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Special Reports

Most recent publications listed first

2020 Annual Report

Fifty years after the federal act that created councils like ours, the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities continues to build a legacy of change toward inclusion, independence, and self-determination. What did that look like in 2020? See highlights of our impact in a year of challenges and milestones in the report above.

Visit the digital report link directly here.

Download a plain text version in Microsoft Word here.

Stronger Together: Rural Outreach Project

In 2019, the Council partnered with N&R Publications to create a special newspaper insert publication that was distributed through local papers in 6 rural counties across TN - Lake, Henry, Hardeman, DeKalb, Bledsoe and Hawkins. The publication shares stories of Tennesseans who have been affected by the Council's work and are contributing to their local communities in all kinds of ways.

In 2020, we expanded our distribution of the publication to dozens more rural counties across the state and added 3 stories on the back cover from our Council members reflecting on the 30th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in July 2020.

Download the accessible PDF here or view the flipbook version above.


Cover of a Council report that shows a group of 5 young adults with disabilities outside wearing matching black polo shirts - text says "creating lasting positive change in TN"
2019 Council Overview

Read our Council Overview

This report summarizes the Council's role in state government and many of our current and past accomplishments, as well as a brief overview of our 2019 focus areas and priorities.

Read the PDF here. 

Open a text only version in Microsoft Word here.

Inclusive Higher Education: Practices and Perspectives from the Southeast

Tennessee's Developmental Disabilities Network (created by the Developmental Disabilities Act and includes the Council, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, UT Boling Center in Memphis, and Disability Rights TN) and the state Independent Living Network (SILC-TN and Centers for Independent Living) recently released a joint publication on best practices in inclusive higher education programs that features includes perspectives from students, alumni, administrators, program directors and researchers. The content of this publication was adapted from presentations made at the 2017 Southeastern Postsecondary Education Alliance (SEPSEA) Capacity Building Institute. The Council was a leader in launching Tennessee's inclusive higher education movement for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities on university campuses.

Read the report here or download a free version from the TN Inclusive Higher Education Alliance website here.

Kindred Stories: Special Supporting Families Edition

One of the focus areas of our Supporting Families Community of Practice has been learning more about the needs of families with members with intellectual and developmental disabilities and finding out what strategies they have used to overcome various barriers they experience to full participation in their communities. The Council partnered with the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities and Tennessee Disability Pathfinder to create this special edition of the Tennessee Kindred Stories project.

The booklet focuses on sharing stories, based on interviews with families, of how some Tennessee families are building good lives for their family member with a disability using both formal services and informal supports in their communities. Common themes surfaced during the family interviews and we have outlined some of those themes throughout this booklet, grouped by the “challenges” and “successes” mentioned by families.​ 

Read "Kindred Stories: Special Supporting Families Edition - Connections to Communities"

TN Developmental Disabilities and Independent Living Joint Publication

In March 2017, the Council published a special joint publication about the agencies that compose the Tennessee Developmental Disabilities Network and the Tennessee Independent Living Network, and how we are collaborating to have greater impact on Tennesseans with disabilities. The publication provides background information about the histories, missions and programs of these two Statewide Networks in the hopes that individuals with disabilities, families, professionals and policymakers will get connected to our work. 

Expect Employment: Employment First Task Force Report to the Governor

In September 2014, the Governor’s Employment First Task Force released its first report on progress made over the past year in expanding integrated and competitive employment for people with disabilities. Executive Order No. 28 established Tennessee as an ‘employment first’ state. “Employment First” is an approach that emphasizes employment in the general workforce as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities receiving assistance from publicly funded systems.

Click here to see other annual Expect Employment reports, now written and published by the TN Dept. of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

Past Publications:

Council Annual Reports

Fulfilling the Promise

 Published in 2007 by the TN Developmental Disabilities Task Force, “Fulfilling the Promise” describes the need for programs for people with developmental disabilities other than intellectual disabilities and provides recommendations to address this critical issue.

 Learn more about the Fulfill the Promise campaign at