Disability Public Policy Team – What state legislation is on your radar?

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As part of a Disability Public Policy team, the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities educates policymakers about the impact of potential legislation or policies.  These efforts are coordinated in collaboration with agency partners that include Tennessee Disability Coalition, Disability Rights Tennessee, Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities, and The Arc Tennessee. As a… Read more Disability Public Policy Team – What state legislation is on your radar?

Advocacy for Immigrants

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The circumstances for people to immigrate (internationally) or migrate (domestically) can be various, including employment, studying abroad, persecution, survival, or simply seeking other options. The global and political crisis makes it harder for many people to stay in their native country.  The international processes and acceptance for legal status in a country of destination often… Read more Advocacy for Immigrants

Kindred Stories Spotlighting Direct Support Professionals

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The 2021 edition of Kindred Stories of Disabilities focuses on the experiences of direct support professionals (DSP). Across the country, there are approximately 1.4 million individuals who require services from DSPs to live full, meaningful lives in their communities. And unfortunately, the DSP workforce is in crisis. There are high turnover and vacancy rates, issues with tenure,… Read more Kindred Stories Spotlighting Direct Support Professionals

Call Pathfinder: Building Self-Advocacy & Social Skills Through Virtual Activities

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Caller: Hi, I am a therapist and I have been thinking several of my clients who have disabilities could benefit from some self-advocacy opportunities and more connections with their peers. They vary in ages from teens to adults as well as diagnoses, so it’s difficult to determine various options for them. Do you have any… Read more Call Pathfinder: Building Self-Advocacy & Social Skills Through Virtual Activities

Advocacy Events

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February 25:  How to Advocate in the Time of COVID-19 March 2:  Educate to Advocate 2021: Virtual Public Policy Workshop March 11:  Disability Day on the Hill:  Virtual Town Hall with Legislative Leadership April 19-21:  Disability Policy Seminar

Special Olympics Tennessee 2021 Resolutions for Inclusive Health

Special Olympian, Eric Massey, holds sign that says, "Inclusive Health Matters!"

Many, if not all, organizations and institutions across the globe have had to quickly adapt to the challenges posed by COVID-19—Special Olympics Tennessee (SOTN) was no exception. To protect the safety and wellness of athletes, SOTN quickly transitioned to virtual activities for most of 2020. This was a hard decision as the SOTN team originally… Read more Special Olympics Tennessee 2021 Resolutions for Inclusive Health

Spina Bifida Hasn’t Stopped “Chuy” from Keeping Healthy & Fit

Chuy sitting in his wheelchair on a basketball court holding a basketball

Meet Manuel Mota-Carrillo, known to his family and friends as “Chuy”, a bilingual 7th grader at Stewarts Creek Middle School of Rutherford County. Chuy has hydrocephalus and spina bifida and received his first wheelchair when he was almost 2 years old. He has big plans of becoming a dentist and sports coach in the future,… Read more Spina Bifida Hasn’t Stopped “Chuy” from Keeping Healthy & Fit