Disability Advocacy Day - March 11

For the fourth consecutive year, March 11, 2024 will be Disability Advocacy Day in Tennessee! 

Tennesseans with disabilities experience disparate access to the same basic education, housing, transportation, and healthcare as state residents without disability. Outside of a pandemic, self and collective advocacy is critical to ensuring access to essential supports and services. Amid the pandemic, Tennesseans with disabilities continue to use their voices to speak up for basic services, and speak out against policies that infringe on civil rights and other legal protections provided under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Consequently, this often-marginalized and overlooked community has made a formidable impact on state policy. 

Achievements of Tennesseans with Disabilities: 

Katie Beckett Program
Autism Equity Act
TN Family Support Program
Tennessee Autism Council
STEP UP Scholarship
Expanding home-and community-based services
Nurse delegation of health maintenance tasks
Claire’s Law (hearing aids for kids)
Concussion management protocol in schools
Support for aging caregivers
Protecting student rights
Service animal protections
Fair housing
Protecting individual rights in deinstitutionalization
Disability Vote Alliance
Personal assistance licensure
Modernizing state laws on mental health and developmental disabilities
Tennessee Disability Act
Supporting and licensing medication administration in the community
Ensuring accessibility in Legislative Plaza and the Cordell Hull building
Limiting institutional care
Open Doors Home Health Care Act
Lane v. State of TN – equal access to justice
Prohibiting employment discrimination
Protecting and expanding access to Medicaid

“People with disabilities learn very early that advocacy is the only way to tackle the barriers they face in an ‘able’ world,” says Tennessee Disability Coalition Executive Director, Carol Westlake. “We learned decades ago that we have to build community, work together, and be clear about what’s needed. It takes advocacy to achieve the basic level of access, inclusion, and support that others take for granted. We have to stand up, speak up and follow up. And we have to stick together. When COVID-19 hit, we knew the stakes. We knew the importance of the moment, and the disability community rallied."


Ways you can join in on the celebration: 

  1. Wear "Coalition Blue" or your DDH 2024 "Nothing Without Us" t-shirt to show support and solidarity. 
  2. "Light up" your social media by posting about Disability Advocacy Day. Follow this link to find pre-made graphics you can use.
  3. Find a landmark that is lit up near you and snap a picture! See a list of participating landmarks below.


2024 Participating Locations (so far!):

West TN:

Bass Pro Pyramid, Memphis

Carroll County Inclusion Park, Huntington

Eiffel Tower Replica, Paris

Fayette County Public Schools

Jackson Center for Independent Living (JCIL), Jackson

Memphis International Airport, Memphis

Memphis Liberty Bowl Stadium now Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium, Memphis

Overton Park Shell, Memphis

Spark Gymnastics, Oakland

TARP, Paris

University of Memphis, Memphis 


Middle TN:

Adventure Science Center, Nashville

Best Buddies, Nashville

Bi-Centennial Park Amphitheatre, Nashville

City Hall/Courthouse/Public Square, Nashville

Customs House Museum & Cultural Center, Clarksville

Frist Art Museum, Nashville 

Korean Veterans Memorial Bridge, Nashville 

NES (Nashville Electrical Services) Dome, Nashville

Nissan Stadium, Nashville

Sexual Assault Center (SAC), Nashville

State Capitol Cupola, Nashville

UT Southern, Pulaski

East TN:

Chattanooga Parks and Outdoors

Dollywood, Pigeon Forge

Henley St. Bridge, Knoxville

Liberty Tower, Chattanooga

TN State Parks


How can you or your organization participate in Disability Advocacy Day?

Contact us if your organization would like information or assistance with lighting up "Coalition Blue" at 615-383-9442


Check out our Disability Advoacay Day Toolkit: a digital library of graphics including social media images, messaging, associated hashtags, and other resources to show your support for Disability Advocacy in Tennessee and the Americans with Disabilities Act.