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The CAN Newsletter for December

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The December issue of the Change Agent Network newsletter is here!

This month we take a look at important initiatives being led by two of our state agency partners: APD's effort to address transportation for people with disabilities through their Transportation Task Force, and DCF's focus on improving Florida's approach to children's mental health through its System of Care Initiative. We also have a preview of the upcoming 2018 legislative session, which is set to open in January.

The CAN newsletter is all about keeping you informed, and creating a space for people with disabilities and their families. We would love to hear your feedback! If there's an issue you think should be addressed, or something happening in your local community that you would like to share, let us know!

To read the latest issue of the CAN newsletter, click here.


2017 Questions & Answers Book Now Available

coverThe Family Cafe is pleased to announced the publication of The 2017 Questions & Answers Book!

Our annual Questions & Answers Book is a direct result of Floridians with disabilities and their families engaging with State Agencies and policy makers that serve them. Each year at The Annual Family Cafe, we collect questions and comments from our attendees. We then share them with the relevant agencies and offices, and put together their written responses to create the Questions & Answers Book. It can serve as a resource guide for your family year round, as it answers basic questions and touches on important issues that impact many Florida families.

This year's Q&A Book includes information from The Agency for Health Care Administration, The Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Education, the Department of Health, the Division of Emergency Management and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. It also includes a section of questions for The Family Cafe, as well as our annual "Report Card" that features feedback on The 19th Annual Family Cafe, what worked, and how it can be improved.

We hope this publication serves as a valuable resource for your family throughout the coming year. Check it out here!


Open Call: Presentation Proposals for The 20th Anniversary Family Cafe

The Family Cafe is now accepting Presentation Proposals for The 20th Anniversary Family Cafe!

The Family Cafe is now accepting presenter proposals for The 20th Anniversary Family Cafe, which will be held June 15-17, 2018 in Orlando. We would like to invite all qualified, knowledgeable individuals to submit proposals for breakout sessions at our signature event.

The Annual Family Cafe typically includes 180+ individual breakout sessions, addressing a wide range of disability-related topics, from information on specific disabilities, to financial management, youth issues, special education and assistive technology. (For a sampling of the sessions we have offered in the past, you can view programs from previous years in our Publications section.) Last year's Annual Family Cafe attracted more than 10,000 attendees, and we fully expect to have another large crowd of Floridians with disailbities and their family members on hand in June, 2018.

This year we are making the Presentation Proposal Form available in two formats.

Proposals must be submitted by January 12, 2018. All proposals will be reviewed by The Family Cafe Planning Committee, which will notify presenters of their status in January. If you elect to submit your proposal in hard copy, you can submit it by fax to 850/224-4674, by e-mail attachment to, or by mail to The Family Cafe, 820 E. Park Ave. Suite F-100, Tallahassee, FL 32301. If you choose to submit your proposal using the online form, it is not necessary to submit a hard copy.

Please feel free to duplicate the Presenter Proposal Form and share it with any interested parties in your community. We are looking forward to having yet another comprehensive, informative conference with a range of sessions that address the real-world needs and concerns of our attendees, and we are grateful for whatever help you can offer in making that happen.  

Reserve Your Exhibit Space at The 20th Anniversary Family Cafe

Exhibit space is now available for The 20th Anniversary Family Cafe, to be held June 15-17, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency in Orlando!

The Annual Family Cafe is the ideal place to connect thousands of people with disabilities with your product, service or resource. It brings together an remarkably large audience of families, all of whom are searching for ways to improve the quality of life for their loved ones with disabilities. Last year's event attracted more than 10,000 registered attendees, and The 20th Anniversary Family Cafe is sure to draw an equally large crowd.

To reserve your place in our Exhibit Hall, simply complete the Exhibitor Form and send it to us by fax or email.

Space is also available for Micro-Enterprises. A Micro-Enterprise is a small business owned and operated by a person with a disability. To see if your business qualifies, and to reserves space, see the Micro-Enterprise Form. We'll look forward to seeing you in Orlando in June!

Pictures from The 19th Annual Family Cafe

The Family Cafe is pleased to share nearly 650 photos from The 19th Annual Family Cafe at the Hyatt Regency Orlando this past June! From the Thursday pre-conference trainings, through the keynote addresses and the Annual Governor's Summit on Disabilities, to the Duck Race on Sunday, everything that happened at this year's Annual Family Cafe is here in our photo gallery. If you were with us in Orlando, you might even find yourself in there!

We had a wonderful time hosting the event, and these pictures capture the fun, excitement and camaraderie that make The Annual Family Cafe so amazing. We hope you enjoy looking through them!

Click the image below to get to the gallery. And remember, you can find all of the pictures from Family Cafe events taken over the years on our flickr page here.

The 19th Annual Family Cafe

This Year's Annual Family Cafe

cover The Family Cafe invites you to attend Florida's premier event for people with disabilities, The Annual Family Cafe!

Next year's 20th Annual Family Cafe will be held on June 15-17, 2018 in Orlando. We hope to see you there!

Since 1998, The Annual Family Cafe has brought together thousands of individuals with disabilities and their family members 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 families exposure to a wide range of public and private resources, opportunities to find support by networking with other families, and unprecedented access to policy-making officials.

The 19th Annual Family Cafe was held on June 16-18, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Orlando. You can view the full program for The 19th Annual Family Cafe online. To view a pdf of the program, click here! If you would like to view event programs from previous years, visit our Publications section

The Family Cafe remains committed to connecting attendees with information and resources at minimal cost, so there is no registration fee for individuals with disabilities and their family members. The Family Cafe also offers limited financial assistance to provide for the cost of hotel accommodations on-site at The Annual Family Cafe. Attendees can request assistance as part of the registration process, which begins on February 14th.

The Family Cafe will begin the process of inviting Presenters and Exhibitors to participate in The 20th Annual Family Cafe in the fall of 2017. Please join our mailing list for regular updates and additional information. You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

The 20th Annual Family Cafe promises to be a truly remarkable event for Floridians with disabilities and their families, and we very much hope you will be able to attend!

Issue 1 of the New CAN Newsletter is Here!

newsletter screen shotWe're pleased to announce the publication of the fist issue of our brand new Change Agent Network newsletter! Our vision for the CAN Newsletter is to keep Floridians with disabilities and their families up-to-date on what's happening in the disability community, and to create a space for families like yours to share their stories. This inaugural issue includes information on disaster preparedness, a recap of the 2017 MYFEST event in Tallahassee, and info on Disability History and Awareness Weeks.

In future issues, we're looking forward to sharing news and information from the disability world, and providing space for Floridians with disabilities and their families to share their stories.

Check out the first issue of the CAN newsletter by clicking here.

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