Research & Training

CFS Research and Training Activities by Topic

autism and related disabilities

Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at USF (CARD-USF)

The Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at the University of South Florida (CARD-USF) provides resources and direct support to individuals of all ages with autism spectrum disorder and
related disabilities, their families, and the community at no charge. Services also include trainings, outreach, and support for teachers, businesses, and community programs to enhance their ability to include individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In addition, CARD-USF creates innovative projects to reflect the needs and desires of the community we serve. Counties
served: Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, and Sarasota.

Executive Director: Beth Boone, PhD
Director: Mindy Stevens, MA
Funder: Florida Department of Education

Efficacy Trial of the Modular Approach for Autism Programs in Schools (MAAPS)

MAAPS is a research study evaluating the effectiveness of a modular intervention approach for elementary students with autism. MAAPS consists of evidence-based practices that address the core and associated features of autism. MAAPS will be implemented with 120 student/teacher pairs across 60 schools in several states. 

Contact: Rose Iovannone, PhD
Funder: May Institute

Modular Approach for Autism Programs in Schools (MAAPS) Methodology Core

This individualized intervention system is composed of evidence-based strategies to address core and associated features of ASD and enhance the success of elementary students with ASD in school settings. It is comprised of a collaborative framework for identifying needs, setting appropriate intervention goals, selecting modular interventions that best address those goals, and developing intervention steps that are feasible for school personnel to implement, with opportunities for active participation  by families.

Contact: Jeff Williams, PhD
Funder: May Institute/U. S. Department of Education

Partnership for Effective Programs for Students with Autism (PEPSA)

PEPSA supports teachers of students with autism in 3 ways. It provides regional workshops across the state to provide information to teachers and families on effective practices for teaching students with autism. The funding also supports a preconference day for teachers to attend the annual Florida Center for Autism and Related Disabilities Conference (CARD). The preconference day offers teachers a workshop from a national speaker and break-out sessions on innovations for students with autism that Florida teachers have implemented. The final activity is the enrollment of teacher partners through a competitive application process. Teachers selected for the Partnership program are provided with a mentor from their regional CARD office who provides support to them as they implement a year-long project in their classroom and document their achievements and the outcomes in a portfolio.

Program Director: Beth Boone, PhD
Funder: Florida Department of Education/U. S. Department of Education

The Learning Academy at USF

The Learning Academy at the University of South Florida is a 30-week customized transition program that assists in preparing young adults diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder for employment. The Learning Academy provides services, supports and experiential opportunities that develop and enhance each student's independence in meeting personal career goals.

Our students engage in self-discovery and career exploration through real-life opportunities such as applied learning experiences with local employers and peer mentoring which allows generalization of learned skills. Please visit our Academy section to learn more.

Contact: Christine Hugh, MS