Business leaders are those who are innovative in their vision.
...appreciate employees who are loyal, responsible and make long term commitments?
...wish to increase your bottom line through a larger customer base?
...hope to retain your most competent employees?
The Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at the University of South Florida can assist you with any and all of these tasks at no cost. We began this innovative project in 2008 and it has been a model for Florida and other states to create welcoming communities. You are probably saying to yourself, "What do people with autism have to do with my business?" The fact is that an estimated 25,000 people with autism live in and around the Tampa Bay region. They want to be a consumer of your products, visit your businesses, or be employed by you. With low-cost to no-cost accommodations, you can have a competent person working for you, making purchases from you or for those family members currently employed by you, have an internal support network that will assist you in retaining these valued employees.
Many businesses have already seen the benefits of what CARD-USF can do to assist in meeting diversity goals. Please read the brochure, Autism Fits: Your Piece of the Puzzle, to learn more about this special community building effort by CARD-USF and be that innovative leader who can see how welcoming people with autism and their family members can benefit your business.
Click Here for Brochure
CARD-USF provides our constituents with this list of autism friendly businesses to create a more inclusive community for people of all abilities.
To learn more, contact:
Autism Friendly Tampa
The City of Tampa and CARD-USF have joined forces on an initiative announced by Mayor Bob Buckhorn during his State of the City speech in April 2017 called “Autism Friendly Tampa”. It is our goal to create a more welcoming and sensory friendly experience for people of all abilities. CARD-USF has provided training and technical assistance to various departments within the City of Tampa and will continue its efforts into 2018. Here are some of the activities completed by CARD-USF:
- Autism Friendly training has been completed for city employees in Parks and Recreation, Tampa Police Department and Tampa Fire Rescue totaling more than 1,700 employees.
- Rescue vehicles used by Tampa Police and first responders from Tampa Fire Rescue will be outfitted with a visual communication card to better assist those who have limited verbal communication skills.
- Training for additional employees in various city departments is being scheduled for 2018.
- “Distract Paks” and visual aids for communication were designed by CARD-USF and distributed to 15 city parks locations. “Distract Paks” are containers full of sensory toys and activities for youngsters who may need to have something to help them manage difficult situations. Distract Pak Brochure
- Tampa Riverwalk Social Experience Story was developed and is now available. Social experience stories provide families and individuals the opportunity to review what to expect at a location prior to a visit.
- Sensory Garden designed and installed in Kathryn Malone Center.
- New and expanded programs are being developed such as “no score” team sports, private swimming lessons and water safety classes, gymnastics and dance with a therapist.
- Three parks have been designated to receive new sensory- friendly equipment specifically designed to meet the needs of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
“Autism Friendly Tampa” Sites
Parks and Recreation Facilities:
|Barksdale Senior Center and Freedom Playground MacFarlane Park
1801 N. Lincoln Avenue, Tampa FL 33607
|Gwen Miller Rec Center at Woodland Terrace Park
6410 N. 32nd St. Tampa, FL 33610
11001 N 15th St., Tampa 33612
|Hunt Community Center at Al Lopez Park
4810 N Himes Avenue, Tampa FL 33614
|Cyrus Greene Park
2101 E. Dr. MLK Jr. Blvd, Tampa FL 33610
|Jackson Heights NFL Youth Education Town Center Glazer Family Field
3310 E. Lake Ave., Tampa FL 33612
|Dr. MLK Center
2200 N. Oregon Avenue, Tampa FL 33607
|Kate Jackson Park Community Center 821 S. Rome Avenue, Tampa FL 33606|
|Fair Oaks Park
5019 34th Street, Tampa 33610
|Loretta Ingraham Rec Complex 1611 N. Hubert Ave, Tampa 33607|
|Forrest Hills Park 724 W 109th Ave. Tampa FL 33612||Port Tampa Park 4702 W McCoy St. Tampa, FL 33616|
5202 N. 12th Street Tampa, FL 33603
|Spring Hill Park 1000 E Eskimo Avenue, Tampa 33604|
The Tampa Riverwalk is a 2.6 mile continuous waterfront corridor along the banks of the Hillsborough River and the Garrison Channel. It offers a unique pedestrian path that links parks, museums, cultural and convention facilities downtown. The Riverwalk provides a safe and healthy venue for biking, walking, and rollerblading as well as a needed impetus for other transportation means such as a water taxi. For more information on the Riverwalk and waterfront events go to the Friends of the Riverwalk website at www.thetampariverwalk.com . View the Tampa Riverwalk Social Story.
Autism Friendly Business Directory
Recreation and Fitness
Dancing for a Difference, Brandon
I'm Going to Dance Class!
I’m going to be a Star in My Dance Recital
Freedom Sailing Camp of Florida, Inc. Clearwater
Pediatric Aquatic Therapy of the Suncoast
Going to a Swim Lesson
We Rock the Spectrum Kid's Gym, Tampa
I'm Visiting We Rock The Spectrum Kid's Gym!
Out of Zion (Camp)
Welcome to Out of Zion
Health & Wellness
All About Speech and Language, South Tampa, Riverview
My Visit to AASL in South Tampa
My Visit to AASL in Riverview
Equally Fit, Central Florida
My Experience With Equally Fit
Shyama’s Art Studio, Tampa
My Visit to Shyama’s Art Studio
Huntington Learning Center, Tampa
A Social Experience Story
The Lakeland Public Library, Lakeland
Our Visit to the Lakeland Public Library
Changes Due to Covid-19 and Construction
Our Visit to the Betty J Johnson North Sarasota Public Library
Our Visit to the Fruitville Public Library
The Winter Haven Public Library, Winter Haven
Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales
My Visit to Bok Tower Gardens
The Dali, St. Petersburg
The Dali Museum Experience Book
Enjoy Ya Selfie, Tampa
Explorations V Children's Museum, Lakeland
The Florida Aquarium, Tampa
Swim with the Fish
A Visit to Visit the Florida Aquarium
Penguins: Backstage Pass
Wild Dolphin Cruise
Glazer Children's Museum, Tampa
We Are Going to Glazer Children's Museum
Great Explorations Children's Museum, St. Petersburg
Henry B. Plant Museum, Tampa
Our visit to the Plant Museum
The James Museum, St. Petersburg
Visiting the James Museum
Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, Sarasota
Mote Sensory Guide
Museum of Fine Arts , St. Petersburg
My Visit to MFA
Naples Botanical Garden, Naples
Our Visit to Naples Botanical Garden
Sensory Friendly Saturdays
Field Trip Program Options
Tampa Bay Discovery Watch Center , St. Petersburg
My Visit to Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center
Tampa Bay History Center , Tampa
Our Visit to the Tampa Bay History Center
Vertical Ventures, St. Petersburg
ZooTampa at Lowry Park, Tampa
DISCLAIMER -- PLEASE READ
CARD-USF makes no representations, guarantees or promises on behalf of or for those listed, and assumes no liability nor responsibility for any service or product provided. CARD-USF does not certify practitioners or guarantee competence, skill, knowledge, or experience.
Autism Friendly FAQs