Join the Disability Community at Legislative Plaza

for Disability Day on the Hill 2017

Wednesday, February 8th

9am-2pm CST

301 6th Ave North,
Nashville, TN 37243
We encourage you to call and  set up in-person meetings with your state legislators! Find them at:

No RSVP necessary to participate

Want to be an exhibitor?
Register at this link:
if your organization would like to exhibit information at this free event
Limited space is available!

DDH Questions?
Email: or call: 615-383-9442


Disability Day on the Hill is our chance to gather as a community and take part in the legislative process. For 30 years, the Tennessee Disability Coalition has connected Tennesseans with disabilities with their legislators to help state lawmakers understand the needs of the disability community. While the pandemic has meant that we are NOT meeting in-person, it has also provided a tremendous opportunity for Tennesseans from all over the state to meet with their representatives, face-to-virtual-face. The health, wellbeing, services and economics in the disability community have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and it's never been more important to participate. So, get ready to GO FURTHER!

1. LEARN to go further

"How to Advocate in the Time of COVID" Training Session
Thursday, February 25, 2021
12pm - 1pm CT (online-only)

  • Meeting with legislators virtually
  • Participating in legislative session and committee action 
  • Engaging with elected officials on social media 
  • Learning from thought leaders and political pundits

2. LISTEN to go further

Virtual Town Hall with Legislative Leadership

Thursday, March 11th, 2021
12pm - 1pm CT (online-only)

  • Legislative leadership speak to current disability policy issues
  • Members of the disability community ask the questions that matter most to them

3. ZOOM to go further

One-On-One Virtual Meeting with a Tennessee State Representative

This year since we are meeting virtually, Disability Day on the Hill 2021 is more accessible than ever for our community members all over the state of Tennessee. Schedule a zoom meeting with a representative NOW! Click on the "Schedule Your Virtual Meeting" button below, fill out the form, and we will set up your meeting!

If it your first time talking to a legislator or if you need a refresher course on advocacy CLICK HERE for some tips for your meeting.

Please register for one or more of the events by February 4th  REGISTER HERE

Please schedule your meeting with a representative by February 25th  SCHEDULE YOUR VIRTUAL MEETING:

Swag Bag & Extras

All registrants will be mailed a 2021 swag bag & Advocacy Toolkit which includes information on hot topics and virtual advocacy AND a DDH 2021 t-Shirt! Even if we can't be together in person - we can look the part!


Sponsored by Disability Rights Tennessee, the Disability Employment Awareness Luncheon (DEAL) is the largest disability employment event in Tennessee. Designed to increase awareness about and commitment to Employment First as a sustainable business policy, this event brings together over 350 people from nonprofit, government, and business sectors to learn how to build an inclusive workforce.

Did You Know?

Businesses that are inclusive of people with disabilities – in recruitment, retention, and advancement – benefit from a wider pool of talent, skills, and creative business solutions. Additionally, work environments that are flexible and open to the talents of all qualified individuals, including those with disabilities, actually promote workplace success for everyone.

Disability Rights Tennessee is thrilled to welcome Ernie Dianastasis as our 2021 Keynote Speaker. 

Ernie Dianastasis is Founder and CEO of The Precisionists, Inc. (TPI), a global administrative services and information technology company focused on employing 10,000 people with disabilities by the year 2025.

TPI is headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, but is national in its focus. Creating meaningful careers for people with disabilities while delivering world class service to customers is a passion for Ernie.

In 2018, The Precisionists received the prestigious national award from the Autism Society of America, for being the company to do the most to advance employment opportunities for individuals on the autism spectrum.

Prior to this Ernie was a senior executive at the IT company CAI, and he grew it to become one of the three largest IT firms in Philadelphia market.

Prior to joining CAI Ernie was with the IBM Corporation. He earned a B.S. degree in Finance and an M.B.A. in Management from Lehigh University.

Ernie and his wife Jennifer reside in Wilmington, Delaware, with their two children, John and Paisley.


TIME:  · 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm CT; · 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm ET

An increasing number of EHDI resources are becoming "green" (paperless) or virtual, but that means families with limited access to internet may be left in the dust. This presentation will share immediately usable information about free or affordable technology access that is available to families with lower socio-economic status. This technology access is required/funded by the federal government, and often is not common knowledge among early intervention professionals. Did you know that families may be qualified for free or $10 a month wireless internet? Did you know that parents may qualify for a $10 a month cell phone bill? Free iPads? This company-neutral presentation by a national advocacy organization is strictly focused on providing information on all major telecommunications companies' offers as mandated/provided by federal law. Come and learn more so you can support your families with teleintervention (including virtual learning, apps, webinars) and more wonderful electronic resources out there!

Learning Objectives:
· Parents and professionals will be able to list various avenues to receive affordable technology access.
· Participants will develop strategies for families to apply for technology access.
· Participants will locate relevant websites and companies where they can proceed with applications.

PRESENTERS: Tawny Holmes and Zainab Alkebsi.
Tawny Holmes Hlibok is the Education Policy Counsel at the National Association of the Deaf along with being Assistant Professor in the Department of ASL and Deaf Studies at Gallaudet University. She graduated from University of Baltimore School of Law. In addition to her law degree with a family mediation & law certification, she has a Master of Arts in Family Centered Early Education. Ms. Holmes has worked three years in teaching deaf and hard of hearing students, mainly in the early childhood education field. As part of her position, she focuses on improving/establishing federal and state policy related to early intervention and education of deaf and hard of hearing children. Ms. Holmes strongly believes in the power of collaboration and has contributed a significant amount of her work towards this endeavor, in varying ways, from promoting parent resources to inclusion of deaf and hard of hearing adult professionals.

Zainab Alkebsi, Esq. is the Policy Counsel at the National Association of the Deaf (NAD). She is responsible for providing analysis, recommendations, and counsel to the NAD on policy issues affecting people who are deaf and hard of hearing. Prior to joining the NAD, she served as Deputy Director at the Maryland Governor's Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing where she coordinated the office's legislative and policy efforts. Licensed to practice law in Maryland, she is also a member of the American Bar Association and the Maryland State Bar Association. She received her J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law. She also has a B.A. in Political Science from University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).

WHERE:  Adobe Connect- to register click:

Download the adobeconnect app.

More download information is found at:

NOTE:  If your institution does not permit you to add the above link, you may go to the above URL directly, however, we have been advised that optimal performance is achieved via the app.

Live captioning will be provided

This webinar will be recorded and posted online at about a week after the webinar. There are no CEU’s offered for the webinar.

If you have questions about this webinar, please contact Mandy Jay. For technical assistance during the webinar, please contact Daniel Ladner.


TPAC is providing Open Captioning and American Sign Language for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, 1 p.m. matinee, Sunday, September 29. This romantic Broadway musical for all generations tells the classic love story of Belle and a young prince trapped in a spell. If the beast can learn to love and be loved, he will be transformed to his former self… but time is running out. Filled with unforgettable characters and dazzling production numbers, including “Be Our Guest” and the beloved title song, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is one of the most beautiful love stories ever told. The running time is 2 hours and 30 minutes with one 20 minute intermission.

To purchase tickets in the Open Captioning section that is best for viewing the LED open captioning screen, please go to

To purchase tickets in the American Sign Language section that is best for seeing the ASL interpreters on stage wing, please go to

Tickets also can be purchased via phone by calling (615) 782-4040 or the TTY line at (615) 782-6562, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or in person at the TPAC Box Office. When using these methods, please mention the promo code TPACTICKET for Open Captioning seats, or the promo code TPACSEATS for ASL seats.



With the rapid shift to online learning due to the pandemic, there has been a significant increase in the use of auto captioning and automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology. But do they provide deaf students and staff with equitable and timely accessibility in classrooms, meetings and events, and extracurricular activities? Is auto captioning comparable to manual speech-to-text services, such as CART, C-Print, or TypeWell services? This event is an opportunity for educators and postsecondary professionals to learn from experts about the impact of auto captioning and ASR on effective communication with deaf students and staff, as well as the institutional responsibility for colleges and universities.

Get answers to these questions and more!

Event Details
This online event will take place on Zoom. To attend, register here. A Zoom calendar invitation will be emailed to you closer to the day of the panel. The room will open 5 minutes prior to the event start time. American Sign Language Interpreters and real-time captioning will be provided for the panel. For additional access requests please email: at least 3 business days prior to the event.


Zainab Alkebsi: As Policy Counsel at the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), Zainab is responsible for providing analysis, recommendations, and counsel on policy issues affecting deaf and hard of hearing people. She is a member of the American Bar Association and currently serves on various federal advisory committees.

Stephanie Zito: A Technical Assistance Coordinator on the NDC | Help team, Stephanie is a certified sign language interpreter and trained C-Print captionist, with interpreting and captioning services experience in postsecondary settings. She is currently President of the National Association of Interpreters in Education (NAIE).

Live Event FAQ

Is registration required for NDC live events? Yes. Registration is required to attend any live event NDC is hosting.

Is there a cost for NDC live events? No. All live events hosted by NDC are FREE for all attendees.

Who can attend the live events? Anyone with an interest in supporting access for deaf people is welcome to attend NDC live events.

Will professional development credits be offered for this event? No, not at this time.

Will a recording be made available to those who could not attend? Yes, the recording will be posted on NDC’s website within 30 days of the event. Professional development credits are not available for recorded events.

I registered for the event, but never received a confirmation email, what do I do? We recommend checking your SPAM folder of the email you registered with to see if it is there. If you cannot find the email contact us at and we will confirm we received your registration.


The park is fully accessible for Dollywood's Deaf Awareness Day with all shows, rides, and demonstrations interpreted.

Interpreters at a variety of levels can volunteer to help. 


Come on out to Dollywood for their Deaf Awareness Day!!   Interpreters will be at the shows and rides as well as many eating locations.  There will also be an interpreter for Santa. 


All of the shows and attractions are interpreted so come enjoy a fully accessible  Smoky Mountain Christmas!  


On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!  It is Time for the Fall Back 5K!

Welcome to the race that gives you what no other race can…an extra hour of sleep! Sure, you get a runner’s bib, and you get a t-shirt. But it’s that extra hour of sleep, courtesy of Daylight Savings Time, that really sets us apart. So let this running tribute to Daylight Savings Time begin!

A virtual 5K means that you choose to do your 5K by your rules. You can run, walk, hike, crawl, dance, stroll, or any combination thereof—whatever it takes to cover a distance of 3.1 (5K) miles. You can choose your day, your time, your venue. You can run it all at once or in chunks. Just be sure to record your total time and distance, and add them up to report a single, total running time. You can choose to participate outdoors or even indoors on your treadmill. You can run in Nashville or anywhere in the world. Run it on your own, or gather a group and run it for real. You are your own boss for this race!

For the entry fee, all participants will receive a virtual runner’s bib that you can print and wear while running (or just paste in your scrapbook), a stylish t-shirt that pairs well with runner’s gear or jeans, that amazing, extra hour of sleep, and the knowledge that you just did something great for yourself and to support the Deaf and hard of hearing communities!

Register Today! Click