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Disabilities

Andy Gardiner, business leaders launch Florida Unique Abilities program to help disabled find work

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Senate President Andy Gardiner appeared in downtown Orlando Wednesday to promote the launch of the new Florida Unique Abilities partnership, an initiative that businesses can join to support hiring those with disabilities. Gardiner and business leaders representing AT&T, Walgreens, and SeaWorld, appeared at the Canvs building on Garland Avenue to talk up the program, saying it would behoove businesses all over the state and country to start hiring more people with disabilities. The Florida Unique Abilities partnership, they said, would…

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Foundation for Florida’s Future highlight expanded education options passed by lawmakers

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The Foundation for Florida’s Future highlighted a bevy of bills and budget items passed by the Florida Legislature in a celebratory email sent out by the education advocacy group Friday. “More Florida children will get a better education – that is the takeaway from this year’s legislative session,” said Patricia Levesque, executive director of the Foundation for Florida’s Future. “Lawmakers have continued a tradition in which each new generation of leaders adds to a reform effort that has changed the face…

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Legislature passes measure to aid disabled

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In what Senate President Andy Gardiner called the last of a “trifecta” of first-week bills, a measure to help people with disabilities get jobs is heading to Gov. Rick Scott. The Florida Senate unanimously approved the bill (HB 7003) on Friday. Gardiner, an Orlando Republican, has a son with Down syndrome and has pushed several bills this year to help those with disabilities. The final bill in the package is intended to encourage state agencies to hire disabled employees. It also establishes a…

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Today on Context Florida: Guns on campus, an eternal optimist and technology & the disabled

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Today on Context Florida: Tom O’Hara says backers and opponents of letting people bring guns onto Florida’s college campuses can’t logically support their arguments until there’s more slaughter to analyze. It appears that a bill that would allow students with a concealed-carry permit to bring their guns onto the state’s public college campuses will become law next year. Sally Swartz calls Hobe Sound resident Jeff Wittman an “eternal optimist.” Wittman has never stopped believing that a 46-acre chunk of Florida scrub…

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Chardonnay in Centerfield

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I had the privilege of attending The Abilities Wine Tasting event on Saturday night. Billed as a top-five finalist for WEDU’s Be More Awards “Special Event of the Year” for 2007 and 2008, this event has become Florida’s longest-running and most prosperous one-night wine tasting. The Abilities Foundation is a nonprofit organization that has helped thousands of Floridians with all types of disabilities obtain mainstream jobs and affordable housing. Sounds like a really classy event, right? For the most part…

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