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People First of Tennessee

Since 1989, the Council has supported Tennessee's statewide self-advocacy organization, "People First of TN," in a number of ways. 

People First of TN  works to promote self-advocacy among Tennesseans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Click here to visit their webpage on The Arc Tennessee's website and get involved today!


History of Council support for People First of TN

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.