Supporting Families Community of Practice
*Check out our new issue of Breaking Ground, dedicated to our Supporting Families Community of Practice!
The TN Council and the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) were selected in 2013 to participate along with 6 other states, in a national ‘Community of Practice’, to think, learn and strategize about the next generation of services and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.
Participating states/districts in the "Supporting Families Community of Practice:
As this project moves forward, the Council and DIDD will be working together to educate Tennesseans about this major intiative and priority in our state. It is a priority for us to hear from family members, individuals with disabilities, and other advocates to inform our activities and priorities of this project. We are asking families and self-advocates to help us learn about the following...
The Council and DIDD distribute a monthly e-newsletter highlighting different core values and concepts of the "Supporting Families" framework each month - you can sign up for that e-newsletter here or email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to our mailing list.
More tools, resources and information related to the Supporting Families project:
You can also stay updated by "liking" the Supporting Families Facebook page, visiting the project's homepage and the Tennessee state page at supportstofamilies.org or contacting the Council at 615-532-5368 or email@example.com for more information.
Employment First Leadership Academy: deadline extended through July!
The Tennessee Employment First Leadership Academy is a 4-day training between September 4 and 8, 2014, created by the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) and the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities. This training prepares people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities to advocate for better jobs and services options in Tennessee. We believe that people with disabilities should have real jobs with real pay, just like workers without disabilities.
To apply, you must be a person with an intellectual and/or developmental disability (I/DD), age 18 or older. Travel and lodging are fully covered for participants.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 615.532.6556.
2014 Update to the Council's State Plan
All state Developmental Disabilities Councils are required to develop five year plans that provide a framework for the Councils’ policy, program, and funding activities and priorities. The State Plan details the goals and objectives developed by the Council based on an assessment of disability services in the state.
This spring, TN reorganized the content of our 2011-2016 plan to reflect our primary areas of focus. This state plan is also more consistent with future reporting requirements at the federal level, by allowing us to capture both staff activities and project development activities.
To review the 2014 update to the TN Council's State Plan, click here.
Community Development Grant
The Council proudly announces the newly available Community Development Grant. This new fund, similar to our Education Travel Fund, is available to Tennesseans with disabilities and their family members. It provides assistance to visit and research innovative programs in other states. Upon their return, recipients may receive a small stipend to implement a Plan of Action for replicating and sustaining a similar program in their community here in Tennessee.
Click here to read the full program description with requirements and download an application. Please spread the word in your community about this new opportunity!
Project SEARCH Launch in TN
The Council is launching 9 new Project SEARCH sites in each of the state's development districts over the next few years to promote early employment experiences for students with disabilities.
The state kickoff event was held in November 2013 in Murfreesboro with Vocational Rehabilitation staff, Local Education Agency staff and DIDD provider staff from each region proposed for the first year of this new program. As of summer 2014, Metro Nashville/Davidson county and Memphis/Shelby County sites are set to begin enrolling students for job training in the fall of 2015. Plans for developing this program in Rutherford county and two additional sites across the state (to be determined) are also currently underway.
The Council’s Project SEARCH initiative targets students with intellectual & developmental disabilities in their last year of high school. Between 90 and 100% of the participants complete the program and are offered a job. The investment in students as they finish high school makes the most efficient and effective use of the student’s education and fulfills a business need in our communities.
To learn more about Project SEARCH or to view videos of students participating in Project SEARCH job sites, visit www.projectsearch.us. For more information about Project SEARCH in TN, contact Alicia Cone at email@example.com or 615-253-1105.
Gov. Haslam's Executive Order on Employment for People with Disabilities
Special Report to the Community
View the Council's 2011-2012 Annual Report, which describes the purpose of the Council and the work that it does throughout Tennessee. Click here to view it as a PDF.
Click here for descriptions of the many projects and demonstrations supported by the Council on Developmental Disabilities.
The Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities is an independent office in state government funded through the federal Developmental Disabilities Act. The Council works to ensure that Tennesseans with developmental disabilities are independent, productive, and included in their communities.