News and Events

CARD-USF Autism Friendly Team Recognized by Tampa City Council


Autism Friendly Tampa Committee Members from L to R: Kristen Nieves, Mark Fleming, Liz Burke (CARD), Joyce Cotton, and Tampa City Councilman, Luis Viera

The CARD-USF Autism Friendly team was honored to be recognized by Tampa City Council. Since 2017, CARD-USF and the Autism Friendly Tampa committee have worked together to make Tampa a welcoming and safe community for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families.

As part of the Autism Friendly initiative, CARD-USF has trained thousands of City of Tampa employees and other business professionals about autism, and provided specific strategies to help people with ASD be comfortable and successful during their community outings. As a result, rescue vehicles for Tampa PD and Fire Rescue are now equipped with visual cue cards to facilitate communication with individuals with limited speech. In addition, many city attractions, such as various Parks and Recreation facilities, have social narratives and Distract Pak sensory kits available. We are also on-site at many city sponsored events to provide sensory support.

"We look forward to continuing our partnership with the City of Tampa, so that all community members can feel valued and included," said Liz Burke, CARD Consultant/Autism Friendly Project Lead. "We’d like to give a special thank you to Raquel Pancho, City of Tampa ADA Coordinator, and Councilman Luis Viera, for their leadership and commitment to the Tampa Bay community."