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Fort Lauderdale, Florida
 
 

Contact Information

If you, your business, or organization are interested in becoming a part of the Disability Initiative Workgroup, please contact Ingrid Edblad at [email protected].

If you are already a member of the Disability Initiative Workgroup and have questions regarding the IRS participation, then please contact Auguste Lilavois at [email protected].

 
 
 
Disability Initiative Workgroup

Hispanic Unity of Florida is leading the new Disability Initiative in this area. Eight years ago, the Children's Services Council of Broward County (CSC) began coordinating, promoting and developing a county-wide initiative which combined VITA site coordination and outreach regarding the Earned Income Tax Credit.  The large and diverse cross section of the community that supported the CSC’s efforts was comprised of  media entities, non-profit organizations, local government groups, faith-based organizations and local coalitions. In order to ensure the most effective campaign and services, this coalition, led by CSC, began to formulate a county-wide strategic plan.  One step of this plan was to research population groups that were not taking advantage of the services or tax credits and organize concentrated efforts for them.  Quickly, one of the groups which were identified was persons with disabilities.   The coalition began to recruit key providers and stakeholders by utilizing current contacts from other projects and services.  In addition, a new interdepartmental collaboration within CSC has allowed for cross programming, bridging two separate silos of programs and service providers: the Special Needs Advisory Committee, SNAC and the Public Affairs and Organizational Development department, PAOD.  The SNAC committee coordinates efforts amongst special needs providers and the PAOD is responsible for the VITA/EITC program oversight.  Until now, each entity had not recognized a need to collaborate.  SNAC will assist in the distribution of marketing materials, coordination of the services to this targeted population, and ensure continued follow through.  PAOD will develop the marketing materials, train the staff and volunteers, and provide technical assistance throughout the tax season.