Disability Services

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects the civil rights of persons with disabilities. Five life areas are covered: state and local government operations, transportation, public accommodations, employment, and telecommunications. For a list of resources that provide accessible housing, transportation, assistive or adaptive equipment, or offer similar services or products for persons with disabilities, call the disABILITY Resource Center at 637-3666. For information about housing for older persons with disabilities, see Housing.

American Council of the Blind: 1-800-424-8666

Information and referral. Mon.-Fri., 9 am – 5 pm on a nationwide network of chapters and support groups.

Amputee Coalition: 524-8772 or 1-888-267-5669

900 E. Hill Avenue, Suite 390, 37915
Outreach, education, advocacy, and empowerment for those living with limb loss or limb difference, their families, and caregivers. The National Limb Loss Resource Center is a comprehensive source of information for people living with limb loss and limb differences.

ARC Knox County: 546-9431

3000 N. Central Street, 37917
Referral for work training and residential services for persons with intellectual disabilities.

Department of Motor Vehicles: 215-2385

300 Main Street, Old Courthouse, Main Floor, 37902 To apply for a handicapped license or placard, call, pick up or download form for physician to complete. Call for information on application process and costs.

disABILITY Resource Center: 637-3666

9111 Cross Park Dr. Suite E135, 37923
Provides information and referral, peer support, advocacy, independent living skills training, employment and transition service for persons with disabilities. Also provides ADA technical assistance for the community at large. The Ramps N Rails program builds ramps and makes limited home modifications.

Disability Rights TN: 1-800-342-1660

9050 Executive Park Drive Ste. 101 B, 37923
Advocates for legal rights of individuals with disabilities. Investigates allegations of abuse and neglect within institutions, and discrimination in employment and education. Assists with access to services, vocational rehabilitation, and employment.

Gift of Sight, Hearing & Dentures (CAC): 546-6262

Office on Aging
2247 Western Avenue, 37921
For Knox County residents who cannot afford them, program provides low-cost eye and hearing exams, eyeglasses, and hearing aids for people age 50+, and low-cost dentures for people age 60+. Service limited by available funds.

Joni & Friends Tennessee: 540-3860

410 S. Northshore Drive, 37919
Reaches out to families and individuals affected by disabilities. Partnerships with local churches through ministries, training, and resources.

Knox County ADA Office: 215-3641

City-County Building, 400 W. Main Street, Suite 360, 37902 Provides information and referral for people with disabilities.

Knoxville Center of the Deaf (KCD)

  • 24-hour line: 579-0832
  • Video phone: 978-6051
  • TTY (for deaf only) 8 am – 5 pm: 573-5640

3731 Martin Mill Pike, 37920
Sign language interpreting services, information and referral, public awareness, advocacy, outreach, technical assistance, peer counseling, independent living skills and community center activities, including weekly senior citizens’ group. For emergency interpreter services after hours, call 24-hour line, and leave message. On-call staff will return your call.

Knoxville Housing & Neighborhood Development Department: 215-2120

  • City of Knoxville Disability Services Office: 215-2034
  • TTY: 711

City-County Building, 400 Main Street, 37902
Provides oversight and assures accessibility to City- owned facilities and programs for seniors and persons with disabilities; provides reasonable accommodations to employees and citizens; offers information and referral assistance on disability-related matters.

Library Services for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing: 1-800-342-3262
Video Phone: 1-615-290-5211

615 Church Street, Nashville, 37219-2314
A FREE public library program that provides information about all aspects of hearing loss, including deafblindness, to all Tennesseans. Services include a lending collection of books, media and FM Assistive Listening Devices; a website that features a searchable TN Directory of Services for People who are Deaf, Deafblind, and Hard of Hearing, events calendar; and helpful links. tndeaflibrary.nashville.gov.

Rehabilitation Services: 594-6060

TN Dept. of Human Services
520 West Summit Hill Dr., Suite 301, 37902

  • TN Services for the Blind & Visually-Impaired
  • TN Services for the Deaf and Hearing-Impaired
  • Mobility and Independent Living Skills
  • General Services
  • Vocational Rehabilitation

Services are for people with physical, emotional, and mental disabilities help them find or return to work; includes physical restoration, living skills, counseling, communication skills, training and employment opportunities, and more.

Spark: 219-0130

116 Childress Street, 37920
Provides information and assistance to individuals with disabilities by providing demonstrations of assistive technology apps and equipment; accepting donated assistive technology devise and equipment, durable medical equipment and computers that are cleaned, repaired and then provided for long-term loans to individuals with communication, vision and physical disabilities. Donations encouraged and appreciated.

TDI: 1-301-563-9112

Telecommunication for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc.
940 Thayer Ave. #8009, Silver Spring, MD 20910
TDI shapes America’s public policy in telecommunications, media, and information technology to advance the interests of all people who are deaf, hard of hearing, late-deafened, deafblind, and deaf-plus (with other disabilities).

Telecommunications Devices Access Program

  • Voice: 1-800-342-8359
  • Voice/TTY: 1-888-276-0677

TN Public Utility Commission
Distributes free telephone assistive equipment to people with significant hearing, hearing and visual, speech, or mobility impairments. Equipment includes amplified teletype, and large-button and hands-free phones. Recipients must be permanent residents of TN with a physician-verified disability.

Telephone Services

Telephone service providers can offer information on equipment, services, and calling features for people with visual, hearing, physical, or speech impairments. Some offer free or discounted Directory Assistance for people unable to read or use the phone book. Companies often require a letter from a physician and may require additional proof of disability. Some companies extend services to non-disabled seniors. Call your phone service or long-distance providers for information.

Tennessee Identification Card: 594-6399

TN Dept. of Safety
7320 Region Lane, Strawberry Plains, 37914
Persons with a mental or physical disability who cannot drive can obtain a permanent photo ID. Those who qualify can receive free ID. For initial ID, you must go to the full- service TN Dept. of Safety office listed above and provide proof of name and identity, including Social Security ID and certified birth certificate (or other certified document with birthdate), marriage certificate (for name change), two proofs of residency (dated within last four months), and certified statement from doctor stating that applicant is unable to operate a vehicle. For replacement ID, you can go to any driver’s license office; small fee.

Tennessee Library for Accessible Books & Media: 1-800-342-3308

403 7th Avenue North, Nashville, 37243-0313
Audio, Braille, and large print books and magazines loaned for free to eligible persons. Players available for use with audio materials.

Tennessee Relay Center (TRC): All calls 711

  • Hearing callers:1-800-848-0299
  • TTY (for deaf only): 1-800-848-0298
  • Spanish (Español): 1-800-503-0263
  • Speech-to-speech service: 1-866-503-0264
  • Customer service: 1-866-503-0262

Provides free, statewide assisted telephone service to those who have speech and hearing impairments. Relays telephone calls between voice and TTY customers. Speech-to-speech service allows speech-disabled persons to use their own voice synthesizers rather than a TDD/TTY.

Ticket to Work: 1-866-968-7842
TTY (for deaf only): 1-866-833-2967

Social Security Administration 8530 Kingston Pike, 37919
Social Security’s Ticket to Work program supports career development for people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits (SSDI/ SSI). Through this free and voluntary program, eligible participants receive support services they need to find and maintain employment so that they may move toward financial independence through work.

Transportation

KAT Lift: 215-7850

301 Church Street, 37915
Knoxville Area Transit’s paratransit service available for passengers with disabilities. Mon.-Sun.

Knox County CAC Transit: 524-0319

2247 Western Avenue, 37921 (street)
P.O. Box 51650, 37950-1650 (mailing)
Lift-equipped minibuses transport Knox County residents who cannot use the KAT system.

Volunteer Assisted Transportation (CAC): 673-5001

2247 Western Avenue, 37921 (street)
P.O. Box 51650, 37950-1650 (mailing)
Volunteers provide transportation in program vehicles for eligible seniors and people with disabilities who require aid and assistance to travel safely. Must apply for service. Volunteer drivers are needed.

UT Hearing and Speech Center

600 Henley Street, Suite 213, 37902

Audiology Services: 974-5453

Evaluation of hearing problems. Comparative hearing aid evaluations with medical referral.

Speech and Language: 974-5451

Speech evaluations and therapy.