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...

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.

Recovery After a Brain Injury

Zennia and Chyna take a photo together in their car.

When Chyna was four years old, she was involved in a car crash with her grandmother. After being rushed to the hospital, doctors told Chyna’s mother, Zennia, that the injuries to her brain were very severe. 

Seven days following her traumatic brain injury (TBI), the swelling on Chyna’s brain still hadn’t gone down, so they induced her into a coma. The injury also put pressure on her eyesight, so she was essentially blind. Finally, the doctors put a stint in her brain to relieve the immense pressure. 

Amendment to Katie Beckett Legislation

Speaker Glen Casada with a family who would benefit from a Katie Beckett Program
Sarah's picture

Amendment to Tennessee’s Katie Beckett Bill
This afternoon, sponsors of HB0498/ SB0476 filed an amendment to the bill that would define a Katie Beckett Program for Tennessee. The amendment replaces all language after the caption in the bill’s current form.

Response to Governor Lee's 2019 State of the State

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee Presenting his 2019 State of the State Address
Sarah's picture

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee began his State of the State Address this evening with an assessment that our state is “hopeful, prosperous and strong.” We at the Tennessee Disability Coalition share our newly-elected Executive’s hope for the year ahead and belief that with collective effort we can take on our state’s tallest mountains, it’s greatest challenges.

The Effects of a Brain Injury

Yasmeene Abudhair in the hospital after her brain injury.

Before 13-year-old Yasmeene Ahmad experienced a traumatic brain injury, she was a “loving, strong, responsible, humble, courageous and friendly girl.” The injury significantly impacted her daily life. 

Yasmeene fell in a school gym one afternoon. Upon waking, she seemed disoriented and began experiencing radiating pain in her head. Christen, Yasmeen’s mother, arrived to pick her up.

“Soon after returning home, Yasmeene started throwing up, so I rushed her to the hospital,” she said. 

Advocating for a Tennessee Where Her Daughter Can Thrive

Susan and a friend pose for the camera at last year's Disability Day on the Hill.

When her daughter, Lexi, was nine months old, Susan Carr dropped her off at the daycare center before going to work at her office. Later in the afternoon, Susan received a call that would transform her into a fierce self-advocate on behalf of children and adults with disabilities. 

In 2000, Cri Du Chat syndrome, also known as 5p- Syndrome, was a rare genetic disorder that still had not been widely researched. With a chromosome deletion on chromosome 5, this caused doctors to believe the effects of this syndrome to be severely limiting. 

Three Steps to a Successful Meeting with Your Legislator

A woman greets her legislator.

Right now in Tennessee, legislative session is happening! While it’s important to advocate year-round for disability employment, now is a great time to meet with your legislators. Plus, the governor will be giving his State of the State address and budget proposal in early March. It’s important to pay attention to how the governor talks about disability employment and whether there is state funding to support further disability employment initiatives. 


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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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Tennessee Disability Coalition
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