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State Plan and Goals

The state plan is our “plan of action” so that the Council can impact areas of need that were highlighted by input from Tennesseans with disabilities and their family members. The state plan is our strategic planning document; the road map that details what we will do to get from Point A to Point B. 

As a reminder, the Council does not provide direct services. Instead, we identify areas of need across Tennessee. Then we work within our mandate from the Developmental Disabilities Act to improve those areas of need by developing leaders, improving policy and practice, and educating stakeholders.

Draft State Plan Goals and Objectives for 2022-2026

We drafted our new state plan based on feedback from the Tennessee disability community in 2020 through our public input survey. Nearly 900 of you responded. You can view our 13 minute YouTube video explaining more about this process and the results of the survey here.

This is not our final plan, but this is the draft we posted for public comment from Dec. 2020-Feb. 2021. Below are goals and objectives of our draft plan, and our team's responses to the feedback we got during the public comment process. Stay tuned for the final new plan later this year.

Goal 1: Developing Engaged Leaders - Provide learning and development opportunities to Tennesseans with disabilities and their family members to increase their engagement in advocacy and systems change.

Goal 1 Objectives:

  • 1.1 Yearly, the Council will provide at least two leadership learning and development programs to Tennesseans with disabilities and their family members in order to increase advocacy skills and engagement. Example activities under this objective:
    • Partners in Policymaking®
    • Youth leadership trainings
    • Council scholarship fund
  • 1.2 Yearly, the Council will support grass roots self-advocacy in Tennessee through training and program development to increase advocacy skills and engagement. Example activities under this objective:
    • Support for self-advocacy organizations through funding or serving as advisors
    • Help for Tennesseans with disabilities to serve in leadership meetings, through referrals, financial support, training, etc.

Goal 2: Improving Policy and Practice - Assure that Tennessee’s disability service system is responsive to the needs of people with disabilities and promotes inclusion, self-determination, and independence.

Goal 2 Objectives:

  • 2.1 At least weekly: track, summarize in plain language, and share information with Tennesseans about policies that impact people with disabilities. Position the Council as a top resource for Tennesseans to learn about policy affecting disability. Example activities under this objective:
    • Tracking policy proposals and opportunities to impact policymaking
    • Weekly public policy e-newsletter
  • 2.2 Each year of the state plan, solicit and study the perspectives of people with disabilities to identify system barriers and increase their influence on the design of policy changes. Example activities under this objective:
    • Use the Council’s public policy committee to guide public policy activities
    • Use Partners in Policymaking® graduates for input on policy priorities
    • Engage in community events that reach underrepresented groups
  • 2.3 By 2026, measure progress toward increased inclusion, self-determination, and independence among people receiving services. Example activities under this objective:
    • Consult with policymakers on priority topics
    • Offer input and recommendations on policy changes
    • Work with partner organizations to inform and educate policymakers and offer trainings on best practices

Goal 3: Informing the Public - Equip Tennesseans with disabilities and their families with information that promotes inclusion, self-determination, and independence.

Goal 3 Objectives:

  • 3.1 Use a wide range of communication tools/platforms and partnerships to:
    1. Increase accessible disability information and resources for people with disabilities and their families.
    2. Build understanding and engagement on disability issues.
    • Example activities under this objective:
      • Share objective, engaging, plain language information about disability policies, issues, programs, and resources
      • Expand the reach of information, including through targeted partnerships to reach underrepresented groups (e.g. Black, Hispanic/Latinx, LGBTQ+, immigrant/refugee, and rural communities)
      • Lead the state government partnership that funds Disability Pathfinder, the state’s disability information and referral service
  • 3.2 In fiscal year 2022, work together with the DD Network communications team to increase healthcare information for LGBTQ+ Tennesseans with disabilities. Example activities under this objective:
    • Explore a partnership with Disability Pathfinder to develop a healthcare resource page for LGBTQ+ Tennesseans with disabilities.
    • Explore a partnership with Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Program for LGBTQ Health – Office for Diversity Affairs to increase information for LGBTQ+ Tennesseans with disabilities.
    • Build targeted partnerships with organizations, media outlets, and individuals who serve LGBTQ+ Tennesseans

Our Current State Plan Goals: 2017-2021

Goal 1: Developing Leaders

Prepare Tennesseans to be leaders who influence policy and practice through scholarships, information, internships and training. 

Goal 2: Impacting Policy and Practice

Improve Tennessee policy and practice through tracking key legislative activity, developing and nurturing collaborations, and providing resources for demonstration projects. 

Goal 3: Informing and Educating Stakeholders

Implement public information activities that increase Tennesseans' awareness of disability policies and practices. 

Goal 4: Supporting Council Activities and Administration

Support Council activities, members and committees in order to effectively implement the Council’s mission and state plan priorities.


View our 2017-2021 State Plan Goals and Objectives.

To provide feedback on goals, objective and activities at any time, please contact Alicia Cone at 615-253-1105 or 

What's in the State Plan?

The Tennessee Council’s full State Plan covers the following areas of assessment and action:

  • Analysis of service needs across the state; input from the public.
  • Estimation of prevalence of developmental disabilities in Tennessee.
  • Portrait of current Tennessee generic and disability services in these areas:
    • health care
    • mental health
    • employment
    • children and youth
    • aging
    • education/early intervention
    • housing
    • transportation
  • Portrait of self-advocacy in Tennessee
  • Summary of the state of disability services in Tennessee
    • barriers to eligibility
    • adequacy of resource and services
  • Description of unserved and underserved groups in Tennessee and their needs
  • Summary of waiting lists for people with developmental disabilities and number of people on those waiting lists
  • Outline of goals, objectives and activities identified by the Council for the 5 year plan period
  • Evaluation plan for the Council and its work

Logic Model

View the TN Council's 5-year logic model for our 2017-2021 State Plan here.