Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New IEP Checklist iPhone app helps empower families.

IEP Checklist, a new iPhone app, was created to minimize pen and paperwork and keep your notes and goals for your Individualized Education Plan organized and always within reach.

This is a free application developed by PEATC (Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center). Their website includes a video posted in English and Spanish that demonstrates how the app works along with informative reviews from parents and professionals who use the app.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Action Alert--Bill allows isolation for Special Education students

Wednesday, February 10, legislation may be heard that would allow students receiving Special Education services to be locked in isolation.

The Tennessee Disability Coaltion sums up some of the key points in this bill:
  • This bill would make it legal to lock a special education student – of any age or diagnosis – in isolation at risk to their health and safety
  • Contradicts health and safety codes that prohibit locking students in an educational facility without a way out
  • A child could be locked in an isolation room without parental notification
  • There is no requirement in the bill that locked isolation only be used in an emergency situations
  • With a locked door, a student is trapped with no mechanism to call for help if they are forgotten – even for a minute or two – by school personnel
  • Places all special education students at risk of locked isolation

If your representative sits on the Education K-12 Subcommittee, we encourage you to send him or her an email or call to oppose House Bill 2538.

Bill Sponsors of HB 2538/SB 2517
Rep. Glen Casada R-63 Parts of Williamson Co. (615) 741-4389
Sen. Jack Johnson R-23 Williamson and parts of Davidson (615) 741-2495

House Education, K-12 Subcommittee

*represents part of a county
Les Winningham , Chair
Clay, Jackson, Picket, Scott and Anderson*
(423) 286-9090

Ron Lollar , Vice-Chair
(615) 741-7084

Judy Barker 
Obion, Lake, Dyer*
(615) 741-0718

Tommie Brown  
(615) 741-4374

Bill Dunn  
(615) 741-1721

Beth Harwell 
(615) 741-0709

David Hawk
Unicoi, Greene*
(615) 741-7482

Joey Hensley 
Lawrence, Lewis, Wayne*
(615) 741-7476

Ulysses Jones 
(615) 741-4575

Mark Maddox 
Weakly, Carroll*
(615) 741-7847

Johnnie Turner 
(615) 741-6954

Terri Lynn Weaver  
DeKalb, Smith, Macon
(615) 741-2192

Friday, February 5, 2010

Temple Grandin film


This weekend, HBO is premiering Temple Grandin, the true story of a woman diagnosed with autism in the 1950s, at a time when many people with disabilities were put in institutions. The film stars Claire Danes as Grandin, and shows her development as someone who uses her unique talents as well as her mother's and teachers' encouraging mentorship to overcome educational and social obstacles.

The film chronicles Grandin's intial interest and successes in understanding animal behavior, which will ultimately revolutionize the cattle industry. Her story paves the way for Grandin to become one of the world's most well known lecturers and spokespersons for autism.

To learn more about Dr. Temple Grandin, you can visit her site here. For more information on the film, click here.

Temple Grandin premieres tomorrow, February 6 at 7:00pm Central Time.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Good news for Tennessee families!

The Tennessee Disability Coalition has reported that the Family Support Program will be funded for two more years! The program was in risk of being eliminated, and through numerous petitions, letters, and phone calls from self-advocates, families, and supporters, our voice was heard and it made a difference. The Tennessee Family Support Program is the only program that provides funding to individuals regardless of their diagnosis, income, or age. It's still early in the year and anything can happen, but this is great news.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Disability Days on the Hill 2010


We're headed to Nashville Wednesday, February 24 for west Tennessee's Disability Day on the Hill! Disability organizations throughout Tennessee will be meeting at the Capitol to advocate for the needs of individuals with disabilities and their families. With your help we can ensure that every legislator gets to hear from a constituent with a disability or a family member.

Accessible bus transportation is available. There is still time to register if you would like to attend! Contact Megan Long at or 901-507-8568.

Let's make a difference!