Investigative Report Highlights Dangerous Conditions at Wilder

Investigative report, Designed to Fail, puts a spotlight on dangerous conditions at Wilder Youth Center Groups call for immediate reforms by the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services

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Lawsuit Alleges Discrimination Of Deaf And Hard Of Hearing Tennesseans Under Care Of State Of Tennessee

Five plaintiffs with counsel from Disability Rights Tennessee (DRT) and Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC allege that the State of Tennessee, Tennessee Department of Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities (DIDD), and Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (DMHSAS) discriminate against service recipients who are Deaf and use American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate.

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March 16, 2023

Tennessean | “Tennessee child advocates raise alarm as GOP moves to dissolve child advocacy commission”

View original article here. Melissa Brown and Josh Keefe, Nashville Tennessean (Published March 16, 2023) Multiple Tennessee child advocacy experts say they are alarmed by a sudden move from a top-ranking legislative Republican to dissolve an independent children’s advocacy commission and distribute its responsibilities to other state agencies. Senate Majority Jack Johnson, R-Franklin, was set […]

February 28, 2023

All Well and Good: Sharing the Story of Haben Girma

By Freeman World, M.Div  How does she communicate? How does she get around? How… how does she do life? These were just a few of the questions that came to mind when I learned the story of Haben Girma. Born deaf and blind in Oakland, CA, to immigrant parents from Africa, Girma is a lawyer […]

January 6, 2023

Willowbrook 51 Years Later: A look at history and modern advocacy

A 1972 exposé by Geraldo Rivera exposed the revolting conditions at the Willowbrook State School, a facility for youth with intellectual disabilities, in Staten Island, New York. The abuse and neglect revealed by this report led to national outcry, successful legal action, and the establishment of a federally mandated network of legal advocacy agencies protecting the rights of persons with disabilities (the Protection & Advocacy Network). 51 years since the exposé’s release, Protection & Advocacy (P&A) agencies, like Disability Rights Tennessee (DRT), are continuing this critical work of investigating conditions of abuse and neglect, reporting these findings, and advocating for workable solutions.

December 20, 2022

Families Not Facilities: New Report on Embattled TN Department of Children Services

Families Not Facilities: Press Release Families Not Facilities: Full Report For more information, contact: Lee Sherwood for Disability Rights Tennessee, 409-771-0098 (call/text) Kathy Bonk for Youth Law Center, 202-234-6629 (cell/text), Media Coverage: WPLN: “Problems at Tennessee DCS prompt advocates to call for reforms, with less emphasis on facilities” WKRN Nashville: “Nonprofits release solution-based […]

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