The Waiting List
The demand for supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Tennessee is greater than any time in the past. Children and adults remain on waiting lists for years after requesting necessary services and supports. Many are desperate and under extraordinary stress.
The Arc Tennessee is a launching Waiting List Campaign called “It’s not too late….End the Wait!” to provide information to Legislators about the needs of Tennessee citizens with intellectual disabilities. The goal of our Campaign is to seek more funding for programs provided by the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities for supports that are needed by people to live meaningful lives in their communities and at home.
We need families and self-advocates statewide to join us in spreading the word that the waiting list must be addressed – that more money must be spent on supporting people with intellectual disabilities (ID). The Waiting List is now over 7,000 people and each year only a few hundred from that list may actually begin receiving Medicaid Waiver supports and services.
Nothing will change if we sit around and “wait.” We must take control of the situation and educate the people that control the money about the needs of people with ID and the impact of not having supports and services available to them.
Commissioner Jim Henry and his staff have worked hard to raise awareness of the need for supports and services for people with (ID) with the governor, legislators and the community. Advocacy agencies have done the same. But we will never see change unless government officials hear from the people impacted by the lack of supports and services – individuals with ID and their families.
Please attend one of our “It’s not too late….End the Wait!” call to action meetings near you. Learn more about the status of the waiting list, how you can help bring attention to the needs of people on the waiting list and their families, and about other resources that may be of help to you. Each meeting will last about ninety (90) minutes and snacks will be provided. All family members welcome.
Waiting List Lawsuit History and Settlements
Many thanks to those of you who volunteered to assist us in educating legislators and other leaders about why they should support funding for the Waiting List.
The Federal District Court Judge provided approval of settlements in the two class action lawsuits filed by Tennessee Protection & Advocacy and People First. A fairness hearing was held April 12, 2004 in the Courtroom of Judge Echols. These settlements ended December 31, 2009.
Summary of Settlement in People First Lawsuit:
Summary of Settlement in Brown (DLAC Case) Lawsuit:
If you know anyone who may be eligible for services, encourage them to contact the DIDS office in their region:
Click on the county link for Waiting List information specific to that county in Acrobat Reader.
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