ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – The Family Cafe held its 23rd Annual Family Cafe Conference June 11-13, 2021 at the Hyatt Regency Orlando on International Drive.
Since 1998, The Annual Family Café has brought Floridians with all types of disabilities together for three days of information, training, and networking each June. With a great range of individual breakout sessions, a packed Exhibit Hall with dozens of vendors, and a series of special events including keynote speakers and The Governors’ Summit on Disabilities, The Annual Family Café offers attendees exposure to resources on a grand scale, unprecedented access to policy-making officials, and a chance to network with other individuals with disabilities and their families, according to The Family Cafe’s website.
Governor’s Summit on Disability
Governor Ron DeSantis came to Orlando Friday for his Governor’s Disability Summit at the 23rd Annual Family Cafe, an annual conference for the special needs community. Lawmakers from across the state joined the Governor onstage to provide a special update on the state of disabilities in Florida.
Florida State Representatives Randy Fine (R-53, Brevard County), Daisy Morales (D-48, Orange County), Michelle Salzman (R-1, Escambia County), Scott Plakon (R-29, Seminole County) and Florida State Senator Ana Maria Rodriguez (R-39, Miami-Dade County) also spoke at the Summit.
State Rep. Daisy Morales Provides an Update on Disability Advocacy
State Rep. Morales sponsored two bills and co-sponsored two others aimed at the special needs community during the 2021 Legislative Session.
The two bills she sponsored gained some steam, but didn’t reach the governor’s desk. HB 269, which broadened the definition of developmental disability to benefit more of the special needs community in an effort to make more residents eligible for affordable healthcare, died in the House Children, Families & Seniors Subcommittee. HB 1347, Educational Opportunities for Disabled Veterans, passed the Florida House and died in the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Two bills she co-sponsored made more headway:
HB 117, Resource Information for Individuals with Disabilities, sponsored by Rep. Allison Tant was laid on the table, but Senate companion bill SB 1714 is sitting on the Governor Ron DeSantis’s desk.
HB 173, Individual Education Plan for Students with Disabilities, also sponsored by Rep. Allison Tant, is also on the governor’s desk.