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Disability Etiquette Front Page

Disability Etiquette Brochure:

The term "etiquette" has long been used to describe a set of expectations for social behavior in a certain society. The term "Disability Etiquette" grew out of the Disability Rights Movement that began in America in the early 1970s.

We just want to be treated equally. People with disabilities appreciate politeness and courtesy just as much as anyone else. Unfortunately, stereotypes about us and a lack of knowledge about interacting with members of our community can translate into inappropriate behavior and discrimination.

The Tennessee Disability Coalition designed a Disability Etiquette Brochure to help break down the uncertainty others may have about how to talk to an individual with a disability and how to work alongside us in the workplace. 

Across the state, from white collar offices to media outlets to schools, this brochure has met a warm welcome. We hope you will also find it helpful. 

To request hardcopies, email: coalition@tndisability.org or call: 615-383-9442. We will send you 10 copies at no cost to you. For additional quantities, we ask that you help us cover the cost at $1.25 per copy.

Download for free:

Disability Etiquette in .pdf

Disability Etiquette in .doc

Disability Etiquette in Spanish in .pdf

Disability Etiquette in Spanish. doc


Cover Image of Service Animal Tip CardService Animal Tip Card:

Individuals with disabilities may use service animals for a variety of reasons. Title II and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a service animal as any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.

Titles II and III of the ADA also make it clear that service animals are allowed in public places. Even if the business or facility has a “no pets” policy, a person with a service animal cannot be denied entrance. Service animals are not pets.

In 2013, a new law passed by the Tennessee General Assembly helped to bring service animal guidelines in our state in line with federal law. 

The Tennesse Disability Coalition has partnered with Disability Rights Tennessee and a number of self advocates who use service animals to provide free trainings on service animal guidelines.

We have developed two ADA Tip Cards that provide a quick snapshot for individuals with disabilities who use a service animal and encounter discrimination, and for businesses and public facilities who are concerned that someone has entered their establishment with a dog that is not a service dog.

We encourage you to print these tip cards on your own, or call us at: 615-383-9442 to request copies.

Tip Card: What to Do if You Encounter Discrimination

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Tip Card: What to Do If You Think Someone Has Brought in a Dog That is Not a Service Dog

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For more information on service animal guidelines, check out the Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals Manual online at the ADA National Network site: https://adata.org/publication/service-animals-booklet 


Cover Image of ESSA ToolkitESSA Advocacy Toolkit:

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is the newest version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The ESEA is the federal law related to public education from pre-kindergarten through high school. ESEA aims to close educational achievement gaps for historically low performing groups of students. Achievement gaps are most prevalent among low-income and minority students, students with disabilities, and English learners. 

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was enacted in 2015, and it covers every public school in the country. The law went into effect beginning in the 2017–2018 school year.  ESSA replaces the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). ESSA’s stated goal is to “provide all children significant opportunity to receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education, and to close educational achievement gaps.”

This advocacy toolkit represents a collaborative project of Support and Training for Exceptional Parents (STEP, Inc.), the Tennessee Disability Coalition, the National Center for Learning Disabilities, Tennessee Education Equity Coalition, and Understood. It aims to provide you starter information on the implications of the ESSA for students with disabilities.

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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.

Copyright © 2018 Tennessee Disability Coalition. All Rights Reserved. Tennessee Disability Coalition


Contact us

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

Nashville: (615) 383-9442Toll-free: (888) 643-7811Email: coalition@tndisability.org