 Broward
  • Bay Pines VA Healthcare System (St. Petersburg)
  • Citi (Jacksonville)
  • Dunkin’ Donuts (Pensacola area)
  • Gulf Coast Enterprises
  • Lee & Marie’s Cakery Company (Miami)
  • SeaWorld Orlando

The 2013 award-winning businesses were:

  • Beck Automotive Group of Palatka
  • Express Employment Professionals of Pensacola
  • McDonald’s Restaurants
  • Sykes Enterprises, Inc. of Lakeland
  • TJX Companies (TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods)
  • Wendy’s Restaurants (JAA Restaurant Holdings, LLC) of Boca Raton
  • Winn Dixie

The 2012 award-winning businesses were:

  • Baptist Health South Florida (Miami)
  • Habitat for Humanity (Pasco County)
  • Mangrove Mike's Café (Islamorada)
  • Miller's Ale House (Daytona Beach)
  • Pensacola Blue Wahoos
  • Sirata Beach Resort and Conference Center (St. Pete)
  • Universal Orlando Resort

The 2011 award-winning businesses were:

  • Citrus Memorial Health System of Inverness
  • Florida Department of Revenue
  • Five Guys Burgers and Fries of Central Florida
  • Great Explorations Children's Museum of St. Petersburg
  • Hyatt Hotels of Florida
  • Loews Miami Beach Hotel
  • Marriott Global Reservations and Customer Care Center
  • My Best Friend’s Kitchen of Panama City
  • Sacred Heart Hospital of Pensacola

The 2010 award-winning businesses were:

  • ARAMARK Food Services of Tallahassee
  • Childhood Development Services of Ocala
  • European Street Café of Jacksonville
  • LCI Industries with stores in Melbourne, Jacksonville, Pensacola, Fort Walton Beach, and Milton
  • Mathison Retirement Center of Panama City
  • Zoo Miami
  • TSE Industries of Clearwater

The 2009 businesses recognized were:

  • Bethesda Memorial Hospital in Boynton Beach
  • Call 4 Health of Boca Raton
  • Fausto’s Food Palace of Key West
  • Hilton at Home Reservations of Tampa
  • Jacksonville Aviation Authority
  • Stretcher Limo of New Port Richey
  • Walgreens Distribution Centers of Florida
  • Walmart of Florida

     The 2008 businesses to be recognized were:

  • Baptist Hospital of Pensacola
  • Kmart of Florida
  • Martin Electronics of Perry
  • Micro Systems of Fort Walton Beach
  • SunTrust Banks of Florida
  • TJ Maxx of Florida

     The 2007 businesses that were recognized were:

  • Publix based in Lakeland
  • Chef Imondi’s Bakery and Café of Panama City
  • Fidelity National Information Services of Jacksonville
  • Health First of Brevard County
  • Palm Beach Kennel Club of Palm Beach County
  • Studer Group of Pensacola
  • Wendy’s of Jacksonville/Ramsey Development, Inc.

Success Story News Releases