Keynote: Caring for the Caregiver
Dr. Elizabeth Perkins
Florida Center for Inclusive Communities, University of South Florida


Being a caregiver to a family member with autism can be challenging. Dr. Perkins will provide a brief overview of caregiving in general. She will share her research regarding the quality of life of caregivers of people with intellectual/developmental disabilities and compound caregivers. Her presentation will conclude with how we can support caregivers, as well as discuss some free resources available to cope with caregiver stress.


Dr. Elizabeth Perkins is the Associate Director and Research Assistant Professor at the Florida Center for Inclusive Communities at USF. She is a Registered Nurse in the field of Intellectual Disabilities from the United Kingdom, and has a BA (summa cum laude) in Psychology, and PhD in Aging Studies both from USF. Her area of expertise is aging with developmental disabilities, and caregiver quality of life. Dr. Perkins is the co-author of the 5th & 6th editions of the textbook “Physical Changes and Aging: A Guide for the Helping Professions”, which was also translated into Chinese. She has authored numerous articles and book chapters, in prestigious journals including the Journal of the American Medical Association, American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, (for which she also served as the Guest Editor for a Special Issue on Aging and End-of-Life), and Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities (for which she is an Editorial Board member). She is also the author of the popular My Health Passport, health advocacy document. Dr. Perkins is currently member-at-large on the national board of directors of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and is also a Fellow of the association. At the state level, she currently serves on the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council – Health Task Force, and the Advisory Board of the Disability and Health Program for the Florida Department of Health.


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Contact Information

Dr. Elizabeth Perkins
Associate Director
Florida Center for Inclusive Communities
University of South Florida
13301 Bruce B. Downs Blvd.
Tampa, Fl 33612

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