If you would like your special needs service or resource added to this guide, please send an email to info@friendssupport.org. We are always updating this guide, please feel free to download.



Behavioral Counsulting of Tampa Bay www.bcotb.com

Bridging the Gap Therapy Solutions - https://btgtherapy.com/

Engage Behavioral Health - www.engagebehavioralhealth.com (877)350-5005

Family Learning Solutions - www.familylearningsolution.com (863)293-1744

ABA Therapy Associates – www.abatherapyassociates.com (800)981-5129

Hot Docs
(813) 974-1048.

Step Beyond Development – 727-643-7695; 1022 Main St. suite J, Dunedin, FL 34698.


McDonalds Training Center/Sabal Park -  3901 Coconut Palm Drive, Tampa, Florida 33619 – 813-870-1300.

Guardian Haven - 3801 Corporex Park Dr #200, Tampa, FL 33619 – 813-400-2117

Miracles in Motion  -  1911 N US Highway 301, Tampa, FL 33619 – 813-932-0400

K2 Escape -   1005 W Bloomingdale Ave, Brandon, FL 33511 – 813-409-2849

Specialty Fit Farm -  2112 Martin Road, Dover – Mark – 727-831-2829

Families expecting a child with Down syndrome may decide that making an adoption plan is the right choice for their family. The National Down Syndrome Adoption Network has a registry of families who are licensed to adopt and who want to adopt a child with Down syndrome. For more information visit www.ndsan.org or call 513-709-1751.





  • Autism Speaks - autismspeaks.org 888-288-4762
  • Autism Society of America autism-society.org
  • CARD Center for Autism & Related Disabilities at USF- http://card-usf.fmhi.usf.edu/  (813) 974-4602  The Center for Autism & Related Disabilities at USF is a community-based project that provides information and consultation to individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders and related disabilities. Dr. Beth Boone, Director of Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD)- http://card-usf.fmhi.usf.edu/





  • Ability Medical Equipment (813)620-4475 ability.com
  • Technology for Children taalliance.org
  • Family Center on Technology and Disability fctd.info
  • FAAST faast.org (866) 732-8873 - Florida Alliance for Assistive Services 4202 E. Fowler Ave, Tampa FL 33620  Improve the quality of life for all Floridians with disabilities though awareness activities that increase access to and acquisition of assistive services and technology. Hands on assistive technology, demonstrations, and trainings. Assistive device lending programs at no charge.



  • Hillborough Law offices of Laurie O’hall, P.A. 
  • (813)438-8503  Special Needs guardianship, estate planning.Pinellas Hitchcock Law Group hitchcocklawyer.com (727)223-3644 Special Needs guardianship, estate planning.
  • Bay Area Legal Services (800)625-2257 bals.org Legal services probono.
  • Community Law Program (727)582-7402 clp@lawprogram.org
  • Advocare Trust, Inc. advocaretrust.org (727)791-3972 Provides life long guardianship and care for individuals whos parents have passed away.
  • Affordable Legal Fees affordablelegalfees.com
  • Guardian Trust - guardianpooledtrust.org/
  • Florida Guardian Ad Litem Program – galtampa.org
  • All Life Legal Karla Marie Carolan, P.A. allifelegal.com (813)671-4300 10009 Park Place Ave., Riverview, FL. 33578. Special Needs guardianship and estate planning.



BLIND/LOW VISION  -  Sheryl Brown, Executive Director for the Tampa Lighthouse for the Blind and Low Vision Maximizing Independence and Providing Employment Opportunities - Lighthouse for the Blind & Low Vision (lighthouseblv.org).

NATIONAL FEDERATION FO THE BLIND - Miranda Kilby, President of the National Federation of the Blind, Tampa Chapter National Federation of the Blind - Florida (nfbflorida.org).




  • A Brighter Community – United Way supported preschool and family support with speech , OT and PT. 1613 N. Marion St. Tampa, Fl 33602 abrightercommunity.org (813)223-6830.
  • Early Childhood Counsil of Hillsborough County Inclusion elchc.org (813)837-7753




  • A Better Life Adult Day Care – adultdaycaretampa.com (813)999-4945
  • Brandon Swim & Tennis facebook.com/myBSAC/ (813)689-0908 
  • Guardian Haven Academy – 3801 Corporex Park Dr. Tampa FL 33619 guardianhaven.com
  • MacDonald Training Center - macdonaldcenter.org Tampa - Karenne Levy, Executive Director for MacDonalds Training Center Home - MacDonald Training Center.
  • Self Reliance – self-reliance.org (813)375-3965 8901 N. Armenia, Tampa FL 33604 Offers independent living skills, peer support.
  • Sunrise Community, Inc. St. Petersburg – sunrisegroup.org
  • Quest – questinc.org Offers opportunities to learn, live, work, and play.

DEAFPatti Sanchez, MacDonalds Training Center with whom I consult with on serving individuals who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing.


  • FDLRS - Florida Diagnostic & Learning Resources System fdlrs.org

The Florida Diagnostic & Learning Resources System is a discretionary project of the Florida Department of Education that provides diagnostic, instructional, and technology support services to district exceptional education programs and families of students with disabilities.

The Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Department provides support and services to students with disabilities (SWD) who are eligible for special education services. Hillsborough County Public Schools serve over 30,000 students with disabilities, ages birth through 21

ESE students are assigned a classroom teacher and case manager. Your child’s classroom teacher can give you the name of your child’s case manager if needed. The case manager can provide information regarding your child’s IEP, services providers, and progress, as well as assist the IEP team in monitoring student progress.



*Please only submit one complete application per person.

Incomplete applications (i.e. missing signatures, contact information, Network Dentists selected, Treatment Plans/New Patient Estimates) will not be accepted and cannot be processed.

1. Before Downloading the application, please review the full instructions located on The Arc Dental Program main information page. 

Download APPLICATION HERE (English) – Adobe Reader Required Download Here

Descarga la aplicación aquí (Spanish) – Adobe Reader Requerida Decarga aquí

2. Complete Page 1, complete and sign Pages 2-4 of the Application Packet.

3. Select a Program Network Dentist (if you do not have one) from the Arc of Florida Dental Office List (CLICK LINK BELOW) that meets all needs of the applicant (dentist type, sedation, location).


  • Dental Lifeline Network – org/florida - (850)577-1466 For those who cannot afford dental services.
  • Florida KidCare floridakidcare.org (888)540-5437 birth to 18yrs Medicaid.
  • Frank Sierra DMD,PA 6323 Memorial Hwy, Tampa 33615 www.sierradmd.com
  • The Humanitarian Foundation (614)933-0711hfgrotto.org Covers the costs of dental treatment including hospital and anesthesia costs for all special needs children.
  • FL Dental Association Guide to Dentists floridadental.org/public/find-a-dentist
  • TLC Pediatric Dentistry 6532 Gunn Hwy, Tampa FL 33625 tlc4kidz.com (813)969-0999.
  • Medicaid dental clinics –
    • Palm River 813-349-7845
    • Dover Dental 813-349-7735
    • Plant City 813-349-7635



Serves families and friends of individuals with Down syndrome and developmental delay. We are a 501c3 non profit charity. It is our purpose to provide education and promote public awareness by arranging and conducting special events, namely cruises. 





Adaptive Sports -HCFLGOV.net/Parks (813)635-8179; This program promotes health, independence and personal growth through sports for people with physical disabilities. Brandon – 502 E. Sadie, Brandon, FL 33510. 

Buddy Baseballwww.buddybaseball.org (813)416-5742; A non-competitive recreational league serving the Tampa Bay community for boys and girls ages 8 to 22 with special needs.  Each player is paired with a buddy to assist the player as needed on the field and in the dugout.

Buddy up for Life -https://buddyupforlife.org/ A baseball program designed for the needs of Children & Adults that live with physical or mental disabilities.

Challenger Baseball - https://clearwaterchallengerlittleleague.com/  (727)642-4268A baseball program designed for the needs of Children & Adults that live with physical or mental disabilities, ages 4yrs to adult.

ME & U Abilities Academy - www.meanduabilitiesacademy.com – (727)643-8794. Join Tina Tallman as she builds a community based children’s fitness academy to help all children become fit through music, dance, and laughter. www.meandusfitnessacademy.com

Jewish Community Centers www.jewishtampa.com (813)264-9000; Tampa JCCs and Federation on the Maureen and Douglas Cohn Campus 13009 Community Campus Drive Tampa, FL.

Specially Fit - Specially Fit Foundation is a non profit organization intends to bring inclusion in the Special Needs community with exercise/sports. We provide Free Group Fitness classes for individuals with developmental disabilities. These classes are for anybody we have certified coaches that help assist in the process. We also help prepare everyone to participate in the Special Olympics. https://www.speciallyfitfoundation.com (727)831-2829.

Special Olympics https://www.specialolympicsflorida.org/  (352)243-9536; Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and competition to children and adults 8 years of age and older with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Cost is free, need a doctor’s clearance on physical exam, sometimes provided free of charge. 

Tennis for Fun - http://tennisforfun.org/contact/  (813)546-8008; A free tennis clinic for athletes of all ages that are intellectually handicapped, especially those with Down Syndrome, but other special needs athletes who qualify for Special Olympics are also welcome to join the program. 

Top Soccer -  brandontops@aol.com;  (813)657-5271 A community-based training program for all athletes with intellectual, emotional, and or physical disabilities. The program strives to provide soccer opportunities (the opportunity of soccer) for players to develop at their own pace in a safe, fun, and supportive/inclusive environment. 

We Rock the Spectrum – Kids Play Gym www.werockthespectrumtampa.com. www.werockthespectrumclearwater.com. A full inclusion indoor play space for all kids! Open play, classes, birthday parties.


Integrated Genetics - https://www.integratedgenetics.com/  ; Labcorp offers a continuum of care in reproductive genetic testing from screening to diagnosis, and hereditary cancer testing services. Whether you are a patient or a healthcare provider, the broad reach of our specialty testing capabilities.

The USF Regional Genetics and Metabolism https://health.usf.edu/medicine/pediatrics/genetics/counseling  (813) 259-8772; 2 Tampa General Circle, 5th Floor 5053B Tampa, FL 33606.   Established in 1977 to provide comprehensive medical management to individuals and families with a genetic condition. This includes an initial evaluation and examination, genetic testing as appropriate, genetic counseling and follow up as appropriate.



211 Association  www.211.org  (727)210-4233. 
Free informational and referral services to connect with health and human service programs, food, housing, employment, health care and more.

American Disabilities Act National Network 
https://adata.org/national-network  Provides information, guidance and training on how to implement the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in order to support the mission of the ADA to “assure equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities.”

Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) Suncoast Region www.apd.myflorida.com; (Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco)  (813)233-4302  1313 N. Tampa St. #515 Tampa FL 33602; Provides assistance in identifying the needs of people with developmental disabilities for supports and services. Provides private providers to assist people with special needs.  Apply for MedWaiver. https://apd.myflorida.com/customers/application/ 

Bay Area Early Steps  https://health.usf.edu/medicine/pediatrics/early-steps 813-558-1343

Early Steps is Florida's early intervention system that offers services to eligible infants and toddlers, age birth to 36 months, who have or are at-risk for developmental disabilities or delays. Early intervention supports families and caregivers to increase their child’s participation in daily activities and routines that are important to the family.  

Beds for Babies http://healthystartpinellas.org/beds-for-babies/ (727)512-3740

Bright Expectations 
Bright Expectations is Florida’s site dedicated to helping our residents with unique abilities find support, resources, and inspiration. Website: http://www.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/people-with-disabilities/bright-expectations/index.html; (850)245-4465

Center for Autism & Related Disabilities
 (CARD) The Center for Autism & Related Disabilities (CARD), a statewide organization that provides support and assistance with the goal of optimizing the potential of people with autism and related disabilities.  http://florida-card.org/

CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/disabilityandhealth/dhds/overview.html Disability and Health Data System (DHDS) is an online source of state-level data on adults with disabilities. Users can access information on six functional disability types. 

Children's Medical Services (727) 469-5800  www.floridahealth.gov; A collection of special programs for eligible children with special needs. We have a variety of services for expecting moms, newborn babies, infants and toddlers, school-aged children, adolescents and young adults. All of our services are provided by highly qualified physicians. 

Children’s Medical Services - www.cms-kids.com Provides medical, primary care, therapeutic services and long term care for children with special health needs. Medicaid children under the age of 21yrs. 

Department of Children & Families (DCF)  www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/access-florida-food-medical-assistance-cash 9393 North Florida Avenue, Tampa Florida 33612 Phone Number: 813-558-5500. Contact for cash assistance, food stamps, medical assistance. 

Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST) 

FAAST serves Floridians with disabilities by providing free access to information, referral services, educational programs, and publications in accessible formats on topics such as disability rights, laws, and policies. We also provide assistive technology (AT) device loans as well as funding opportunities for AT.  https://faast.org/.  

Family Café – www.familycafe.net 1-888-309-CAFÉ (2233) The Annual Family Café has brought Floridians with all types of disabilities together for three days of information, training, and networking each June. With a great range of individual breakout sessions, a packed Exhibit Hall with dozens of vendors, and a series of special events including Keynote speakers and The Governors’ Summit on Disabilities.

Family Network on Disabilities
A national network of individuals of all ages who may be at-risk, have disabilities, or have special needs and their families, professionals, and concerned citizens. The mission of FND is to strive for the complete integration and equality of persons with disabilities in a society without barriers and to serve families of children with disabilities, ages birth through 26, who have the full range of disabilities described in section 602(3) of IDEA. FND is a parent organization as defined in section 671(a)(2) of IDEA 2004.  https://fndusa.org/

Family Health Line -  http://www.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/womens-health/pregnancy/family-health-line.html   1-800-451-2229 The Family Health Line is a statewide free hotline offering counseling information and referrals about pregnancy, infant and toddler issues. Answering basic questions about pregnancy, breastfeeding, childbirth education and other pregnancy-related concerns.

Florida Developmental Disabilities Council (FDDC)  
This service was established to help plan individual and family-centered supports for persons with disabilities in Florida. The Council also guides the development and administration of services for people with developmental disabilities by planning and funding research, innovations, and programs designed to improve the quality of their lives.  https://www.fddc.org/ 

FDLRS Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resource System http://www.fdlrs.org/ Provides diagnostic, instructional, and technology support services to district exceptional education programs and families of students with disabilities.  

Florida Early Steps http://www.cms-kids.com/families/early_steps/early_steps.html (800) 218-0001.  Provides information and referral services to families of children with disabilities and special health care needs. Resource specialists provide answers and/or possible choices of services within your community, education on disability related services and provides advocacy roles for families. For more information or to make a referral to Early Steps.  

Florida KidCare –  https://www.floridakidcare.org/ 1-888-540-5437; Insurance for kids 1-18yrs not eligible for Medicaid. No deductibles.

Head Start/Early Head Start  www.healthystartcoalition.org (850)922-3936; Assists children with all types of disabilities including but not limited to those with developmental, hearing, language, and visual disabilities as well as emotional, medical, mental, and social needs. Enrolled children with special needs are provided with Individualized Education Plans (IEP) and/or Individual Family Support Plans (IFSP).  

Healty Starthttp://healthystartflorida.com/ 850-999-6200 Promotes healthy pregnancies, babies, and families by providing services and facilitating access to resources through community partnerships while advancing racial equity and cultural responsiveness.  

Help Me Growhttps://www.helpmegrowfl.org/ Promote healthy development for every child in our state. Help Me Grow is designed to address the need for early identification of developmental and/or behavioral concerns, and then to link children and their families to community-based developmental and behavioral services and supports.  

Kinship Care Support for relative caregivers such as therapy, respite, tutoring, etc. (727)785-2762.  

Medicaid HCBS Waiver through iBudget Florida  https://ahca.myflorida.com/medicaid/hcbs_waivers/ibudget.shtml; May allow you to get medical care and other services at home or in a facility in your community. Services are eligible for persons with developmental disabilities living at home. Service groups include Life Skills, Supplies and Equipment, Personal Supports, Residential Services, Transportation, Adult Dental, Therapeutic Supports/Wellness, and Support Coordination. 

HCBS programs are sometimes called “waiver” programs because the state has gotten CMS to waive certain requirements of the Medicaid program. For example, a state must offer Medicaid services equally to all eligible people in the state regardless of their disabling condition. Under these rules a state couldn't run a Medicaid program that paid for prescriptions for physical conditions but not prescriptions for mental conditions.  For information on how to apply for the iBudget Waiver contact the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (866)273-2273.  

Medicaid https://applyformedicaid.org/medicaid-application/ Medicaid is the medical assistance program that provides access to health care for low-income families and individuals.  Medicaid assists people with disabilities with the cost of nursing facility care and other medical and long term care expenses. 

The National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/index.html   800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636); Provides information about unique abilities, including descriptions, risk factors, signs and symptoms; screenings and diagnosis; data and statistics; research and related articles.

Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP)

Current and potential clients should visit https://www.myflorida.com/accessflorida/:

  • Apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or Medicaid;
  • Make changes or check the status of your benefits through the Self-Service Portal;
  • Receive case information and answers to benefit questions by talking to DCF’s virtual assistant; and
  • Order an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card, get information about EBT transactions, or report an EBT card as lost or stolen.

DCF’s Statewide Customer Call Center is also available for customer questions, benefit interviews, and application assistance at 850-300-4323 (TTY 1-800-955-8771), Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

If you are an individual with a disability and need help with the application process or other ESS services, please find your regional point of contact listed on the following website: https://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/individual-with-disability/auxiliary-aids-plan.shtml

Maximum Monthly Allotment

Governor Ron DeSantis directed DCF to coordinate with our federal partners to temporarily increase all Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients’ benefit amounts to the maximum monthly allotment based on household size for March 2020 through March 2021.

Additionally, in December 2020, President Donald Trump signed the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act, which increased the benefit amounts for SNAP clients each month from January 2021 through June 2021.

Households that normally receive their benefits between March 1st and 10th, will receive their maximum allotment supplement on March 11th. Households that receive their benefits after March 10th, will receive their maximum allotment supplement on their regularly staggered issuance schedule. New households approved for SNAP will have a supplement issued within 2 weeks.


DCF waived recertifications from April through August 2020. DCF stands ready to assist Florida’s benefit clients if needed through the recertification process, which can be done virtually and through the self-service portal.

Medicaid recipients will remain eligible for the duration of the public health emergency as declared by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Work Requirements Waiver

Under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, DCF applied good cause and suspended work requirements for the months of March 2020 through April 2021.

  • In Florida, Able Bodied Adults without Dependents (ABAWDs) are individuals who received SNAP, or food assistance, and are subject to the work requirements. ABAWDs must meet monthly work requirements.
  • Recipients of TANF, or cash assistance, must participate in work activities.

Medicaid Eligibility and Applications

Due to the public health emergency, individuals applying for Medicaid may be unable to submit all the documentation required to process their application. As a result, applicants now have 120 days for the date of submission to provide all required documentation to complete their application. If the Medicaid application is approved, the individual’s Medicaid eligibility effective date will still be the first day of the month that the initial application was received.

Medicaid coverage for most individuals will not be reduced or eliminated during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

SNAP Online Purchasing

In coordination with federal, state, and local partners, the online purchasing pilot ensures Floridians can access nutritious food while also practicing social distancing and self-quarantining practices to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

SNAP recipients may purchase groceries online with the use of an EBT card. They are automatically eligible to participate in this program and do not need to apply. As of March 2021, participating retailers include Walmart, Amazon, ALDI and BJ’s Wholesale Club.



Angels Unawarewww.angelsunaware.com has eight group homes servicing developmentally disabled of Tampa Bay. 

PARC - https://www.parc-fl.org/ PARC

Providing opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities - maintains two Medicaid Waiver group homes and two Intermediate Care Facilities for young teens and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

Pinellas Life- Group Homes - http://www.pinellaslife.com/group-homes/  Deirdre Cavener, MCP Founder and Owner of PinellasLife.com. 

ResCare/BrightSpring Health
Services www.rescare.com; Provides trusted community living services that help individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities enjoy greater quality of life in their own home or in home-like environments. 

New Horizons Group Home – 813-571-2690 
www.newhorizonshome.org; 109 E. Clay Ave. Brandon, FL 33510; Provides Group homes for adults with developmental disabilities. 

Ridgeland Group Home - www.ridgelandgrouphome.com (813) 810-6257; Adult Day Training center in Brandon Florida.  Ridgeland Group Home and its staff are dedicated people striving to provide clients the opportunity for a meaningful life through various supports needed to improve their quality of life.  

Sunrise Community of Hillsborough County http://www.sunrisegroup.org/  Phone: (813) 830-7823; 2714 West Kirby Street Tampa, Florida 33614 hillsborough@sunrisegroup.org http://www.sunrisegroup.org.  Group homes; Respite; adult training programs; Behavioral Analysis Services; Personal Assistance services; day services; and transportation. 

Quest Training and Group Home - questinc.org/residential-services (813) 423.7700; 1404 Tech Blvd. Tampa, FL 33619  contact@questinc.org ; Quest provides a variety of residential living options for people with disabilities, including group homes, intermediate care facilities and transitional and support environments. Quest's vocational program provides individuals with disabilities in the Orlando and Tampa areas the opportunity applies job skills and gain meaningful employment through the Adult Day Training (ADT) and the Supported Employment programs. 






Noah’s Ark - https://noahsarkflorida.org/ (863) 687-0804 providing or facilitating choices of meaningful employment, recreational and social opportunities and affordable housing in an inclusive community of their choice. 

One Kin Roof www.onekinroof.org - Offers an inclusive neighborhood that represents the diversity in our society. Our vision is a living and learning neighborhood that values inclusion, belonging, and purpose for people of all backgrounds, abilities, and age groups. Imagine a neighborhood where everyone is supporting one another to live their best authentic life.

Quest Villagewww.questinc.org/quest-village; 813.423.7700  Quest Village is the ideal place to foster independence with its single-bedroom/single-bathroom apartments, complete with a porch, WI-FI capabilities and all new appliances.



IEP Advocate www.theiepadvocate.com  (407)342-9836 -  Has the resourced and training to go into any IEP meeting or 504 Plan to help stand up for your childs rights and negotiate to meet their needs.

Florida Dept of Education – You can file a civil rights violation for failing to comply with IDEA.  325 West Gaines Street, Room 514, Tallahassee, Florida 32399. Phone: 850-245-0437
Fax: 850-245-9069; http://www.fldoe.org/accountability/accountability-reporting/

Florida Special Education Law – Alison Allman, P.A. - provides educational and legal services out of the principle headquarters of Special Education Law and Advocacy in Tampa, Florida. (813)348-6314 2602 W. Cypress, Tampa  33609

Florida Special Education Law Advocates -https://flspedlaw.com; Claudia Roberts; 409 S. Delaware, Tampa 33606  http://www.florida-advocate.com/ (512) 784-2480.

FDLRS Parent Liaison Program - https://www.fdlrs.org/parent-services;

Sandy Santeiro – IEP Coach & Education Advocate – 813-785-9101  https://m.facebook.com/sandysanteiro.iep

Pathways Special Education Advocacy - Our advocacy and consultation services are available to parents who want to help their children with disabilities have a more successful learning experience. (813)447-9831 Tampa



School to work Transitions www.rehabworks.org

Artistas Café -  http://www.artistascafe.com/  (813) 251-2787

develop people with Autism's "Uniqability" so they can live, work and play in our inclusive communities. Artistas Café is a Pathway of Employment for students of Autism Shifts. We’ve created this Mobile cafe so that our students and others can integrate the Autistic Community with Tampa Bay and it’s surrounding areas. Book us for an event and meet the Artistas at artistascafe.com/book

Vocational Rehabilitation Florida Department of Education 1313 North Tampa Street, Suite 801   Tampa, FL 33602  Phone: (813) 233-3600 Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) is a federal-state program that helps people who have physical or mental disabilities get or keep a job. VR is committed to helping people with disabilities find meaningful careers.

Goodwill Industries

727-523-1512/888-279-1988 The mission is accomplished through employment services, training programs and affordable housing. Headquartered in St. Petersburg, we provide services to people in 10 counties – Pinellas, Pasco, Hillsborough, Polk, Hernando, Marion, Citrus, Sumter, Levy and Highlands counties.

McDonalds Training MTC

(813) 870-1300 | Fax (813) 872-6010 5420 W. Cypress Street; Tampa, Florida 33607-1706; Primary areas of service include educational, vocational and residential supports for persons with disabilities. MTC day services includes vocational skills training and life enrichment activities from computer lab and fine arts instruction to recreational outreaches for people with developmental disabilities.

The Arc Tampa Bay - 1501 N. Belcher Road, Suite 249 Clearwater, FL 33765 Phone: 727.799.3330 The Arc Tampa Bay has a long history of advocacy efforts in support of our mission. As a service provider for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities for 58 years, The Arc Tampa Bay has been a key affiliate member of The Arc of Florida.

Parent Support Center

(727) 523-1130 2196 Main Street, Suite L, Dunedin FL 34698; This program, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), is the Parent Training Information (PTI) center for the West Florida. Help to ensure that parents of children with the full range of disabilities have the training and information they need to prepare their children for not only school, but to be able to lead productive, independent lives to the fullest extent possible. 

Self-Reliance Center for Independent Living www.self-reliance.org  gmartoccio@self-reliance.orb (813)375-3965;  Advocacy, Peer Support & Mentoring, Independent Living Skills Training, Additional services: Durable Medical Equipment Program, Information & Referral, Transition Services.  Gary Martoccio, Executive Director if Self Reliance, the Center for Independent Living.  About Us – self-reliance.

Service Source www.servicesource.org Provides job training and placement to individuals with disabilities & housing support programs. 2735 Whitney Rd. Clearwater, FL (727)538-7370

Gulf Coast Autism Association www.gulfcoastautism.org  (727)786-4292



Bailey Psychology Group  https://www.baileypsychologygroup.com/ (813)720-7411; Provides full individual and group therapy, assessment and support group services. 

Behavioral Counsulting of Tampa Bay - https://bcotb.com/ (813) 440-4933 Our Board Certified Behavior Analysts have more than 20 combined years of experience working with children with autism as well as a variety of developmental disabilities. 

Louis dela Parte Florida Mental Health Institute at USF CARD https://www.usf.edu/cbcs/fmhi/   (813)974-2295. Provides information and consultation to those diagnosed with autism or related disabilities.

Down Syndrome & Mental Health 



ABLE United - Website: http://www.ableunited.com/  Phone Number: 1-888-524-ABLE (2253);The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act allows individuals with unique abilities and their family and friends to save for future expenses, like Roth IRA and 529 college savings plans, while maintaining government benefits.

Hunter Pflueger – Financial Advisor Edward Jones hunter.pflueger@edwardjones.com  (813)661-7125.



  • Deliver the Dream – deliverthedream.org Free family retreats for all disabilities.
  • Sunshine Foundation Dream Villages Florida@sunshinefoundation.org



  • Highland Recreation Complex Manager: Chip Potts            400 Highland Ave Largo, Florida 33770  Phone # 727-518-3016



American Association of People with Disabilities  -  aapd.com As a national cross-disability rights organization, AAPD advocates for full civil rights for the over 60 million Americans with disabilities by promoting equal opportunity, economic power, independent living, and political participation.

CARD Center for Autism & Related Disabilities at USF http://card-usf.fmhi.usf.edu/

The Center for Autism & Related Disabilities at USF is a community-based project that provides information and consultation to individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders and related disabilities.

Cerebral Palsy Guide   https://www.cerebralpalsyguide.com 

Family Network on Disabilities www.fndfl.org (727)523-1130 

Family Care Councilwww.fccflorida.org

Florida’s Voice on Developmental Disabilities  (954) 975-5159  www.Floridasvoice.org; A statewide independent advocacy and networking non-profit organization comprised of families and friends of persons with developmental disabilities. Our organization advocates a full array of services in the most cost effective manner possible - community programs, family home care, group homes, and larger centers (over six beds) for only the most severely developmentally disabled.  Cost: $25 family membership fee; $15 for those with financial hardships.

F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Down Syndrome/Special Needs West Fl. www.friendssupport.org (813)245-2782. We provide year-round programing, family support meetings, Playgroups, Adult dances, Community education, and Fun social activities for our special needs community. Check our website calendar and Facebook Events for more info. Facebook: Friendsdownsyndromespecialneeds. 

Easter Seals – https://www.easterseals.com/florida/; Offers Childcare, Early Intervention, Child development centers, Speech, PT, OT, Adult Day Services to all disabilities ages birth to school age.  Cost: Florida child scholarships; private tuition; Medicaid/Medicare.

GiGi’s Playhouse  www.gigisplayhouse.org/Tampa  813-544-8000; Down syndrome achievement center offers free OT, Reading, Math Tutoring, Cooking, Dance, & Music programs. 3611 W. Hillsborough Ave. Ste. 200 Tampa, FL  33614.

Global Down Syndrome Foundation - https://www.globaldownsyndrome.org/ public non-profit 501(c)(3) dedicated to significantly improving the lives of people with Down syndrome through Research, Medical Care, Education and Advocacy.

HUG – Help Us Gatherwww.helpusgather.org (727)489-5885 Provides a community calendar of events for people with special needs, hosts gatherings and outings, organizes HUG Ambassadors and volunteers to excite others about the beauty of inclusion, and represents a positive image for people with disabilities at community events.

National Down Syndrome Adoption Networkwww.ndsan.org  Helps you navigate the adoption process, from how to get started, to finalizing your adoption.

National Down Syndrome Congresswww.ndsccenter.org  Provides individuals, families, and health care providers information and support about Down syndrome, as well as advocating with and on behalf of individuals with Down syndrome.

National Down Syndrome Societywww.ndss.org Offers support to people with Down syndrome, educates the general public, is the leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down Syndrome.

VSA Arts of Florida - http://www.vsafl.org - Brings the arts into the lives of people with disabilities.




Alzheimer’s/Down Syndrome Family Advocate  ntgfamilyadvocate@gmail.com (727)543-4174 Jadene S. Ransdell - Down syndrome/Alzheimer’s Family Advocate

F.R.I.E.N.D.S. – Down Syndrome/Special needs support group meetings and potlucks; www.friendssupport.org  (813)245-2782.


  • All About you Support Services - aboutyousupports.com
  • Support Coordinator – supportcoordinators.com All on the Florida Medicaid waiver program receives a Support Coordinator to assist with services available on the waiver.


• Babies with Down Syndrome: A New Parents’ Guide (book is available in English and Spanish)
• The Parent’s Guide to Down Syndrome: Advice, Information, Inspiration, and Support for Raising Your Child from Diagnosis through Adulthood




FL Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged 222.dot.state.fl.us/ctd 

Sunshine Line Transportation  813-272-7272 

Provides door-to-door transportation and bus passes for elderly, low-income, and disabled persons who do not have or cannot afford their own transportation. Transportation is provided primarily to medical appointments and Aging Services day care and nutrition sites,

PSTA  - 3201 Scherer Drive St. Petersburg, FL 33716   https://www.psta.net/programs/accessibility/

Phone: 727-540-1800  InfoLine: 727-540-1900 Email: cserv@psta.net 

Agencies Federal Transportation Administration  601 E. Kennedy Blvd, 18th floor, Tampa, FL 33602. Call: 813-272-5940 ext 317. Email: ogilviem@plancom.org

TSA - 855-787-2227 The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has a toll free helpline designed to assist travelers with disabilities and medical conditions, prior to getting to the airport. It is available Monday through Friday 9am–9pm EST, excluding federal holidays, with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint.



AAA SCHOLARSHIP FOUNDATION - Website: http://www.aaascholarships.org/schools/Florida/   Phone: 1-888-707-2465; The AAA Scholarship Foundation helps administer two scholarship programs in Florida.  The first is an income based scholarship and the second is the Gardiner Scholarship (formerly known as the Personal Learning Scholarship Account or PLSA Scholarship). The AAA Scholarship Foundation is an approved scholarship funding organization for the State of Florida. 

The Florida Center for Students with Unique Abilities - Website: http://fcsua.org/  Phone Number: 407-823-5225. provides support to students, families and institutions of higher education so that students with intellectual disabilities have opportunities for on-campus college experiences that lead to employment opportunities.

Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Serviceswww.fldoe.org

Career Education for students with special needs – www.myfloridaeducation.com

FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF EDCUATION Website: http://www.fldoe.org/schools/school-choice/k-12-scholarship-programs/  Phone Number: 1-800-447-1636. Florida provides a variety of school choice options, including four scholarship programs.  These programs allow parents choice among public and private schools.

Step Up For Students  https://www.stepupforstudents.org/for-parents/ Phone: 1-877-735-7837. Helps administer two scholarship opportunities for Florida school children: the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship for low-income families and the Gardiner Scholarship for children with certain special needs.  These scholarships are offered as options in the same way that public education is offering an expanding array of choices. Step Up for Students is an approved scholarship funding organization for the state of Florida.

Parent Involvement – Exceptional Education in Florida HTTP://FORPARENTS.FLORIDA-ESE.ORG/INDEX.ASPx


Florida Health: Down Syndrome Resources http://www.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/people-with-disabilities/bright-expectations/conditions/down-syndrome.html

Pinellas Schools

Pinellas County - The ESE Resource Connection is a resource that provides families and persons with disabilities specific resource information, community events and opportunities. This webpage is located on the Pinellas County School Exceptional Student Education site at http://www.pcsb.org/Page/16045.

Center Academy - https://centeracademy.com/  727-541-5716

Provides students with a learning environment that facilitates the development of self-confidence, motivation, and academic skills, and gives students the opportunity to achieve success in life.

Morning Star School - http://morningstarschool.org/

A K-12th grade school where students grow, learn, and develop their potential academically, socially, and spiritually. 

Paul B. Stephens School  - https://www.pcsb.org/stephens (727)725-7982 Clearwater.


Hillsborough Schools

Focus Academy  info@focusacademytampa.org (813) 433-5558   The curriculum at Focus Academy is structured with dual purposes: academic achievement and social success.  Many students are scholastically capable but are hindered by struggles in dealing with peers.

Morning Star Academy – A mission of the Catholic Diocese. Children with special needs who have learning disabilities and developmental delays.  210 E Linebaugh Ave, Tampa, FL 33612;  Phone: (813) 935-0232 or 4661 80th Ave. North, Pinellas Park FL 33781 (727)544-6036.


Livingstone Academy  813-661-4200 - is an independent, non-profit, Private School that specializes in serving the unique needs of children with learning disabilities.  Livingstone Academy serves students in grades 1-8; providing a continuum of services based on the individual requirements of each student. (Our Seffner campus serves students in grades 1st through 12th) We provide a positive learning environment for students with Specific Learning Disabilities, Autism, Asperger’s, Down Syndrome, Speech and Language disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Emotional/Social disorders and Cognitive and/or Developmental delays. (813)404-1598; www.livingstoneschools.org.

Pepin Academy – 813-236-1755 Serves over 700 students between 3rd and 12th grade, and young adults 18 to 22 with specific learning disabilities. Approximately 80% of our students graduate with a standard high school diploma, and we provide individualized instruction, along with all the services your child needs to succeed and the opportunity to participate in a variety of extra-curricular activities. 3916 East Hillsborough Avenue, Tampa, FL 33610.  

Special Needs Schools List - For a list of special needs schools in your area log onto: http://www.privateschoolreview.com/florida/special-education-private-schools.



Best Buddies Tampa Office 200 South Hoover Boulevard, Suite 191 Tampa, FL 33609  florida@bestbuddies.org; Phone: 813.254.9025; Services One to one friendships with a nondisabled peer for one year; activities for pairs and groups; Programs for middle, high school, college, citizens, and jobs. 



Idlewild Baptist Church – www.idlewild.org/specialneeds (813)264-8773

Van Dyke Church Special Needs Ministry - 17030 Lakeshore Rd., Lutz, FL 33558. www.vandyke.org jatkinson@tampabay.rr.com. Embrace Special Needs Respite Care gharmon@vandyke.org 813-968-3983 x 156.