STATE OF TENNESSEE

DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES

CITIZENS PLAZA BUILDING

400 DEADERICK STREET

NASHVILLE, TN 37248

Telephone 615-313-4700 Fax 615-741-4165

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -August 1, 2001

Contact: Paul Ladd, (615) 313-4707

 

SERVICES FOR DISABLED FACE SIGNIFICANT CUTS

NASHVILLE - The Tennessee Department of Human Services (DHS) has announced significant cuts to its services for people with disabilities. DHS is taking the action due to a lack of funding for program improvements and the continued rising cost of providing services.

Federal law requires the action, called an Order of Selection, when there isnít enough money available to provide services for all eligible people who apply for them. The Order of Selection will serve as a way of determining which people are most in need of and will receive services.

"This action is truly unfortunate for individuals with disabilities who need our agencyís services to enter or re-enter the workplace," said Carl Brown, Assistant Commissioner for the Division of Rehabilitation Services. "But is unavoidable with the current funding level."

The Division of Rehabilitation Services is currently serving more than 36,000 Tennesseans with disabilities who must continue to be served despite the Order of Selection. All facets of the Divisionís services will be affected, including Vocational Rehabilitation Services (skills training, job placement, etc.); Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired; the 17 state-operated community rehabilitation centers and Tennessee Rehabilitation Center in Smyrna; and services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Also affected is the Transition from School to Work program for students with disabilities.

As many as 65 percent of eligible Tennesseans who apply for services will not be able to receive them until the Order of Selection is lifted.

The Division of Rehabilitation Services of DHS helps Tennesseans with disabilities become self-sufficient, live independently and enter the workplace.

 

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