Group of Advocates

The Tennessee Disability Coalition is an alliance of organizations and individuals joined to promote the full and equal participation of people...

Rep Jernigan and Louise McKown

The Tennessee Disability Coalition is an alliance of organizations and individuals joined to promote the full and equal participation of people...

Advocates in front of the capitol building

The central purpose of the Coalition is to advocate for public policies that promote equal opportunity, economic self-sufficiency, and independent...

Disability Day on the Hill Announcement

"When dozens or even hundreds of people gather for a common cause, those who create our laws have no choice but to...

2019 Legislative Session Wrap Up

Group of students at Disability Day on the Hill
Sarah's picture

We are extremely thankful to announce the passage and funding of the Katie Beckett bill! $27.3 million was allocated to fund this bill and support children with long-term disabilities or complex medical needs whose family incomes have prevented them from qualifying for TennCare. The Katie Beckett program will create a dedicated pathway for children to access TennCare and other home- and community-based services (HCBS) to help keep them healthy and their families together. This program will make a tremendous difference thanks to the support of countless families and advocates! 

Becoming Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee

Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee posing with a teenage girl

At the age of two, Cyndi Leach contracted the polio virus and as a result, became paralyzed from the waist down. However, Cyndi does not remember anything other than living with the effects of polio. She views her disability as part of who she is and has always found alternative ways to approach her goals.

“I’ve never felt that my disability is tragic. I learned at a young age that I could do anything I wanted to do, I just had to figure out different way to do it,” said Cyndi. 

House Budget Includes Funding for Katie Beckett Bill

Speaker Geln Casada Shakes Young Boy's Hand As Mother Looks On
Sarah's picture

Big news! The House Finance Committee has passed their version of the state budget—which includes $27 million funding for the Katie Beckett bill! We are so grateful to the House Leadership, Sponsor Representative Sam Whitson and Representative Matthew Hill for championing this legislation. We anticipate that the House of Representatives will pass their version of the budget in their session tomorrow morning. Immediately afterwards, we will be holding a press conference with Speaker Glen Casada to share our gratitude. 

Potential Impact of Education Savings Account Proposal

House of Representatives in Session
Sarah's picture

Today the House of Representatives voted 50-48 for Governor Bill Lee’s Education Savings Account (ESA) proposal after three hours of debate. The Senate plans to vote on its version of the legislation on Thursday.

Tennessee Disability Coalition Statement on the Education Savings Account proposal

Finding Community in Middle Tennessee

Valerie's husband and two children pose on the front steps of their house.

Valerie moved to Tennessee in 2016 to be closer to her extended family and was pleased to find a vibrant Down syndrome community to support her daughter Ella, as well as her whole family.  

A three-year-old with Down syndrome, Ella enjoys coloring and playing with her water table. Valerie was excited to learn that Nashville is home to GiGi’s Playhouse. The playhouse is part of a national network of Down syndrome achievement centers, providing free educational programs and tutoring for kids and adults with Down syndrome. 

Katie Beckett Bill Has a $ Fiscal Note

Representative Ron Travis with two young girls
Sarah's picture

Two Katie Beckett Bill HB0498/SB0476 Updates: 1) We are pleased to share that the bill has a fiscal note $$$ significantly lower than TennCare’s initial estimates and 2) The House Finance, Ways & Means Subcommittee will hear the bill on Wednesday, April 10th at 11am CT.

Working with a Traumatic Brain Injury

Blue background with the "Change Your Mind" Brain Injury Awareness Month Logo

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a very complex injury that affects millions of individuals and families each year. Brain injury is a life-altering event which affects every area of a person’s life, including work. During this year’s Brain Injury Awareness Month, explore the lasting effects of a brain injury with us as we dive into what exactly a TBI means for employees and employers alike. 

Life After Brain Injury

Images of Kali's brain after her accident

         At 24 years old, Kali was an outgoing, friendly mother to a toddler. She played softball and enjoyed bowling in her free time after recently finishing her communications degree. For Kali and her family, everything changed the night she left a concert and avoided a head-on collision, where she smashed into two trees and was knocked unconscious. The long haul to recovery began.

Katie Beckett Bill Passes House Insurance & Senate Commerce Committees

Katie Beckett Families and children in front of Senate Hearing Room One
Sarah's picture

The Katie Beckett Bill HB0498/ SB0476 passed the House Insurance and Senate Commerce & Labor Committees today! 

Committee members had already heard about the legislation by the time the first hearing began. Over the weekend, they received over 10,000 emails from Tennesseans calling for their support of a Katie Beckett Program for Tennessee.

Katie Beckett Bill Passes House TennCare Subcommittee

Representative Sam Whitson with Mom and Daughter
Sarah's picture

Today HB0498/ SB0476 to create a Katie Beckett Program in TN was passed by the House TennCare Subcommittee! We are so thankful to Representative Sam Whitson and our amazing families for championing this legislation. 

Notably, a round of applause broke out when the bill passed and the Sponsor Sam Whitson asked a family, Tori and her daughter Zoey, to stand with him as he shared closing words. That doesn't happen in most committee hearings.


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Tennessee Disability Coalition

The Coalition is an alliance of organizations and individuals who have joined to promote the full and equal participation of men, women and children with disabilities in all aspects of life. We work together to advocate for public policy that ensures self-determination, independence, empowerment, and inclusion for people with disabilities in areas such as accessibility, education, healthcare, housing, and voting rights.

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Office Address
Tennessee Disability Coalition
955 Woodland Street
Nashville, TN 37206

Nashville: (615) 383-9442Toll-free: (888) 643-7811Email: