Disability Updates, Community News and Events

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The Arc Mid-South Events

Light of the World “Breaking the Barriers with Resources"
In celebrating Developmental Disability Awareness Month, The Arc Mid-South will be hosting a webinar on March 10th at 11:00 a.m.
This special event will be aimed at individuals and families who are looking for answer to daily challenges. Read more

Click here to read The Common Thread - Weekly latest news, views and announcements from The Arc Mid-South

Disability Updates 

Revised Edition of the STEP Parent Manual Now Available Online

The STEP Parent Manual has been THE "go-to" resource for families who have children and youth with disabilities, and those who work with them, for over 25 years.

This resource, produced by Support & Training for Exceptional Parents, which houses Tennessee's Parent Training and Information Center contains:

  • Federal Laws and Regulations on IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)
  • Section 504 the Rehabilitation Act Rules & Regulations
  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Regulations
  • State Laws, Rules, and Policies
  • Tennessee State Board of Education Chapter 0520-1-09 Special Education Programs and Services Rules Part B
  • Education Advocacy for Parents - Tips for Parents
  • National and State Resources with contact information

The 26th edition includes:

  • 2014 Tennessee Specific Eligibility Standards
  • Sample letters requesting evaluations (including RTI² when being discussed)
  • Additions to the national and Tennessee resource sections  

How Can You Access This Fabulous Resource?

  • Download for FREE in a searchable PDF format at www.tnstep.org/pdf/ParentManual.pdf
  • Family members receive a FREE print or CD-ROM when they attend an in-person Basic Rights: A Parent's Introduction to Special Education Workshop
  • View the NEW YouTube video workshop series on Basic Rights at www.youtube.com/TNStep and choose a print or CD-ROM upon completion
  • Purchase a print copy for $30.00 by emailing a request to information@tnstep.org 


ABLE TN Accounts - available now!

Tennessee Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE TN) is a savings program designed to help individuals with
disabilities put aside money to pay for qualified expenses. These accounts provide the opportunity to save and
invest with tax-free earnings to help participants maintain independence and quality of life. To enroll, please visit http://abletn.gov/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=AbleTN.gov&utm_campaign=shelli.king%40tn.gov


What is ECF?  The Employment and Community First (ECF) waiver is an integrated, home and community based services program designed to provide supports and services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who meet certain 1) Level of Care and 2) Financial Eligibility criteria.
What does Employment and Community First CHOICES offer?
•             Services that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families say they need most
•             Support for families caring for a person with intellectual and developmental disabilities
•             Supports to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities achieve employment and independent living goals
•             For people who choose not to work or need more support to live in the community - residential and other day services to help them achieve their community living goals
How to apply for the program:
•             Applicants can use a self-referral form on the TennCare website to apply
•             The online self-referral form is an easy-to-fill-in questionnaire
•             You just answer questions about yourself or person you are helping
•             No medical or financial documents are needed for the self-referral form (that will be gathered later as needed)

For more information about ECF Choices, visit:



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