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Breaking Ground 93 - Free Trainings Offered by the Council

Informing and educating Tennesseans about disability issues, policies and practices is one of the Council’s primary goals and roles in the state. We accomplish this through a number of communications activities, including this magazine. Another strategy is community outreach through trainings and presentations. The Council can provide trainings not only for individuals with disabilities and families, but also to professionals in the disability field, advocacy and community groups, policymakers and any group who would benefit from greater awareness of the disability-related topics listed below.

If your agency, organization or community group is interested in these topics, invite the Council to present at your existing events, conferences or meetings, or contact us to schedule other types of training opportunities. In addition to the list of presentations below, we can also always share basic information about the Council, our programs and our role in Tennessee. Click here to request a training.

Partners in Policymaking™: An Overview

The Partners in Policymaking™ Leadership Institute is the Council’s free leadership and advocacy training program for adults with disabilities and family members of persons with disabilities. More than 500 Tennesseans have graduated from the Partners program.

Supported Decision-Making           

Decision-making is a fundamental component of a person’s dignity and sense of humanity, but for people with certain labels – like age, disability, or behavioral health diagnoses – the freedom to make their own decisions can be taken away. This presentation covers supporting individuals to make decisions.

LifeCourse Tools / Supporting Families Community of Practice

The Supporting Families Community of Practice is a national initiative focused on best policies and practices to support families impacted by disability across the lifespan. The guiding principles are known as the LifeCourse Framework, which includes tools to help individuals with disabilities, families, and professionals have productive conversations about goals, needs, life transitions and supports for the future.

Youth Readiness Days

An interactive training program for high school students with disabilities to help them think about educational, employment and independent living plans after leaving high school.

Public Policy 101 & Legislative Updates

The “Public Policy 101” presentation provides an overview of how the state and federal legislative processes work and strategies for how individuals with disabilities and families can effectively participate in those processes. The Council can also provide an overview of current state and federal legislation and public policy issues impacting Tennesseans with disabilities and their families.

Disability Awareness & Sensitivity

This interactive session strives to break down barriers to community inclusion by presenting the most appropriate ways to communicate and interact with persons with disabilities.

Learning to Speak Up for Yourself: The importance of self-advocacy

This interactive training provides strategies for how individuals with disabilities can become empowered to speak up and advocate on their own behalf, and addresses some of the challenges to doing so.

Turning Lemons into Lemonade

This presentation provides strategies for how to turn negative situations into positive advocacy and other constructive outcomes.

Providing Support That Truly Supports

This interactive training provides strategies for how individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities can be supported without taking away their independence, sense of self, and ability to make choices and have control over their lives.

Trainings being developed for 2019

• Training for Advisors to Self-Advocacy groups

• History of the Disability Experience

• Building Inclusive Communities

• Journey to Employment

• Navigating the Disability System

For more information about scheduling a presentation from the Council, fill out this online form or contact Communications Director Emma Shouse at or 615.253.5368.