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May 2022
The month of May has been very eventful, exciting and a celebration of partnerships. Besides being Mental Health and Prader-Willi Awareness Month, May 19 marked the 11th Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access/inclusion and people with different disabilities. In observance of this day, we were featured in a video by our partner accessiBe.
On the 18th, community partners working on inclusion in our community came together to celebrate in our 21st Breakfast for Champions. Almost 300 of us joined together to celebrate 21 Champions and their accomplishments. This event is an opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of our family members, friends, co-workers, and neighbors who have developmental disabilities. We shared in the excitement and pride for their achievements which are different from their disabilities. Suzan Holtzman, Disability Advocate in the Office of the Mayor – Miami-Dade County addressed the participants and offered words of congratulations and encouragement to our Champions.
The celebrations culminated with our partner, The Children’s Trust’s Champions for Children Award Ceremony on the 24th. It was truly an honor to be selected as an honoree for 2022 Program of the Year.
This demonstrates the Children’s Trust commitment to inclusion of all children. Congratulations to our fellow honorees and everyone else who was recognized today. Tremendous gratitude to The Children’s Trust for this award and a big thank you to our wonderful team, without them, this wouldn’t be possible!


Much remains to be accomplished in reaching not just inclusion of people with disabilities, but full
belonging and participation in our community; but important steps have been accomplished.
Irenaida (Ire) Diaz LCSW, MCAP, ICADC
President & Chief Executive and Programs Officer


Student Registration for the 2022-2023 school year is now open!
If your child will be five years old by September 1st?  It is time to apply to Kindergarten for the 2023-2023 school year!
Visit the M-DCPS Virtual Welcome Center to find your neighborhood school,  explore different program options, obtain transfer information, and learn more about registration requirements.


If You Think Virtual School is the Best Option for your Child…
Applications for 2022-2023 School Year Open March 1, 2022. There are two options that work together.
Miami-Dade Virtual School (MDVS) opened in August 2021.  As a Florida Virtual School (FLVS) franchise, MDVS will provide the families of Miami-Dade County an additional virtual option to complement the existing Miami-Dade Online (MDO) Academy.  MDVS will provide students with the opportunity to continue with virtual learning via a blended model that will include both synchronous and asynchronous modes of instruction.  The school will service grades K through 12 and employ Miami-Dade County Public School teachers to deliver instruction.  MDVS will open as a choice school with no boundaries and will service the entire Miami-Dade County.


Miami-Dade Online (MDO) Academy is a Miami-Dade County Public School offering students a comprehensive K-12 full-time virtual educational program providing, anytime, anywhere learning. This virtual and interactive learning environment is student-centered and academically individualized to build educational capacity. We service a diverse population of learners. This approach encourages students to be self-directed and take charge of their education. MDO Academy uses technology to maximize learning and ultimately empowers students to positively impact their world and become responsible citizens.


If you Child has an Individual Education Plan (IEP) in Miami-Dade or Broward Public School Systems, Let your Voice be Heard
The Florida Department of Education is working with school districts to gather information on how well parents think their child's school is partnering with parents of students with disabilities, and would like to include your input. Your responses will help guide efforts to improve services and results for children and families. This survey is for parents of students with individual educational plans (IEP) receiving special education services during the 2021-2022 school year. All information provided will remain confidential.
You may submit one online survey for each child receiving services until May 31, 2022.


Food Pantry Available to Residents on Weekdays to Help Address High Food Insecurity Rates in Miami-Dade County
In an effort to support the needs of residents and address higher-than-usual food insecurity rates within the City of Miami, the YMCA of South Florida, with partnership support from Bank of America, the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County and The American Healthy Weight Alliance, is opening La Bodega, a community food pantry located in the Village of Allapattah YMCA at 2370 NW 17 Avenue in Miami.


Pantry open to the public Monday-Friday from 2-5pm.
Social Security Administration Adds More In-Person Appointments
Starting in early April, SSA will add more in-person appointments and offer in-person service for people without an appointment. 
Visit their webpage How to Get Help from Social Security learn:
  • The best ways to get help from Social Security.
  • What you should know before you visit a Social Security office, so we can help you safely.
  • Innovative options that could help you have your hearing sooner if you are appealing a decision.
‘2 Moms No Fluff’ – A Montclair Mom’s Podcast on Raising Kids with Disabilities 
Alma Schneider and cohost Iris Mehler share personal stories, hoping to change society’s perceptions.



Childhood poverty in Florida far worse than federal data shows
Far more children face financial hardship than federal data used to measure poverty shows, according to a recently published United Way study. Conditions are even worth for children with disabilities and children raised by caregivers with disabilities.


Reebok, Zappos Collaborate on New Adaptive Footwear
 Another major shoe brand is unveiling styles specifically made to meet the needs of people with disabilities.
Reebok is launching its first-ever line of adaptive footwear. Known as Reebok Fit to Fit, the collection includes shoes with features like zippers, heel pull tabs, extra wide options, removable sock liners and low-cut designs.


A New Report from The Inevitable Foundation Demystifies the Costs of Hollywood Workplace Accommodations
The organization's first-ever 'Cost of Accommodations Report' also uncovers how the needs of talent with disabilities go unmet and what it would take to provide fair and equitable access from sets to writers rooms.


Equality of Access to Voting is Essential
A group of Hoosiers who are blind sued over restrictions for mail in ballots. And a federal judge sided with them. For the May primary, the state must allow voters who are blind to choose who can help them cast their mail-in ballot.


pictures of reusable community bags
Amazon Smile cart with Advocacy Network logo in basket
Make a difference every time you shop! Help the Advocacy Network on Disabilities continue to provide supports and services to children and adults with disabilities. Every time you shop for gifts with AmazonSmile, Amazon will donate 0.5% of eligible purchases to your favorite charitable organization—no fees, no extra cost. 


All you need to do is visit the AmazonSmile website, and select The Advocacy Network on Disabilities/CCDH as your charity of choice.
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Advocacy Network on Disabilities
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Miami, FL 33183

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