Family Resources

Tennessee Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE TN) is a savings program designed to help Tennessee residents with disabilities put aside money to pay for qualified expenses, such as education, housing, transportation, employment training and support, assistive technology, personal support services, and funeral and burial expenses. These accounts provide the opportunity to save and invest with tax-free earnings to help participants maintain independence and quality of life.


The ARC of Tennessee works every day to empower families and individuals with disabilities. Their goal is to provide information and resources during the journey of raising a child with a disability to lead a full and meaningful life. They work to empower people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities to be independent. Services span across a lifetime and they are committed to being among the first trusted sources that people visit when needing information on programs, services, resources, and support.

Molly Anderson,
South East Community Engagement Specialist,
[email protected]

The Center promotes the inclusion and acceptance of autistic individuals and provides services, resources, and education to the community. The center has a full-time executive director who helps parents and advocates create programs or support existing programs. The annual conference has over 500 attendings. The CAC provides workshops and hosts online resources such as their website and an active Facebook Group. Almost all its programs are created and run by parent volunteers or individuals with autism. To see the programs and resources available, visit their website.

  • Chattanooga Therapeutic Recreation Services

The Therapeutic Recreation Division of the Chattanooga YFD Department seeks to provide leisure and recreation opportunities for citizens of all abilities. We serve both youth and adults with physical, cognitive, and/or emotional disabilities. Through our programs, education, and advocacy, individuals can build confidence, improve physical and cognitive abilities, expand support and social networks; and enhance the overall quality of life. Call (423) 643-6606 for more information

Therapeutic Recreation Division Program Coordinator
Elaine Adams, CTRS
[email protected]
1254 East 3rd Street
Chattanooga, TN 37404

The Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) is the state agency responsible for administering services and support to Tennesseans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This is done in several ways, including Medicaid waiver Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS), state-operated ICF/IIDs, and the Family Support Program. DIDD administers services directly or through contracts with community providers. DIDD strives to partner with the people it supports and their family members and friends.

The Employment and Community First CHOICES program is administered by TennCare through its contracted managed care organizations. It offers services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Services in the program will help people become employed and live as independently as possible in the community. All new enrollment is in the Employment and Community First CHOICES program, as DIDD’s waivers are closed to new enrollment.

Mission: To empower parents through information, training, and support to become effective partners with professionals in planning appropriate educational programs for their children.

Karen Harrison, Executive Director
712 Professional Plaza
Greenville, TN 37745
423-639-2464, ext. 11
[email protected]

The Tennessee Family Support Program is a statewide grant program funded by the Tennessee Department of Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities (DIDD).
Orange Grove Center is a host agency for the Tennessee Family Support Program and distributes funding for Bledsoe, Bradley, Grundy, Hamilton, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, Polk, Rhea, and Sequatchie counties.
The primary focus of the Family Support Program is to provide services to those who:

  • Were born with a severe or developmental disability or acquired it in childhood and/or
  • Have been severely disabled by injury/trauma (brain injury, spinal cord injury, loss of limbs) and/or
  • Have a neurological/neuromuscular disorder (ALS, Muscular Dystrophy, or Multiple Sclerosis)

Please note:
Individuals who reside in a nursing home, state-funded living facility (including state-funded foster care), or are receiving services through the Katie Beckett Waiver, DIDD Waiver Program, ECF Choices Program, TennCare Choices Program, or Pace Program are not eligible to receive Family Support Funding. Mental illness and aging-related disabilities are not covered by the Family Support Program.

This site is an online home for training and resources on preparing students with disabilities for life after high school. Their goal is to improve transition outcomes for youth and young adults with disabilities by sharing research-based practices and policies. The site is organized into different sections for educators for providers and for students. Each section includes free video-based lessons, ideas, resources, and more.

Contact our helpline: 1-800-640-4636

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.
Information and Referrals: We connect individuals to appropriate community resources. Our diverse staff includes professionals, family members, and/or individuals with disabilities that have many years of experience working in the disability field. You can access these resources by contacting our office at 
1-800-640-4636, searching our resource directory, and checking our community calendar.

  • Education and Training: We provide innovative training and presentations to inform people about Pathfinder, Disability Etiquette and People First Language, Working with Multicultural Populations, and Community Resources.

  • Multicultural Outreach Program: This aims to remove the barriers that many culturally diverse communities find when trying to access disability resources by providing case management assistance and training presentations.

    Megan Hart, Program Director
    [email protected]

  • Vocational Rehabilitation Services Chattanooga

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) is a federal and state-funded program providing services to help individuals with disabilities enter or return to employment. It is designed to assist individuals of work age with physical and/or mental disabilities to compete successfully with others in earning a livelihood. The VR program offers numerous services to eligible clients. An individual with a disability may apply directly to Vocational Rehabilitation or may be referred by another individual or agency. A referral may be made by contacting a Vocational Rehabilitation office in person, by US postal, or by telephone.

Karen Buff, Vocational Rehabilitation Regional Supervisor
TN Division of Rehabilitation Services
Eastgate Center
5600 Brainerd Road Suite 602-B
Chattanooga, TN 37411