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Breaking Ground 103 - Introduction

by Wanda Willis, Executive Director, TN Council on Developmental Disabilities

Dear readers,

Summer has arrived, and we are half-way through one of the strangest years in my memory. Our disability community continues to weather serious challenges as we navigate the new reality COVID-19 has made for us.

Here at the Council, we are focused both on our work to create long-term change and on adapting to the needs of our community during this crisis. On both fronts, we are guided by the goals of our state plan and our unique role as created by the Developmental Disabilities Act.

You’ll read about both types of work in this issue of Breaking Ground. Council funding is driving big projects for long-term change while also offering relief to families who needed help staying connected and engaged during social distancing. Our impact can be seen in major statewide systems, and also in the lives of individual people whose stress has been eased by the help we could provide.

This issue also celebrates a huge milestone: the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. As I think about all that has changed in that time, I am in awe. Our community worked together and showed that real change is possible. It gives me hope for what is possible in the next 30 years.

Our friends at the Tennessee Disability Coalition created a campaign that says it very well: we really are “In This Together.”

Sincerely,

Wanda Willis