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.
Kaleisia Tea Lounge, Tampa
How to Order
Recreation and Fitness
Altitude Trampoline Park , Tampa
Our Visit to Altitude Trampoline Park
Dancing for Donations Dance School, Brandon
Family Fun Center, Lakeland
We're Going to Family Fun Center
Freedom Sailing Camp of Florida, Inc. Clearwater
Happy Hearts Art Studio , New Port Richey
My Visit to Happy Hearts Art Studio
Going to a Swim Lesson
Skate World, Lakeland
Our Visit to Skate World
Sylvia’s Clubhouse , Clearwater
Sylvia's Clubhouse social story
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
Going to the dentist
Puzzle Piece Fitness, Central Florida
My Experience With Puzzle Piece Fitness
ASD Vacations, Tampa
Dinosaur World, Plant City
Our Visit to Dinosaur World
Florida Holocaust Museum, St. Petersburg
Our Visit to the Museum
The Florida Aquarium, Tampa
Glazer Children's Museum, Tampa
Glazer Children’s Museum Experience book
Henry B. Plant Museum, Tampa
Our visit to the Plant Museum
The James Museum, St. Petersburg
Visiting the James Museum
Lithia Springs Conservation Park, Lithia
ZooTampa at Lowry Park, Tampa
ZooTampa's Day of Discovery
Day of Discovery Tip Sheet
Visiting ZooTampa at Lowry Park
Visiting Lorikeet Landing
Visiting the Petting Zoo
Visiting Wallaby Walkabout
Visiting the Giraffe Feeding Station
Visiting Stingray Bay
Naples Botanical Garden, Naples
Tampa Bay History Center , Tampa
Our Visit to the Tampa Bay History Center
Resorts and Hotels
Hawks Cay Resort, Duck Key
The Lakeland Public Library, Lakeland
Our Visit to the Lakeland Public Library
Shyama’s Art Studio, Tampa
My Visit to Shyama’s Art Studio
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 FAQ's
|What it Means to be an Autism Friendly Businesss Can be Viewed in the PDF Below:||A List of Frequently Asked Questions about Visiting an Autism Friendly Business Can be Viewed in the PDF Below:|
|Strategies for Businesses and Families to Begin to Expand Beyond Sensory Friendly Experiences Can be Viewed in the PDF Below :|