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Disability News

Presented here are a variety of news items of current national and global interest to the disabled community. Subjects range from the results of medical research and scientfic breakthroughs to public policy and general quality of life issues. Please keep in mind that the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disabilty is neither responsible for the content on the linked sites, nor does the inclusion of a linked item imply an endorsement of the content. These links are provided for informational purposes only, and it is up to the individual reader to determine the merit and reliability of each news item.


TTU Engineering Students Provide Custom Assistive Technology to Area Children


"For the 15th year in a row, mechanical engineering students in professor Stephen Canfield’s class have designed assistive technology for community children just in time for the holidays." Read the full story.


Added January 9, 2015

Tennessee Could Lead Way on Disability Services


The Tennessean reports that "A new plan to overhaul the way the state cares for people with intellectual disabilities could make Tennessee first in the nation to specifically gear services toward independent living and employment as the 'first and preferred option.'" This new plan is in its very early stages. Nothing is final.


Added June 2, 2014

Survey: Family Voices Needed!


TennesseeWorks needs your help. The organization is, in their own words, "inviting Tennessee parents to participate in a survey focused on their expectations and support needs related to their son or daughter with an intellectual disability, autism, or other developmental disabilities. We've heard from more than 600 families already, but aren't quite halfway to our goal. We want to hear from parents in every county and community in our state. Please pass this invitation along!"


"A full description of the study and a link to the online survey can be found at We will randomly select 50 parents who complete the survey to receive a $25 gift card for participating.  [You can also request a print copy by contacting Carly Blustein at or 615-343-2375]."

Added May 15, 2014

CDC Report on Exercise and Adults with Disabilities


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spotlight the overlooked importance of exercise to adults with disabilities. Studies show that almost half of America's disabled population gets no aerobic exercise. As a result, they are at a higher risk for chronic diseases—three times more likely "to have heart disease, stroke, diabetes, or cancer than adults without disabilites."


Added May 15, 2014

Breakthrough in Gene Therapy Could Treat Blindness


The Future of Things site shares a report on a breakthrough involving genetic blindness. This research specifically targets a rare disease called Choroideremia, but it could point the way to preventive treatment for more common causes of blindness, like Macular Degeneration.


Added March 11, 2014

How Down Syndrome May Help Unravel Alzheimer's Puzzle


NBC News provides a compelling report on the relationship between Down syndrome and Alzheimer's Disease. "Not only do more people with Down syndrome develop Alzheimer’s, but they also develop it at a much younger age. By age 40, a full 40 percent of people with Down syndrome will develop the disease, and by age 50 that rises to 50 percent" Dr. Brian Skotko is quoted as saying.


Added February 18, 2014

New Technologies Get More Disabled People Into Workforce


New devices, as well as new features for existing devices, are creating new workforce opportunities for disabled consumers.


Added February 18, 2014

Tennessee Disability Day Puts a Face on Tough Issues


WBIR out of Knoxville shares an article from The Tennessean on the status of funding to the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) and its programs. With cuts proposed, more than 100 people recently took their message to Tennessee lawmakers.


Added February 18, 2014

Tennessee's Handling of Its Disability Population Lacks Accountability


The first in a series by The Tennessean, reporting on state services to the intellectually and developmentally disabled.


Added February 18, 2014