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January 2023

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VR Receives $13.1M Grant for ArtCIE

Florida’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation has been awarded $13.1 million to realize the Florida Arts to Competitive Integrated Employment (ArtCIE) initiative. The initiative will create an innovative model that assists individuals with disabilities currently employed in, or contemplating, subminimum wage employment to move toward competitive integrated employment (CIE) outcomes in the field of Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation. ArtCIE will offer opportunities to at least 1,000 persons with disabilities.

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CareerSource Corner: New Year, New You

The start of a new year is the perfect opportunity to take the first step in landing your dream job. The CareerSource Florida network helps people with disabilities connect with new opportunities and great careers. Let us help you with your job search, resume writing, job fairs, career workshops, workforce training, professional development and more.


Take the first step and meet with a member of your local workforce development board by going to and clicking on Find Your Local Team.

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Where There's a Will, There's a Way:

Your Way

When it comes to education, not everyone takes the traditional path. Florida’s adult educators strive to help students elevate their earning potential. They customize classroom settings, create community and instill confidence--anything to help students overcome barriers. And these educators bring equal parts passion, compassion, and hope with every message of opportunity. Learn more at

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A New Start

for 2023

A new year is a great time to self-reflect and create positive new habits--both personally and at work. Even minor changes in your daily routine can revitalize your performance and satisfaction on the job.

When making New Year's resolutions related to any facet of life, remember to set achievable target marks according to your lifestyle and start small even if your end goal is big. Our brains and bodies need time to adjust to new practices. Give yourself the grace of laying the groundwork for success.

It is also helpful to craft a specific plan of action and make your goals measurable. These tactics establish accountability and tangibility, ultimately making the outcomes realer and more achievable as you meet and pass each milestone.

Last but not least, do your best to focus on the positive. Change and growth can be difficult in the moment, and it is completely natural to feel some sense of unease when embarking on a journey of self-improvement. Take it piece by piece and remember that the discomfort is temporary--and you'll be stronger, wiser, and better off overall once you've met your goals.

We learned a lot last year, and spent some time making our own goals to make 2023 even more impactful than last year! I’m looking forward to continuing to talking to you all year: through this newsletter, on the phone, email or in person.

Joey D'Souza

Vice President, External Engagement

The Able Trust Activities

Project Venture Judging Underway

First-round judging for the 2023 Project Venture competition is underway. Thank you to our panel of judges for taking the time to evaluate the largest-ever field of entrants!

  • Whitney Doyle, Executive Director, Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology, Inc.
  • Charles Hokanson, Senior Vice President, Florida Community Engagement · Helios Education Foundation
  • Philip Quick, Staffing Coordinator, Amazon
  • Dr. Janice Seabrooks-Blackmore, Executive Director of the Florida Center for Students with Unique Abilities, UCF

Judging concludes this week, with the top three teams to be revealed Friday in a Facebook Live event. Video submissions from each site are posted on our website. We invite you to check out the innovative projects from High School High Tech students all over Florida!

Watch Now

What We're Reading

Are Employers Required to Accommodate Employees

with Disabilities?

In a recent online interview with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Zac Bradley, a disability rights advocate who serves as a vocational specialist with The Shepherd Center in Atlanta, discusses the Americans with Disabilities Act, the importance of remote work for employees with disabilities and simple ways companies can support these workers.

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Your support ensures Floridians with disabilities have opportunities to gain meaningful employment.


To make your tax-deductible donation to The Able Trust,


Forward this newsletter to other colleagues, and business and community leaders who are interested in disability employment.


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our mailing list.

We welcome the opportunity to answer your questions about disability employment. Invite us to speak at your upcoming board meeting, conference or webinar.


CLICK HERE to fill out our

Speaker Request form.

The Able Trust, also known as the Florida Endowment Foundation for Vocational Rehabilitation, is a 501(c)(3) public charity established by the Florida Legislature in 1990 as a direct support organization for the 

Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Its mission is to be a key leader in providing

Floridians with disabilities opportunities for successful employment.

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