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.


Caregiving Course Offered At Highway 58 Dunkin Donuts

  As a Certified Caregiving Consultant and Education, Christopher-Charles Chaney is offering free educational caregiving workshops which identify the six stages of caregiving, six coping strategies and one perspective to provide direction and support to family caregivers.    The Caregiving Workshops will be in the Dunkin Donuts conference room at 4535 ... (click for more)

Helen Ross McNabb Center Opens Newly-Renovated Facility On Bailey Avenue

The Helen Ross McNabb Center and the community will celebrate the opening of the newly-renovated 1408 Bailey Home, one of the Center's five supported living homes in Chattanooga, with a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house on  Friday, June 2, at 11 a.m. The Center, with support from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, the City of Chattanooga and First Tennessee Bank, ... (click for more)

Bradley Detectives Investigating Death Of 18-Month-Old Child; Foul Play Not Suspected At This Time

Detectives in the Bradley County Sheriff's Criminal Investigations Division are investigating the death of an 18-month old child that occurred Saturday evening.   Multiple phone calls into the 911 Communications Center led to patrol deputies responding to a residence on Lowery Street, N.E. Upon arrival deputies discovered a deceased child inside the residence, which ... (click for more)

Corker Says President Trump's 1st International Trip "Executed To Near Perfection"

Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Sunday praised President Donald Trump for his first international trip.   He said, “I spoke with President Trump at length this morning and told him that I could not be more pleased with his first international trip. The trip was executed to near perfection and it appears the president ... (click for more)

Silence Ain’t Golden Anymore

There are times – moments – in life that you never forget. That night in 1972, sleeping over at my buddy Bart’s house, was one of them. We had been to a middle school concert and his big brother was in the band (very cool stuff for a 14-year-old!) and as we lay on the floor in our sleeping bags in Bart’s room he said he wanted to play a record that his brother listened to. And, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Prove No Improvement

The startling news that this year’s standardized testing was wasted on graduating seniors across Tennessee is most unsettling. This week it was learned the test results, which were to represent 10 percent of our seniors’ final grades, was a total bust. Coupled with last year’s gargantuan testing failure – the whole effort had to be scrapped -- it is now becoming realized that for ... (click for more)