• An unexpected discovery: A participant’s perspective on the 2018 Youth Leadership Academy

    2018 Youth Leadership Academy from a Participant’s Perspective By: Josh Riley Introduction Empower Tennessee hosted the 2018 Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) on June 27 and 28 in collaboration with the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities. This year’s YLA theme was, “I AM Who I AM (and that’s pretty cool)”. Peer Facilitators lead workshops and activities, […]

  • An Oasis for All in Hendersonville

    What Mary’s Magical Place Means to Me and Says to the World By: April Meredith   August 2018 marks the grand opening month of Mary’s Magical Place, an all-inclusive playground located in Hendersonville. I cannot express just how excited I am for this project to come to fruition. Many Middle Tennesseans have been thinking of […]

  • Time to Cure the Stigma

    “Happy birthday. I love you,” she said in a barely discernable whisper, mustering every bit of strength she had left. I was turning 14 years old and my mom had been a breast cancer survivor. However, the dreaded disease came back with a vengeance and on April 20, 1992 I visited my mom in her […]

  • A Personal Story from a TBI Survivor

    In honor of Brain Injury Awareness Month, we are thrilled to share the personal survival story of a local veteran who is one of Empower Tennessee’s Empowered Ladies peer support group members. My name is Susan Kelly Sanders and I go by Kelly. I am a 56-year-young military veteran. My adventure began in 1981 when […]

  • It’s Never Too Late To Advocate

    Valentine’s Day was especially sweet for many Tennesseans this year as it was the same day as Disability Day on the Hill. DDH 2018 connected self-advocates and advocates across the state with their elected officials at the newly renovated Cordell Hull building. Despite the dreary weather outside, inside collaborative spirits were high and many individuals […]

  • Be Your Own Valentine: The Importance of Self-Care

    Since February 14th is Valentine’s Day, we at Empower Tennessee thought it would be a timely month to examine self-care, which is defined by Britain’s Department of Health as “the care taken by individuals towards their own health and well-being-including the care extended to the family and the community. The definition is broad and encompasses […]

  • Art Can (and should) Transcend Disabilities

    Attending the Frist Center for the Visual Arts family festival on November 12, 2017 was more than just a free fun event to share with my husband and children. It was a chance to demonstrate to my loved ones, and myself, how art can and should be experienced by all. Since substantially losing sight and […]

  • Thoughts from an Employed Person with a Disability

    Education? Check. International experience? Check. Functionally proficient in a second language? Check. Volunteer activities and community involvement? Check. Vocational rehabilitation? Check. Stellar resume with relevant work history? Check. Interview practice? Check. I’m ready to job search! This was running through my mind in spring of 2014 as I proudly accepted my Certificate of Completion with […]

  • Not An Ordinary Ride Home

    Smart phone? Check. Wallet? Check. Office keys? Check. Cane? Check. I went through my routine checklist today as I prepared for my hour and a half trek home from work. With all necessities in tow, the respectful driver gently assisted me into the para-transit vehicle for my usual trip to my Davidson County border transfer […]