Parent Support Services: Gardiner Scholarship


For which disability is this relevant?

Autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, an intellectual disability, muscular dystrophy, Phelan-McDermid syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, spina bifida, Williams syndrome, anaphylaxis, dual sensory impairment, blind or visually impaired; or diagnosed with rare diseases which affect patient populations of fewer than 200,000 Americans; be identified as having a traumatic brain injury as defined by the State Board of Education, be hospitalized
or homebound with a medically diagnosed physical or psychiatric condition for more than six months, or age 3, 4 or 5 and who are considered “high-risk” due to developmental delay.

Gardiner Scholarship Program:

The Gardiner Scholarship Program can be used to purchase approved services or products in order to design a customized educational program for the eligible student. Specialized services include speech or occupational therapy, instructional materials, tuition at an eligible private school, contributions to a college prepaid account and more. A child may not receive the Gardiner Scholarship and attend public school at the same time, unless it is to receive contracted services as described above.

How does this help the person with a disability or family support system?

Depending on a number of factors including grade level, county of residence and the student’s individual need, the scholarship can be approximately $10,000. This can be used to provide private school education and/or therapeutic services in the home.

How can a parent/caregiver gain access to the Gardiner Scholarship?

The Scholarship Funding Organizations (SFO) listed below are approved to administer the Gardiner Scholarship Program. Contact the SFO for instructions and deadlines for applying for a scholarship.

A.A.A. Scholarship Foundation
Phone: 888-707-2465
[email protected]

Step Up for Students
Phone: 877-735-7837
[email protected]

Recommended websites, YouTube videos, books on this topic? To learn more about the Gardiner Scholarship and how to apply Click Here To learn about the legislation Click Here

When looking for this service are there any questions or observations you would recommend parents to investigate before selecting a provider?

The Department of Education has provided a FAQ webpage that addresses many questions parents may have about the Gardiner Scholarship Program. For the website Click Here


Florida Department of Education

Written by: Iris Neil[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]