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for the Blind

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Florida Early Steps - AFB Directory Profile

General Information

Florida Early Steps
Children's Medical Services
2585 Merchants Row Blvd
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1707
(850) 245-4456 (Local)
(850) 922-5385 (Fax)
(800) 218-0001 (Toll-Free)
http://www.floridahealth.gov/AlternateSites/CMS-Kids/families/early_steps/early_steps.html

Brief Description

Early Steps is administered by Children's Medical Services (CMS) in accordance with IDEA, Part C. Early Steps offers early intervention services for families with infants and toddlers (birth to thirty-six months) who have developmental delays or an established condition likely to result in a developmental delay. Sixteen contracted local Early Steps across the state coordinate with community agencies and other contracted providers for the delivery of needed supports and services.

Clients served on average per year: 40,000 all disabilities; 300 visually impaired persons.
Staff description: State-level staff. Sixteen Local Early Steps Programs employ additional staff. Vision services provided by school districts (30 of 67 districts serve) or Division Blind Services contractees.
Geographic area served: Florida.

Staff

Penny Geiger, Bureau Chief for Early Steps, penny.geiger@flhealth.gov
Renee Jenkins, Early Steps Administrator, Renee.Jenkins@flhealth.gov

Services Offered

Services for Children

  • Assessment
    • Administers multidisciplinary functional assessment of skills of children with disabilities to determine appropriate functional outcomes for the Individual Family Support Plan.
  • Early Intervention/Infant Services
    • Lead agency for Florida's early intervention system as required under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Offers services to families and caregivers in the natural environment of the child with disabilities to the maximum extent appropriate.
  • Information and Referral
    • Provides information and referral on services available to children with special needs and their families.
  • Support for Parents
    • Has a Parent Resource Organization (PRO), a 21-member group made up of parents of children with special needs. These parents are involved with setting statewide policies and guidelines.

Services for Professionals

  • Professional Training
    • Sponsors several training opportunities throughout the year for staff, state level partners, service providers, and families. Vision-specific training is available through DBS, DOE, or FSDB
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