Association of Agencies
Purpose & Organization
The Association of Agencies is a group of agencies that meet on a regular basis to discuss Disability Issues relating to the local community. This group is facilitated through Miami Dade College's Wolfson Campus ACCESS Services Department.
The mission of this Association is to post the knowledge and resources of service agencies to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities. The members have agreed to six levels of activity.
Networking: First and foremost, it was recognized that it was very important for those from diverse agencies, even those that might be competing agencies, to get to know each other, know how each served a very unique and useful purpose for certain individuals with disabilities in various parts of the county. It was suggested that if the Association became successful in its mission, chapters in other areas could be encouraged. Recognizing that various disability issues are different throughout such a large county, it was suggested that it might be best to begin the Association as a "Central" or "Downtown" Association addressing concerns that are more focused and relevant to a specific area. The networking of agencies, however, would eventually lead to expansion to satellite agencies that can be developed in other parts of the community.
Presentations & Training: Once the participants get to know each other and how to more effectively communicate and be able to refer more effectively, it was recognized that each agency would need to fully clarify its role to others. It is possible that one or more agencies could make a presentation at meetings. It was also recognized that training opportunities could be featured when there were identified needs across agencies.
Open Forum: Building upon networking and knowledge could be an open forum where issues are raised and freely discussed.
Focus Group: Utilizing all or part or the memberships, initiate focus groups to more clearly define common problems and how to channel resources that address these problems. [This related to the proposal by the outgoing coordinator of the Alliance for Human Services to utilize the Association as an important focus group to identify issues that needed significant funding.]
Solutions: All or part of the membership could work together to develop solutions that could improve all levels of identifying and providing better services to persons with disabilities. Whether this related to solving some very specific problems for identified individuals or related to problems that were broad in scope were identified as potential options.
Grants: Perhaps the most constructive aspect of the Association would be in identifying and cooperatively pursuing grants that could improve awareness and moving action along at a faster pace [The issue of a community web page exclusively for persons with disabilities might be useful.]
Projected Meeting Schedules: The AOA meets every First Thursday of the month.
The following agencies are either regular association participants or share important information with the association.
- ACCESS, Wolfson Campus - The ACCESS Department assists students with disabilities to gain equal access to all educational opportunities at the Wolfson Campus. http://www.mdc.edu/wolfson/student/access/
- Center for Independent Living of South Florida - To assist anyone with a disability to achieve and maintain an independent and self-determined lifestyle to the maximum extent possible and to vigorously advocate for systems change that results in equality, dignity, and freedom of choice, and eliminates barriers that prevent people with disabilities from achieving their full potential. http://www.soflacil.org/
- Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation - An employment resource for businesses and people with disabilities. Our mission is to enable individuals with disabilities to obtain and keep employment. http://www.rehabworks.org/
- GSA/Office of ADA Coordination - Bring Miami-Dade County into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and, at the same time, heighten awareness of disability issues, both within County departments and within the community, to help provide persons with disabilities the opportunity to fulfill their greatest potential for independence and achievement. http://www.miamidade.gov/ada/
- Miami-Dade County Commission on Disability Issues - Citizens and their government working together to make Miami-Dade County a place where people with disabilities can fulfill their greatest potential for independence and achievement. http://www.miamidade.gov/codi/
- Office of Emergency Management - The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and Homeland Security, a Division of the Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue Department, coordinates multi-agency response to disasters and emergencies. http://www.miamidade.gov/oem/
- Outreach Services, Miami-Dade Public Library - The special programs and assistive devices the library offers to help make it possible for a person with a disability to access materials, equipment and services. http://www.mdpls.org/services/outreach/out_lit.asp
- AmeriCorps Partners - AmeriCorps Red Cross of Greater Miami, City Year, Miami Reads, PATEM, Switchboard of Miami, South Florida Urban Ministries (SFLUM), Strong Women, Strong Girls.Miami Reads!, AmeriCorps Red Cross of Greater Miami, AmeriCorps South Florida Urban Ministries, AmeriCorps Strong Women, Strong Girls, Switchboard of Miami, AmeriCorps Trinity, AmeriCorps YouthPride, City Year Miami
- Agency for Person with Disabilities - Serving the needs of Floridians with developmental disabilities, APD partners with local communities and private providers to assist persons with developmental disabilities and their families, while providing assistance in identifying their service and support needs. http://www.apdcares.org
- CCDH - Coalition of community service providers, advocates and families that plans, provides, coordinates and arranges services and supports for individuals with disabilities and their families. www.ccdh.org
- Center for Independent Living of South Florida - The Center offers advising, services, referrals and assistance navigating and maximizing disability resources in order to promote independence, leadership and advocacy. www.soflacil.org
- Commission on Disability Issues (CODI) - COID enables citizens and their government to work together to make Miami-Dade County a place where people with disabilities can fulfill their greatest potential for independence and achievement and advises the County Commission on all government issues that affect people with disabilities. www.miamidade.gov/codi
- Department of Health – Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Program (BSCIP) - The program provides case management assistance, resource facilitation and funding for services such as rehabilitation, assistive technologies and living modifications. www.doh.state.fl.us/demo/BrainSC
- Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation - Federal-state program that works with people with disabilities to prepare for, gain and retain employment www.rehabworks.org
- Housing & Assistive Technology, Inc. - Provides design solutions for independent living for persons with disabilities. www.hatfl.com
- Internal Revenue Service, Miami-Dade County - IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers provide personal tax help when a tax issue cannot be handled online or by phone, or you prefer face-to-face assistance. www.irs.gov
- Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Division of Special Education Programs - The Division of Special Education provides services and programs to students with diverse needs in Miami-Dade County Public Schools. ese.dadeschools.net
- Miami Lighthouse for the Blind - Miami Lighthouse provides vision rehabilitation and eye health services to promote independence, to educate professionals and to conduct research in related fields. http://www.miamilighthouse.org/
- MDCPS Superintendent’s Advisory Panel for Exceptional Student Education - The mission of the Superintendent’s Advisory Panel is to assist the Superintendent in reviewing the current status of exceptional student education, identifying problem areas, developing goals and objectives and recommending priorities for the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for students with disabilities. http://ese.dadeschools.net/Superintendent%20Advisory%20Panel/index.htm
- Office of Emergency Management - The OEM of Miami-Dade County provides residents with extensive resources to prepare for and protect against emergencies in South Florida. www.miamidade.gov/oem
- Parent-to-Parent - Parent-to-Parent of Miami is a Community Parent Resource Center serving Miami-Dade and Monroe counties that provides information, educational training and support to families who have children and adults with disabilities and/or special needs. www.ptopmiami.org
- University of Miami, Mailman Center for Child Development - The Mailman Center for Child Development is an academic center at the Miller School of Medicine that addresses concerns of individuals with development disabilities and children with special health care needs through: research, clinical services, training for professionals, parental workshops and advocacy. http://pediatrics.med.miami.edu/mailman-center/