Rep. Brooks Says Changes To Tennessee Law Means New Employment Opportunities For People With Disabilities

Monday, May 19, 2014
Pictured L-R:  Bradley County Mayor Gary Davis; Rep. Kevin Brooks; Diana Jackson, CEO of Life Bridges; Eddie Cartwright, Life Bridges board member; Bob McIntyre, Life Bridges board member; and Comm. Terry Caywood, Life Bridges staff
Pictured L-R: Bradley County Mayor Gary Davis; Rep. Kevin Brooks; Diana Jackson, CEO of Life Bridges; Eddie Cartwright, Life Bridges board member; Bob McIntyre, Life Bridges board member; and Comm. Terry Caywood, Life Bridges staff

Rep. Kevin Brooks said he passed legislation this year in Tennessee’s House of Representatives opening up new opportunities for people with disabilities by changing a state law that already provides employment possibilities on government contracts.

The changes in the law will specifically impact people supported by Cleveland-based Life Bridges Inc., a community organization providing a full array of residential and day services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Diana Jackson, executive director of Life Bridges Inc., said that this change in the law is a huge step forward for Tennessee. “We are sincerely thankful to Rep. Brooks for not only sponsoring the legislation but ensuring its passage.

“This change in the law is designed to employ more people with disabilities in a broader range of government contracts by expanding the law to allow for profit companies to partner with nonprofit organizations thereby opening up new and more varied employment opportunities,” she added.

The new law incentivizes vendors holding government contracts to employ people with disabilities in settings that allow for more interaction with their non-disabled colleagues. These government contracts are approved by state and local procurement offices.
 
A March 14 release posted on the U.S. Census Bureau’s website said that, “Individuals with disabilities were less likely to be employed than individuals without disabilities, and those who were employed typically held jobs with lower earnings and also earned less than their colleagues with no disability.”
 
According to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey, the statistics show that between 2008 and 2010, individuals without disabilities were about three times more likely to be employed than individuals with disabilities. Overall, individuals with disabilities accounted for 9.4 million, or 6.0 percent, of the 155.9 million civilian labor force.


Matthew Todd, M.D., Joins Parkridge Diagnostic Center

Parkridge Health System welcomes primary care physician Matthew J. Todd, M.D., to Parkridge Medical Group’s Diagnostic Center and back to Chattanooga.  Dr. Todd joins an ever-expanding team of physicians and providers and adds additional capacity and access for patients seeking a primary health care provider.   Dr. Todd most recently served with the Southeast Georgia ... (click for more)

Morning Pointe Residents Throw Party For Community Kitchen

Children, families, and residents at The Lantern at Morning Pointe Alzheimer's Center of Excellence, Collegedale, had a ball at the "Spring Fling" party at the Chattanooga Community Kitchen's Family Housing and Learning Center (FHLC).   Local kids at the FHLC enjoyed pizza, cupcakes and ice cream on the last day of Spring Break, courtesy of the memory care community which ... (click for more)

State Says "Beef" Between 2 Bloods Gangs Started Over A Female And Led Eventually To Shootings At College Hill Courts

The state presented testimony on Monday about a feud between two Bloods gangs that allegedly eventually led to a 16-year-old shooting up a unit at College Hill Courts - killing one woman, injuring another, leaving a child paralyzed and injuring a member of the other Bloods gang. A city police gang expert said the bitter rift between the Athens Park Bloods based on the Southside ... (click for more)

Search On For Chad Cook, Missing Since Early Monday Morning After Going Dirt Bike Riding On Walden's Ridge

Walden's Ridge Emergency Services has been assisting the Sequatchie County Sheriff's Office searching for a missing person from Hamilton County since 10:30 a.m. Monday. Chad Cook, 38, was last heard from by family members at 2 a.m. Monday. Family members reported to Sequatchie County Sheriff's Office personnel around 2 a.m. that he, along with two males and one female, were ... (click for more)

Slaxxon Regret - And Response

Back in the seventies my three oldest brothers had a buddy named Steve Slack. “Slack” was a star soccer player at Baylor and he grew up on Lookout Mountain, which is where I grew up. He and Jimmy, Henry and Bill went to the University of Virginia where they were roommates in an old, beat up house that was painted pink. Naturally, the place became known as the “Pink Palace” but lest ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Oh Yes, I Loved West

One of my most beloved friends died early Saturday morning at the age of 67. Then again, West Oehmig’s only brother – King – died a couple of years ago at 63 so it wasn’t by happenstance I remembered Abraham Lincoln’s famous line: “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.” Here are two brothers who lived larger than any other pair I can ... (click for more)