Breaking Ground

Council Magazine
Subscribe to Breaking Ground for free, either to receive a print copy via mail or an email copy, by calling 615-532-6615 or emailing with your home or email address. [Braille copies also available.]

Breaking Ground, produced by the Council since 1990, informs readers of innovative programs and practices, disability policy issues, and stories about the lives of Tennesseans with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.  

Approximately 5,400 copies of each issue are distributed to individuals with disabilities, family members, state agencies, advocacy organizations, and legislators. Each year, a special arts issue is produced, which shares artwork by and about Tennesseans with disabilities.

Are you an artist with disabilities who would like your artwork considered for our annual Breaking Ground Arts issue?  Do you know of any inclusive art programs in your community? Let us know anytime throughout the year by contacting!

The gallery of images at the bottom of the page shows covers of the recent issues of Breaking Ground; see the archive below for PDF and Word versions of each edition; contact the Council if you're looking for an older issue.

Current Issue

Check out our most recent issue of Breaking Ground [Issue 89, Oct. 2017] - PDF

View the text-only version of Breaking Ground 89 - Word

cover of breaking ground magazine; left side of cover page, a young woman with a disability is a graduation gown and a graduation cap is being placed on her head by a gentleman; the right side of the picture shows the same young woman in an office holding a paycheck with another woman standing beside her - both are smiling - the title of the cover story is 'A Journey to Employment

It features the following articles:

  • A Journey To Employment
  • When Both Sides Benefit: A look at customized employment
    • An article by the Employment & Day Services Director at the Dept. of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Jeremy Norden-Paul, about the job development strategy of "customized employment", where a jobseeker and employer work together to discover a position that utilizes an employee's strengths and meets an unmet need of the business/employer.
  • Council Gathers State Officials Each Month to Talk about One Thing: Disability Employment
    • Every month, the Council on Developmental Disabilities convenes the Employment Roundtable. In this article, we share what that group is about and what issues they have been tackling related to employment for Tennesseans with disabilities.
  • Building Work Skills
    • A look at a program that provides training to UT Knoxville's FUTURE students (one of TN's 5 postsecondary education programs for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities) around workplace communication, task management skills and job coach training.
  • Employment and Community First CHOICES: Supports for a full life that includes gainful employment
    • A look at some of the specific employment services, like "Employment Exploration", "Benefits Counseling", and "Career Advancement" available to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities through the Employment and Community First CHOICES program, written by Dr. Lisa Mills, who just joined TennCare as their new deputy chief of the Division of Long-Term Supports
  • One Year ABLE 
    • A look at the progress of the ABLE TN program over its first year of operation and a brief overview of how ABLE accounts can support employment goals of eligible individuals with disabilities who open these accounts
  • New Law Promotes People with Disabilities Who Own Small Businesses
    • An article by Council Policy Director Lauren Pearcy about how a law was recently passed, through the efforts of the Council and our Disability Policy Alliance partners and the sponsors of the legislation, that supports business owners who have disabilities
  • Launching Youth from School 2 Life
    • An article by our Partners in Policymaking Director Ned Andrew Solomon about a youth leadership training the Council co-hosted this summer with our partners at T.A.R.P., the Center for Independent Living in Paris, TN
  • Council Selects 2017-18 Partners in Policymaking Class

Archive of Past Issues