Planning & Policy Councils

What are the Planning and Policy Councils?

The Planning and Policy Councils are made up of healthcare professionals, providers, families, and advocates who are committed to improving the quality of life for people in Tennessee living with a disability. Established in 2011, the councils allow for public collaboration on issues affecting the department and those in DIDD services.

There are five Planning and Policy Councils. The Statewide Planning and Policy Council is the overarching council with four sub-councils – the West, Middle, and East Regional Planning and Policy Councils and the Developmental Disabilities Planning and Policy Council.


Statewide Planning and Policy Council (SPPC)

The Statewide Planning and Policy Council collaborates and advises the commissioner of intellectual and developmental disabilities on issues affecting the department, providers, families, and advocates, and plays an important role in the development and improvement of DIDD programs and policies.


The sub-councils collaborate on the array of prevention, early intervention, treatment, and habilitation services and support for persons supported and their families and explore their focus areas as assigned by the commissioner and SPPC.

Focus Areas

The DDPPC is making headway in its focus around identifying students exiting the school system who may need future services. The council has also served in assisting the department in the development of outreach strategies for the Katie Beckett Program.

The WPPC is focusing on strategies for both rural and metro transportation. They are exploring and developing efforts that will increase access to transportation for persons living with disabilities in Tennessee, especially those in rural communities.

The MPPC is continuing to work with the department on a World Café event. The World Café will focus on discussions to generate ideas to improve recruitment, retention, and advocacy of DSPs. Additionally, the MPPC has begun work on exploring Enabling Technology and the different areas the department should expand and utilize technology to help Tennesseans with disabilities connect with their communities, natural supports, and find independence many did not think was previously possible.

The EPPC continues to collaborate on the expansion of the DSP toolkit. They have also established sub-committees to begin their work on toolkits around employer engagement strategies and “The Business Case for Employment First”, as well as a rural resources committee to explore resources for people with disabilities in rural communities.


The councils are designed to represent all stakeholders: people we support, their family members, service providers, and advocacy groups. Additionally, the councils include service recipient advocates for children, adults, and seniors, and other affected persons and organizations. The majority of council members are service recipients and/or family members of service recipients.

Interested in volunteering to serve on one of the Planning and Policy Councils? If so, please visit the webpage of the council you're interested in and complete the interest form! If you need assistance, please reach out to

Annual Reports

Each year, the SPPC submits recommendations to the department. The sub-councils also provide recommendations based on their focus areas to the SPPC for consideration and inclusion in the annual recommendations. The department responds to the recommendations in the form of a final report and submits it to the Governor and General Assembly.

The 2022 SPPC Recommendations and Responses can be found here: 2022 SPPC Annual Report

Previous reports can be found here: Previous SPPC Annual Reports

PPC Resources

DIDD's Planning and Policy Councils have put together several resources that could be useful to persons supported, families, providers, and others in the IDD community. These include:  rural resources. an employment handbook, a transportation toolkit, and more. Find all resources compiled by the PPCs here: Community Resources.