The Arc of Tennessee, Inc.
545 Mainstream Drive
Suite 100
Nashville TN 37228
Abigail Kidd
Mission Statement

The Arc Tennessee empowers people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families to actively participate in the community throughout their lifetime.

CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Carrie Hobbs Guiden
Board Chair Ms. Ann Curl
Board Chair Company Affiliation Volunteer
History & Background
Year of Incorporation 1952
Former Names
The Association of Retarded Citizens
Organization's type of tax exempt status 501-C3
Financial Summary
Graph: Expense Breakdown Graph - All Years
Projected Expenses $1,598,778.00
Projected Annual Revenue 1560535 (2018)

The Arc Tennessee empowers people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families to actively participate in the community throughout their lifetime.

The National Association of Parents and Friends of Mentally Retarded Children was organized in 1950. In 1952, the name was changed to National Association for Retarded Children. The association has had several different names over the years as the parents realized that as their children became adults and still needed the services of such an organization, the name was not all-encompassing. Thus, “The Arc” was born.  The Arc Tennessee was organized as a chapter of the national association by 65 parents who met in Nashville, Tennessee in July 1952. 
The Arc has been, and continues to truly be a grass roots movement. Membership is comprised of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, family members, friends and professionals working in the disability field.  

The initial fight centered around civil rights - funding and supports for persons with intellectual disabilities of all ages allowing them to live, learn, work and play as integrated members of their community. For decades, philosophical debates have been taking place across the country concerning people with intellectual disabilities, their legal rights, their value as citizens and a myriad number of other areas requiring reform. There have been debates concerning normalization vs. isolation; person centered vs. system centered; supports vs. programs; community vs. institution, self direction vs.“We know what’s best for you!” 

For twenty-five years, members of The Arc fought with local school districts, state legislatures, and the United States Congress to convince them that children with intellectual disabilities had a right to a public education. In 1975 Public Law 94-142 guaranteed “a free public education to all.”  More recently, The Arc Tennessee fought tirelessly for state legislation to protect those same children while in school, with the 2012 passing of the “Restraint & Isolation Bill”– legislation which is being used as a model for federal policy currently under consideration.   

Each Board President, Executive Director, team of dedicated employees, and tireless volunteers brought their individual strengths and skills to The Arc. The first 60 years have not been easy. The Arc has faced financial woes, representatives in the legislature that had to be educated, new departments within the state and federal government had to be formed and attitudes had to be changed. Advances have been made, but there is more to be done. The work goes on!







The Arc TN continues to be a leader in advocacy for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families by impacting systems change and bringing best practice to the state. Examples of accomplishments this past year include:

  • Partnering with Senator Ketron and Representative Bob Ramsey to pass the “Aging Caregiver” bill. This legislation required the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to provide home and community based services to eligible adults with intellectual disability (ID) living with primary caregivers 75 and older. The idea for this legislation originated with The Arc Tennessee and its years of advocacy sharing the challenges faced by aging caregivers supporting loved ones with ID. The result meant that eligible individuals no longer had to wait until a “crisis” to receive critical support services.

  • Providing input into the program design and implementation of the new Employment and Community First CHOICES program for people with developmental disabilities. The Arc TN’s input led to more flexible options for transportation such as allowing members to be reimbursed for public transportation; included services that support self-employment; added services such as respite across all benefits packages; and required MCOs to have identical LTSS provider networks

  • Partnering with Senator Massey and Representative McManus and other disability partners to pass the ABLE Act. This landmark legislation allows eligible people with disabilities to save up to $14,000 a year in a 529-like savings plan to use toward disability related expenses without impacting eligibility for critical government benefits such as TennCare. ABLETN officially launched in June, 2016 and is managed the TN Department of Treasury. As of February, 2017, over ___ individuals have opened accounts.

Goals for the current year include: 

  • Working with our state and national partners to prevent federal cuts to our Medicaid (TennCare) program; TennCare provides critical healthcare and LTSS for people with disabilities

  • Passage of legislation to create a Supported Decision Making framework for people with disabilities that allows them to get help making decisions but preserves their civil rights; currently the only options remove their decision-making authority

  • Creation of a successful statewide Pre-Employment Training Services Program that offers Self-Advocacy and Self-Determination Training; Job Club and Post-Secondary Education Counseling for young adults with disabilities to improve employment outcomes for this population

  • Increasing our unrestricted funding to allow for expansion of individual special education advocacy services


1.     Diversified funding stream. Most of the current budget for programs and services is dependent upon grants and contracts with the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Other funding will enable The Arc Tennessee to pursue additional programs and services outside the scope currently funded, including a statewide training initiative on “end-of-life planning for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

2.      Reducing the waiting list for long term supports and services (LTSS) for people with IDD through Medicaid Waivers

3.     New initiative to develop a business venture that will provide paid employment and on-the-job training for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

4.     Preventing cuts to the TennCare program at the federal level through The Arc’s “Don’t Cut Our Lifeline” campaign

5.      Enhancing the provider network of services and supports to people with IDD

Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer

Top 15 - Ways You can support The Arc Tennessee… 

1.     Become a member of The Arc Tennessee.

2.     Make a financial contribution – every dollar counts! Online, by mail, by phone…

3.     Donate an unwanted car, boat, truck, recreational vehicle. Details can be found on our website.

4.     Become passionate about the issues. Contact a legislator. Let your voice be heard.

5.     Follow The Arc Tennessee on facebook.

6.     Support annual “Light Up A Life”campaign. Light a window candle in honor or memory of a caring friend.

7.     Remember The Arc Tennessee in your will.

8.     Make a gift of membership for someone with a disability.

9.     Choose “Good Search” as your browser and select "The Arc of Tennessee" – you search, we earn a penny!

10. Buy a gumball from one of our machines – pennies add up to dollars!

11. Enjoy participating in surveys? Join“OP4G” and designate "The Arc of Tennessee" as your charity of choice.

12. Celebrating a milestone birthday or anniversary? In lieu of gifts, ask friends to donate to The Arc in your honor.

13. Participate in our annual fundraiser, Hearts Take Flight Pull a Plane Challenge, can you pull an airplane across the tarmac?

14. In kind donation. Let’s talk.

15. Volunteer your time. Opportunities vary.  We could use your help!

Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy / Disabled Persons' Rights
Tertiary Organization Category Human Services / Developmentally Disabled Services/Centers
Areas of Service
Areas Served
Statewide services, in all 95 counties
Board Chair Statement

For over sixty years, the Arc Tennessee along with a network of local, state, and the Arc US chapter, has been the leading organization for advocacy services to persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Arc has been instrumental in policy development, education, and promoting the rights of persons with disabilities across their lifespan.


CEO Statement

Being part of an organization that has existed for over 65 years is a privilege. While The Arc Tennessee began with parents uniting to secure the right to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) for their children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), the focus today is on people from birth through their golden years. And today, many people with I/DD enjoy fulfilling lives well into their senior years thanks to advances in medicine, changes in societal attitudes, expanded education and employment opportunities, the availability of community supports, and enhanced self-worth.

With help from a dedicated team of employees, committed families, self-advocates and other volunteers, of The Arc has become synonymous in Tennessee and across the nation as the resource people with I/DD and their families turn to for support, guidance, and the experience to mobilize for change. The service delivery system for people with I/DD is very complex, and people often need help navigating its various channels. Through the constant efforts of The Arc, systems have been positively influenced and changes implemented that ensure people with I/DD have quality services and supports and the funding in place to provide them.


From The Arc TN’s leadership team in Nashville to its expert field personnel that support all 95 counties, our organization is the go-to resource for information and referral, technical assistance, and individual advocacy for people with I/DD and their families seeking assistance in navigating early intervention services, special education, Vocational Rehabilitation Services, TennCare, Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS) and more. When we don’t have the answer, we will find someone that does.


Lastly, The Arc TN is proud to be the lead organization coordinating the Tennessee Disability MegaConference – now in its 15th year. This collaborative conference brings together self-advocates, family members, educators, government departments, community organizations and others to learn about best practices in the field of I/DD, hear inspirational stories of challenges and triumph, network with others, and make connections that last long beyond the conference. What makes this conference so unique is that income generated from exhibitors and sponsors goes to stipends for self-advocates, family members and direct support professionals to attend. It is not uncommon for over $20,000 in stipends to be offered. 


I am proud every day to be part of this amazing organization.

Description The Advocacy and Public Awareness project is funded by the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD). Through it we provide information and referral, advocacy, stipends, training opportunities, town hall meetings, PATH planning, publication of a quarterly newsletter.  This project funds one position for a person with a disability. The Arc Tennessee has provided advocacy assistance to 314 people, information and referral to 648 people, held 82 self-determination and self-advocacy trainings, held agency trainings and consultations in 40 locations,, facilitated 11 PATH planning sessions and supplied 134 committees, boards and task forces with volunteers and staff this past fiscal year.
Budget 410000
Category Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other Disabled Persons' Rights
Population Served People/Families with People of Developmental Disabilities, Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent, Elderly and/or Disabled
Short Term Success The success of disability advocacy is that people are safe and have the needed services and supports to live successfully in the community every day of their lives.
Long term Success The success of disability advocacy is that people are safe and have the needed services and supports to live successfully in the community every day of their lives.
Program Success Monitored By This program is monitored by the State of TN, Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.  Monthly reports are generated by staff.
Examples of Program Success
Our advocacy, information and referral services are very successful. 

Testimony:  "The information you provided about effective informal strategies to use when accessing services was extremely helpful to my family!   I  want take this opportunity to thank you for being there at The Arc, your experience and commitment makes you a very valuable resource!!"
Description The Secondary Transition Project is a grant project funded by the State Department of Education. It helps families and students understand the Secondary Transition process, see the possibilities for adult life, and become aware of resources available to help make their dreams come true - to mold students into productive members of society.The process includes assessment, gathering information, planning, family and student involvement, interagency collaboration, and inclusive community experiences. It promotes collaboration between families, students, and educators to help meet the student's Secondary Transition goals.
Budget 84000
Category Employment, General/Other Vocational Guidance
Population Served People/Families with People of Developmental Disabilities, Adolescents Only (13-19 years), Elderly and/or Disabled
Description The purpose of People Talking to People: Building Quality Project is to create a system of quality assurance and quality improvement that has as its core, large numbers of consumers providing functional feedback that results in timely remediation and system wide quality improvement. It is a power shift - a system that is powered and led by the voices, priorities, and choices of the people receiving supports through the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. This project has a databased program to collect information from the survey tool and is using it to produce quarterly and annual reports of our findings. This information is then formulated into recommendations for system change within the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Throughout this process we will continue to amend the infrastructure and processes based upon findings. A protocol has been developed to help improve the interview process and assure consumer voices are heard.   
Budget 292810
Category Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other Disabled Persons' Rights
Population Served Adults, Elderly and/or Disabled, At-Risk Populations
CEO Comments Our programs are directed at systems change and improving the quality of services people with disabilities receive in our state. We support people with disabilities in having control over their own lives, exercising self-determination and choice in their service delivery system.
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Ann Curl
Company Affiliation Volunteer
Term July 2017 to June 2018
Board Members
Mrs. Glenda Bond The Arc Cumberland CountyVoting
Mrs. Sharon Bottorff The Arc Williamson CountyVoting
Mrs Linda Brown HealthcareVoting
Ms. Pat Butler Community VolunteerVoting
Ms, Brittany Carter Community VolunteerVoting
Ms. Karen Downer RetiredVoting
Ms. Brenda Farley Community VolunteerVoting
Mrs. Malessa Fleenor The Arc Washington CountyVoting
Ms. Cindy Gardner The Arc Davidson CountyVoting
Ms. Sandra Hawkins The Arc Mid-SouthVoting
Ms. Donna Isbell Community VolunteerVoting
Ms. Nelia Jobe community volunteerVoting
Ms. Mary La Haie Goodwill IndustriesVoting
Mrs Robyn Lampley Developmental Services of Dickson CountyVoting
Ms, Donna Lankford Voting
Mr. John Lewis RetiredVoting
Ms Terry Long Education AdvocateVoting
Mrs. Elise McMillan Vanderbilt Kennedy CenterVoting
Ms. Ginny Micelli The Arc Anderson CountyVoting
Mrs. Doria Panvini RetiredVoting
Ms. Christina Pearce The Arc Hamilton CountyVoting
Mr. Joe Pitts State LegislatureVoting
Mr. John Shouse Community VolunteerVoting
Mrs Courtney Taylor VanderbiltVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 120
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 3 People with disabilities
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 3
Female 21
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 95%
Does the organization have written Board Selection Criteria? No
Does the organization have a written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage of Board Members making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of Board Members making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Does the Board include Client Representation? Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Standing Committees
Communications / Public Relations
Development / Fund Raising
Board Development / Board Orientation
Strategic Planning
Risk Management Provisions
Commercial General Liability & D and O & Umbrella or Excess & Automobile & Professional
Disability Insurance
Employment Practices Liability
General Property Coverage & Professional Liability
Life Insurance
Medical Health Insurance
Workers Compensation & Employers' Liability
CEO Comments
A primary challenge of The Arc Tennessee is that the majority of its project funding comes from state grants or sub-contracts whose primary contract is with a state agency. While we have been fortunate for many years to experience stable funding with these grants, Tennessee, like many other states, continues to trim its budget. In the past year, one grant was eliminated and at least one other has been significantly reduced. The Arc Tennessee cannot be content to rely solely on state funding for its operations - otherwise the ability to fulfill its core functions may be jeopardized. The Arc Tennessee has addressed this challenge by strategically saving money for the past few years to hire a Development Director. This new staff position was filled in July 2012 with the primary goal of:
      -  seeking alternate funding streams to fund the organization’s core functions of individual and systems advocacy; information and referral; education/training
      -  securing funding streams to support new initiatives including a business venture that would provide paid on-the-job training for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, a training initiative on end-of-life planning for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and currently under way, a statewide campaign to raise awareness of the 7200 people in Tennessee with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are on a waiting list for home and community based waiver services to provide support in basic activities of daily living. 
Many of the 7200 have been on the waiting list for years. The Arc Tennessee has recently seized the opportunity to begin a campaign to end the waiting list for home and community based waiver services- aptly named, “It’s Not Too Late…End the Wait” to draw attention to the many Tennesseans with intellectual and developmental disabilities waiting for services. The Arc Tennessee will host nearly twenty meetings across the state with families who have members on the waiting list. These meetings will provide families within formation about the waiting list, what they can do to help government officials understand the challenges they face without the needed services, and provide extensive resource materials of additional places they might access supports and/or services in the meantime. Once these meetings have concluded, The Arc Tennessee will maintain regular contact with the families so that as a unified group, we can continue to drive towards a positive solution for funding services for the more than 7000 Tennesseans.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Mrs. Carrie Hobbs Guiden
Term Start June 2009
Hobbs Guiden has MS in Special Education from IUPUI, Indianapolis and a BS in Sociology from Indiana University, Bloomington.
Previous experience:
Client Services Director at Arc BRIDGES in Gary, Indiana where she managed the day-to-day operations of the organization’s habilitation, behavior support and case management programs in addition to the quality improvement department. She was point person for all related accreditation surveys and provided staff training including Gentle Teaching, Client Rights and Abuse Prevention. She served as a liaison with families, state agencies and other providers.

Quality Improvement Director at Triple R Behavioral Health in Phoenix, Arizona where she assured the agency met all state, federal and other external standards requirements; developed and implemented a comprehensive program evaluation; and analyzed service delivery to adults with serious mental illness.

Executive Director of The Arc of Arizona in Phoenix where she collaborated with other disability advocacy agencies to affect change at the state level to improve the quality of life for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities; developed and managed the agency budget; and supervised and mentored staff.

Special Projects Director at Indiana MENTOR in Indianapolis where she developed and operated a statewide Adult Foster Care program for seniors and individuals with disabilities, developed a statewide community-based Adult Day Services program, and supervised training department.

Former CEOs
Mr. Michael Remus Jan 1998 -
Mr. Walter Rogers Aug 2000 - Feb 2009
Full Time Staff 14
Part Time Staff 28
Volunteers 65
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 97%
Plans & Policies
Does the organization have a documented Fundraising Plan? Yes
Does the organization have an approved Strategic Plan? Yes
Number of years Strategic Plan Considers 5
When was Strategic Plan adopted? July 2015
In case of a change in leadership, is a Management Succession plan in place? No
Does the organization have a Policies and Procedures Plan? Yes
Does the organization have a Nondiscrimination Policy? Yes
Affiliate/Chapter of National Organization1958
Senate Joint Resolution 101 Honor107th General Assembly of the State of Tennessee2011
Senior Staff
Title Business Manager
Title Operations and Supports Manager
Title Office Manager
Title Director of Quality Improvement & Systems Change
CEO Comments The Arc Tennessee is a membership organization for people with disabilities, their families, friends and professionals who assist them in reaching their goals. The Arc actively pursues and welcomes all people with an interest in assisting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We provide both systems and legislative advocacy. The Arc  Tennessee provides guidance to individuals and families who contact our office for help. We collaborate with other advocacy organizations across the state to enhance existing and new services for people with disabilities and to initiate new policies and procdures to improve their quality of life. The Arc Tennessee offers various education and training programs for families, people with disabilities and the community. We cover such topics as navigating the system to Self Determination, to Law Enforcement Training when interacting with a person with disabilities. We offer facilitated strategic planning (PATH) for individuals with disabilities and other non-profit organizations. The Arc of Tennessee publishes a quarterly newsletter, The Arc Connection, and a monthly newsletter, The Legislative Monitor. Both publications keep members and other interested individuals and agencies informed about the current issues and legislation that affect the lives of Tennesseans with disabilities. The Arc takes advantage of all opportunities to communicate to the community at large through information fairs, workshops, and seminars. Our largest event of each is year is the Tennessee Disability Mega Conference. We lead with integrity, justice, courage and respect. We work with individuals, organizations and coalitions in a collaborative fashion.
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start July 01 2017
Fiscal Year End June 30 2018
Projected Revenue $1,560,535.00
Projected Expenses $1,598,778.00
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Endowment Spending Percentage (if selected) 0%
Detailed Financials
Revenue and ExpensesHelpFinancial data for prior years is entered by foundation staff based on the documents submitted by nonprofit organizations.Foundation staff members enter this information to assure consistency in the presentation of financial data across all organizations.
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Revenue$1,669,152$1,552,546$1,638,495
Total Expenses$1,576,958$1,557,257$1,621,212
Revenue Less Expenses$92,194($4,711)$17,283
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201720162015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$1,542,658$1,428,330$1,476,898
Individual Contributions$62,127$60,738$76,353
Investment Income, Net of Losses$3,979($2,475)$4,584
Membership Dues$4,129$9,571$25,649
Special Events$12,980$25,452$0
Revenue In-Kind$0$0$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$1,232,090$1,218,059$1,246,234
Administration Expense$286,265$279,188$292,263
Fundraising Expense$58,603$60,010$82,715
Payments to Affiliates--$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.061.001.01
Program Expense/Total Expenses78%78%77%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue4%4%5%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$1,561,422$1,511,559$1,396,752
Current Assets$1,231,528$1,215,627$1,098,620
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$244,161$316,284$193,156
Total Net Assets$1,317,261$1,195,275$1,203,596
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities5.043.845.69
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountLocal Government Grants $1,093,327Government Grants $1,428,330Government Grants $1,476,898
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFederal Government Grants $165,028Contributions, Gifts and Grants $60,738Contributions, Gifts & Grants $76,353
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountState Government Grants $156,611Fundraising Events $25,452Earned Revenue $41,496
IRS Letter of Exemption
Capital Campaign
Is the organization currently conducting a Capital Campaign for an endowment or the purchase of a major asset? No
Capital Campaign Goal $0.00
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount 0 as of
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
TN Charitable Solicitations Registration Yes - Expires Dec 2018
Solicitations Permit
Charitable Solicitations Permit
Registration No
Organization Comments
The Arc Tennessee budgets very conservatively, which accounts for the projected loss at the end of the fiscal year.  Certain costs such as insurance increases come during the middle of the fiscal year and there is no way to accurately estimate the increase.  We budget conservatively on how much our fundraisers will bring in. The Arc Tennessee has a strong financial position with money in the bank in the unlikely event of a loss at the end of the year. Financial Comments
Financial figures taken from 990.
990 was prepared by Patterson, Hardee & Ballentine PC.
Comments provided by Kathryn Bennett 2/23/18.
Nonprofit The Arc of Tennessee, Inc.
Address 545 Mainstream Drive
Suite 100
Nashville, TN 37228
Primary Phone (615) 248-5878
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Carrie Hobbs Guiden
Board Chair Ms. Ann Curl
Board Chair Company Affiliation Volunteer
Year of Incorporation 1952
Former Names
The Association of Retarded Citizens

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