Skip to Content

August 23, 2013

Open Line

August 30, 2013

Public Meeting Announcement:  In accordance with § 33-1-309 of the Tennessee Code Annotated, a Public Meeting will be held to receive written or oral comments on revisions to DIDD’s Provider Manual.  This meeting will take place on  Tuesday, October 1, 2013 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. at One Cannon Way Drive, Clover Bottom Developmental Center, located at 275 Stewart’s Ferry Pike, Nashville, TN 37214.  For more information and/or a summary of revisions to the DIDD Provider Manual, please visit the following links: Provider Manual  and  Summary of Revisions.

Employment Success Story:  James, age 50, is currently supported by Orange Grove Center.  In 2003, James began working at North Side Dry Cleaning Company as a Pressing Machine Operator where he worked 35 to 40 hours a week.  When the position ended in 2004, he had the opportunity to demonstrate his work ethic at Warner Park Recycling Center five days a week.  His responsibilities included cleaning the office area, floors, windows, and maintaining other areas of the work site. He also greeted customers and assisted visitors in separating items with a smile and a “can do” attitude.  Most of the repeat customers always asked for James.

In June 2010, he was laid off from Warner Park when it closed for road repairs.  At that time, he asked if there was a job opening anywhere.  Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) had an opening for a part-time job as a Recycle Tech.  He was excited about the opportunity to contribute to the employer and support his co-workers. He continues to work at TVA four hours a day, five days a week making $9.70 per hour, but when another part-time job came open at the Courtyard Marriott as a Laundry Assistant at $8.00 per hour, he gladly accepted it.  James has a great positive attitude and is enjoying working at both jobs successfully.

James has always enjoyed being productive, but balances his life and days with other interests.  He loves sports and is an excellent athlete. He is a gold medalist in the State Special Olympics basketball competition. He is also a gold medalist in snow skiing as well as the 50 and 100 yard dash in track and field.  James loves hard work, competition, and has many friends in the community. He is truly an inspiration to everyone he encounters.

Free Webinar:  The Arc Davidson County and Alive Hospice present Hospice Foundation of America's Fall New Perspectives webinar, "Supporting Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Through Life-Ending Illness, Grief and Loss” on October 24  from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.  This live and interactive webinar is a learning opportunity for caregivers, nurses, social workers, counselors, psychologists, funeral directors, clergy, and those who support and care for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Although this educational opportunity is free, registration is required. Continuing education credit is available. Please contact  or click here to learn more.
Statewide Training Conference:  The DIDD Therapeutic Services team, in collaboration with Vocational Rehabilitation and Thomas’ Supports, will host a one-day statewide training in Smyrna on September 25 at the Tennessee Rehabilitation Center (460 9th Ave) from 9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Registration will begin promptly at 8:30 a.m. The training will center on various aspects of working with persons who have deaf-blindness. Sister Bernadette Wynne, National Training Team Coordinator for the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youth and Adults, will serve as guest speaker.  There is no charge to attend, but a cafeteria lunch will be provided for $5.00.  Due to limited seating, participants must register by contacting or call 615-231-5424. For specific questions regarding the training, please contact

clipWellness Initiative Kick-Off:  Employees at Greene Valley joined Tennessee’s new wellness initiative with a bang! On the morning of August 23, a good-sized crowd gathered at the flagpole in front of the Administration Building to begin their very first one-mile walk as a member of the wellness initiative. Whenever something fun and exciting happens at Greene Valley, naturally the people who reside there are in the mix! Several persons were supported in joining the walk while others traveled the course with staff assistance.  Everyone enthusiastically followed the course around Greene Valley’s spacious campus stopping midway for a refreshing drink of water.  Door prizes were presented at the conclusion with one excited employee receiving a gift certificate for a 30-minute massage.   Steps were also explained for forming walking groups and logging personal miles, etc.  People were so impressed with the walk that they suggested continuing the Friday “mile”  as a weekly wellness event.

DIDD Training Update: The department’s Staff and Provider Development team is collaborating with the Relias IT Development team on a solution to our transcript “sharing” issue. Relias is presently on track to have a solution by the October 1 projected target date.  The proposed solution may be as simple as the learner making a selection on their transcript page and naming the other agency.  The learner may choose to share with as many agencies as they want and “eyes in” to the transcript will remain until the learner is inactivated at each agency.  This will eliminate the need for a signed Share Form and will make the learner responsible for sharing.  In this solution, the record would not be tied to a specific supervisor or manager ID, making a manager zone unnecessary.  Webinars will be offered on “sharing” once the solution is ready to put on the Tennessee site.  If further training is needed on the Relias Learning Management System, please contact  so additional training webinars can be arranged.

Volunteer Advocacy Project: The Volunteer Advocacy Project is a training program for individuals who are willing to become advocates for families as they navigate their way through the world of special education. The training will cover the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, State law, No Child Left Behind, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Participants must be willing to attend all weekly sessions, shadow an advocate at a special education meeting, and advocate for four families of children with disabilities. Sessions will begin on September 9 from 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and conclude November 25. To request an application or for more information, please contact or 615-414-4579. This project is sponsored by Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, Susan Gray School, The Arc Davidson County, The Arc Mid-South, West TN Healthcare, UT Boling Center for Developmental Disabilities, Lifeline, and Support and Training for Exceptional Parents (STEP).

Project Titan Regional Provider Meetings:  On August 27, DIDD presented information related to the upcoming Regional Provider meetings for Project Titan.  Providers that were unable to attend the meeting can view a recording of the event here.

As a reminder, these regional meetings will take place over the next two weeks according to the schedule below.  The purpose of these meetings will be to gather input from providers and to share information regarding proposed changes to current business processes.  The schedule has been updated to include the meeting locations.  We look forward to your participation in these meetings and hope that you will find them beneficial and informative.

Questions regarding Project Titan and meetings can be directed to For questions concerning meeting locations, please contact Valerie Williams at 615-391-9802.

West Region



1:00 PM – 5:00 PM (CST)

West Tennessee Regional Office, Baker Building



8:30 AM – 12:30 PM (CST)

Jackson WTRO Conference Rm.
37 Executive Drive Jackson, TN

Middle Region



8:00 AM – 12:00 PM (CST)

DIDD Clover Bottom Campus, One Cannon Way Basement Conference Room



1:00 PM – 5:00 PM (CST)

DIDD Clover Bottom Campus, One Cannon Way Basement Conference Room

East Region



1:00 PM – 5:00 PM (EST)

Michael Dunn Center
6290 Gallaher Rd. Kingston, TN



8:00 AM – 12:00 PM (EST)

DIDD Greene Valley Campus, Adler Room



8:00 AM – 12:00 PM (EST)

Chattanooga ETRO Conference Rm.
5721 Marlin Road – Building 6100, Suite 3800

Community Conversations Updates:  On August 26, a Community Conversation was held in Murfreesboro at the Carriage Lane Inn.  Next Steps Director and local planning committee member Tammy Day, facilitated the event and helped the attendees explore innovative solutions to issues concerning disability and employment. The Murfreesboro community was well represented with over 80 persons from various walks of life participating in the activities.  Press coverage of the event in Murfreesboro can be seen here.
Two more Community Conversations like the one in Murfreesboro will be held this fall. One  will occur in Chattanooga on September 9 and the other in Greeneville on September 16.  If you would like to participate in an upcoming event, please contact Sarah Harvey at Community Conversations are facilitated through the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) TennesseeWorks grant at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center.

Have a safe and happy holiday weekend!