People First of Tennessee
Since 1989, the Council has supported Tennessee's statewide self-advocacy organization, "People First," in a number of ways. People First of TN works to promote self-advocacy among Tennesseans with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Outcomes of the Council’s work to support People First of TN (PFT) over these years included:
- Funded an advisor staff position.
- Funded statewide trainings in the areas of peer advocacy, self-advocacy, local chapter development and leadership.
- Hosted national conference of People First organizations in TN
- Funded People First to participate in the development and creation of the national self-advocacy organization (Self Advocates Becoming Empowered)
- Established new local Tennessee chapters
- Provided training to create teams that would advocate for accessible transportation ("Transportation for All")
- Trained self-advocates to be able to train others in the areas of self-determination and self-advocacy ("Shifting the Power")
- Wrote and published book of stories about people who have successfully transitioned from developmental centers to life in communities of their choosing
- Trained people on the Dept. of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities' waiting list on self-determination
In 2018, the Arc Tennessee received funding from the TN Disability Coalition and the TN Dept. of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to revitalize People First as a statewide organization. The Council remains involved in these efforts, and our Policy Director Lauren Pearcy serves as a mentor for a local chapter.
Learn more about these recernt efforts on The Arc's website and explore their new chapter manual about how to start a chapter in your community.