Advocacy & Public Awareness
Giving families the keys they need to open doors, and through community involvement, giving individuals with disabilities the opportunities they need to experience life to the fullest.
At the heart of helping people with disabilities move toward lives of self-determination, companionship and contribution is the need for effective skills in person-centered planning, facilitation of circles of support, and other tools that define vision, invite collaboration, and build the energy and commitment necessary to work together on complex problems and issues.
--Dave & Faye Wetherow
What is the Advocacy & Public Awareness Project?
The Advocacy & Public Awareness project is offered statewide by The Arc Tennessee staff and funded by the State of Tennessee. The program was established to:
- Help the service system become more individualized to meet the needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
- Increase access to meaningful services and supports
- Ensure that individuals spend their days in meaningful ways
- Design services and supports that enable people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to lead lives similar to people without disabilities
- Help individuals and families navigate the service system
How will the project meet these needs?
- Advocacy intervention services
- PATH (Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope) person-centered planning for individuals and organizations
- Information and referral to families seeking help
- Law enforcement training
- Other educational opportunities for providers, self-advocates and families including, but not limited to:
- Navigating the Human Services System
- Self-advocacy & Choice
- The Basics of Self-determination
- Starting your own Business
- Healthy Relationships & Personal Safety
- Voter Education
- Disability Awareness and Person First Language
- Employment Supports
- The Dignity of Risk/Rights and Responsibilities
What are our expected outcomes?
The Arc Tennessee is committed to ensuring that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities exercise their rights and participate in community living to the fullest extent possible, and that families have the tools they need to support them in this process. Through The Arc’s advocacy, education and awareness efforts it is anticipated that:
- The service system will be flexible and person-centered
- Providers will embrace and practice person-centered supports
- The community-at-large will have a better understanding of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and fully include them as valued members of society
- Employers will view people with intellectual and developmental disabilities as a viable labor pool of skilled workers
- Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities will develop self-advocacy skills and lead lives of their choosing
- Families will be well informed of the resources available for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
How can you help?
We need volunteers who would be willing to:
- Volunteer to participate in focus groups
- Attend family forums
- Host a workshop or other information meeting
- Refer individuals, families or providers who would benefit from the activities of this project
Position Statements and Resolutions
Institution Closure [pdf]
Whom do I contact?