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Resources Library

Pathfinder offers an extensive library of disability resources. Scroll down to view the subject headings or individual links below to find websites, toolkits, videos, and information on a variety of topics.

If you are searching for service providers or statewide agencies search the Pathfinder database of services, read more...

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Information and Assistance

  • Accessible Design/Universal Design Resources

    Offers information about Universal Design, including guidelines, articles, house plans, and other resources.

  • Americans with Disabilities Act

    The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, State and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation. It also mandates the establishment of TDD/telephone relay services. The current text of the ADA includes changes made by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-325), which became effective on January 1, 2009. The ADA was originally enacted in public law format and later rearranged and published in the United States Code.

  • Southeast ADA Center (Southeast Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center)

    The Southeast ADA Center (formerly known as Southeast DBTAC) is your leader in providing information, training, and guidance on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and disability access tailored to the needs of business, government, and individuals at local, state, and regional levels. We also conduct research to reduce and eliminate barriers to employment and economic self-sufficiency and to increase the civic and social participation of Americans with disabilities.

  • U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

    The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces federal laws which prohibit job discrimination based on disability, age, race, color, religion, sex or national origin. EEOC also provides oversight and coordination of all federal equal employment opportunity regulations, practices, and policies.

Advocacy Resources

  • American Association of People with Disabilities

    The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is a convener, connector, and catalyst for change, increasing the political and economic power of people with disabilities.

  • Council of Parent Advocates and Attorneys (COPAA)

    COPAA is an independent, nonprofit, tax-exempt organization of attorneys, advocates and parents. It works to improve the quality and quantity of legal assistance for parents of children with disabilities.

  • Disability Policy Seminar Fact Sheets, The Arc

    Policy issue fact sheets for the Disability Policy Seminar. Topics include health care reform, employment, education, housing, autism, and many more.

  • Disabled Parents Rights

    The Center is dedicated to combating discrimination that affects parenting for parents with disabilities. Help is offered through legal representation, technical assistance, and information and referral.

  • Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health

    A national parent-run organization focused on the needs of children and youth with emotional, behavioral or mental disorders and their families.

  • Inclusion.com

    Offers person-centered resource materials for training and education as well as workshops and training events for inclusion.

  • R-Word | Spread the Word to End the Word

    The R-Word is a campaign asks people to pledge to stop saying the R-word as a starting point toward creating more accepting attitudes and communities for all people. Language affects attitudes and attitudes affect actions.

  • The Arc US

    The Arc is the largest national community-based organization advocating for and serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

  • Tuesdays with Liz

    'Tuesdays with Liz' is a weekly video series highlighting current issues in disability policy. It is hosted by Liz Weintraub, a long-time disability advocate, and produced by AUCD.

Arts & Music Resources

  • A Very Special Arts Festival (AVSAF) at Dogwood Arts

    A Very Special Arts Festival (AVSAF) is a celebration of the skills and abilities of exceptional children in all of the arts that brings together children of challenged circumstances to have a day of fun. Dogwood Arts Festival hosts this very special day of activities and art education in an integrated atmosphere – mainstreaming these children into a normal school day environment.

  • ACM Lifting Lives Series at Vanderbilt

    ACM Lifting Lives Series at Vanderbilt is an innovative vocational experience for young adults with developmental disabilities. The goal is to help participants learn vocational and social skills aimed at improving the potential for gaining employment in the entertainment industry. The program is a partnership with ACM Lifting Lives.

  • Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts

    An advocacy non-profit organization which promote inclusive hiring practices and standards, diversity in leadership and balanced portrayals of persons with disabilities and persons of color.

  • American Federation of Musicians

    The American Federation for Musicians is a national membership organization that provides grants to musicians with disabilities through the Lester Petrillo Fund for Disabled Musicians.

  • Axis Dance Company

    The AXIS Dance Company strives for the integration of contemporary dance and disability culture. AXIS provides education/outreach programs“Dance Access” and “Dance Access/KIDS!”which offer events for adults and youths of all abilities, locally and on tour. AXIS also offers professional-level training through classes, summer intensives, internships, and apprenticeships.

  • Circle Modern Dance

    A modern dance company whose mission is to provide every person the opportunity to dance.

  • Culture! Disability! Talent!

    Culture! Disability! Talent! (CDT) CDT is a non-profit, collaborative organization that works to transform disability stereotypes by providing access and opportunities for performers and mediamakers with disabilities. Comprised of disability cultural artists, activists and allies, CDT promotes artistic excellence and diversity by presenting disability cultural events.

  • Dancing Wheels Company & School

    The Dancing Wheels Company & School is an integrated dance company, comprised of professional dancers with and without disabilities. The organization presents master classes, residencies, school assembly programs, workshops, story ballets, and main stage concert performances. In addition, the Dancing Wheels Company & School provides weekly dance classes and summer dance workshops for dancers of all experience levels.

  • Infinity Dance Theatre

    Infinity Dance Theater is a non-traditional dance company committed to expanding the boundaries of dance by featuring dancers with and without disabilities. The company aims to inspire people with and without disabilities, encourage their artistic and other professional aspirations, and empower them through the organization's educational and performance programs.

  • National Arts and Disability Center (NADC)

    Promotes the full inclusion of audiences and artists with disabilities into all facets of the arts community. The NADC is a leading consultant in the arts and disability community.

  • SENSE Theatre

    SENSE Theatre is a unique theatrical intervention research program designed to improve the social and emotional functioning of children with autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders.

  • Tennessee Art Therapy Association

    The statewide professional organization of certified Art Therapist in Tennessee.

  • Tennessee Arts Commission

    Tennessee Arts Commission promotes inclusion of persons with disabilities in the performing, visual, and literary arts.

  • Theater Breaking Through Barriers

    Theater Breaking Through Barriers, an integrated company of artists with and without disabilities, has been working for 30 years “to change the image of people with disabilities from that of dependence to independence.” The Theater recently expanded its mission, from advancing the careers of artists with vision loss, to advancing the careers of artists with all disabilities in New York City.

  • Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Arts and Disabilities

    Since 1994, the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center has sponsored exhibits of art by and about people with disabilities in order to demonstrate the diverse talents of individuals with disabilities.

  • VSA - International Organization on Arts and Disability

    VSA is an international, nonprofit organization founded in 1974 by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith to create a society where all people with disabilities learn through, participate in and enjoy the arts.

Assistive Technology

  • Alliance for Technology Access (ATA)

    A network of community-based Resource Centers, Developers and Vendors, Affiliates, and Associates dedicated to providing information and support services to children and adults with disabilities, and increasing their use of standard, assistive, and information technologies.

  • Assistivetech

    A national public website on assistive technology resources. The site includes a searchable database of assistive technology products and is sponsored by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR).

  • GiveTech

    Computer tools designed specifically for those with severe physical disabilities allow for increased self-reliance and a vastly enhanced computing and Internet experience. GiveTech's goal is to provide such technological tools to those in need. GiveTech does not give away computers; rather we give away input devices that allow people with quadriplegia to use computers.

  • Pass It On Center

    A comprehensive clearinghouse of information for Assistive Technology. Also, provides national database of Assistive Technology service providers, training, webinars, and Assistive Technology conferences.

  • Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Socitey of North America (RESNA)

    If you are a person with a disability or a caregiver, RESNA offers a free, on-line tool to find highly qualified, assistive technology professionals near you. All of the professionals listed in this directory are RESNA certified, which means they have passed an exam to prove that they have the experience and knowledge to provide quality services, and they follow the RESNA Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.

Behavioral Services

  • American Psychological Association (APA)

    Based in Washington, DC, the American Psychological Association (APA) is a scientific and professional organization that represents psychology in the United States. With 148,000 members, APA is the largest association of psychologists worldwide.

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

    NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots organization for people with mental illness and their families. Founded in 1979, NAMI has affiliates in every state and in more than 1,100 local communities across the country.

  • National Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)

    The TA Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports has been established by the Office of Special Education Programs, US Department of Education to give schools capacity-building information and technical assistance for identifying, adapting, and sustaining effective school-wide disciplinary practices.

  • Tennessee Association of Mental Health Organizations

    A statewide trade association representing primarily Community Mental Health Centers and community-owned corporations that have historically served the needs of the mentally ill and chemically dependent citizens of Tennessee regardless of their ability to pay.

  • Youth Villages

    Youth Villages has been a national leader in the adoption and implementation of research-based treatment philosophies in the field of children's mental and behavioral health.

Caregiver Resources

  • Caregiver Action Network

    Caregiver Action Network (CAN) is the nation’s leading family caregiver organization working to improve the quality of life for the more than 90 million Americans who care for loved ones with chronic conditions, disabilities, disease, or the frailties of old age. CAN serves a broad spectrum of family caregivers ranging from the parents of children with special needs, to the families and friends of wounded soldiers; from a young couple dealing with a diagnosis of MS, to adult children caring for parents with Alzheimer’s disease. CAN (the National Family Caregivers Association) is a non-profit organization providing education, peer support, and resources to family caregivers across the country free of charge.

  • Kids Together, Inc.

    A non-profit organization, co-founded by parents and organized by volunteers, that provides information and resources to promote inclusive communities.

Disability Etiquette

  • Disability Etiquette Brochure

    This brochure, published by the Tennessee Disability Coalition, gives a very good summary of proper etiquette for engaging with persons with disabilities.

  • Disability Is Natural

    Disability Is Natural is website developed by Kathie Snow and BraveHeart Press which advocates and educates people-first language and disability etiquette.

  • National Center on Disability and Journalism - Disability Style Guide

    National Center on Disability and Journalism - Disability Style Guide is intended for journalists, communication professionals and members of the general public who are seeking the appropriate and accurate language to use when writing or talking about people living with disablities. The guide covers general terms and words on physical disabilities, hearing and visual impairments, mental and cognitive disabilities and seizure disorders.

Disability-Specific Resources

  • American Association on Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities

    The professional association run by and for professionals who support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

  • Angelman Syndrome Foundation

    ASF's Mission is to advance the awareness and treatment of Angelman Syndrome through education and information, research, and support for individuals with Angelman Syndrome, their families and other concerned parties.

  • Autism Society of America

    ASA is the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization, and exists to improve the lives of all affected by autism.

  • Autism Speaks

    Autism-related resources regarding advocacy, family services, community oureach, charity events, research and more.

  • Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (CHADD)

    Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), is a national non-profit organization providing education, advocacy and support for individuals with AD/HD.

  • Learning Disabilities Association of America

    Since 1963, LDA has provided support to people with learning disabilities, their parents, teachers and other professionals. At the national, state and local levels, LDA provides cutting edge information on learning disabilities, practical solutions, and a comprehensive network of resources.

  • Rettsyndrome.org

    Rettsyndrome.org invests in research to find a cure and improve treatments for individuals with Rett Syndrome, empower families by providing them information and resources, as well as advocates and raises awareness for Rett Syndrome.

  • United Cerebral Palsy (UCP)

    United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) is the leading source of information on cerebral palsy and is a pivotal advocate for the rights of persons with any disability. As one of the largest health charities in America, the UCP mission is to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities through an affiliate network.

Emergency Preparedness

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Employment Resources

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS): ENTRYPOINT!

    Entry Point is the signature program of the AAAS Project on Science, Technology, and Disability. Entry Point identifies and recruits students with apparent and non-apparent disabilities studying in science, engineering, mathematics, computer science, and some fields of business for outstanding internship and co-op opportunities.

  • American Foundation of the Blind: CareerConnect

    CareerConnect, a program of the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), is a free online resource available to assist students and job seekers with vision loss or low vision tools to conduct job searches independently. Resources are available for employers and families.

  • Disability Employment Policy Tutorial and Quick Reference

    Designed to help anyone who wants to understand disability employment policy, and is set up to encourage learning through tutorials and a quick reference guide.

  • DisAbility.gov - Employment

    Provides advice for individuals with disabilities seeking work; help for employers looking for hard-working and dedicated employees; information on employment rights, laws and regulations; resources for employment programs and job accommodations for people with disabilities.

  • Emerging Leaders

    A highly competitive program that places college students with disabilities in fulfilling summer internships and provides them with leadership development opportunities.

  • Employer Assistance Referral Network (EARN)

    Provides resources and tools for job seekers with disabilities and employers.

  • Federal Employment of People with Disabilities

    Provides information which includes Federal and state laws as well as other governmental and non-governmental sites to help users with or without disabilities, better understand how to hire and retain persons with disabilities.

  • Getting Hired.com

    An employment database that allows jobseekers with disabilities to find jobs and career-related resources. Resources available for employers and disability advocacy organizations.

  • Guide to Public Service Career

    Information and resources for a successful career helping others

  • HireDS

    Promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities, empowers companies, and gives people with disabilities the opportunity to succeed.

  • Job Accommodation Network (JAN) - Office of Disability Employment Policy

    The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. Working toward practical solutions that benefit both employer and employee, JAN helps people with disabilities enhance their employability, and shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace.

  • National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability

    NCWD/Youth has an array of briefs, background papers, guides, manuals, and other materials to address issues for youth with and without disabilities, youth service professionals, workforce development professionals, policymakers, and many more.

  • Office of Disability Employment Policy, United States Department of Labor (ODEP)

    ODEP's mission is to develop and influence policies and practices that increase the number and quality of employment opportunities for people with disabilities. To fulfill this mission, ODEP promotes the adoption and implementation of ODEP policy strategies and effective practices — meaning those that ODEP has developed and/or validated — that will impact the employment of people with disabilities. ODEP's approach is to drive systems and practice changes by disseminating ODEP policy strategies and effective practices, sharing information, and providing technical assistance to government agencies, service providers and non-governmental entities, as well as public and private employers. Through these activities, ODEP contributes to the achievement of: DOL's Strategic Goal 3: Promote fair and high quality work-life environments and Strategic Objective 3.1: Breakdown barriers to fair and diverse workplaces and narrow income inequality.

  • Tennessee Employment Consortium

    From 2001-2012, the Council was a leader in launching and sustaining a statewide group called the Tennessee Employment Consortium that focused on increasing the employment rate of people served by the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The initiative increased DIDD's employment outcomes for people they serve from 7% to 25%.

  • Tennessee Small Business Development Centers (TSBDC)

    For over 30 years, the Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) network has been empowering small business owners, entrepreneurs, and individuals with a business idea to innovate new products and services that compete in the global marketplace. We are a network of certified professional business counselors conveniently located in a community near you. We have 20 various locations; 14 of which are service centers, 5 are satellite offices, and 1 is an affiliate office.

  • TennesseeWorks.org

    TennesseeWorks' goal is to increase the number of young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) who are employed in the state. In other words, to ensure that every young person with a disability can find a good job, with good pay, that brings real satisfaction, and makes a real difference. Together, they are working to implement policy and systems changes that make competitive employment the first and desired choice for every Tennessean.

  • The Lifespan Transitions Center at OCALI

    The Lifespan Transitions Center offers resources, training, technical assistance, and consultation to support the successful transition of individuals with autism and multiple disabilities throughout their school careers and into their adult lives. Resources address community living and employment.

  • The Viscardi Center - National Business and Disability Council (NBDC)

    NBDC is a resource for employers seeking to integrate people with disabilities into the workplace and companies seeking to reach them in the consumer marketplace.

  • Ticket to Work Program, Social Security Administration

    Social Security’s Ticket to Work Program is free, voluntary and available to most people who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits because they are disabled or blind. Eligible beneficiaries may choose to assign their Ticket to an Employment Network (EN) of their choice or to a State Vocational Rehabilitation (SVR) agency to obtain employment services and supports necessary to achieve a work goal. The EN/SVR, if they accept the Ticket, will coordinate and provide appropriate services to help the beneficiary find and maintain employment.

  • U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

    The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces federal laws which prohibit job discrimination based on disability, age, race, color, religion, sex or national origin. EEOC also provides oversight and coordination of all federal equal employment opportunity regulations, practices, and policies.

Future Planning

  • National Resource Center for Supported Decision-Making

    Provides national and state information to support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in making their own choices.

  • Supported Decision Making

    Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities provides information and resources to educate Tennesseans with disabilities, their families and professionals who support them about less restrictive alternatives to conservatorship like supported decision making.

  • Supported Decision-Making Pilot Project

    The Center for Public Representation & Nonotuck Research Associates' Supported Decision-Making Pilot Project – one of the first demonstrations in the nation – is grounded in the shared values and shared belief that all people must be able to exercise choice in all aspects of their lives.

  • Supported Decision-Making: Creating a Continuum of Choice

    Supported Decision-Making: Creating a Continuum of Choice, is the result of the collaboration among disability organizations to educate about an emerging best-practice concept known as Supported Decision-Making (SDM).

  • The Arc's Center for Future Planning

    The Center for Future Planning aims to support and encourage adults with I/DD and their families to plan for the future. The Center provides reliable information and assistance to individuals with I/DD, their family members and friends, professionals who support them and other members of the community on areas such as person-centered planning, decision-making, housing options, and financial planning.

Health Care Services

  • Center for Research on Women with Disabilities (CROWD)

    CROWD promotes, develops, and disseminates information to improve the health and expand the life choices of women with disabilities. They conduct research and provide information on topics including sexuality and reproductive health, self-esteem, stress and depression management, violence, and access to healthcare.

  • Family Information Notebook (FIN)

    The notebook is designed to help families coordinate their child's care and health. It can help families and others caring for a child exchange information so the child's special health care needs can be met. Families may share copies of any part of their notebook with anyone who works with their child, including family members and friends.

  • Family Voices

    A national grassroots clearinghouse for information and education about ways to assure and improve health care for children with disabilities and chronic conditions

  • IDD Toolkit

    Adults with intellectual or other developmental disabilities face a cascade of health disparities. Yet these adults deserve quality, patient-centered health care as well as the general population. All tools except for the Autism Health Watch Table were developed in Ontario, Canada, to complement the Primary care of adults with developmental disabilities: Canadian consensus guidelines (DD Guidelines). The tools were developed by the Developmental Disabilities Primary Care Initiative (DDPCI) with funding from the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, Surrey Place Centre and Surrey Place Centre Charitable Foundation.

  • KidsHealth

    KidsHealth is the largest and most-visited site on the Web providing doctor-approved health information about children from before birth through adolescence.

  • National Center on Physical Activity and Disability

    The Center encourages persons with disabilities to participate in regular physical activity as a means of promoting healthy lifestyles and preventing development of secondary conditions. NCPAD gathers, organizes, evaluates, synthesizes, and disseminates information on the state of the science in physical activity and disability.

  • Tennessee Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics

    An organization of 60,000 pediatricians committed to the attainment of optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults.

Health Insurance Information

  • AARP.org

    Provides information on caregiving for seniors.

  • Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD): Resources on the Affordable Care Act

    The AUCD provides ACA resources and facts; including but not limited to: Medicaid and CHIP expansion, Patient Protections, Pre-existing Condition Exclusions and Discrimination, Accessible Diagnostic Equipment Standards, Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plans

  • Disability.gov

    Disability.gov provides quick and easy access to comprehensive information about disability programs, services, laws and benefits. Also offers information on accessibility, assistive and adaptive technology and laws and regulations related to technology.

  • Family Voices

    A national grassroots clearinghouse for information and education about ways to assure and improve health care for children with disabilities and chronic conditions

  • HealthCare.gov

    The federal online market place for individuals and families to sign-up for health insurance through the marketplace (exchange). Connect to Healthcare.gov in Spanish, click on the link listed below:

  • The Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight--Ensuring the Affordable Care Act Serves the American People

    Provides information about insurance programs, consumer support and information; along with other programs and initiatives

Housing Information

  • AARP.org

    Provides information on caregiving for seniors.

  • Aging Care.com

    Aging Care.com is an online resource community of caregivers that provide information and resources about caring for aging loved ones.

  • First Time Home Buyers Guide

    The Mortgage Reports provides tips for getting a mortgage and answers to common questions about buying a home.

  • Rural Housing Service

    Provides homeownership opportunities to rural Americans, as well as programs for home renovation and repair. Financing is made available to elderly, disabled, or low-income rural residents of multi-unit housing buildings to ensure they are able to make rent payments.

IDEA Information and/or Training Programs

  • Center for Parent Information & Resources (CPIR)

    Provides information to the nation on disabilities in children and youth, programs and services for infants, children, and youth with disabilities, IDEA, the nation's special education law, No Child Left Behind, the nation's general education law, and research-based information on effective practices for children with disabilities. Also offers a listing of campsites and programs around the nation that offer services and specialized summer camp programs for children and youth with disabilities.

  • LearningPort

    A free online professional development library of education resources developed by the IDEA Partnership.

  • My Child Without Limits.org

    MyChildWithoutLimits.org is an early intervention resource for families of young children ages 0-5 with developmental delays or disabilities, and professionals.

  • National Center for Early Development and Learning

    NCEDL is a national early childhood research project supported by the US Department of Education's Institute for Educational Sciences (IES), formerly the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI). Administratively based at the FPG Child Development Institute, NCEDL is a collaboration with the University of Virginia & UCLA.

  • National Early Childhood Technical Assistance System (NECTAC)

    The mission of NECTAC is to strengthen service systems to ensure that children with disabilities (birth through 5 years) and their families receive and benefit from high quality, culturally appropriate and family-centered supports and services.

  • The IRIS Center

    Funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), the IRIS Center develops training enhancement materials to be used by faculty and professional development providers for the preparation of current and future school personnel.

Mental Health Care & Counseling

  • American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

    Assists parents and families in understanding developmental, behavioral, emotional, and mental disorders affecting children and adolescents.

  • American Psychological Association (APA)

    Based in Washington, DC, the American Psychological Association (APA) is a scientific and professional organization that represents psychology in the United States. With 148,000 members, APA is the largest association of psychologists worldwide.

  • FaithAbility.org

    Faithability.org provides various resources on disabilities and faith communities.

  • Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health

    A national parent-run organization focused on the needs of children and youth with emotional, behavioral or mental disorders and their families.

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

    NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots organization for people with mental illness and their families. Founded in 1979, NAMI has affiliates in every state and in more than 1,100 local communities across the country.

  • National Association for the Dually Diagnosed (NADD)

    NADD is a not-for-profit membership association established for professionals, care providers and families to promote understanding of and services for individuals who have developmental disabilities and mental health needs. The mission of NADD is to advance mental wellness for persons with developmental disabilities through the promotion of excellence in mental health care.

  • National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH)

    The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is the largest scientific organization in the world dedicated to research focused on the understanding, treatment, and prevention of mental disorders and the promotion of mental health.

  • National Mental Health Association (NMHA)

    Country's oldest and largest nonprofit organization addressing all aspects of mental health and mental illness through advocacy, education, research and service.

  • Tennessee Association of Mental Health Organizations

    A statewide trade association representing primarily Community Mental Health Centers and community-owned corporations that have historically served the needs of the mentally ill and chemically dependent citizens of Tennessee regardless of their ability to pay.

  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

    The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. By dialing 1-800-273-TALK, the call is routed to the nearest crisis center in our national network of more than 140 crisis centers. The Lifeline’s national network of local crisis centers, provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals day and night.

  • Youth Villages

    Youth Villages has been a national leader in the adoption and implementation of research-based treatment philosophies in the field of children's mental and behavioral health.

Recreation Resources

  • ABLE Youth

    Athletes Building Life Experiences (ABLE): ABLE is a wheelchair sports and independence program which focuses on raising the quality of life for children using wheelchairs.

  • American Amputee Soccer Association

    American Amputee Soccer Association promotes the sport of soccer to children and adult amputees through professional athletic development.

  • Best Buddies

    Best Buddies ® is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities by providing opportunities for one-to-one friendships and integrated employment.

  • Cerebral Palsy International Sports & Recreation Association (CPISRA)

    The mission of CPISRA is to promote and develop the means by which people who have cerebral palsy or related neurological condition have the opportunity to participate in the sport and recreational activity of their choice.

  • Disabled Sports USA

    Disabled Sports USA is a nation-wide network of community-based chapters offering a variety of recreation programs. Each chapter sets its own agenda and activities. These may include one or more of the following: snow skiing; water sports (such as water skiing, sailing, kayaking, and rafting); cycling; climbing; horseback riding; golf; and social activities.

  • International Paralympic Committe (IPC)

    The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement. The IPC organizes the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games, and serves as the International Federation for nine sports, for which it supervises and co-ordinates the World Championships and other competitions. The IPC is committed to enabling Paralympic athletes to achieve sporting excellence and to developing sport opportunities for all persons with a disability from the beginner to elite level.

  • National Center on Physical Activity and Disability

    The Center encourages persons with disabilities to participate in regular physical activity as a means of promoting healthy lifestyles and preventing development of secondary conditions. NCPAD gathers, organizes, evaluates, synthesizes, and disseminates information on the state of the science in physical activity and disability.

  • National Sports Center for the Disabled

    The mission of the National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD) is to provide quality outdoor sports and therapeutic recreation programs that positively impact the lives of people with disabilities.

  • Special Olympics

    Special Olympics is an international organization dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society through sports training and competition. Special Olympics offers children and adults with intellectual disabilities year-round training and competition in 26 Olympic-type summer and winter sports.

  • Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation

    Environment and Conservation is committed to protecting and improving the quality of Tennessee’s air, land and water. Department programs and initiatives protect human health and the environment and support economic development and quality of life through education, outreach and effective enforcement of state and federal environmental laws. We are also proud to manage the award-winning Tennessee State Parks system — with 54 state parks hosting more than 25 million visits each year.

Religion and Spirituality

Secondary Transition Services

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS): ENTRYPOINT!

    Entry Point is the signature program of the AAAS Project on Science, Technology, and Disability. Entry Point identifies and recruits students with apparent and non-apparent disabilities studying in science, engineering, mathematics, computer science, and some fields of business for outstanding internship and co-op opportunities.

  • BestColleges.org

    Provides information about college scholarships and financial aid for students with disabilities.

  • Brevard Center - College Internship Program

    The Brevard Center in Melbourne, Florida provides individualized, post-secondary academic, internship and independent living experiences for young adults with Asperger's Syndrome and Nonverbal learning differences.

  • College Advice for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

    This article includes information to help deaf students transition from high school to college, provides advice from the experts on specific degrees and career options, and describes deaf and hard of hearing student advocacy and leadership programs.

  • Disability Employment Policy Tutorial and Quick Reference

    Designed to help anyone who wants to understand disability employment policy, and is set up to encourage learning through tutorials and a quick reference guide.

  • Emerging Leaders

    A highly competitive program that places college students with disabilities in fulfilling summer internships and provides them with leadership development opportunities.

  • ETS.org - Disability Resources

    ETS develops, administers and scores the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® General and Subject Tests and The Praxis Series™ assessments. ETS provides accommodation resources for test-takers with disabilities.

  • Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) - Resources for test-takers with Disabilities

    The Graduate Management Admission Council® (GMAC®) is a non-profit organization which administers, develops, and scores the GMAT test for business schools. GMAC provides accomodation resources for test-takers with disabilities.

  • HEATH Resource Center

    National clearinghouse on postsecondary education for persons with disabilities. It is supported by the U.S. Department of Education. HEATH has information about educational support services, policies, procedures, adaptations, and opportunities at American campuses, vocational-technical schools, and other postsecondary training entities.

  • Helping Students with Vision Impairments

    This guide explains how colleges are creating more welcoming and inclusive learning environments, with a sharp focus on assistive technology, campus resources that provide assistive services and tools, information about scholarships for students with visual impairments, and online resources they can access to facilitate academic and career success.

  • Job Accommodation Network (JAN) - Office of Disability Employment Policy

    The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. Working toward practical solutions that benefit both employer and employee, JAN helps people with disabilities enhance their employability, and shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace.

  • National Alliance for Secondary Education and Transition

    The National Alliance for Secondary Education and Transition (NASET) is a national voluntary coalition of more than 40 organizations and advocacy groups representing special education, general education, career and technical education, youth development, multicultural perspectives, and parents.

  • National Center on Secondary Education and Transition

    The National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET) coordinates national resources, offers technical assistance, and disseminates information related to secondary education and transition for youth with disabilities in order to create opportunities for youth to achieve successful futures. NCSET is headquartered at the Institute on Community Integration in the University of Minnesota's College of Education and Human Development.

  • National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability

    NCWD/Youth has an array of briefs, background papers, guides, manuals, and other materials to address issues for youth with and without disabilities, youth service professionals, workforce development professionals, policymakers, and many more.

  • National Resource Center for Supported Decision-Making

    Provides national and state information to support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in making their own choices.

  • National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC)

    NTACT’s purpose is to assist State Education Agencies, Local Education Agencies, State VR agencies, and VR service providers in implementing evidence-based and promising practices ensuring students with disabilities, including those with significant disabilities, graduate prepared for success in postsecondary education and employment.

  • Special Education Guide

    SpecialEducationGuide.com is the go-to online resource for parents and educators who want to master the terminology, procedures and best practices in special education. Expert writers cover everything from early intervention to ISFPs; IEPs and RTI, inclusion, classroom and behavior management; disability profiles for each category under IDEA and a Special Education Dictionary to master “SPED” jargon.

  • Supported Decision-Making Pilot Project

    The Center for Public Representation & Nonotuck Research Associates' Supported Decision-Making Pilot Project – one of the first demonstrations in the nation – is grounded in the shared values and shared belief that all people must be able to exercise choice in all aspects of their lives.

  • Supported Decision-Making: Creating a Continuum of Choice

    Supported Decision-Making: Creating a Continuum of Choice, is the result of the collaboration among disability organizations to educate about an emerging best-practice concept known as Supported Decision-Making (SDM).

  • Supporting Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

    This guide helps connect hard of hearing students with valuable tools, technology, and resources that they can lean on. It also features scholarships specific to hard of hearing students, provides advice on finding a college to fit particular needs and breaks down how colleges are becoming more inclusive environments.

  • Tennessee Division of Adult Education

    Provides information about and access to adult education programs. Offers a list of local adult education programs.

  • The Lifespan Transitions Center at OCALI

    The Lifespan Transitions Center offers resources, training, technical assistance, and consultation to support the successful transition of individuals with autism and multiple disabilities throughout their school careers and into their adult lives. Resources address community living and employment.

  • ThinkCollege.net

    Resource regarding postsecondary education options for people with disabilities.

  • Transition Tennessee

    Tennessee’s online home for training and resources on preparing students with disabilities for life after high school. Consider this the “blueprint” to building a comprehensive transition program for your students

Self Advocacy Resources

  • American Association of People with Disabilities

    The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is a convener, connector, and catalyst for change, increasing the political and economic power of people with disabilities.

  • Bethesda Institute

    The Bethesda Institute is an outreach through the National Christian Resource Center that provides training and resources for people with disabilities. The Bethesda Blog is written by experts in the field of disability and religion, including ministers and people with disabilities. Bloggers cover various topics from current news to personal stories.

  • Disability Resource Community

    The Disability Resource Community is a platform designed for people with disabilities, their family members and caregivers to ask questions, share resources and build community around the things that matter most.

  • R-Word | Spread the Word to End the Word

    The R-Word is a campaign asks people to pledge to stop saying the R-word as a starting point toward creating more accepting attitudes and communities for all people. Language affects attitudes and attitudes affect actions.

  • Self-Advocacy Resource and Technical Assistance Center

    The website serves as an online location to categorize, promote, and share the best tools and resources for self-advocacy across the country. Resources range in topics, including board management, using social media, involving youth in self-advocacy groups, and more.

Sibling Resources

  • Caregiver Action Network

    Caregiver Action Network (CAN) is the nation’s leading family caregiver organization working to improve the quality of life for the more than 90 million Americans who care for loved ones with chronic conditions, disabilities, disease, or the frailties of old age. CAN serves a broad spectrum of family caregivers ranging from the parents of children with special needs, to the families and friends of wounded soldiers; from a young couple dealing with a diagnosis of MS, to adult children caring for parents with Alzheimer’s disease. CAN (the National Family Caregivers Association) is a non-profit organization providing education, peer support, and resources to family caregivers across the country free of charge.

Special Education Programs

  • Center for Parent Information & Resources (CPIR)

    Provides information to the nation on disabilities in children and youth, programs and services for infants, children, and youth with disabilities, IDEA, the nation's special education law, No Child Left Behind, the nation's general education law, and research-based information on effective practices for children with disabilities. Also offers a listing of campsites and programs around the nation that offer services and specialized summer camp programs for children and youth with disabilities.

  • Inclusive Schools Network

    The Inclusive Schools Network (ISN) is a web-based educational resource for families, schools and communities that promotes inclusive educational practices. This resource has grown out of Inclusive Schools Week™, an internationally-recognized annual event created by Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) and now sponsored by Stetson & Associates, Inc. ISN’s mission is “to encourage, embolden and empower people to design and implement effective inclusive schools, by sharing insights and best practices and by providing opportunities for connection.”

  • National Center for Early Development and Learning

    NCEDL is a national early childhood research project supported by the US Department of Education's Institute for Educational Sciences (IES), formerly the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI). Administratively based at the FPG Child Development Institute, NCEDL is a collaboration with the University of Virginia & UCLA.

  • National Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)

    The TA Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports has been established by the Office of Special Education Programs, US Department of Education to give schools capacity-building information and technical assistance for identifying, adapting, and sustaining effective school-wide disciplinary practices.

  • Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS)

    The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) understands the many challenges still facing individuals with disabilities and their families. Therefore, OSERS is committed to improving results and outcomes for people with disabilities of all ages. OSERS supports programs that serve millions of children, youth and adults with disabilities.

  • Special Education Guide

    SpecialEducationGuide.com is the go-to online resource for parents and educators who want to master the terminology, procedures and best practices in special education. Expert writers cover everything from early intervention to ISFPs; IEPs and RTI, inclusion, classroom and behavior management; disability profiles for each category under IDEA and a Special Education Dictionary to master “SPED” jargon.

  • Tennessee State Board of Education (SBE)

    The State Board of Education governs and makes policy for Tennessee public elementary and secondary education. Its work touches all aspects of education from accountability and evaluation to curriculum and teacher education. Its work includes special education.

Support for Families

  • Caregiver Action Network

    Caregiver Action Network (CAN) is the nation’s leading family caregiver organization working to improve the quality of life for the more than 90 million Americans who care for loved ones with chronic conditions, disabilities, disease, or the frailties of old age. CAN serves a broad spectrum of family caregivers ranging from the parents of children with special needs, to the families and friends of wounded soldiers; from a young couple dealing with a diagnosis of MS, to adult children caring for parents with Alzheimer’s disease. CAN (the National Family Caregivers Association) is a non-profit organization providing education, peer support, and resources to family caregivers across the country free of charge.

  • Center for Parent Information & Resources (CPIR)

    Provides information to the nation on disabilities in children and youth, programs and services for infants, children, and youth with disabilities, IDEA, the nation's special education law, No Child Left Behind, the nation's general education law, and research-based information on effective practices for children with disabilities. Also offers a listing of campsites and programs around the nation that offer services and specialized summer camp programs for children and youth with disabilities.

  • Council of Parent Advocates and Attorneys (COPAA)

    COPAA is an independent, nonprofit, tax-exempt organization of attorneys, advocates and parents. It works to improve the quality and quantity of legal assistance for parents of children with disabilities.

  • Disability Resource Community

    The Disability Resource Community is a platform designed for people with disabilities, their family members and caregivers to ask questions, share resources and build community around the things that matter most.

  • Disabled Parents Rights

    The Center is dedicated to combating discrimination that affects parenting for parents with disabilities. Help is offered through legal representation, technical assistance, and information and referral.

  • Kids Together, Inc.

    A non-profit organization, co-founded by parents and organized by volunteers, that provides information and resources to promote inclusive communities.

  • Pacer Center

    The mission of PACER Center is to expand opportunities and enhance the quality of life of children and young adults with disabilities and their families, based on the concept of parents helping parents.

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Resources

  • ACM Lifting Lives Series at Vanderbilt

    ACM Lifting Lives Series at Vanderbilt is an innovative vocational experience for young adults with developmental disabilities. The goal is to help participants learn vocational and social skills aimed at improving the potential for gaining employment in the entertainment industry. The program is a partnership with ACM Lifting Lives.

  • Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Arts and Disabilities

    Since 1994, the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center has sponsored exhibits of art by and about people with disabilities in order to demonstrate the diverse talents of individuals with disabilities.

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