The Arc of Tennessee ®
The Waiting List
ACTION ALERT - NOW is the time to contact members of the Senate and House Finance, Ways and Means committee, as well as your own legislators, and ask them to support the budget amendment to appropriate $5 million to DIDD to bring more people off the waiting list for waiver services. All decisions related to the budget will be made in the coming weeks (April 4th through April 19th or so). The only chance we have of getting any money appropriated to the waiting list is if legislators hear from families that this is a critical issue. For a list of committee members and contact information, click HERE.
The demand for supports for Tennesseans with intellectual disabilities is greater than any time in the past. Over 7,000 adults and children with intellectual disabilities are currently on the waiting list for home and community based waiver services (HCBS) through the State of Tennessee, Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD). Families are experiencing extraordinary stress as they try to care for their loved one(s) with an intellectual disability and maintain their household economically, physically and emotionally. Click HERE for The Arc Tennessee’s Issue Paper on the DIDD Waiting List.
For Talking Points on the budget amendment to appropriate $5 million to the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) to bring more people off the waiting list for home and community based waiver services click HERE.
At a recent Legislator Reception, The Arc Tennessee drew attention to the enormous number of people on the waiting list by displaying shoes representing individuals with disabilities. Many thanks to all who donated shoes for this cause. The shoes were in turn donated to The Arc Davidson County and Goodwill after the event.
The Arc Tennessee’s Waiting List Campaign, “It’s Not Too Late…End the Wait” officially launched in August, 2012 with its first family mobilization meeting at The Arc Davidson County. This past fall, The Arc staff traveled to fifteen cities to bring together families and others impacted by the waiting list. Meetings provided individuals with an update on the status of the DIDD waiting list; provided tools for families to share their stories with legislators, government officials and others; and offered possible resources for services and activities while waiting for HCBS.
If you didn't get to attend one of the family mobilization meetings, materials handed out at the meetings are available below:
It is also critical that families share their stories with government officials and the community at large. The more aware people are of the critical need for supports and services for people with intellectual disabilities, the better the chance of funds being allocated to bring people off the waiting list. Click HERE to go to the Kindred Stories of Disability website to share your story now. Together, we can make a difference.
Links to important Waiting List information:
“Kindred Stories” is an on-line database where people can tell their stories about disability and others can read their stories. The goal of the project is to have stories from every county in Tennessee so that we can truly put a “face” on people with I/DD and their families. Stories and successes are shared with legislators and others. To tell your story click HERE. Hot off the press! The 2013 Edition of Kindred Stories – a collaborative project of Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and The Arc Tennessee that focuses on families with individuals on the waiting list for home and community based waiver services through DIDD is available in Acrobat Reader HERE.