Tennessee Kindred Stories of Disability

A project of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC) Public Policy Team, each year the VKC and The Arc Tennessee collaborate to produce a collection of stories that highlight the challenges individuals with disabilities and their families face as they navigate service systems and supports. Booklets are shared with Tennessee legislators during Disability Day(s) on the Hill and the Disability Policy Seminar in Washington, D.C., to educate them with first-hand accounts from constituents in their districts.

Stories are collected by students from Vanderbilt and Belmont Universities, who interview the families as part of a course assignment. The students enrolled in the Belmont University courses are paired with a Community Partner agency not only to collect stories, but also to volunteer a set number of service hours as a component of their course requirements.

Previous Issues [PDF]

Sharing Personal Experiences to Impact Public Policy

This project replication manual published in 2014, outlines the Kindred Stories of Disability project's process as it has been developed and is currently being coordinated at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center. Implementation of this program may vary for different organizations and classrooms, and all or part of the manual may be used in classroom application.

To view how one Kindred Stories family took their personal story to Disability Day on the Hill, watch the video below.

Disability Day on the Hill 2019 from Vanderbilt Kennedy Center on Vimeo.

For more information contact:

Courtney Taylor, M.Div.