National & State Scan: Florida

  • The lead agency in with oversight of policy and services for children and youth with an ASD is the Department of Education, which houses the Bureau for Exceptional Education and Students and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation; other state agencies contributing to the work and services include the Agency for Persons with Disabilities and the Department of Health.
  • State-level commission or workgroup pertaining to ASDs: the Governor’s Task Force on Autism Spectrum Disorders was established under Executive Order 08-36 on March 7, 2008 in order to set a unified agenda to address the needs of individuals with an ASD; there are also 7 university-managed Centers for Autism & Related Disabilities (CARD) locations that receive grant funding through the state Department of Education. These are regional centers that serve as a hub for information and resources for individuals/families with an ASD
  • Notable state-level transition-related activities specific to students with disabilities include: State Secondary Transition Interagency Committee is a state-level interagency team designed to improve secondary transition. The committee meets twice per year with additional activities coordinated by its subcommittees; the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council supports a website to provide information and resources about secondary transition planning, to students, families, and professionals; Project 10: Transition Education Network focuses on four major initiatives: capacity building, interagency collaboration, transition legislation and policy, and student development and outcomes. Project 10 also has Regional Transition Representatives for each of the Florida region/school district
  • Unique customized employment programs within the state for individuals with an ASD include: The Learning Academy at USF is a customized transition program to prepare young adults with an ASD for employment by providing service, supports, and experiential learning opportunities; School-Based Enterprises create opportunities for helping students with disabilities prepare for the transition from high school to work or college
  • The percentage of youth with special health care needs who received the services necessary to make transitions to all aspects of adult life, including adult health care, work, and independence, as reported in 2009/10 for FL, 37% (n= 351)