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Kindred Stories

Adam (18) Through his work, he can share his talent and help others.

Addyson (age 9) We are the team. We are the advocates. We are it.

Adelai (15) In terms of educational instruction, Adelai’s IEP was ignored.

Adelaide (14) As a strong advocate for justice, Adelaide’s mother believes that there are many improvements that can be made in order to make the lives of children and families of someone with a disability better.

Alaina (age 14) In order to get my child the quality speech therapy she needs, I drive to Nashville every Tuesday. That is 150 miles round trip every week.

Alex (18) I look at my disability and still consider myself lucky. I could have had so many other problems, and I just thank God every day.

Alex K (17) People clearly treated him differently, and at times, it was very frustrating for Alex because he knew he was the same person he was before his diagnosis.

Amanda (21) The state of Tennessee should be ashamed that its most vulnerable citizens are considered unworthy of care and services.

Angela (age 72) "She worries about the people who, like her sister, require around-the-clock care, but unlike her sister, lack family to advocate for them and to help them transition from institutional facilities."

anonymous (24) ...actually receiving what I want, what I’ve asked for. It’s all the difference in the world.

April (age 31) My name is April, and I am a single mom. I have severe PTSD, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, scoliosis, visual disturbance, syncope and collapse, and ADHD. In 2004, when I first got diagnosed with PTSD, I did not know what I was facing. Later, I learned more. It was scary.

Asher (age 5) No parent wants to feel they are unable to provide the services their child needs.

Baelyn (age 4) Research and information should reach smaller communities and smaller medical practices, so that in the future, they are more comfortable and ready to deliver these types of diagnoses.

Bailey (age 18) Our family has had to fight every step of the way, but we are used to that process by now, and know that the fight is worth it in the end.

Barbara (age 47) "My daughter and other people with disabilities in the workforce deserve to be treated like other employees and have the opportunity to earn the same amount as others."

Ben (age 8) I have learned that if I don't find information and advocate for my son, no one will.

Beth (27) No one is ever going to tell you that they are not going to hire you because you have a disability, but...

Bob (52) The secret to true inner peace is to focus on the needs of others.

Brian (11) If there won’t be an accurate score, then why should he take an IQ test? We didn’t want a number on the front of his Individualized Education Program (IEP) plan.* We want someone to flip the page and read all about him and not just assume what their expectations should be based on that number.

Brian (age 38) "It's almost like I want to be on the fringes of his life, so that I could die tomorrow and his life wouldn't be turned upside down."