The Star Center is expanding their services statewide
JACKSON, TN (WNBJ)-
The STAR center has served individuals with disabilities in West Tennessee for over 30 years, and now the agency will offer those services statewide.
“Assistive technology are the services that are expanding so that could be anything from a pencil gripper that you may have been familiar with in elementary school all the way up to smartphones and technology well beyond that,” said Star Center President Dave Bratcher
Bratcher said although technology like that sounds expensive, it can usually be affordable for those who need it, “97% of assistive technology is actually less than $500.”
Bratcher said it's exciting to expand across the state: “Identifying where the darkness is and trying to provide light and so when I think about that across 95 counties it feels good, not for me, but for the thousands of Tennesseans we are going to have an opportunity to serve.”
The STAR center has already started serving some places, outside of West Tennessee
"We identified the cities that we needed to have somebody there and one of those was Chattanooga, the other one was Knoxville, and we added additional personnel in middle Tennessee area, so that was phase one,” said Bratcher.
Phase two is scheduled for 2022 and includes offering services in Memphis and the Johnson city area of east Tennessee.
“Doing what they do best and expanding that out and providing those services on a statewide level, helps people of all ability levels to be able to live their full potential,” said Jackson Mayor Scott Conger.
In 1988 Jackson mayor Scott conger’s grandfather dedicated the star center at its original ribbon cutting.
Today Mayor Conger was able to attend the announcement of the center’s expansion.
“Seeing those things happen that are still going on that are having an impact on everyday lives of people in Jackson and now expanding throughout Tennessee is really something special,” said Conger.
“We always say that Jackson is full of great people, doing great things, great organizations and it looks like the rest of the state is starting to see how great we are here in Jackson, Tennessee.”
Last year, the STAR center helped 4000 individuals with disabilities here in west Tennessee. Now that the agency is expanding statewide, president Dave Bratcher believes its impact will be huge throughout the state.