Community Resources

DIDD’s councils collaborate on issues affecting not only the department but providers, families, and advocates. They play an important role in the development and improvement of DIDD programs and policies.  

Through their collaboration, the councils have put together several resources that could be useful to persons supported, families, providers, and others in the IDD community. While these are not required to be used, we hope the information and tools found within this page can be used as a resource for Tennesseans with disabilities and our provider community.

Tennessee Disability Pathfinder

Tennessee Disability Pathfinder (“Pathfinder”) helps people with disabilities, their family members, educators, and other professionals find and access resources, support, and services available to meet their needs.

The Tennessee Disability Pathfinder website has valuable information with resources covering a wide range of relevant topics including financial assistance, legal matters, direct care and much more. Through the website, users can tailor their search to be as broad or as narrow as they’d like using criteria such as Stage of Life, Topic of Interest, Diagnosis, Benefit/Payment Options and Service Area.

Visit for more information and to find disability resources.

TN Disability Pathfinder graphic. TN Disability Pathfinder Logo. White text "Directory of Services, Community Events Calendar, and Trainings for the Disability Community."

Resources for Families and People Supported

A manual created by the West Tennessee Planning and Policy Council to help families, Direct Support Professionals (DSPs), and people with disabilities understand what residential support options there are and what quality indicators they need to look for in residential supports.

Residential Resources Manual

A toolkit created by the West Tennessee Planning and Policy Council to assist Tennesseans with disabilities living in West Tennessee find reliable transportation.

West Tennessee Transportation Toolkit

List of low cost internet services in East Tennessee created by the East Tennessee Planning and Policy Council.

Low Cost Internet Services in East Tennessee

Resources for Providers and Staff

Toolkit created by the East Tennessee Planning and Policy Council with resources for people considering a career supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities as a Direct Support Professional. It also includes resources for current DSPs and leadership.

Direct Support Professionals Toolkit

Other Resources for Direct Support Professionals

Training created by the TEIS Early Intervention Resource Agency Advisory Council for EIRAs onboarding new employees.

The TEIS EIRA Training is not required by the department but we hope EIRAs across the state find it as a useful resource as they onboard new employees.

TEIS EIRA New Hire Orientation

Resources for Employers

National Statistics on the Employment of People with Disabilities

National Statistics on the Employment of People with Disabilities

• Conclusion: People with disabilities are a largely untapped resource to meet employer workforce needs.

Benefits of Hiring People with Disabilities

TennesseeWorks Fact Sheet on the Business Case for employing people with disabilities;

Walgreens study of the performance of employees with disabilities in their distribution center network.

Why Diversity and Inclusion Are Good for Business

A 2020 study by Accenture reports that companies led by executives who are focused on disability engagement are growing sales (2.9x) and profits (4.1x) faster than their peers.

Employers and the ADA: Myths and Facts

Employer Tax Incentives

TennesseeWorks Fact Sheet on the Work Opportunity Tax Credit;

TennesseeWorks Fact Sheet on the Tennessee Jobs Tax Credit

IRS/ Tax Benefits for Businesses Who Have Employees with Disabilities

ODEP/Tax Incentives for Employers

Federal Regulations

Tennesseeworks Fact Sheet on Section 503 non-discrimination regulations and regulation requiring Federal contractors to have 7% of their workforce be people with disabilities.
Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)


Resources to Assist Employers to Recruit, Train and Retain Employees with Disabilities

Tennessee American Jobs Centers (Disability Resource Coordinators)
Tennessee has a network of centers across the state, simultaneously servicing both employers and job seekers alike. Companies find ideal workers while candidates receive vital career information and services. All 95 Tennessee counties are served by an American Job Center with qualified staff.

Tennessee Department of Human Services Vocational Rehabilitation Program
Connect with a local Business Employment Consultant (BEC) to customize recruitment efforts for your position vacancies. These staff work directly with businesses throughout Tennessee, but are locally based, and will offer the following services to address your specific recruitment needs

University of Tennessee, Center for Literacy, Education & Employment
Services from CLEE to businesses include: resources to enhance diversity in the workplace, information on business tax incentives, disability Awareness Training, marketing business job announcements, referral of qualified job candidates, assistance with job accommodations.

Windmills: Harness the Power of Inclusion
The Windmills disability awareness training program equips business leaders with the knowledge, skills, and tools to create an inclusive workplace where all employees have the opportunity to thrive. The interactive training modules address real-world situations faced by businesses every day. This training is offered at no cost to businesses and organizations. To schedule a training, please email

• Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

o Employment & Day Services – Regional Contacts

• You may search for DIDD Employment Services Providers here: DIDD Provider Directory

• Employment and Community First CHOICES

o Amerigroup
Stephanie Potter, Employment Specialist
(901) 568-2713

Tina Jones, Employment Specialist
(865) 214-0765

o BlueCare
Sue Karber
(615) 490-4147

o United Health Care
John Camperlino, Statewide Employment Manager

Additional Resources:

Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN)
Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
Knoxville Area Employment Consortium (KAEC)
Chattanooga Area Employment Consortium (CAEC)
Workplace Initiative

Examples of Successful Partnerships in Tennessee to Support Employers to Recruit, Train and Retain Employees with Disabilities

• Project SEARCH Transition and Adult Programs

o TennesseeWorks Fact Sheet on Project SEARCH Adult Program at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital and the University of TN Medical Center
o Project SEARCH Knoxville Video
o Tennesseeworks Fact Sheet on the Transition Project SEARCH program at Embassy Suites Hotel in Murfreesboro
o Project SEARCH site at Blue Cross Blue Shield TN, Chattanooga


o Brochure on the BEST program at Oak Ridge National Laboratories; Bridge to Employment in Service and Tourism (B.E.S.T.)

• AutoZone

o Tennesseeworks Fact Sheet on the partnership between VR, DIDD and Autozone in Memphis

• Lowes

o Tennesseeworks Fact Sheet on the VR partnership with the Lowes milling plant in White House, TN

Hear from Jobseekers and Employees with Disabilities

Hire My Strengths
2021 Expect Employment Report Presentation

Resources for Public Servants and Emergency Responders

As a part of the Exit Plan in the People First of Tennessee, et al., v. Clover Bottom Developmental Center, et al. lawsuit, DIDD developed informational materials for law enforcement officers.  The materials are designed as an introduction to intellectual and developmental disabilities and the role of the Protection From Harm Investigations Unit.

Topics covered include: prevalence of intellectual disabilities, recognizing a disability, positional and aspirational asphyxiation, as well as specific strategies for law enforcement officers to use when encountering people with intellectual disabilities who might not respond like a typical person would.  Another section of the materials details how DIDD investigators conduct investigations and interact with law enforcement.  The informational material is the basis for presentations to officers, supervisors, and investigators at gatherings across the state.

You can watch the presentation on the department's YouTube channel at this link.

You can download and read a PDF version of the informational materials at this link.


Law Enforcement Training

Coming Soon