Trainings and Presentations

by Council Staff

The Council works to inform and educate individuals with disabilities, families, professionals in the disability field, advocacy groups, policymakers and the general public on various topics related to disability, completely free of charge.

For more information about scheduling a presentation from the Council on one of the topics below or about any of the Council’s initiatives or programs, contact the specific staff member listed or Communications Director Emma Shouse at emma.shouse@tn.gov or 615.253.5368.

council staff sitting with a small group of young mothers holding babies on a playmat in a classroomPartners in Policymaking Leadership Institute

Partners in Policymaking is the Council’s free leadership and advocacy training program for adults with disabilities and family members of persons with disabilities. Since being established in TN in 1993, more than 500 Tennesseans have graduated from the Partners program. Many of these trained graduates have gone on to advocate at the local and state level for disability issues, serve on committees, boards and task forces, and spearhead initiatives that promote the inclusion of people with disabilities.

If you are interested in this presentation, please contact Partners in Policymaking Director Ned Andrew Solomon at 615.532.6556 or ned.solomon@tn.gov.

Supported Decision-Making

Supported decision-making as an emerging best practice and growing national trend holds enormous potential to positively impact the rights and lives of persons with disabilities. Many disability organizations in Tennessee, including the Council, are working towards promoting supported decision-making as a legal option for adults with disabilities who may seek assistance in making certain decisions about their life, but choose to retain their rights as the ultimate decision-maker rather than seeking a legal representative to make decisions on their behalf. Ultimately, supported decision-making aims to empower and support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to be in control of their lives, with the supports they need.

If you are interested in a presentation about the topic of supported decision-making and/or Tennessee’s efforts to create a supported decision-making framework, please contact Public Policy Director Lauren Pearcy at 615.741.5019 or lauren.j.pearcy@tn.gov.

council staff presenting at a podium and speakingLifeCourse Tools across the Lifespan / Supporting Families Community of Practice

The national Community of Practice for Supporting Families is a project aimed at building capacity through a “learning community” across more than 15 states to create policies, practices and systems to better assist and support families that include a member with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the lifespan. Tennessee was selected as one of the original Supporting Families Community of Practice states in 2013; learn more about our activities with this initiative here.

Council staff is available to provide presentations about this national initiative and its core principles, as well as interactive trainings for self-advocates/families and professionals in the disability field about using the LifeCourse Toolkit to plan for future goals and life stages, needed supports for individuals/families, and increasing community engagement. Ideally this training is delivered via a 1-2 hour workshop.

If you are interested in a presentation, please contact Communications Director Emma Shouse at 615.253.5368 or emma.shouse@tn.gov.

Disability and Public Policy

If you are interested in a presentation about current public policy issues that impact Tennesseans with intellectual and developmental disabilities or the basics of state and federal legislative processes, please contact Public Policy Director Lauren Pearcy at 615.741.5019 or lauren.j.pearcy@tn.gov.

Employment for Persons with Disabilities

If you are interested in a presentation about current services, programs and policies that support employment in the community for Tennesseans with intellectual and developmental disabilities, please contact Public Policy Director Lauren Pearcy at 615.741.5019 or lauren.j.pearcy@tn.gov.

Adverse Childhood Experiences

Council Partners in Policymaking Director Ned Andrew Solomon has been trained as a presenter for the “Building Strong Brains: Tennessee’s ACEs Initiative”, coordinated through the TN Commission on Children and Youth. “ACEs” stands for “Adverse Childhood Experiences”. It refers to events that occur in childhood (such as physical, sexual or psychological abuse; physical and emotional neglect; exposure to violence; or parental divorce) that can have a tremendous impact on lifelong health and opportunity. Council staff is available to provide the complete 3-hour training or an abbreviated presentation on “Building Strong Brains” and ACEs.

If interested in a presentation about ACES, please contact Ned Andrew at 615.532.6556 or ned.solomon@tn.gov.

Disability Awareness & Sensitivity

Council staff can provide presentations about disability awareness and disability etiquette or sensitivity. This interactive session strives to break down barriers to community inclusion by presenting the best and most appropriate ways to communicate with persons with disabilities.

If interested in this training, please contact Partners in Policymaking Director Ned Andrew Solomon at 615.532.6556 or ned.solomon@tn.gov.

Learning to Speak Up for Yourself

Council staff can tailor this interactive training about how individuals with disabilities can become empowered to speak up and advocate on their own behalf, and the challenges to doing so, for audiences of any age or groups of any size.

If interested in this training, please contact Partners in Policymaking Director Ned Andrew Solomon at 615.532.6556 or ned.solomon@tn.gov.