Disability Updates, Community News and Events

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The Arc Mid-South Events

Dear Arc Donors, Community Partners and Volunteers,

The Arc Mid-South wants to do our part to ensure better outcomes for our community at large during this unprecedented time. We also know that all of you are doing what you can to protect yourself, your family, friends, and our community. The Arc is closely monitoring the guidance from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as well as local government regarding the spread of COVID-19. In light of the recent recommendations from the CDC about limiting gatherings to 10 people or less for the next eight weeks, The Arc will postpone all events until further notice. Read More


Register Now for Virtual MegaConference 2020

    • With the COVID-19 Pandemic, The Arc Tennessee was forced to cancel its annual MegaConference at the Airport Marriott Hotel. However, we will instead be hosting a virtual MegaConference for free! The event will take place over Zoom, and all you need to do is register. Simply click here and fill out the registration form. Please complete registration for each individual who plans to participate. Then a week before the event (5/14/2020), we will send you a link so on May 21st, you can log on and participate in 2020's virtual MegaConference.

      If you have any questions, email Gavin Dillinger at gdillinger@thearctn.org.

Thursday, May 21st, 2020
Virtual MegaConference!
8:00 am CST - 5:00 pm CST

  • Virtual Transition Fairs from Transition Tennessee

    • Due to the recent cancellations of in-person transition fairs, Transition TN will be hosting Virtual Transition Fairs for Tennessee students with disabilities and their families. On Tuesday evenings in May, Transition TN will be host the forums using Zoom to provide information about different types of transition-related resources available statewide. If you can't make a session, no worries. All sessions are being record for later viewing.  To learn more or register for a virtual transition fair, click its link below.

Inclusive Higher Education Programs - May 12th
Postsecondary Education Resources - May 19th
Employment Programs and Resources - May 26th




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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