Florida Chamber-Backed Unique Abilities Bill Passes; Heads to Governor’s Desk

Edie Ousley
(850) 521-1231

The Gardiner Scholarship Will Empower Students

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (January 14, 2016) – The Florida Chamber of Commerce applauds the Florida Legislature for passing a Florida Chamber-backed unique abilities bill, The Gardiner Scholarship, that will empower students with disabilities to succeed by providing options for high quality education programs.


“At the Florida Chamber, we know that every child is different, and every child has unique needs,” said Brittney Hunt, Director of Talent, Education and Quality of Life Policy for the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “This bill increases flexibility for parents, so that they can provide an even more customized education plan for their children. We are grateful to the legislature for their continued support of a program which has truly become a model for the nation.”


As Florida continues on the path to become the number one job-creating state in the nation, Florida has an opportunity to help encourage underemployed Floridians — especially those with unique abilities — to reach their full employment potential.

In fact, a recent report released by the Florida Chamber Foundation shows that more than 700,000 Floridians with disabilities are currently not in the workforce. The results of the report show that not only is the unemployment rate for Floridians with unique abilities substantially higher than the overall unemployment rate, but also the variability of the rates across counties is extremely high.


“This bill is a step in the right direction to ensure that students of all abilities are able to succeed and we commend Senate President Andy Gardiner, Senator Don Gaetz and Representative Erik Fresen for their continued support of this issue,” said Hunt.


The Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations, aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit for more information.

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