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 and there are now 5 programs across the state for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities on university campuses.
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.
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.
- 2014 Employment First Task Force report to the Governor. [This report was funded by the Council.]
- 2015 Employment First Task Force report to the Governor.
- 2016 Employment First Task Force report to the Governor.
- 2017 Employment First Task Force report to the Governor.
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 www.fulfillthepromise.org.