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Trainings and Presentations

The Council works to inform and educate individuals with disabilities, families, professionals in the disability field, advocacy groups, policymakers and the general public on various topics related to disability, completely free of charge. Most of our presentations and trainings can be adapted for any audience size or length of time.

In addition to the topics listed below, we can also always present basic information about the Council, our programs and our role in TN to any group, event or audience as our schedules allow.

For more information about scheduling a presentation from the Council on one of the topics below or about any of the Council’s initiatives or programs, contact Communications Director Emma Shouse Garton at or 615.253.5368, or fill out the "Training Request Form" above.

Partners in Policymaking Leadership Institute

Partners in Policymaking is the Council’s free leadership and advocacy training program for adults with disabilities and family members of persons with disabilities. Since being established in TN in 1993, more than 500 Tennesseans have graduated from the Partners program. Many of these trained graduates have gone on to advocate at the local and state level for disability issues, serve on committees, boards and task forces, and spearhead initiatives that promote the inclusion of people with disabilities.

Supported Decision-Making

Supported Decision Making is about helping people with disabilities make as many decisions about their own lives as possible. Conservatorship allows someone else to make decisions for you. Right now, many Tennesseans do not know there are other options for help in making decisions. The Council is working to educate Tennesseans with disabilities, their families and professionals who support them about less restrictive alternatives like supported decision making. Staff can provide practical trainings about how to develop supported decision making strategies and practices to help a person make more of their own choices.

LifeCourse Tools / Supporting Families Community of Practice

The Supporting Families Community of Practice is a national initiative focused on developing best policies and practices to support families, including family members with a disability, across the lifespan. Tennessee is one of the original states in this national learning community, which now includes 17+ states. The guiding principles of this initiative are known as the LifeCourse Framework; the “LifeCourse Toolkit” was developed by families for families using the LifeCourse framework to help family members of all abilities and ages develop a vision for a good life. LifeCourse tools provide a way for individuals with disabilities, families, and professionals in a person’s life (teachers, employers, support staff, etc.) to discuss, brainstorm and have productive conversations about goals, current needs, life transitions and needed supports for the future. Council staff can provide presentations about this national initiative and its core principles, as well as interactive trainings about using the LifeCourse Toolkit

Disability and Public Policy

Council staff can deliver presentations about current public policy issues that impact Tennesseans with intellectual and developmental disabilities, the basics of state and federal legislative processes, or how the disability policy landscape impacts individuals and families.