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  • This scholarship is for students who are Florida residents three years old through 12th grade in an eligible Florida private school or home education program who have been diagnosed with one of the following disabilities:

    • Autism Spectrum Disorder
      As defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Medical Disorders, Fifth Edition, published by the American Psychiatric Association. 
    • Cerebral Palsy
      A group of disabling symptoms of extended duration which results from damage to the developing brain that may occur before, during, or after birth and that results in the loss or impairment of control over voluntary muscles. For the purposes of this definition, cerebral palsy does not include those symptoms or impairments resulting solely from a stroke.
    • Down Syndrome
      A disorder caused by the presence of an extra chromosome 21.
    • Intellectual Disability
      Significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior which manifests before the age of 18 and can reasonably be expected to continue indefinitely. For the purposes of this definition, the term:
      “Adaptive behavior” means the effectiveness or degree with which an individual meets the standards of personal independence and social responsibility expected of his or her age, cultural group, and community.
      “Significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning” means performance that is two or more standard deviations from the mean score on a standardized intelligence test specified in the rules of the agency.
    • Muscular Dystrophy
    • Phelan-McDermid Syndrome
      A disorder caused by the loss fo the terminal segment of the long arm of chromosome 22, which occurs near the end ofthe chormosome at a location designated q13.3, typically leading to developmental delay, intellectual disability, dolicocephaly, hypotoni, or absent or delayed speech.
    • Prader-Willi Syndrome
      An inherited condition typified by:
      • neonatal hypotonia with failure to thrive,
      • hyperphagia or an excessive drive to eat which leads to obesity usually at 18 to 36 months of age,
      • mild to moderate mental retardation,
      • hypogonadism,
      • short stature,
      • mild facial dysmorphism,
      • characteristic neurobehavior.
    • An inherited condition typified by:
    • Spina Bifida
      A person with a medical diagnosis of spina bifida cystica or myelomeningocele.
    • High-risk Child
      A 3-5 year old, being born a high-risk child with a developmental delays in cognition, language, or physical development. 
    • Williams Syndrome
  • Non-school aged students must be 3 or 4 on or before September 1st
  • Students entering kindergarten must be 5 years old on or before September 1st.
  • Students entering 1st grade must be 6 years old on or before September 1st.
  • You must be a Florida resident.
  • The students need a formal diagnosis from a Florida licensed physician or psychologist. An Individual Education Plan (IEP) from the public school district, if applicable, may also be submitted.
  • The student can be enrolled in a private school or a home education program.

The student cannot receive a Gardiner Scholarship while he or she is:

  • Enrolled in public school, including:
    • Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind
    • Florida Virtual School (as a public school student)
    • College-Preparatory Boarding Academy
    • A developmental research school
    • A district charter school
    • A district virtual education program (as a public school student)
    • Florida Volunteer Prekindergarten (unless as a self-pay student)
  • Receiving a McKay Scholarship or an Income-Based Scholarship (Florida Tax Credit- FTC).
  • Enrolled in a school operating for the purpose of providing educational services to youth in the Department of Juvenile Justice commitment programs.

One or more of the following documents may be required to support the application:

  • Individual Education Plan (IEP) OR Doctor's Diagnosis
  • Parent's Driver's License issued January 1, 2010 or later OR Utility Bill.
  • Notarized Sworn Compliance Statement
  • Student's Birth Certificate
  • Year to date report cards (for private or public school students)
  • Letter from the public school district verifying registration in a home education program


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