PastGrant Awards

Since Fall 2008, the Tennessee Disability Coalition has awarded small grants to applicants in Tennessee. Contact with inquiries about recipients prior to 2011. We have posted the previous years of awardees below

Fall 2023

A Step Ahead Chattanooga: Earlier in 2023, two of our health educators attended training with Elevatus to become Certified Sexuality Trainers, specializing in education for people with I/DDs, their caregivers, and service providers. Elevatus is a global organization whose mission is to empower, motivate, and educate self-advocates, professionals, and parents to gain confidence, comfort, knowledge, and skills to teach and talk openly about sexuality, enabling people with developmental disabilities to lead healthy lives. This training gave us access to Elevatus’ evidence-based, trauma-informed curriculum. The curriculum is appropriate for high schoolers and adults. We don’t just want to adapt what we are already doing to fit a population with unique needs; we want to ensure we are equipped with evidence-based resources created by experts that will have the most significant impact possible. It is important to us that when we educate a vulnerable population, the health educator facilitating the conversation is someone with lived experience. We request $2,200 to have two contract health educators, both disabled individuals, complete the Elevatus certification. This will allow them to cofacilitate the training moving forward.

Able Youth: The proposed project is the purchase of racing wheelchairs to be used by children participating in ABLE Youth’s Sports and Independence Program. Specifically, ABLE Youth is requesting funding to cover the cost of two Soaring Eagle T-Frame Racing Wheelchairs with shipping. 

CreatiVets: The project we are proposing aims to expand and enhance our community center workshops, which are integral to our mission of empowering wounded veterans through the arts and music. This initiative will specifically focus on building a comprehensive arts resource center within our community center. We plan to add essential technology and equipment that will be accessible to veterans from anywhere, providing them with tools for creative expression and healing.

Gentry's Education: The Memphis Dream Center's Indoor Play Space is a multi-phase sensory play space to be built out by Fun Factory. This project is addressing playspace inequity in our city. 63 children that we are serving in other capacities have been identified by their parent or caretaker as not having a safe space to play, according to our most recent community needs assessment. We will implement the building out of this accessible indoor playspace in phases. Phase One will cost approximately $25,000. The community will be informed through flier distributed through partnering organizations, our website and our social media.

Johnson City Recovery: The overall goal of this project is to bring JCRC's existing accessibility ramp and bathroom up to ADA standards so that ALL people seeking recovery from substance use disorders have equitable access to life-saving recovery support services.

Support and Training for Exceptional Parents, Inc. (TNSTEP): In 2020, TNSTEP launched its Family Equity Advisory Team (FEAT) to review and monitor the organization's policies and procedures through an equity lens. The team efficiently put measures in place to help eliminate disparities in educational outcomes for students and youth with disabilities, with a special focus on students from underserved and underrepresented populations. To support this ongoing work, it is necessary that TNSTEP produce informative written, graphic, and video content in the top 4 languages represented in our state—English, Spanish, Arabic, and Chinese—to reach more families who need special education support and training.


Spring 2023

Backlight ProductionsOur project is a massive, inclusive, performance of Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Cinderella" at Tennessee Performing Arts Center in October 2023.

"BEST" Blind and Visually Impaired Early Services of Tennessee: BEST would like to initiate a Music Therapy Program for children with vision impairment/blindness and their families.

Carroll County Inclusion ParkTo bring our communities together and provide a healthy environment that inspires peer-to-peer play.

Fashion Is For Every Body: On September 9th, 2023, Fashion Is For Every Body will host our eighth annual inclusive, multi-runway fashion show at Studio 615 in East Nashville. We will be serving adults aged 18+, persons with disabilities, persons of varying body types, people in the BIPOC and AAPI diaspora, those who identify on the LGBTQ+ spectrum, and persons over 40.

Healing Arts Project Inc., HAPIHAPI plans to expand services to reach more underserved Tennesseans by offering free art and creative writing classes in the West and East.


Fall 2022

Chattanooga Autism: Funding to support and build our Resource Hub throughout 2023. Several of the services we provide are underfunded, or unfunded. Reimbursement rates are not at the level to fully fund some of the programs (e.g., STAGES and our outpatient clinic), and unfortunately, our Resource Hub is an example of a completely unfunded, but critical and growing service we must provide.

Overton Park Shell: Our proposed project is a partnership between the Overton Park Shell and DeafConnect MidSouth that would allow for ASL interpreters for the D/deaf and hard of hearing communities to interpret the lyrics of the music and all announcements during our pre-show introduction at our Free Concert Series at the Overton Park Shell, our Shell On Wheels Outreach Concerts in Midsouth neighborhoods, and other programming such as our Health and Wellness Series.


Spring 2022

Friends of Tennessee Babies with Special Needs - Expanding our program capacity by implementing a Volunteer Management Program based on best practices, resulting in increased family satisfaction with programs provided for their children and increased volunteer productivity, greater satisfaction, and longer-term volunteer retention.

Knoxville Jewish Alliance - We are seeking funding for the purchase and installation of a pool lift. Specifically, an Aqua Creek Admiral Pool Lift which supports up to 450 pounds. We would also need to purchase an anchor set, a cover, and a solar charger to ensure that the lift's battery is adequately charged at all times. 

Raising Kellan - The Raising Kellan podcast has two (2) goals for the proposed project:

  1. Improving the user experience and design of the Raising Kellan website, including improving the digital accessibility of the website.
  2. Improving the accessibility of the podcast by adding subtitles. 

Saint Patrick Presbyterian - In order to grow our Special Friends program, Saint Patrick has identified a need to begin a paid residency program. This is something we are familiar with as we have a yearly paid resident assisting with youth programming. Special Friends is currently under the auspices of Family Ministry Director with broad responsibilities. TDC funding will allow us to onboard a resident who can aid and assist in day-to-day responsibilities. 

Fall 2021-22

Topic Specific Grant Cycle: Community Centric Storytelling 

Able Voices & NAMI Davidson - Our project, "Mental Health Stories through Expressive Imagery" is a collaboration between AbleVoices and NAMI Davidson County. This project ultimately shares with our community, creatively altered photographs made by participants with mental health issues. A traveling exhibit of printed and mounted images will allow these visual stories to reach thousands of people throughout our community. The images and accompanying titles and captions will inform the public of the prevalence of mental health issues, the importance of access to treatment, and the pressing need for destigmatizing mental health in our society. 

The Brain Injury Association of Tennessee - "I'm Still Me" 
Anger outbursts, depression, memory loss, seizures and physical impairments - these are often the daily barriers facing brain injury survivors. Brain injuries are also frequently misdiagnosed and misunderstood. Lack of information and resources can leave survivors and caregivers feeling isolated and frustrated. 
"I'm Still Me" has the goal of building community and letting survivors and caregivers know they are not alone. These are inspiring stories of finding the path forward when the odds are against them. Stories of knowing they are still the same person underneath in spite of the struggles faced. 

Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee & Autism Tennessee - The Art of Storytelling: Demystifying, simplifying and Advocating. Project will educate and train participants with Down syndrome and/or Autism and their caregivers on why and how to tell their personal stories of disability in order to influence lawmakers, bring awareness to an important issue and educate the community. All participants will create their own story either in print or video, participate in DSAMT/Autism TN advocacy videos and share their stories at a hosted event with state legislators. 


Spring 2021

AbleVoicesBy funding the requested technology, the Tennessee Disability Coalition substantially bolsters the extent and depth of our programming in ways that will further amplify the voices of people with disabilities through the powerful medium of photography. Specifically, the hardware requested (iPads, cases, card readers, projector, and DSLR cameras) will significantly strengthen and enhance the participants' photographic learning, editing capabilities, creative expression, and technology skills.

Achillies Nashville - Achilles Nashville is requesting funds to partially cover the costs of three handcycles to be used by our Athletes, the Top End Force RX Handcycle and two Top End Force G Handcycles.

Congregation Micah - Total Caption provides Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) services for our livestreamed worship services. Providing CART services to our congregation allows congregants as well as any interested Jewish individuals in Tennessee with and without hearing loss to more fully participate in religious services and other events within our sanctuary. Additionally, because our Shabbat services are livestreamed through our website for the public, Jewish individuals throughout the state can access and enjoy them.

RISE: Healthy For Life - RISE: Healthy for Life's Accessible Sexuality Education Initiative works to provide responsible, inclusive sexual health education that affirms all bodies and minds. 

Waves Inc. - Funds from this small grant cycle will provide technology advancements and improvements for Waves in both Adult Services and Early Learning. Technology integrations needed to increase the productivity and delivery of services are the focus of this funding. With expanding services within Early Learning programming, a reliable database system and computers are needed to effectively deliver services. As programming has evolved through the COVID pandemic, technology needs have advanced for Adult Day Services. Newer forms of communication and skill training will be provided through this funding with tablets and computers.

Fall 2020

Nashville Dolphins (Aquatics) - The Nashville Dolphins is the only non-profit in Tennessee that offers comprehensive adaptive aquatics programs for free to individuals with special needs. Currently, we are operating at full capacity with 211 participants. However, we have an additional 102 individuals on a waiting list to join our team. For this reason we are requesting funding to help support the costs associated with expanding our adaptive aquatic programs be able to offer the individuals on our waiting list the opportunity to join our team.

National Kidney Foundation - The National Kidney Foundation Serving East and Middle Tennessee proposes a quarterly, PSA series on living with dialysis. The PSA series will provide local dialysis patients with the most-up-to-date information and best-practices on topics such as health and wellness, communication, community support/resources, and safety.

Partnership for Families of Children with Special Needs - Partnership for Families, Children and Adults in Chattanooga, TN serves the Deaf, deaf-blind, and hard of hearing population by providing information, interpreters, advocacy and client services assistance. Funding is sought for wages and supplies to provide a part-time Coaching/Tutoring Assistant for the adult Deaf and hard of hearing community. The project's aim is to provide literacy tools, specific to each user, at varying stages of language and reading development with the goal of increasing reading fluency in the English language. Deaf, deaf/blind and hard of hearing residents of Hamilton and surrounding counties will benefit from the project.

Special Kids Therapy and Nursing Center -  Special Kids Therapy and Nursing Center provides physical, occupational, speech and feeding therapy as well as skilled nursing for children with special needs, ages birth through 21 years. The proposed project increases capacity to serve those in need by providing a stable backup Internet service provider for teletherapy. The addition of teletherapy allows Special Kids to provide care to children in rural areas whom we were previously unable to serve. Teletherapy is used for occupational and speech therapy. The project also provides for targeted marketing of services for children in need in rural areas throughout middle Tennessee. Additionally, by increasing our patient numbers, Special Kids will be able to sustain teletherapy through increased insurance reimbursements and sliding fee scale payments.

Spring 2020

Old Fort Golf Club, City of MurfreesboroFunding is provided for the purchase of a motorized Single Rider Mobility Lift Cart to increase the capacity of Old Fort Golf Club to provide accessibility to the game of golf to individuals who might need assistance or adaptable equipment.

STARS (Students Tackling Autism-Related Syndromes), Inc. - The grant award will assist in funding the infrastructure (first phase) of the STARS Connects program.  The program is being developed in order to improve the 85% unemployment rates of college graduates with autism (Integrate-Autism Employment Advisors, 2020) and give these qualified and capable people an opportunity to lead productive and independent lives.  

STAR Center, Inc. - The project will foster support and inclusion of families affected by autism, through meeting the greatest needs identified by families within West Tennessee.  All components of the project will be a model for replication.  The project will implement services to include music, art, and/or play therapies that may increase communication.  The project will provide for regular respite opportunities for families.  Finally, there is a plan to develop and implement partnerships with local businessess and organization to facilitate community-based inclusive events throughout the year. 


Fall 2019

Memphis Jewish Community Center (MJCC) - Proposed to serve children entering kindergarten through sixth grade, with and without cognitive and physical disabilities, in an inclusive summer day camp program.  All campers will learn and play as equals.  The program will foster social connections and meaningful social interactions between campers and build positive peer relationships.  

Sertoma Center, Inc. - Grant funding is awarded for the initial startup costs of creating the MyLife Day Services Program with a purpose of providing a safe, supportive and stimulating atmosphere for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).  The program is strategically designed to provide programs and support to individuals who have aged out of the public school system and may still be on the waitlist for services through the State of Tennessee.

Special Kids Therapy and Nursing Center - Is an accredited as a Comprehensive Out-patient Rehabilitation Facility (CORF) by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  Funding is awarded to improve efficiency by decreasing the time from patient referral to treatment as well as create a more welcoming environment for families, e.g. purchase of handheld kiosks, iPads to be used for check-in, toys/activities for children waiting in the lobby.

 Tennessee Fair Housing Council - The overall goal of the funded project is to increase awareness of housing discrimination, fair housing rights, and the availability of enforcement assistance.  Funds will be used to develop and implement a stronger online presence, and a volunteer/internship program to expand their visual footprint and provide individual assistance to more people.


Spring 2019

CrittersWork Service Dog Partners, Inc. -  Is a small operation with a goal to provide sponsorship for rescue dogs and to offer support for disabled veterans who need their help.  Funding is awarded to provide a stipend for volunteers who will conduct a series of six public information /outreach seminars for local veterinarians, legislators, dog handlers, veterans across Tennessee who may need a service dog and to the general public who might support their mission.

Friends Life Community-  Began an intentional relationship with a locally owned restaurant to expand potential employment opportunities for individuals with IDD.  Funding is requested to provide an additional Inclusive-Employment startup program based on the success of the pilot company, Edley's Bar-B-Que.  The objectives include 1. creating an employer certificate program  2. establishing core training for employers, co-workers that target culture and system design, and parents  3. provide certified job coaching professionals  4. developing a marketing plan

Friends of Tennessee's Babies with Special Needs - Provides support services to children birth through age two with disabilities or developmental delays who are enrolled in the Tennessee Early Intervention System and their families serving 16 counties in East Tennessee.   Funding is provided to implement a Social Media Technology plan to enhance communication capabilities.  

Helen R. Tucker Adult Development Center - Provides Day Services and Residential Supportive Living Services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Funding is provided to enhance communication capabilities through an improved technology project which will allow for expansion of the HRTADC mission through an updated information and communication technology platform.

Medical Foundation of Nashville - Provides a network of coordinated specialty care for low-income residents of Davidson County.  It provides a system of access to healthcare through an established referral process.  Funding is awarded to build the capacity to serve patients who are uninsured, low-income and have a disability with direct referrals to wrap-around services and care coordination for the whole individual, not simply the healthcare needs.

Tennessee Organization of the Deaf-Blind, Inc. (TODB) - Is a statewide organization of, for and by Deaf-Blind Tennesseans.  Funding is granted to establish a website to more efficiently facilitate communication, inform and educate those in the Deaf-Blind Community in a timely manner.  Funding is also provided for the expense of CART services during four (4) board meetings, one (1) "specially called meeting" and two (2) statewide meetings for a total of seven (7) meetings.  


Fall 2018

Mental Health America of Middle Tennessee (MHAMT) - Funding awarded for re-branding in order to serve more individuals with mental illnesses, addictions, and disabilities. 

Special Kids, Inc. - Funding awarded to upgrade computers and software along with producing informational podcasts and videos in an effort to improve efficiency and outreach.  


Spring 2018

Germantown Community Library – TDC Funding afforded an opportunity for the Next Chapter Book Club serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to occur on a weekly basis rather than bi-weekly schedule and to expand other special population programs.    

Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands  – TDC funding will provide services and expertise to help low-income children with disabilities living in rural communities who are reaching adulthood (18, 19, 21, and 22) and in danger of losing vital supportive services under TennCare/Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Individuals with Disabilities Education (IDEA). 

Partnership for Families, Children and Adults, Inc. – The overall goal of the project for which funding is sought is to create a wholly independent website for Partnership’s Deaf Services Program separate from the main website.  


Fall 2017

Backlight Productions – TDC provided funding to support the presentation of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” performed as a therapeutic tool for student actors with disabilities.  TDC Funding financed the purchase of a/v and tech equipment to help improve instructional learning, marketing, communication and performance experience. 

Hamilton County Department of Education (HCDE) – TDC funding is provided for Project Synergy to finance consultative services for curriculum development packaged as a video with manual, moderator/lecturer fees, and professional videography as well as parent/teacher stipends to cover home visits and interviews.

Lifeline, Inc. – In an effort to address the growing needs of individuals with disabilities in the Chattanooga community, TDC funding is provided to implement the Salesforce Data Management System (DMS) to expand efficiency, quality and scope of services offered across the region.

S.T.E.P. – TDC funding will be used to add to the existing website infrastructure and upgrade the site to a higher level of functionality for families of children with disabilities and youth. 

The ARC Tennessee – TDC funding is provided to develop a three-year strategic plan with measurable goals involving three primary capacity-building areas (an Advisory Council, development of local chapters and creation of a statewide membership network) for the People First of Tennessee program.


Spring 2017

ETTAC (East Tennessee Technology Access Center) has been providing assistive technology to people with disabilities since 1988 from simple low-tech devices that help people complete daily tasks around the house to sophisticated software that allows people without a voice to communicate.  The devices and software allows clients to learn, work and play with maximum independence and dignity.  The project funded will allow ETTAC and partner agencies to inventory, track and loan out these assistive devices in a more efficient and effective way.

Our Place Art Organization Incorporated Since 2013, this organization has offered biweekly creative arts programs that allow youth and young adults with developmental, intellectual and physical disabilities to express their unique talents.  These individuals are provided the opportunity to become integrated into Knoxville's art community through public art exhibitions, learn new life and social skills and make new friends.   Funding is awarded to establish the "Our Place: Arts and Garden Program" which will provide year round therapeutic activities for youth and yound adults with disabilities to explore various creative disciplines including: visual arts, dance, theatre and music.  The participants will also have the opportunity to learn about gardening and nutrition.

Wave, Inc.  is a 44-year-old organization serving children and adults with intellectual disabilities.  Funding is provided to help with Stage 1 of a three-stage project to upgrade equipment, including the purchase of a new server, new computers, new switches, and the accessories to accompany these items.  This equipment is critical to documenting the services provided to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  It will help with tracking goals and outcomes of those served and is also an essential component to receiving reimbursement funds for services rendered.  


Fall 2016

EARS (Emergency Awareness Readiness Services), Nashville, TN will develop an interactive training course designed to enhance existing communication skills and strategies for consumers and emergency responders when preparing for and responding to emergencies and disasters.  The course is targeted to two specific groups:  members of the hearing loss community and the emergency responder communmity (law enforcement, fire, emergency managers, public health, human services, EMS, public works, etc.)

Friend's Life Community,  Nashville, TN will develop a new program called, "Social Club".  It arose out of direct feedback from self-advocates in the disability community who desired additional extracurricular activity with peers and the autonomy to choose those activities.  Social Club activities are designed to work with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who function on a higher level of independence and will teach participant next level independent skills, e.g. creating and managing a social calendar.  

 Hendersonville Rotary Foundation, Hendersonville, TN will support Mary's Magical Place, an all-inclusive playground designed around, but not limited to,children with special needs in Sumner and surrounding counties in northern middle Tennessee.  It will be a place where all, including those with disabilities such as wheelchair users will have easy access to "come and play".

Statewide Independent Living Council of Tennessee (SILC), Nashville, TN will develop an Independent Living Rural Outreach and Advocacy Pilot Project.  The project will employ an Independent Living (IL) specialist in Lincoln County to provide IL services to that area and surrounding rural counties of Franklin, Bedford, Marshall, Moore and Coffee. This project will provide IL assistance to currently unserved areas and will be developed into a replicable model to share across the IL network.


Spring 2016

Empower Tennessee, Nashville, TN - TDC will conduct an Independent Living Needs Assessment through Community Conversations and follow-up surveys with people with disabilities in each of the seven counties served by the organization.  

Partnership for Families, Children and Adults, Inc., Chattanooga, TN TDC will create a computer lab to aid individuals with understanding spreadsheet and word-processing software a basic skill requirement in the majority of middle-skill occupations.  

Special Kids, Inc., Murfreesboro, TN will both help to mobilize the Special Kids' development team and improve fundraising through an updated constituent management system.  The project will help improve the development of the team's productivity, performance and perception in order to maximize our efficiency and effectiveness in supporting the programs at Special Kids.


Fall 2015

Bridges, Nashville, TN will implement an agency-wide data collection platform (collection and tracking tool or database) with the goal of building capacity through better data-tracking for individual programs, improved client data for all programs, decreased staff time spent tracking data and increased data quality to inform program and agency decisions.

The Community Development Center, Shelbyville, TN will develop and implement a formal communications plan promoting the new Children's Center for Autism located in Marshall County.  It will include the development and dissemination of brochures, educational materials and a website.

Pathways in Education - Tennessee, Inc., Memphis, TN will bring additional resources into the school to provide students with transitional services and assistive technology to aid with success and to help students with disabilities overcome challenges.  The project aims to boost students' proficiency in reading and writing, improve note-taking and test-taking skills to promote an increase in scores and rate of completed course work.  A great portion of the funding will go to the purchase of audiobooks which have been proven to help students with reading disabilities.


Spring 2015

Sign Club Co.,  Hendersonville, TN has two missions, to education the hearing world about Deaf culture in order to build communities around Deaf children so they can participate fully without barriers in all aspects of their communities and to serve as advocates for the Deaf, primarily children. Funding is awarded to allow for expansion of the project by developing a comprehensive curriculum package containing all necessary materials an individual with limited knowledge of ASL will need to start a sign club in their local area.

Special Education Advocacy Center, Nashville, TN advocates for the educational rights of all students with disabilitiies and to support and empower their families.  SEAC is awarded funding to develop and implement a targeted communications strategy to improve outreach and community awareness of their services.

Nashville State Community College, Nashville, TN The Student Disability Services office strives to stay abreast of student needs and the latest advances in technology that will assist them to meet the needs, create more autonomy and independence.  Funding is awarded to acquire licenses for literacy and learning software to provide needed language and learning tools to all NSCC students.


Fall 2014

Autism Tennessee, Nashville, TN offers support to families with an early diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder of a child by giving the compassionate assistance of Parent Representatives, information and referral services and peer counseling.  Funding is awarded for salaries and wages to expand the county contact system.

United Way of Metro Nashville, EARS, Nashville, TN, is an initiative to coordinate programming and distribute early warning equipment to hundreds of Middle Tennesseans through it unique partnerships.  Funding is awarded for the strategic planning to create a business structure for the Emergency Awareness and Readiness Services for People who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deaf/Blind.


Spring 2014

Bridges - Nashville, TN, is a comprehensive health and human service agency that has been dedicated to serving Deaf and hard of hearing residents of middle Tennessee since 1927. It started as a speech reading class and has since expanded to include interpreting and transcribing, youth programing to support children with hearing loss of any level, wellness programing including closed captioning and interpreters, case management services, education and outreach.  Funding is awarded to develop a formal volunteer program with additional staff hours, equipment and materials needed to implement the project.

City of Chattanooga Therapeutic Recreation Service - Chattanooga, TN, was established in 2002 in response to a community request to provide recreation opportunities for citizens including both youth and adults with physical, cognitive and/or emotional disabilities.  Funding has been awarded for the reconstruction and expansion of the Volunteer Recruitment and Management project.

East Tennessee Technology Access Center, Inc. (ETTAC) - Knoxville, TN,  works with people with disabilities of all ages, teaching them simple to complex tasks, from learning how to use an adapted toy to learning to read or communicate, socialize, be part of a team, and take responsibility for actions.  The program was awarded funding for start-up costs of the “Repair Café”.  This is the first in the United States that matches up to 30 young adults with disabilities with older skilled volunteers and members of the business community to learn specific skills, repair items and then give back through volunteering.

Friends of Tennessee's Babies with Special Needs (FOT) - Alcoa, TN, The mission of FOT is to support children with special needs (such as vision or hearing loss, developmental delays, and medical conditions) and their families across Tennessee.  Funding is awarded to optimize the program’s efficiency and effectiveness by the use of networking technology for outreach, communication, managing finances and storing data. 

Tennessee Justice Center – Nashville, TN,  A non-profit, public interest law and advocacy firm providing 18 years of service to Tennessee families in need.   Funding is awarded to continue and expand efforts to advocate for individuals seeking to gain and maintain eligibility for the Choices program. 

University of Tennessee Research Foundation, Boling Center for Developmental Disabilities – Memphis, TN, has been producing online training and webinars for over 10 years with a mission to improve the health of persons with, or at risk for, neurodevelopmental and related disabilities through preparation of trainees from 11 professional disciplines to command leadership roles and to ensure highest quality levels of interdisciplinary clinical competencies.   Funding is awarded to create a resource library of video/podcast for healthcare professionals. 


Fall 2013

LifeLine, Inc., Chattanooga, TN serves families affected by special needs offering support, education, training and resources. Funding was awarded for the re-development of to create a cohesive web home for its multiple technology outreaches.  

Mental Health America of Middle Tennessee, Nashville, TN is a team of mental health professionals who provide extensive supports and services to the multicultural community in Davidson County.  Funding was awarded to update existing resource materials and develop an e-learning course entitled, “Working with an Interpreter” for healthcare providers who work with culturally diverse populations.   


Spring 2013

Center for Independent Living of Middle Tennessee, Nashville, TN mission is to ensure that persons with disabilities have the opportunity to achieve their own vision of independence in an inclusive and integrated community.  This program received funding to continue the “Access Nashville” program which trains student volunteers at colleges and universities to perform accessibility friendly surveys at restaurants.

Friends Life Community, Nashville, TN a grass roots organization focuses on providing programming support for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities.  Funding was awarded for conversion to the nonprofit version of to improve efficiencies and effectiveness.

Support & Training for Exceptional Parents, Inc. (STEP, Inc.), Greeneville, TN serves families who have children with disabilities, youth and the professionals who work with them by providing training and resources.  Funding is awarded for the creation of a remotely accessible Client Management System (CMS) database which will allow for the capture and retrieval of information quickly and accurately.


Fall 2012

Brain Injury Association of Tennessee, Nashville, TN mission is to ensure hope and support by providing brain injury prevention, awareness, education, and advocacy to survivors and their families.  This program received funding to purchase needed technology and brain injury educational supplies.

Bridges: Serving the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Hearing Communities, Nashville, TN is an agency that unites the Deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing communities through education, services, and support, empowering individuals to achieve their full potential. This program received funding to expand the literacy project.  The expansion will include two parts, one to provide additional hours to allow more time for one on one instruction and planning and the other to provide additional materials for the literacy project. 

Best Buddies Tennessee, Brentwood, TN was created with the intent to give the opportunity for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to socialize with their peers without disabilities.  Funding was awarded to support the Middle School Expansion Project, which will create educational, recreational and social opportunities for students with and without IDD by providing quality programming that promotes socialization, inclusion and leadership development within two new middle school chapters in Davidson County.

University of Tennessee Research Foundation, Memphis, TN goal of the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Center is to help build a society that includes and values the communication and ideas of people with disabilities.  Funding will allow students within the Audiology and Speech Pathology program to learn about these systems and extend their understanding of how to provide the best possible communication strategies for individuals who rely on AAC.


Spring 2012

WAVES, Inc., in Franklin, TN has been serving families and children with developmental delays in Williamson County for thirty-nine years. Their mission is to enable individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to progress toward their full potential. The two day programs in Franklin and Fairview received funding for the purpose of "Supporting the Support Staff." The awarded funds will be utilized to employ a special education teacher to improve competencies of staff by moving staff from the role of care giving to that of facilitator/teacher.

Friends Life Community, in Nashville, TN is a private pay organization that provides enrichment programming for young adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. They provide independent living skills, health and wellness activities, employment training and social activities to foster independency of those served. This program received funding to improve and expand its Volunteer Recruitment and Management program. 


Fall 2011

Bridges- Nashville, TN, unites the Deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing communities through education, services and support, empowering individuals to achieve their full potential. Funding is sought to purchase two microphones and a speaker with a stand for their remote CART (Communication Access Real-time Translation) system.

Friends of Tennessee's Babies with Special Needs (FOT)- Alcoa, TN. The mission of Friends of Tennessee's Babies with Special Needs is to support children with special needs (such as vision or hearing loss, developmental delays, and medical conditions) and their families across Tennessee. Funding is sought to support a newly formed local chapter of Hands and Voices to support families with children who are Dear or hard of hearing.

Tennessee Organization of the Deaf-Blind, Inc. (TODB)- Nashville, TN. The mission of Tennessee Organization of the Deaf-Blind, Inc. is to promote quality of life for individuals who are Deaf-Blind by enhancing their economic, educational, social and emotional welfare by building life enhancement skills for persons with Deaf Blindness. Funding will allow for the expansion of the pool of trained Support Service Providers.

Tennessee Respite Coalition (TRC), Nashville, TN, is a grassroots volunteer advocacy group that works to ensure the quality of life of family caregivers through respite. Funding this project will allow TRC to contract with experts in creating customized databases to access and input information in real-time from remote locations around the state. 


Spring 2011

Best Buddies Tennessee - Brentwood, TN is a subsidiary of Best Buddies International.  It is a 
non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through one-to-one friendships, leadership development, and integrated employment.  Funding was sought to implement Best Buddies chapters in two high schools in the Nashville area.   

Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) - The Nashville, TN chapter's mission is to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss by providing information, education, support and advocacy.  HLAA will purchase an LED screen display and accessories for large theatre and outdoor venues.

Partnership for Families, Children and Adults - Chattanooga, TN serves the Deaf/Hard of Hearing population by providing information, interpreters, advocacy and case management assistance.  Funding was sought to purchase vocational analysis materials designed to evaluate the employment needs and skills of the deaf, deaf/blind and hard of hearing residents of regions 3 & 4 for the Department of Rehabilitation Services

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC) at Vanderbilt University - Nashville, TN provides innovative leadership in education, research and services to people with disabilities, the community and families.  VKC will purchase the technology to deliver volunteer advocacy training to rural and underserved areas.