For the past 11 years, Deborah Linton has been the face and voice of The Arc of Florida, championing causes, spearheading new programs, and the voice on the phone calming chapter directors in times of crisis. Throughout her 38 years as a member of The Arc family, Deborah has acted as an independent contractor, Assistant Director, and the Executive Director of a local Arc chapter, as well as the CEO of The Arc of Florida. Throughout the transition, Deborah will now be serving in a consultancy role.
Under Deborah’s leadership and with the support of the Board and staff, Deborah:
- Replaced five buildings at Leon County Arc (group homes and ADTs),
- Obtained group home funding from Florida Housing, which benefitted Arc chapters across Florida,
- Directed the design and implementation of the $3 million dental appropriation, which today has over 300 dentists in the network and serves over 1,400 individuals yearly,
- Championed the “End-of-the-R-Word” legislation,
- Championed legislation to enact the Able Act, which allows individuals to save money for disability-related expenses that do not negatively affect their Medicaid benefits,
- Acted as the corporate representative in the $10 million settlement from the Agency for Persons with Disabilities for the lack of notification in reducing provider rates,
- Prevailed in an administrative challenge with AHCHA when promulgating the wrong handbook,
- Created the idea for Job-A-Palooza, a speed-dating event for job discovery for individuals with disabilities.
The Board of Directors of The Arc of Florida announced that Kirk Hall has been named the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective April 1, 2019. Kirk will build on the strong foundation that Deborah has laid. Kirk brings over two decades of experience in disability advocacy in Florida and on the national stage. He has trained thousands of individuals and presented to diverse audiences to promote public education and awareness for sorely needed systems change. He constantly strives to elevate the quality of life for people facing the greatest challenges and with the most difficult barriers to overcome. He has advised Florida leaders and national learning communities on a variety of transition and disability topics. Kirk began his career delivering direct service to persons with disabilities as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor in 1992 and then in positions in supervisory, management, and administration. He has developed programs and created services bringing millions of dollars of support to persons with disabilities, always mindful of our people that need the most intensive support. He is a staunch supporter and vocal advocate for positive systems change for all persons with disabilities and their families. As CEO, he hopes to help us to elevate our delivery of advocacy, service, and support for persons with Intellectual and other Developmental Disabilities to a higher level for a brighter future.
Although we will miss Deborah, we look forward to working with Kirk and The Arc of Florida to support persons with Intellectual and other Developmental Disabilities in order to live, work, and play more independently!