This website is designed to provide resources, encourage, and inspire individuals with disabilities who wish to build their skills, develop abilities and work towards greater independence in their lives by learning more in the area of civil rights.


Sponsors. The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council (Council) (www.fddc.org) is an organization that guides the development and administration of services for people with developmental disabilities by planning and funding research, innovations, and programs designed to improve the quality of their lives.

Guardian Trust is a Special Needs Trust Administrator dedicated to serving families and professionals who help persons with disabilities. Guardian Trust helps people with disabilities qualify for programs such as Medicaid and SSI.


Background. The Council contracted with the Office of Public Guardian, Inc. in 2013 to examine guardianship restorations among persons with disabilities. The Developing Abilities and Restoring Rights initiative became a three-year project. The initiative accomplished the following:

 Year 1 – 2014

  1. Established a core Project Team of diverse professionals whose collaboration directed the work of the Project.
  2. Assembled a diverse Stakeholders Work Group to advise and recommend the project’s work.
  3. Conducted a statewide research study to examine restoration activity in Florida targeting courts, attorneys, persons with disabilities and their families through interviews, focus groups, surveys and guardianship file reviews. (See Final Report under Resources Tab).

Year 2 – 2015

Based upon the Stakeholders Work Group’s recommendations, the Project Team authored three publications: Developing Abilities and Restoring Rights: A Workbook for Persons with Disabilities; Developing Abilities and Restoring Rights: A Guide for Supporting Persons with Disabilities; and, Developing Abilities and Restoring Rights: A Manual for Legal Professionals.


Year 3 – 2016

  1. The Project Team conducted separate workshops around Florida for individuals and families and for legal professionals. The workshops were held in West Palm Beach, Tampa, Miami and Tallahassee.
  2. A workshop was help for students between the ages of 18 and 22 in a high-school transition programs.


Beyond the Project – Resources Page

Three Developing Abilities and Restoring Rights workshops will be offered in the spring of 2017 for high-school transition students living in 3 select cities of Florida. For anyone else interested in this topic, this Website contains the Developing Abilities and Restoring Rights series publications in PDF format and videos of the actual workshops. Also included on this website is the inspiring video of a young man who is living a full, satisfying life with varied interests. You can also check out the links to other helpful resources that can be found on the internet.

*Note: The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council is a not-for-profit organization that receives federal assistance from the Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The purpose of FDDC is to assure that individuals with disabilities and their families have access to needed community services, individualized supports, and other forms of assistance that promote self-determination, independence, productivity and integration and inclusion in all facets of community life.