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Press Releases – What’s Happening


The following Community Events are Open to the Public are scheduled for the CIL Disability Resource Center, Gulf Coast Regional Center (GCRC) and  Telecommunications Relay Inc. (FTRI) as Exhibitors or Presenters



April 25, 1937 – April 30, 2018

Make a Difference and Donate

The Jernigan family respectfully requests in lieu of flowers to please consider a donation to CIL DRC in Warren’s honor. Please click the Donate Button Upper Right of this Page. Thank you.                      

Warren Jernigan Photos

We have lost a pillar in our community. He was dedicated to people with disabilities and affected change throughout our Gulf Coast and the State of Florida. He spent many days, weeks and more at the Capitol in Tallahassee, where he would meet with the representatives to lobby for the rights of people with disabilities in employment, transportation and equal rights. He even had a hotel that had his room always ready when he came to town. He said they always had warm chocolate chip cookies when he arrived.

Warren was always on the go. He didn’t have a living room, it was like entering CNN when you walked into his house. He watched all the news channels, was always calling someone to assist with a cause, or faxing this, emailing that in order amend a policy or create a law.  Sometime he was just requesting someone to be present for an event. Those who didn’t know this, but he even lived for many years on a street name “Jernigan Place”. He was a go-getter, nothing seemed to slow him down. He will be missed, but always remembered for his dedication to many people throughout the State of Florida. Many of us know the different faces of Warren Jernigan, his involvement with the City of Pensacola, the CIL Disability Resource Center, Pensacola Transportation, Vocational Rehabilitation, the City and County Commissioners, and so many more.  Warren had a wonderful, colorful life. Even though we all feel the loss and will miss him, we won’t forget him or the impact he had in our lives.

Warren H. Jernigan was a native of Pensacola, Florida. He grew up in Ferry Pass, attending Ferry Pass Grade School, followed by High School and graduated from Tate High School – Class of 1955.  He then served in the United States Air Force until 1957. Warren was married in 1959 to Helen Demirtashev and they had two sons, Warren II and Robert and four grandchildren. Helen later passed away and Warren re-married Pat Harrelson.

After his duty in the United States Air Force, he took a job as a doorman for the House of Representatives and worked for Congressman Bob Sikes as his legislative assistant. During his duties at the House of Representatives, he became Chief Doorman, holding the post from 1963 until 1978.

In 1978, he received the diagnosis of Gullian-Barre’ Syndrome, a rare disorder in which your body’s immune system attacks your nerves. He became temporarily paralyzed, which forced his retirement from his position in Congress. He moved back to Florida to continue outpatient therapy and to learn how to walk again. This setback ruined a goal he had to run in the Boston Marathon, for which he was training for just prior to the onslaught of the disease. This did not affect his other aspirations to write a book and to work on restructuring state and national programs. With those goals in mind, he was appointed by the Governor to serve as Chairman of the Committee on Transportation Disadvantaged and was nominated by the Honorable Joe Oldmixon to replace the former President of Pensacola Pen Wheels. He was a Member of the Presidential Committee on Employment of the Handicapped; The White House Conference on Aging; the Florida Governor’s Council on Handicapped Concerns; and the Florida Transportation Study Commission.

More of his Accomplishments:

  • Chairman – Disability Summit Council
  • Chair, Florida Bioterrorism Disability Task Force 2003
  • State Commissioner, appointed by the Speaker of the House, the Honorable John Thrasher, to serve on the Occupational Access and Opportunity Commission. Reappointed by Speaker Tom Feeney to Occupational Access and Opportunity Commission – VR.
  • Representative emeritus (first Chairman) of the Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged
  • Board of Directors of the NW Florida Genealogy Society
  • Chair, National Affairs of the National Transportation Consortium of State
  • President, Florida Council of Handicapped Organizations
  • President, Pensacola Employ the Handicapped (Pen Wheels)
  • Member, Escambia County Transportation Disadvantaged Board
  • Vice Chair, Florida State Commission on Ethics
  • Secretary, The Able Trust/Florida Governor Alliance for the Employment of Disabled Citizens.
  • Chairman of the Whitmire Cemetery Association in Escambia County
  • Boy Scouts of America, Gulf Coast Council
  • Worshipful Master of Federal Lodge #1 F.A.A.M. Washington DC

Honors and Awards for his leadership on Boards to advance the cause of persons with disabilities:

  • 2004 Joe Oldmixon Service Award Recipient
  • Lifetime Achievement Awards (FL ADA Working Group, 1997)
  • Outstanding Contributions Award (The Able Trust, 1996)
  • Special Award (FL Transportation Disadvantaged Commission, 1990)
  • Commendation (President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, 1989)
  • President’s Award (ARC/Florida, 1989)
  • Certificate of Appreciation for Distinguished Service (Governor of Florida, 1988)
  • Appreciation Award (NW FL Area Agency on Aging, Inc., 1988)
  • Appreciation Award (National Council on the Handicapped, 1987)
  • Service Award (CIL Board of Directors, 1987)
  • Certificate of Appreciation (Governor’s Employment Alliance, 1985)
  • Outstanding and Meritorious Service to the Congress of the United States (U.S. Congress, 1975)
  • Service to Mankind Award (Sertoma International)
  • Inducted into the Americans with Disabilities Act Hall of Fame
  • US House of Representatives Doorman’s Society Exemplary Service Award 1971
  • Presidential Prayer Breakfast Usher 1971, 1972, 1974-1977
  • US House of Representatives Doorman’s Society, Meritorious Service to US Congress 1975

Significant Events:

  • Invited to join the Presidential Party on Air Force One to travel with President Gerald Ford to address Louisiana Legislators and to hold meetings and tour the Naval facilities in Pensacola
  • Met with Donald Trump at his Mar-a-lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida to jointly plan a fundraiser to benefit disability employment through the Able Trust.


Disability Community Advocacy Network (DCAN) meets monthly, 3rd Wednesday of each month, at the CIL Disability Resource Center Conference Room, 3600 North Pace Blvd., Pensacola, Florida. 32505.

Stay tuned for May’s Agenda!  5/16/18

If you need accommodations to attend the meeting please call Sherri at (850) 293-7841, 48 hours prior to the meeting.

Meetings are:  Noon – 1:00 PM.    

  • Contact:  Sherri Myers
  • Voice/TDD: (850) 595-5566, ext. 22
  • Mobile:  850-293-7841



Support Group – Cross Disability 

People with Disabilities, family and caregivers are welcome to attend               Logo with icons of cross disabilities

Every 2nd Wednesday of Each Month at Noon

Open Forum and suggestions for discussion are welcome.

Point of contact:  Danny Broxson, 850-595-5566, ext 33 or Email at



To find locations of FTRI Events:   Eligibility is open to Florida residents who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf/blind, or speech impaired.  To receive specialized telephone equipment, you must provide proof of eligibility.

For more Information please contact:

  • Karen Jackson,  FTRI Specialist,
  • Voice/TDD: (850) 595-5566, FL Relay: (800) 955-8770,
  • Toll Free: (877) 245-2457

FTRI specialized telephone equipment is available at no cost. You must also provide proof of residency with one of the following:

  • Florida Driver’s License
  • Florida Voter Registration Card
  • Florida Identification Card
  • Florida Vehicle Registration
  • Florida Medicaid Card
  • Letter from Social Security with your name and Florida address

  FTRI Logo

Center for Independent Living of Northwest Florida, Inc. (FEIN: 59-2288751) dba CIL Disability Resource Center, is a registered charity in the State of Florida, Registration Number CH130. A copy of the Official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Division of Consumer Services by calling toll-free within the state. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the state. 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352),