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Tennessee Disability Pathfinder Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria

Introduction

The guidelines listed below are specifically designed for Tennessee Disability Pathfinder (or “Agency”), a statewide disability information and referral service and support agency for children and adults with disabilities, family members, service providers, and advocates.

These guidelines and criteria provide direction and parameters for the type of disability services and support programs qualified for inclusion in, or exclusion from, the Pathfinder database. The database also includes limited information on resources such as low-income housing, medical/health clinics, financial assistance, and other social services.

Disclaimer and Referral Guidelines

Any information included in the Pathfinder database should not be considered an endorsement, an evaluation, a rating or a recommendation of any given program, service or provider; likewise, exclusion from the database does not imply a negative evaluation or rating of a program, service or provider.

Pathfinder strives to maintain the integrity, accuracy, and relevancy of the information and referral provided by conducting annual agency updates and appropriate staff training. The Agency is not responsible for the quality of service delivered by any other agencies or services to which a caller is referred.

Inclusion Guidelines

  • Non-profit agencies/programs that provide disability and other community services
  • For-profit agencies/programs that provide services not otherwise available, such as automobile/van adaptations, emergency alert systems, animal aides, and adaptive driver training
  • Governmental (public) agencies/programs that provide human services (such as financial assistance, food, and transportation), disability services, education, housing, low-income health clinics*, and low-income dental services
  • Specialty medical clinics, mental health clinics/centers, and neuro-rehabilitation centers
  • Community and advocacy organizations available to the disability community
  • Consumer advocacy groups available to the disability community
  • Comprehensive Information & Referral helplines
  • Specialized Information & Referral helplines
  • Public school systems and vocational rehabilitation programs
  • Church-affiliated community-based programs and services in existence for at least six months with at least one full-time staff person
  • State contracted agencies that accept payment (ex. private pay, sliding-scale, insurance, etc.) other than/in addition to state funding such as Medicaid Waiver or Vocational Rehabilitation

*for individuals with not eligible for TennCare

Exclusion Guidelines

  • Private, for-profit service providers (unless they meet one or more of the specific Inclusion criteria listed above)
  • Services available only to members of a specific organization or affiliation
  • Agencies must have have two or more practitioners (service providers) in the agency (Not including administrative staff) that provide direct services.
  • Churches that offer no special community-based service components for the general public
  • Individual, for-profit child care facilities
  • General medical services, private practitioners, or substance abuse programs
  • Any organization that promotes or delivers illegal services
  • Agencies or organizations that have been in existence for less than six months, unless they meet one of the following criteria:
    • Affiliated with a large, well-known national organization (e.g., Salvation Army, Red Cross, American Cancer Society)
    • Provide a unique, much-needed service not otherwise provided in the community
  • Any organization that declines service on the basis of color, race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, or disability
  • Support groups not affiliated with an agency
  • State-contracted agencies that do not accept payment other than/in addition to state funding such as Medicaid Waiver or Vocational Rehabilitation

IMPORTANT: These policies do not prohibit the inclusion of any programs that target services based on age, gender, health, disability or other characteristics designed to meet the special needs of the targeted populations.

Guidelines for Complaints/Removal of Agencies/Programs

In general, agencies may be removed if they meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Fail to adhere to Inclusion criteria and guidelines
  • Show a documented history of poor customer service
  • Discontinue providing services to individuals with a disability

Data Elements

The following data elements will be used for the purpose of gathering resource information to be included in the database:

  • Unique record identification number
  • Date the information was most recently verified
  • Organization name (legal name) and AKAs
  • Legal status (nonprofit, government, for-profit, etc.)
  • Director name/title
  • Location and mailing address
  • Contact information including telephone number(s),TDD/TTY, fax, web site and email addresses
  • Hours and days of operation
  • Geographical area served including names of counties served
  • Languages other than English
  • Eligibility requirements
  • Services provided and target populations served
  • Method of payment accepted (Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance, etc.)
  • Access for people with disabilities or known barriers to such access
  • Intake procedures and application process
  • Application documents required by the organization (such as birth certificates, etc.)

Disability Pathfinder Website

These guidelines provide direction and parameters for the type of disability services and support programs qualified for inclusion in, or exclusion from, the Pathfinder website.

Pathfinder website includes the Agency Database of Tennessee Services, Pathfinder Disability Calendar, Disability Category Sections with State and National Resources, and Pathfinder Features.

Agency Database of Tennessee Services (same Guidelines listed above)

Tennessee Disability Calendar

  • List of disability-related community events, conferences, training programs, and workshops in Tennessee
  • Personalized access code allows non-profit agencies listed in the database to enter disability events as needed
  • Monitored by Pathfinder staff

Disability Category Sections

  • Topic Sections include: Advocacy, Arts, Assistive Technology, Law, & Voting; Education (Birth to Adult); Child Care; Employment; Family Support, Health Care, Housing, Independent Living, Information & Referral, Interfaith Resources, Library, Mental Health, Recreation & Summer Camps, Respite Care
  • Each section is divided into Local Resources, State Resources, National Resources
  • Information for inclusion reviewed by Pathfinder staff

Pathfinder Features

  • Used to spotlight special projects and or events affiliated with Pathfinder and Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities