2018 Lifetime Achievement Award

Wanda Willis, MEd

November 19, 2018

The AUCD Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to individuals making a lifetime commitment to serving people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Wanda Willis, MEd

Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities
Nashville, TN

"Wanda has been the Executive Director of the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities since 1991, spearheading Council systems change initiatives in housing, employment, health, and other vital areas; launching the Tennessee Partners in Policymaking Leadership Institute for family members and self-advocates, and most recently the Disability Leadership Academy for State of Tennessee executive employees. She was the Director of Planning for the State's developmental disabilities agency from 1986 to 1991, the administrator for community intellectual disability services in Tennessee from 1977-1986, and a school psychologist and classroom teacher in South Carolina, 1971-1977-a lifetime of service.

It is Wanda's achievements as Executive Director of the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities for the last 27 years that most especially merits recognition of Lifetime Achievement. With her leadership, the Council has led efforts to improve the lives of Tennesseans with disabilities in ways that place Tennessee in the vanguard nationally. The impact of State Councils on Developmental Disabilities are, by their nature, long-term, as Councils select and advance priorities identified in their comprehensive 5-year state plans.

With Wanda's leadership, the Council, along with other important partners like the Arc of Tennessee, have been working together to update Tennessee conservatorship law for individuals with disabilities, and educating the community and legal professionals about least restrictive alternatives to court-appointed conservators."