Florida Department of Children & Families Website
I am really astounded by the terrible design of the Florida Department of Children & Families website.

It is so unfriendly and difficult to navigate. And I’m saying that as a web developer and not as a person trying to use the site. I cannot begin to comprehend just how intimidating and useless this design must be to the elderly.

I also think it’s particularly insulting that there is a disclaimer at the bottom of the right column letting visitors know that, “Some files on this website may require the use of Adobe Reader.” Because you know how simple it is to understand how to install Adobe Reader and download and open PDF files.

I received the following email from my sister which led me to the DCF website:

Hey, David.

If you want to check it out, here is the online info for Medicaid:


Click on “My Access Account” logo
UserName: [redacted]

I am going to text you the password.

I have attached the latest letter mailed to Mom at her old address. When I opened the account, the first thing that popped up was an option for paperless which I do not believe was there previously, so I switched to receiving emails.

I just read the blog. I do not like the idea of Mom having any bedsores. :(

Love you.

Here is the body of the letter which was sent to mom’s old address on July 12. I’ve removed the irrelevant details. (e.g. instructions on getting copies sent to you in any of a dozen languages other than English, a pointless notice about discounts available on your phone bill if your income is below a certain level)

Please tell me if you think that you’d understand what your next step should be. Now imagine that you’re 60+ years old and trying to deal with complicated health problems.

Dear Kathleen Gagne,

The following is information about your eligibility.

Once you receive your case number you can go to www.myflorida.com/accessflorida to activate your My ACCESS Account. You will be able to get case status information. You will also be able to print a temporary Medicaid card if you are eligible for Medicaid.

We need the following information by July 23, 2012.

Other – please see comments below

case is pending: placement in nursing home. level of care. completed and readable 3008. 3/12 to current bank statements.

Please return or fax the information to the return address or fax number listed above. If you need help getting this information, let us know right away.
If you do not contact us or provide the requested information, we will be unable to determine your eligibility. We will deny your application or your benefits may end.

AE39 FORM : CF-ES 157 08 2008