“Where are the Resources?” We’ve heard this question countless times, especially from people who have almost given up hope on finding and establishing services for themselves or their loved ones. Navigating life with a disability can have its own set of challenges and finding services in your area shouldn’t be one of them. So, allow us to reintroduce ourselves, we are Tennessee Disability Pathfinder, a hub for resource information.
One Stop Shop
Tennessee Disability Pathfinder (“Pathfinder”), helps people with disabilities, their family members, educators, and other professionals find and access resources, support, and services available to meet their needs. Pathfinder has a directory of services that contains over 3,500 agency resources in Tennessee, including rural areas and marginalized communities. As an organization that is connected to thousands of agencies, Pathfinder is considered a centralized location (a hub) for resource information and can help you navigate in the right direction to finding resources for your specific needs and in your area. It’s the perfect place to start or continue your journey to finding resources, with just one stop, you gain access to numerous available resources in the state.
“We make it our business to know the availability of resources, and to connect individuals and families who need them,” said Megan Hart, program director. “We are continually working to connect with more agencies within the state to add them to our directory.”
Resource information can be obtained in one of two ways: by searching Pathfinder’s Directory of Services on our website or by calling our team of experienced information and referral specialists.
Right at Your Fingertips
In this digital age, it’s easy for people to search for things that interest them through search engines like Google or Mozilla Firefox, but many find it difficult to narrow the search results to exactly what it is you’re searching for. How many times, have you had to go down a “rabbit hole,” to search for something that should be simple?
Pathfinder’s website, TNPathfinder.org, is a step-by-step search tool that allows users to determine how broad or narrow their results will be based on the following criteria:
- Stage of Life: Prenatal/Infancy, Early Childhood, School Age, Transition / Young Adult, Adulthood, Aging
- Topic of Interest: 25 different service categories to select or a text box to type a keyword
- Diagnosis: 18 different types of disability or health conditions to select
- Benefit / Payment Options: Forms of payment, such as type of insurance, government program, private pay, or no cost, accepted by the agency provider
- Service Area: Select counties where services are provided
Users can make selections in each step of the search for the most specific results or skip any step for broader results. Users also can register for an account to gain access to features on our website like bookmarking resources, saving searches, submitting agency resources and website links, and posting calendar events. However, registering for an account is not a requirement to access the resource information on our site, but it is strongly recommended to make things even easier. There are also several accessibility features on our website, which include the ability to translate the website into one of eight different languages: English, Spanish, German, Chinese, Burmese, Vietnamese, French, and Kurdish.
Who would’ve thought that something as easy as picking up the phone and dialing 1-800-640-4636 can gain you access to various community services in the state of Tennessee? Well, it’s true! Pathfinder has a team of dedicated individuals who are passionate about their work and very knowledgeable about the availability of resources within the state. With care, attention to detail, active listening, and research skills honed by decades of lived and professional experience, our team is committed to serving all Tennesseans who need assistance finding disability resources.
The Pathfinder team also consists of multicultural services coordinators that can assist people who speak languages other than English and live in marginalized communities.
“We meet people where they are,” says Karen Mevis, information & referral coordinator. “We are proud of the different lived experiences each person in our team represents. We look like the people who call us.”
“And most importantly we care about the people we serve,” said Linda Brown, information & referral coordinator. “So many people call and are shocked that we answer the phone. We do and we stay with your case .”
That’s the level of service and care that you receive at Pathfinder.
Whether you’re starting a new journey or continuing on your path, know that Pathfinder is here to guide you on your journey. We are committed to helping you find the resource information specific to your needs. If you need assistance don’t hesitate to contact us, there is no need too small.
Just a few reminders: Our contact information is 800-640-4636 or TNPathfinder@vumc.org. Our office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Our Directory of Services is available 24/7 on our website at TNPathfinder.org. Don’t forget to register for an account to personalize your searches, which can help to save you a lot of time and effort. Also, follow us on social media @TNPathfinder to stay up to date about resources and events.