State and Local Resources

  • In Tennessee, Disability Pathfinder is a statewide clearinghouse of disability-related resources and multilingual helpline:
    Tennessee Disability Pathfinder
  • Each state at least one University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, and these Centers often can share information about state and local resources:
    State list of UCEDDs
  • Each state has a department or a division of state government that provides services to individuals with intellectual or other developmental disabilities. Eligibility for services varies from state to state, and most states have waiting lists. In Tennessee, the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities is the agency. This link can help locate the appropriate agency in each state: National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services.
  • Many states have mobile crisis units for people experiencing severe behavioral difficulties or psychiatric issues. In Tennessee, the Division of Mental Health Services in the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services is the state agency to contact.
  • Most states have an agency charged with investigating reports of abuse, neglect (including self-neglect) or financial exploitation of adults who are unable to protect themselves due to physical or cognitive disabilities. In Tennessee, Adult Protective Services serves this role. This link can help locate the appropriate agency in each state: National Adult Protective Services Association.
  • Each state has a federally funded Protection & Advocacy System to empower, protect, and advocate on behalf of persons with disabilities. In Tennessee, the Disability Rights Tennessee is the organization. The National Disability Rights Network is the membership organization for the P&A programs and offers links to each state organization. Available at:
  • Each state has a Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program that provides advocacy and assistance to those in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult care homes. In Tennessee, this program is in the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability. The National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center offers links to each state’s program and other resources. Available at:
  • The Arc is a national organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, with state chapters and local chapters as well. The Arc’s national website offers information about various developmental disabilities, links to state and local chapters, and HealthMeet webinars, which are archived, that focus on health issues related to developmental disabilities. State and local chapters may provide information regarding local services and resources. Available at:
  • Autism NOW, a project of the Arc, offers a local agencies map and directory as well as an information and referral call center. Available at:
  • United Cerebral Palsy, which serves individuals with all kinds of developmental disabilities, offers links to state and local chapters as well as state resource guides, which provide contact information for state and local disability related services and organizations. Available at:
  • Easter Seals also has state and local chapters and offers information regarding local services and resources. Available at:
  • The National Alliance on Mental Illness or NAMI offers links to state and local chapters as well as an information helpline. Although not specifically geared to individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities, NAMI may be able to assist in finding local mental health resources. Available at:
  • The Office of Women’s Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers information regarding violence against women with disabilities. Available at:
  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline also offers information. Available at:

Each of the websites were accessed in February 2024.

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