History of CARD
In 1987, the Florida Legislature authorized and funded a Task Force on Autism that was operated out of the Florida Mental Health Institute at the University of South Florida. The Task Force generated a report in 1988 which included the primary recommendation of developing comprehensive, regional resource and training centers to serve people with autism and their families throughout the State. As a result, a demonstration project was funded in 1990 by the Legislature with supplementary support from the Council and the State’s Department of Education.
In 1993, the Legislature passed a statute that authorized the program and appropriated start-up funds to establish the Center for Autism & Related Disabilities at sites across the State. Each CARD center has a constituency board comprised of family members who help guide program policies, priorities, and activities.