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Breaking Ground

Council Magazine

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!

[Braille copies also available; call us at 615-532-6615 for more info.]

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"

Open the Breaking Ground 89 PDF or Breaking Ground 89 in Word with image descriptions

Breaking Ground 89 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
    • A list of the individuals across TN selected for this year's Partners in Policymaking Leadership Institute, our free annual leadership training program for adults with disabilities and families
Breaking Ground 88 July 2017 resized

Open Breaking Ground 88 (PDF) or Breaking 88 in text-only Word version with image descriptions

Breaking Ground Issue #88 includes the following articles:

  • Moving Toward Full Community Inclusion: a philosophical and cultural transformation
    • An article by Tyler Hampton, Executive Director and Troy Allen, Director of Employment Services, of SRVS, a Memphis-area provider agency, about how their agency is increasing opportunities for community inclusion and employment for the individuals they serve
  • A Provider Agency and Community Rise Up to Meet the Challenge
    • Another article about how a provider agency, Orange Grove Center in Chattanooga, worked with their community to close their sheltered workshop and provide new, innovative opportunities for employment and community activities for the people they serve
  • Partners Grad Develops Parent Support Group in East Tennessee
    • Partners in Policymaking graduate Kathy McGee has launched a new support group for families of individuals with disabilities in East TN, and shares her experiences of recently enrolling her family member in the Employment and Community First CHOICES program and opening an ABLE account
  • Congratulations, 2016-17 Partners in Policymaking Graduates
    • Celebrating recent graduates of the Council's Partners in Policymaking Leadership Institute
  • IDEAL Internship Program Promotes Inclusion, Prepares Students for Real-World Working Setting
    • A profile of Jason Rogers, a student with Lipscomb University's IDEAL inclusive higher education program, and his internship this spring in the Governor's office
  • Supported Decision-Making: what it is, how it works and why it’s important
    • Learn more about an emerging practice call "supported decision making", which is a tool that allows people with disabilities to retain their decision-making capacity by choosing trusted people that they know that can support them in making choices 
  • Blind Athlete “Grows” with Achilles Running Program
    • Runner Stephanie Zundel shares about her experiences running and competing with Achilles International - Nashville, which supports athletes with disabilities
  • Remembering Leaders in Our Community
    • 'In Memoriam' for Council member Rick Davis, Pathfinder staff member Kimmie Jones and TN Fair Housing Council's Tracey McCartney
  • Council on Autism Spectrum Disorder is a First Step in the Right Direction
    • A shortened version of a recent TennesseeWorks blog on the new Autism Council created by legislation under the Dept. of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities that is tasked with developing an integrated system of services for Tennesseans with autism


Editor-in-Chief, Breaking Ground Magazine

Ned Andrew Solomon