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Disability, Mobility and Accessibility:  Achieving Independent Living in Florida

The Division of Disability Determinations (DDD) is the agency that makes decisions regarding the medical eligibility of Florida citizens applying for disability benefits under the federal Social Security and Supplemental Security Income programs, and the state Medically Needy program. Florida is the fourth largest state that disability determinations service in the nation, processing approximately 6% of the national workload each year. 

The DDD is also responsible for conducting reviews of existing beneficiaries under the federal programs and determining continuing eligibility.  Applications for disability benefits are filed at the claimant’s local Social Security office. When the claimant is seeking disability benefits under the Social Security Act, or at a local office of the Department of Children and Families (DCF) when benefits are being sought under the Medically Needy program. In both cases the application is forwarded to DDD for a determination of medical eligibility. The claim is then returned to either SSA or DCF for a final determination of non-medical eligibility and effectuation of any benefits due the claimant. 

Ability1st is a non-profit, community-based agency in Tallahassee, serving Florida, which provides services to persons with all kinds of disability and mobility issues.  Ability1st is part of a nation-wide network that assists with independent living for those with disabilities.

They offer a Medical Mobility Loan Equipment Program that provides needed, durable medical equipment to people with temporary or permanent disabilities, and includes wheelchairs, powered wheelchairs, walkers, canes and transfer benches. Equipment is available on loan for a 90-day period. Often, these items are loaned whilst the person with a disability is waiting for Medicaid or Medicare to provide long-term assistance.

Ability1st, in conjunction with United Way, and community volunteers, will also build wheelchair ramps for people on low-income with disabilities who lack access to their community. This assists people with disabilities to remain as independent as possible within their home and community. Ramps and minor home modifications increase mobility, reduce isolation and offer opportunities for self care, thus maintaining each person's sense of dignity and self worth.

The Able Trust in Florida provides support to disabled people seeking employment. The Trust supports individual non-profit vocational rehabilitation programs throughout Florida with fund-raising, grant making and public awareness of disability issues.

A number of Mobility suppliers and Rental companies in Orlando, Florida support the Kids Wish Network & Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation. This means that they donate scooters for use to these children’s charitable organizations to help fulfill children’s and families dreams when these organizations arrange visits to Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, Sea World or any of the other great attractions Orlando has to offer.
Electric Mobility Scooters are welcome at all Orlando-area theme parks and attractions.

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