Disability Scorecard

In TDC’s 2023 Tennessee Disability Scorecard, we evaluate the progress that Tennessee has made over the past year in building a state in which people with disabilities are able to thrive in lives of their choosing. In 2022, the state received a cumulative D+ grade in our inaugural scorecard, with a focus on working-age adults. This year, we’ve expanded the scope of our Scorecard to better reflect the experiences ALL Tennesseans with disabilities across the age and disability spectrum. This is the experience of nearly one third of the state’s adult population, and over 125,000 children. It is vital that the Tennessee take a hard look at the quality of life it offers to its residents with disabilities and move toward better access to opportunity and success.

Ultimately, we again give the state of Tennessee a poor grade, with the state cumulatively earning a D for their policies, practices, opportunities and outcomes for residents with disabilities.

However, this grade is not inevitable, and it is not permanent. In this year’s Scorecard, we introduce “Homework” to help guide the state is moving toward a fairer and more inclusive environment for people with disabilities. Our Homework, consisting of suggested policy changes, opportunities for investment and priority legislation, would both improve the state’s grade, and improve the lives of Tennesseans with disabilities. The purpose of the Scorecard, as well as the homework, is to lay out a path by which Tennessee can become the number one state for people with disabilities to live in the country.

It is our hope that Tennessee lawmakers, decision-makers and economy-drivers refuse to be content with their poor grade, accept their homework, and make tangible changes to improve the lives of Tennesseans with disabilities in the coming year.