Step Up For Students and Gardiner Scholarships Opened Applications for Students Under New Disability Categories

Step Up For Students and Gardiner Scholarships Opened Applications for Students Under New Disability Categories

Exciting update for Florida parents and caregivers! Your child may qualify for the Gardiner Scholarship and can receive virtual speech therapy from the convenience and comfort of your home. This scholarship, also known as the Personal Learning Scholarship Account (PLSA), is designed to better meet the individual educational and therapeutic needs of Florida children with disabilities, ages 3-22 (or 12th grade). We recommend qualifying families apply as soon as possible since the scholarship is first-come, first-serve.

If your child qualifies for the Gardiner Scholarship, you can purchase approved services or products such as virtual speech therapy from certified providers such as Great Speech.

Is Your Child Eligible For The Gardiner Scholarship?

Like the prior Gardiner application, applicants must submit a signed document from a doctor or psychologist stating the child’s diagnosis. Some of the more common diagnoses included are:

  • Speech Impairment
  • Language Impairment
  • Specific Learning Disability including Dyslexia and Dyscalculia
  • Other Health Impairments including ADD, ADHD and Diabetes

To be eligible, the child must meet the following criteria:

  1. Residency: Only available for Florida residents
  2. Age: Applicants must be 3 or 4 years old on or before September 1 of the year in which the student applies for program participation, or eligible to enroll in kindergarten through 12th grade in a Florida public school or 22, whichever comes first.
  3. IEP: Applicant must have an IEP
  4. Diagnosis of Disability: Applicant must have a diagnosis of disability from a physician licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459 or a Florida state-licensed psychologist
  5. Disabilities: Here is the full list of categories:
    • Autism Spectrum disorder
    • Cerebral palsy
    • Down syndrome
    • Intellectual disability
    • Speech impairment – NEW
    • Language impairment – NEW
    • Orthopedic impairment – NEW
    • Other health impairment – NEW
    • Emotional or a behavioral disability – NEW
    • Specific learning disability, including, but not limited to dyslexia, dyscalculia, or developmental aphasia – NEW
    • Phelan-McDermid syndrome
    • Prader-Willi syndrome
    • Spina bifida
    • High-risk child
    • Muscular dystrophy
    • Williams syndrome
    • Rare diseases which affect patient populations of fewer than 200,000 individuals in the United States, as defined by the National Organization for Rare Disorders
    • Anaphylaxis
    • Hearing impaired
    • Visually impaired
    • Traumatic brain injured
    • Hospital or homebound
    • Dual sensory impaired
  6. School: Applicant must be enrolled in a private school or participating in a home school program

The Gardiner Scholarship is not a set amount but rather is determined by a number of factors including where you live in Florida, level of need and grade, though the average for the current school year is approximately $10,000.

Your Child May Be Eligible For Virtual Speech Therapy Services

Great Speech is a provider with the Gardiner Scholarship, and we help ensure you are reimbursed for your child’s services. Parents and family’s value virtual services provided through Great Speech because its:

  • Successful: Great improvement over a shorter period of time
  • Secure: Therapy delivered in a safe, secure manner that meets HIPAA regulations
  • Professional: Endorsed by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
  • Interactive: Digital platform engages all ages
  • Efficient: Eliminate travel time, mobility issues and weather-related disruptions
  • Convenient: Clinical services provided in the comfort of your home or office
  • Accessible: Flexible schedules available including evening and weekends

What is Great Speech?

Since 2014, Great Speech, Inc. has been the pioneer in virtual speech therapy, delivering convenient and specialized services nationally. Their innovative approach leverages technology to match highly qualified therapists with clients who are serious about their communication goals. Great Speech believes that everyone deserves the chance to communicate with ease and confidence.

They are a proud recipient of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) certification and Woman-Owned Florida Certified Business Enterprise (CBE).

How Does Great Speech Work?

With a computer, high-speed internet, web camera and a quiet room, our licensed clinicians provide services using appropriate, interactive therapeutic activities and exercises.

Practice materials and follow-up resources are available for use between sessions. If your child is approved for the Gardiner Scholarship, we are here to help you ensure they receive the best care and improve their communication needs. Click here to schedule your free introductory call today!

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