Boling Center for Developmental Disabilities

The Boling Center for Developmental Disabilities (BCDD) is an interdisciplinary program that supports children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families through training, service, applied research, information dissemination, planning, and policy development.


April is National Autism Awareness Month - from the National Autism Society website

Nearly a quarter century ago, the Autism Society launched a nationwide effort to promote autism awareness, inclusion and self-determination for all, and assure that each person with ASD is provided the opportunity to achieve the highest possible quality of life. This year we want to go beyond simply promoting autism awareness to encouraging friends and collaborators to become partners in movement toward acceptance and appreciation.

Let's embrace a new perspective. For over 50 years we have worked in communities (both large and small) to ensure our actions, through our services and programming, supported all individuals living with autism. Let's expand this work to focus on the rest of us – ensuring acceptance and inclusion in schools and communities that results in true appreciation of the unique aspects of all people. We want to get one step closer to a society where those with ASDs are truly valued for their unique talents and gifts.

Join us in celebration for 2016 National Autism Awareness Month! National Autism Awareness Month represents an excellent opportunity to promote autism awareness, autism acceptance and to draw attention to the tens of thousands facing an autism diagnosis each year.

How is it celebrated?

Presidential/Congressional declarations
Online events and activities
Local events and activities through affiliates
Partner opportunities
What can I do?

Download the NAAM poster and distribute to schools, libraries and community centers in your neighborhood.

New Resources from The Children's Bureau 

Work in child welfare? It's National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and there are plenty of FREE tools to help! See the Outreach Materials, 21 tip sheets, updated activity calendars, and four new "Protective Factors in Practice" interactive scenarios to support and educate families.

New Guide from US Department of Education on undocumented immigrant students Released 

The U.S. Department of Education has released the first in a set of resource guides designed to help school officials support undocumented immigrant students.
The 63-page guide aims to clarify the legal rights of undocumented high school and college students, share resources about federal and private financial aid available to them, and discuss how to support youth applying for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) consideration or renewal. The DACA program allows students who came to the United States as children to apply for relief from deportation.
You can access the guide at:

Partners in Policymaking 2017 Applications now Open

WHAT IS PARTNERS? The Partners in Policymaking Leadership Institute ™ is a leadership, advocacy and self-advocacy training program for adults with disabilities and family members of persons with disabilities from across the state, sponsored by the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities.

WHAT WILL THE SELECTED PARTNERS PARTICIPANTS DO? Attend information sessions by local and national experts in the disability field on a variety of disability-related topics, including employment, building inclusive communities and classrooms, the state and federal legislative processes, supported and independent living, assistive technology, strategies for advocates and conducting effective meetings.

Partners will also:

• complete and report on homework assignments
• compose and present testimony for or against a legislative bill
• tour the State Capitol, and meet with a legislator
• have numerous opportunities to network with other individuals with disabilities and family members
• attend the Partners Annual Reunion Conference with representatives from 20 years of Partners in Policymaking in Tennessee

WHEN WILL THE PARTNERS TRAINING TAKE PLACE? September, October and November, and January, February, March and April. Most Partners training weekends begin at 12 p.m. on Friday, and continue until 3 p.m. on Saturday. September 9 & 10, 2016, October 28 & 29, 2016, November 11 & 12, 2016, January 6 & 7, 2017, February 10 & 11, 2017, March 24 & 25, 2017, and April 21 & 22, 2017. Accepted Partners must agree to attend all seven sessions.

WHERE WILL IT TAKE PLACE? At a hotel in Middle Tennessee.

WHAT DOES IT COST? There is no cost for the training, sleeping rooms or meals on-site during the Partners weekend sessions. Partners will be reimbursed for mileage to and from the Partners session approximately two weeks after each weekend training.

WHO CAN ATTEND? Adults with disabilities and family members of persons with disabilities. Although each case is reviewed individually, it is not typical for a family member of a person with a disability to participate in the same Partners training year as the family member who has the disability.

HOW MANY PARTNERS PARTICIPANTS WILL BE SELECTED? Thirty. An effort will be made to select a diverse group, based on type of disability, ethnicity, gender, age of person with a disability or family member, and geographical location of the applicants.

HOW DOES ONE APPLY? Complete the two-page application attached to this email. You can also access the application on the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities website at, or by contacting Partners Director Ned Andrew Solomon at 615.532.6556 or .

WHAT IS THE DEADLINE FOR APPLYING? All applications must be postmarked by May 2, 2016.

For any other information about Partners, please contact Ned Andrew Solomon at 615.532.6556, or by email at .

Effective July 1, 2015 the Tennessee Family Support Program will begin an open enrollment for eligible families. The Family Support Program general purpose is defined as followed:

The primary purpose of the program is to support
• Families who have school-aged or younger children with severe disabilities
• Adults with severe disabilities who choose to live with their families
• Adults with severe disabilities not supported by other residential programs funded by state or federal funds
Services can include but are not limited to: Respite care, day care services, home modifications, equipment, supplies, personal assistance, transportation, homemaker services, housing costs, health-related needs, nursing and counseling.

Current participants receiving funds, as well as individuals on the wait list or new applicants must reapply annually. With this new procedure the door is now open for all eligible families to receive assistance. If you know families who might be eligible or are currently receiving services please ask them to contact the Shelby County Administrator for the Family Support Program. Funds will be distributed on a first come basis once all documents are received and eligibility met. I have attached the guidelines if you need additional reference.. Families may call the numbers listed for applications and more information.

Shelby Residential and Vocational Services, Inc. 3971 Knight Arnold:

Pacely Cooper (901) 869-9285 (
Michelle Harris (901) 312-9911 (
Latisha Reynolds (901) 312-6850 (
Tonya Sevion (901) 312-0430 (
Troy Allen (
Counties Served: Fayette and Shelby

 View Guidelines

Health Care Professionals Survey

Part of the Boling Center's mission is to provide continuing education to healthcare professionals in the field. Currently, BCDD is an approved provider to several disciplines however, in an effort to provide the best possible service to our community we are asking professionals to participate in this anonymous survey about your Professional Continuing Education needs.

The survey should take only a few minutes, is completely anonymous and will only be used for program level decision making at the Boling Center to assess customer service. If you have questions, please contact Elizabeth Bishop at 901-448-3127 or email at

  • Healthcare Professionals Survey

Now available FREE ADHD Resources for Parents and Teachers

The Boling Center Library located at 711 Jefferson Ave, has received an overflow of ADHD resources from the Assisi Foundation. These resources include guides for parents of young children and teens as well as teachers. To request these materials, please contact the Dissemination Coordinator by email to schedule a time to visit the library. These materials are free while supplies last.

The ArcTN Quarterly Newsletter - 50th Anniversary Edition

The Arc is the nation's largest and leading organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families with a 60 year history of promoting and protecting the rights of people with I/DD and providing them the opportunity to live full, satisfying and self-determined lives as valued and contributing members of their communities. The recent publication of The Connection PDF icon , the quarterly newsletter is available online and as a pdf and highlights the Employment and Community First (ECF) CHOICES waiver and a message from President John Shouse on the importance of community. The Connection can be accessed at

Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Justice Department Secures Statewide Training for Law Enforcement on Interacting with Persons with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities

Today, the Justice Department announced that, under a settlement agreement with the United States, the state of Tennessee is launching a training program available to all law enforcement personnel in Tennessee on effective interactions with people who have intellectual or developmental disabilities. The training, developed by Tennessee's Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD), helps law enforcement officers communicate effectively with people who have disabilities and their families in order to improve the safety and effectiveness of those interactions and to enhance community policing efforts. DIDD has posted the training materials on its website and will present the materials at a statewide conference of law enforcement training officers later this month.
DIDD developed the training as part of a court-approved exit plan that resolves long running litigation between the United States and Tennessee concerning care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The lawsuit will continue during DIDD's performance of other exit plan provisions.
"We applaud the state's efforts to ensure that law enforcement officers engage safely and effectively with people who have intellectual or developmental disabilities and their families," said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta of the Civil Rights Division. "This initiative is good for those people, for officers who serve in communities across the state, and for effective law enforcement. Tennessee joins a new national trend in recognizing and preparing for the intersection between law enforcement and people with disabilities. We also recognize and appreciate the continued collaboration of important stakeholders in reaching agreement on this crucial training, including DIDD, People First of Tennessee and the Parent Guardian Associations of Clover Bottom and Greene Valley Developmental Centers."
The United States brought suit against the state of Tennessee in 1996, concerning conditions of care and the right to care in integrated settings for residents of Clover Bottom Developmental Center, Greene Valley Developmental Center and Nat T. Winston Center. The state and the United States, along with two interveners, settled the case in 1996 through an agreement that called for both improved conditions within the centers and the integration of residents into community settings. Shortly after the initiation of the suit, the state closed Nat T. Winston Center. The state is now closing Clover Bottom Center and Greene Valley Developmental Centers. In 2015, the court approved an exit plan designed to resolve the litigation by bringing to fruition planned community improvements in respite care, individual support planning and other areas. The exit plan also required that the state develop the law enforcement training discussed above.
For more information on the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, please visit 


New Project Findings: Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Somali and Non-Somali Children in Minneapolis

CDC's NCBDDD, in partnership with NIH, Autism Speaks, and AUCD, recently conducted the largest project to date looking at the number and characteristics of Somali children with autism spectrum disorder in any U.S. community. Today, key findings from this project were released.

Early Signs of Autism Video Tutorial

The Kennedy Krieger Institute and Maryland Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have published a free online video to improve the recognition of the early signs of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) among pediatricians, parents and early intervention providers. Bringing the Early Signs of Autism Spectrum Disorders Into Focus (2013, runtime 9:03 minutes) consists of six video clips that compare toddlers with no signs of ASD to toddlers with early signs of ASD and includes an explanation of how the specific behaviors exhibited by each child are either suggestive of ASD or typical child development.
Early Recognition of ASD PDF icon


Tennessee Disability Mega Conference - May 26-27, 2016 in Nashville, TN

This is the 14th year for the TN Disability Mega Conference. This year's event will feature:

  • World-class Keynote Speakers
  • Interactive Workshops and Educational Sessions
  • Exhibits of Disability Products, Services and Self-advocate Entrepreneur Wares
  • Wednesday Night Pre-conference Awards Banquet - $50 pre-registration required, 6:00 pm, Capitol Ballroom
  • Thursday Night Dance - Free admission, open to the public, 7:00-10:00 pm, Cumberland Ballroom
  • And more!

The Tennessee Disability MegaConference is Tennessee's largest disability-specific conference for individuals with disabilities, families, and professionals. At the conference, people share the latest information and innovations on many topics including housing, employment, education, health care, recreation and leisure, mental health, and others. Continuing education credits are offered in many categories. People attending make new friends and important connections as everyone works together to encourage the full participation of all people with disabilities in their own lives!

To register: Hotel information and registration information is available on the conference website. Continuing Professional Education credit is also provided for psychologists, social workers, VR counselors, Casemanagers and physical therapists. 

Restraint and Seclusion

The Disability Coalition on Education (DCE) has created a information sheet on Restraint and SeclusionLink to Acrobat file

IDD Toolkit Featured on Government Disability Blog

Janet Shouse with the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center is featured as a guest blogger on, describing  the collaborative development of the IDD E-Toolkit.

Fact Sheets on Medicaid In Tennessee and Family Support

Three new fact sheets have been developed by The Arc of Tennessee (see list below). For more information or to obtain copies contact The Arc of Tennessee at 615-248-5878 or visit the website

New materials available on the Learn the Signs: Act Early website

Visit to find two new materials. Track Your Child's Developmental Milestonesbrochure (English and Spanish versions) and the Milestone Moments booklet. Only the English version of the booklet is available; the Spanish version will be posted soon. Links to both PDFs are below

Milestones Moments Booklet  milestones image

Milestones Brochure: Track Your Child’s Developmental Milestones
English  index clip image | Spanish  image clip )

Parents Guide to New State Rules: Restraint and Seclusion

To provide parents with information regarding Tennessee's state rules on restraint and seclusion in schools, the Disability Coalition on Education has developed a fact sheet. This fact sheet is available from the DCE at no cost. For additional copies or information regarding this topic contact Holly Lu Conant Rees at Click to view a fact sheet in spanish.

New Disability Website

The U.S. Department of Labor has launched, a redesigned federal Web site that connects the more than 50 million Americans with disabilities to thousands of disability-related resources.The site is also for parents of children with disabilities, employers, workforce and human resource professionals, veterans, educators, caregivers, and many others.

Contact BCDD

711 Jefferson Avenue
Memphis, Tennessee 38105
Phone: 901-448-6511
Fax: 901-448-7097