Services for Persons with Disabilities and Their Families

The Vanderbilt Kennedy University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) provides a variety of services and programs for individuals with disabilities of all ages and their families, for professionals, and the community. Many services are integrated with research and training.

Navigating service systems can be complicated. If you need help finding services, call Tennessee Disability Pathfinder for free information and referral, 615-322-8529 or toll-free 1-800-640-4636.

  • Arts and Disabilities
    Quarterly exhibits of art by children and adults with disabilities or mental health disorders.

  • Autism Services
    Services for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families, as well as professionals who work with Autism Spectrum Disorders, are offered through the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders.

  • BASICS [Login required]
    This online course is designed to give parents and caregivers some of the BASICS (Basics of Advocating Special education In your Child's School) of advocacy.

  • Disabilities, Religion and Spirtuality
    This program provides training and supports for individuals with disabilites and families, faith communities, and disability services providers.

  • Kindred Stories of Disability in Tennessee
    A collection of stories from individuals with disabilities, families, friends, and disability service providers in Tennessee.

  • Learning Assessment Clinic
    A clinic for students experiencing learning challenges

  • Reading Clinic
    The Reading Clinic provides intensive, individualized, one-on-one tutoring using assessments and evidence-based instructional methods shown to promote reading; serving children in grades K-8.

  • Rett Syndrome Program
    This VKC multidisciplinary program includes the Rett Syndrome Clinical Research Center of Excellence as well as opportunities to take part in research.

  • Self-Advocacy
    Self-advocacy involves persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities speaking up for themselves to express their individual needs, goals, and desires. We have pulled together a list of links to VKC self-advocacy activities and resources and to the activities of some of our partners. You can navigate and explore these resources by area of emphasis.

  • Sibling Programs
    Support and networking programs designed specifically for the siblings of people with disabilities.

  • Social Work Services
    Provides assessments, crisis intervention, brief counseling, and referral services to individuals and families with developmental disabilities

  • StudyFinder
    By participating in research, sometimes free services are provided that will directly benefit you or a family member. The studies listed in this section offer services and/or compensation in return for your participation.

  • Summer Programs and Community Activities
    Curriculums designed by multi-disciplinary teams of disabilities professionals make for an experience that is fun and beneficial for participants. Programs include:

  • Tennessee Cares Network at VUMC
    Its mission is to connect families and medical providers to resources in their communities and to each other. It focuses on children under age 5 years at risk of developmental delay or autism spectrum disorder.

  • Tennessee Disabilty Pathfinder
    A free statewide, multilingual clearinghouse of disability resources. Phone helpline, website with searchable Services Database and Community Calendar, and Multicultural Outreach Program.

  • TennesseeWorks
    Tennessee’s web hub for information related to employment of people with disabilities.

  • Tip Sheets
    Tips and Resources fact sheets are tools for individuals and families with and without disabilities, service providers, students and trainees, and anyone interested in learning more about disabilities and disability-related topics.

  • Volunteer Advocacy Project
    Training (40 hours over 12 sessions) for persons interested in becoming special education advocates to support families, held at multiple Tennessee sites.

Other Resources for Families