Get Involved

There are numerous groups and activities throughout the state that individuals with disabilities can become involved in as a form of self-advocacy.

The Partners in Policymaking Leadership Institute
The Partners in Policymaking Leadership Institute is a training initiative of the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities. The Institute is designed to provide adults with disabilities and family members of individuals with disabilities with the latest information on disability policy issues, and to help them become advocates for themselves, and for others in their communities.

Next Chapter Book Club
The Next Chapter Book Club (NCBC) is an innovative project that provides adolescents and adults with disabilities an opportunity to read and socialize with friends. The NCBC model actively promotes literacy learning and social connectedness. The model provides many opportunities for self-advocacy as members decide which book they want to read, how they want to read the book, and how they want to structure or organize their weekly club meetings.

Franklin, Tennessee
The Arc Williamson County
Sharon Bottorff
Email Sharon

Johnson City, Tennessee
East Tennessee State University
Cynthia Chambers
Email Cynthia

Knoxville, Tennessee
East Tennessee Technology Access Center
Lorrie Crockett
Email Lorrie

Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis Center for Independent Living
Elise Fuller
Email Elise

Nashville, Tennessee
Down Syndrome Association of Middle TN (DSAMT)
Alecia Talbott
Email Alecia

Greater Chattanooga Aspies
The mission statement of GCA is to “Empowering autistic adults and young adults and their parents / caregivers by serving as a resource center to provide mutual support, information, and activities.”  Their future direction is to provide additional services to ASD adults/young adults, in addition to support groups, as a center of information and resources in Chattanooga and North Georgia.

Social Group for Young Adults with Learning Disability

This group brings together young adults ages 21 – 31 with mild learning differences as well as high functioning Autism Spectrum disorders who want to be more socially active.  Our members will enjoy group activities such as bowling, movies, music, biking, hiking, etc.

Contacts: Karen Miller,

Susan Reagan,

Autism Self Advocacy Network (ASAN)

Meets on the second Sunday of every month. An adult support group for individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome.  Contact: Chad Beadles or (615)772-3264

Down Syndrome Association of Middle TN, Circle of Friends
Circle of Friends is a monthly gathering for teens and adults who have Down syndrome or other developmental disabilities. Meetings provide opportunities for education, socialization and creativity in a fun and safe environment. Activities often include Tae Kwon Do, arts and crafts, service projects and more. Participants at Circle of Friends get a chance to develop a social network and spend some time away from parents, while caregivers get a chance to catch up on errands or spend time with other siblings. The group meets monthly at a Nashville-area church. Circle of Friends usually doesn’t meet during the summer months.

People First of Tennessee
People First of Tennessee, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) statewide grassroots disability rights organization fun by and for people with disabilities.  People First mission is to provide a means for people with disabilities to air and alleviate their concerns in the areas of housing, education, employment, and transportation.  People First members have learned self-determination and self-advocacy in a number of People First projects.  Read about the projects at the live link and also at