As an advocate representing children with different abilities (disabilities), the primary goal is to assist the family in protecting the best interest of the child while teaching the family how to advocate for their child.  The ultimate goal is for the family not to need our services.  It is our belief the more a parent knows about their child’s disability and their legal rights, the better chances the child has for receiving the best possible services.

If you are interested in becoming an advocate, consider the following websites and/or free training programs:


Disability Law & Advocacy Center of Tennessee (DLAC)

The Disability Law & Advocacy Center of Tennessee advocates for the rights of Tennesseans with disabilities to ensure that they have an equal opportunity to be productive and respected members of our society.

For people who qualify, DLAC may be able to assist with problems related to their disability like:

  • Abuse and neglect outside of the home
  • Discrimination in housing, transportation, employment
  • Access to public and private programs and services
  • Access to mental health, rehabilitation and support services
  • Access to appropriate education programs and services
  • Obtaining and utilizing assistive technology services and devices
  • Access to vocational rehabilitation services that promote employment and independence

Website: Email: Phone:  1-800-342-1660


Partners in Policymaking

Partners is a free leadership and advocacy training program for adults with disabilities and family members of persons with disabilities.

Selected Partners will learn about:

  • the State and Federal legislative processes
  • inclusive communities and classrooms
  • proven practices in housing and employment
  • assistive technology
  • strategies for advocates and self-advocates

For an application or more information, contact Ned Andrew Solomon at:, or

by phone at 615.532.6556.


Support and Training for Exceptional Parents  (S.T.E.P.)

STEP is a statewide family-to-family program in Tennessee, established in 1989 by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The purpose of STEP is to support families by providing free information, advocacy training, and support services to parents of children eligible to receive special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) who reside in Tennessee.

STEP services are available to any parent or family member of a special education student or a student who may need special help in school (birth through age 22). There is no charge for services to parents. Professionals in the education field are welcome to attend workshops without cost, however there may be a nominal cost for printed materials.

Website: Email: Phone number: 423-639-0125



Wrightslaw is leading website offering, up-to-date information about special education law and advocacy.  Review thousands of articles and cases on disability related topics.


Youth Leadership Forum

The Tennessee Youth Leadership Forum is a free leadership training program for high school students with disabilities.

YLF selected students:

  • spend four days and three nights on a college campus
  • attend presentations on leadership, college resources for students with disabilities, community service and photography
  • participate in small and large group discussions about their lives, their disabilities and their hopes and dreams for life after high school
  • tour the State Capitol and meet with a legislator

For an application or more information, contact Ned Andrew Solomon at:, or

by phone at 615.532.6556.

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