East Tennessee Resources
In addition to the program services that Club VIBES directly provides, the following local or State agencies or services may be of interest.
Although transportation is one of the greatest challenges for people who are blind or visually impaired, Club VIBES strives to teach the skills and knowledge of using the below transportation systems to our young members. In addition, the members learn tips on how to hire a driver and use car pooling techniques to achieve their greatest level of independence. If members should ever move out of the area they will need to know how to search out their own new transportation options and utilize them to match their needs in their new community. Club VIBES believes in teaching the youth to be problem solvers and think through all their options.
The following are some transportation options in Knoxville and East Tennessee. It has been our experience that they vary significantly in dependability and convenience.
Knoxville Area Transit
Knoxville Area Transit (KAT) Lift and minibuses are available for passengers with disabilities, Monday through Sunday. The hours of service are the same as buses on fixed-line routes. Passengers must be certified before riding. Currently, fare is $3.00 per one-way trip. The service is door to door within service area. Call to request application and handbook. Telephone 865-215-7850. If you are eligible, this is widely considered to be the most efficient and least expensive transportation option for people who are blind or visually impaired in the Knoxville area.
Knox County CAC Transit
Knox County CAC Transit provides lift-equipped minibuses to transport Knox county residents who cannot use the KAT bus system to get to medical appointments, employment, and other essential errands. Employment-related trips allow side trips for delivery of children to day care. Sliding scale fare. Call in advance for reservation; Evening and weekend trips can be arranged for a fee. Telephone 865-524-0319.
East Tennessee Human Resources Agency
The program provides public and medical transportation [for a 16 county area in East Tennessee]. Residents are asked to schedule an appointment at least 48 hours in advance. Medical trips have priority. Currently, a one-way trip is $3.00 or $6.00 for a round trip within the county of residence. An additional $3.00 is charged for every county line crossed. All extra stops are $1.00. Telephone 865-691-2551.
While more expensive than the options listed above, cab service is another transportation option. There are a number of taxicab companies serving the Knoxville area, however, we have found Service Cab to be the most dependable. Telephone 865-523-5151.
Important Local Telephone numbers
United Way Help Line (211)
The United Way Help Line is available within the east Tennessee area. It connects you with “referral specialists” who can help you locate community resources 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Knox County Government (311)
Knox County Government connects you with a trained assistant who can direct you to the appropriate City or County office for questions or problems regarding governmental services.
Tennessee511 offers an automated menu that provides weather information, traffic conditions, information about public transportation, airports, and more.
The Information Line
The Information Line provides free information on news headlines, sports, driving directions, national weather by city, local movies in addition to a useful business search freature that may be done by any city in the United States. Be aware that long distance rates may apply depending on the type of phone service you have. Telephone 408-752-8052.
Tennessee Early Intervention System
“Tennessee’s Early Intervention System is a voluntary educational program for families with children ages birth through two years of age with disabilities or developmental delays. The primary goal of TEI is to support families in promoting their child’s optimal development and to facilitate the child’s participation in family and community activities. The focus of TEI is to encourage the active participation of families in the intervention by imbedding strategies into family routines. It is the parents who provide the real early intervention by creatively adapting their child care methods to facilitate the development of their child, while balancing the needs of the rest of the family.”
The Knoxville disABILITY Resource Center (dRC) is a not-for-profit organization run for and by people with disabilities.
The dRC is a Center for Independent Living (CIL). They are a community-based non-residential program of services designed to assist people with disabilities to gain independence and to assist the community in eliminating barriers to independence.
They work with people who have disabilities to create their own practical plan to achieve independence based on their goals, priorities and needs!
They strive to connect people with disabilities in East Tennessee to the adaptive technology tools and services they need to live with maximum independence and dignity.
Disability Law and Advocacy Center of Tennessee
For people who qualify, DLAC may be able to assist with problems related to their disability like: discrimination in housing, transportation, and employment; access to public and private programs and services; access to rehabilitation and support services; access to appropriate education programs and services; obtaining and utilizing assistive technology services and devices; and access to vocational rehabilitation services that promote employment and independence.
The Lion’s Club provides assistance for needy and qualifying individuals to receive eye exams and prescription glasses. They are also very active in fundraising for charitable organizations.
Please see the site for available areas and additional information. Where available, Southeastern Grocery allows for online shopping with next day delivery to a local iHub or delivery of dry goods by UPS.
The Pass It On Center is a great resource. It connects users with nearby exchange programs so they can find the technology they need. Users can find refurbished and reused devices easily. You can even do a search by your state.
STEP, Inc. (Support and Training for Exceptional Parents)
Educate and empower parents so they can become the best advocates for their children. This is done through workshops and conferences in Basic Rights, Early Transition (TEIS to School), Secondary Transition (High School to Adulthood), IEP and Communication.
A great handbood for all individuals considering conservatorship.