Education & Transition

Conservatorship and Alternatives to Conservatorship Handbook


Begin early to plan for adult life with students who have disabilities. In Tennessee schools begin Secondary Transition planning no later than a student’s fourteenth birthday if they receive special education services. The Arc Tennessee offers a variety of resources, workshops, technical assistance, and other supports to families, students, and educators in this area. To learn more about Secondary Transition and how to bring this information to your community, please contact us at or call 615-248-5878 ext 306.

Secondary Transition Resources:

Children from ages 3 to 22 with disabilities are entitled to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) under federal law. These services are individualized and provided through the public-school system.

The Arc Tennessee provides assistance to families to help them learn to navigate the special education system, learn their child’s rights under the law, and provide guidance and support at Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings. For help, email or call 615-248-5878, ext 306.

This informative video will help families understand their child's psychological evaluation: Understanding your Child's Psychological Evaluation.

Learn to support your childs' education journey at Kid Central.

Visit the State of Tennessee's Special Education website for comprehensive information on special education in Tennessee.

The Arc Tennessee has created a Corporal Punishment information sheet about the state law that affects children who have IEPs.

In Tennessee there is a law about isolation and restraint of students at school. This resource helps families understand what they need to know about this important topic: Restraint Information Sheet

Tennessee's Early Intervention System (TEIS) to Transition to the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD)

The Department of Education (TDOE) and the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) have long worked together to ensure children and youth with disabilities receive critical early supports, quality education, and prepare to transition into adulthood for post-secondary education and/or employment.

Tennessee Early Intervention System (TEIS) provides services and supports to children (ages birth to three) who have disabilities or other developmental delays, and their families, to reach their optimal development during this critical time. Because of the connections to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), this program has been housed in the Tennessee Department of Education, responsible for pre-K - 12 education. DIDD and TEIS focus on people with disabilities outside of the school system. To elevate and accelerate the work of TEIS, they are moving to DIDD by July 1, 2020.

For more than three decades DIDD's charge has been is to coordinate services and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in their homes and communities, in a person-centered manner. With the addition of the Katie Beckett Program, including Part B operation by DIDD, there is an opportunity to increase coordination between TEIS, Katie Beckett, and the Employment and Community First CHOICES programs in a seamless way. Both TDOE and DIDD are committed to partnering through this transition and ongoing collaboration ensuring that children and their families are seamlessly transitioned from TEIS to IDEA Part B (special education). DIDD and TDOE are collaborating with stakeholders to understand successes and challenges and ensure TEIS continues to deliver the most effective supports to children and their families.

DIDD and TDOE are committed to leveraging the passion of the TEIS team to manage this move with as little disruption as possible. DIDD’s number one goal is to ensure the continuity of high-quality services and supports to children and their families. DIDD stands ready to assume the delivery of TEIS services through its EIRAs and vendors and move forward with hiring and contracting responsibilities - while partnering with TDOE on ensuring the timely transfer of contracts, operations, and funding.

TEIS Transition Parent Letter

There are certain expected milestones for children birth to five, such as smiling, sitting up, taking a first step and talking. Tennessee Early Intervention Services are for children and their families who are experiencing developmental delays. To learn more visit TEIS Information for Families.

Even very young children can learn to make choices. Self-Determination, Birth to Five, is an easy to understand guide to helping young children begin to grow toward making early decisions.

The Arc Tennessee works with high school-aged students (14 to 22) who have disabilities to help them prepare for employment as adults. Any student who has a disability is eligible. Parents can ask their child’s teacher how to get Pre-ETS with The Arc Tennessee.

Pre-ETS includes workplace readiness, postsecondary education counseling, and self-advocacy, job exploration, and work-based learning.

For information about The Arc Tennessee’s Pre-ETS, contact Loria Hubbard at or call or 615-248-5878 ext 28.

AIMHiTN works to ensure that all children have the opportunity to develop intellectually, socially, and emotionally by impacting infant mental health practices and principles everyday.

ABLE accounts are tax-free savings accounts for individuals with qualifying disabilities. These accounts provide the ability for long-term financial planning, allowing for financial freedom and empowerment. For more information click HERE.

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The Secondary Transition Project is funded under an agreement with the State of Tennessee, Department of Education.

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