Special Needs Scholarship

Families may apply now for the Family Empowerment Scholarship for students with Unique Abilities (formerly known as Gardiner) for the 2021-22 school year.

The Opportunity

What can a Family Empowerment Scholarship (formerly Gardiner) do for my child?

With a Family Empowerment Scholarship (formerly Gardiner), your child has more learning options. 

The  Family Empowerment Scholarship (formerly Gardiner) is different than other state scholarships in that it allows parents to personalize the education of their children with unique abilities by directing money toward a combination of programs and approved providers. These include schools, therapists, specialists, curriculum, technology – even a college savings account.

Click here to view the FES Scholarship for Unique Abilities 2021-22 award amounts.

Please check our list of frequently asked questions here.

Family Empowerment Scholarship (Formerly Gardiner) Numbers for 2020-2021

Students Funded
$ 0
In Funded Scholarships
0 +
Participating Providers
Meet the Students

Stepping Up To Success

Does my child qualify?

Eligibility Requirements

This scholarship is for Florida students 3 years old through 12th grade or age 22, whichever comes first, with one of the following diagnoses:
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Being a high-risk child
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Down syndrome
  • Emotional or a behavioral disability
  • Hearing impairment, including deafness
  • Hospital or homebound
  • Identification as dual sensory impaired
  • Intellectual disability
  • Language impairment
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Orthopedic impairment
  • Other health impairment
  • Phelan-McDermid syndrome
  • Prader-Willi syndrome
  • Rare diseases
  • Specific learning disability
  • Speech impairment
  • Spina bifida
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Visual impairment, including blindness
  • Williams syndrome
Age requirements:
  • Students must be at least 3 or 4 on or before Sept 1.
  • Students entering kindergarten must be 5 on or before Sept 1.
  • Students entering first grade must be 6 on or before Sept 1.

Find Scholarship Schools

Select your district, choose Family Empowerment (formerly Gardiner) Scholarship schools, then go.


Purchase preapproved educational materials for your child.

Find Scholarship Providers

Find specialized service providers.

2021-22 School Year
RENEWAL and NEW students may apply now for a Family Empowerment Scholarship (formerly Gardiner) for the 2021-22 school year.