Archive for February, 2009

Mother of Child with Muscular Dystrophy Comments on Fulfill the Promise

Michelle Priddy is a member of the 2009 Partners in Policymaking Class. The following link is for a video presentation she made on behalf of her son, who has muscular dystrophy, in support of the Fulfill the Promise legislation for Tennessee:


February 25, 2009 at 3:24 pm Leave a comment

2008-09 Metro Funds Still Available for All Together Kids Inclusion Program

United Cerebral Palsy of Middle Tennessee is still accepting applications for the All Together Kids inclusion program for Metro/Davidson County. All Together Kids is a program designed to promote the inclusion of children with disabilities in community based after school programs, recreation, arts, and extra curricular activities alongside their typically developing peers. The program will supply grants for up to $1,000 to families for direct assistance for their child to participate in these activities. The program is funded by a grant from the Metropolitan Government of Nashville.

The program is designed to be flexible to meet children’s specific needs, and available to families in neighborhoods where they live and work. For example, funds may be used for tuition or enrollment in a variety of community programs such as day care, arts, after school care, camps, recreation and faith-based programs. Funds may be used for specialized accessible transportation, supplies, uniforms and other items specific to the child’s needs in the program. Funds also may be used for specific therapies and services that are targeted toward development of communication, socialization, or other skills that may be necessary for children with disabilities to integrate effectively with their peers.

According to UCP Executive Director Deana Claiborne, families are finding a number of creative ways to make use of the program. “Some families of children with autism are enrolling their children in community based programs and using the All Together Kids grant to help pay for behavioral therapies that give their children the skills to interact with typically developing children.”

Some families are applying to use the funds so their children can attend overnight camp programs, affording their children with disabilities the opportunity to spend the night away form home for the first time in their lives. Others are using the funds for integrated day care and summer day camps. One family is using the funds to pay for a recreational therapist to work one-on-one with their child in taking community-based swimming lessons alongside typically developing children. Another family is using the funds to acquire accessible playground equipment at their child’s afterschool program so their child “will no long be left laying on a blanket while other children are at play.”

The program is for school-age children with disabilities who live in Davidson County and who are currently enrolled, or will be enrolled during the period of the grant, in an inclusive community based after-school, recreational, extracurricular or other community based program in the Nashville community.

While families may apply at any time, Claiborne urges families to get their applications in a quickly as possible. “We know that a number of families want to use the grant for summer programs that may cross Metro fiscal years. We need to get these application in as quickly as possible to we can set up service plans and work out the financing arrangements for this fiscal year. There are limited funds available, and we want to make sure everyone who needs the program has an opportunity to apply.”

The application for the All Together Kids program can be downloaded from the UCP website at
If families have questions about the program, of if assistance is needed in completing the application, call the All Together Kids Program Coordinator, Laura Crain, at 615-477-4992.

February 10, 2009 at 9:33 pm Leave a comment


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