Waves Inc. provides support, empowers people with disabilities

Waves provides jobs, in part, through its office recycling program for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. (Courtesy Waves Inc.)
Waves provides jobs, in part, through its office recycling program for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. (Courtesy Waves Inc.)

Waves provides jobs, in part, through its office recycling program for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. (Courtesy Waves Inc.)

Image description
Waves staff members conduct developmental therapy sessions. (Courtesy Waves Inc.)
Image description
(Courtesy Waves Inc.)
Image description
(Courtesy Waves Inc.)
Image description
(Courtesy Waves Inc.)
Waves Inc. was founded 47 years ago in Fairview by a group of families who had children with disabilities who were aging out of the school system. As the parents did not want to put their kids into a state institution, they decided to develop a day program for their children together.

Since that time, the program has grown beyond the small community to serve those in need from birth to beyond throughout the county.

“Because we have such a wide variety of services, the youngest person we could be serving at any time could be 6 weeks, and the oldest person is 94,” Waves Executive Director Lance Jordan said.

For now, Jordan said the nonprofit only operates in Williamson County, but he said he hopes to be able to expand it to serve families who need the support Waves provides.

Waves now has early intervention programs for children up to age 3; adult day programs tailored to fit clients’ individual needs; residential programs for clients who want to live more independently; and employment support and coaching services that allow adults to join the workforce in places like Publix or for Waves’ office recycling program.

“Our services are very person-centered within our capacity to serve those individuals,” Adult Services Director Marci Cohen said. “[These services] provide meaning and opportunity and a level of dignity that everybody deserves.”

Gina Wilson, Waves’ early learning program director, said she and a staff of eight currently provide support and help for 460 children and their families through Waves.

Wilson said Waves easily serves 1,000 families over the course of a year for free, and her own son is also assisted through the organization’s training and job support program.

“I’m really invested in this place,” Wilson. “It’s made a difference in his life and in my life.”

Making waves

Waves Inc. has several programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Williamson County.

Early Learning

Waves’ early learning program supports children from birth to 3 years old who have been diagnosed with a developmental disability. Early interventionists with Waves help families implement strategies to encourage developmental growth.

Adult Services

Waves provides support for adults age 22 and up via the day programs at their day center as well as through community and residential programs to provide supported living options that fit the needs of Waves clients.

Employment support

Waves’ employment program provides pre-employment training, on-the-job coaching and long-term support for clients looking to get jobs with community partners or with Waves’ Office Recycling Program, which collects recyclable materials for over 100 businesses in the area with the help of Waves’ clients.

Waves Inc.

145 Southeast Parkway, Ste. 100, Franklin




Kate & Lulu's Kitchen opened in early October in Westhaven. (Community Impact Staff)
Kate and Lulu's Kitchen closes in Westhaven

The eatery had been open since October.

Waldo's Chicken & Beer will open in the former location of Captain D's on New Hwy. 96 West. (Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)
Waldo's Chicken & Beer coming to Franklin; county pools, splash pads to open May 1 and more top area news

Read the top business and community news from the past week from the Franklin and Brentwood areas.

Duck Donuts will open in Brentwood on April 18. (Photos by Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)
Get a sneak peek inside the new Duck Donuts in Brentwood

Duck Donuts offers freshly made doughnuts with signature flavors such as s'mores, Maple Bacon, Peanut Butter Paradise and Sunrise Lemon icing with raspberry drizzle. Customers can also create customized doughnuts and watch them be made to order. 

Williamson County Schools is planning for a number of new campuses and improvements over the next few years.
Williamson County to invest $35M in schools, facilities improvements

WCS Superintendent Jason Golden said that while many districts have seen numbers drop due to the coronavirus pandemic, he expects enrollment will rise again, which means new campuses will still be needed in the future.

Local historians, members of the African American Heritage Society of Williamson County, and community leaders gathered April 14 to sign contracts signaling their intent to purchase and restore the Merrill-Williams home in Franklin. (Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)
African American Heritage Society working to save historic home in downtown Franklin, launching fundraising campaign

A campaign is underway to save a 140-year old home in a historically-Black neighborhood in Franklin.

The Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival will return Sept. 24-26. (Courtesy Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival)
Franklin approves event permits for Pilgrimage Festival, Bourbon and Bubbles

Mark your calendars: Festivals are coming back to Franklin.

The city of Brentwood is asking residents what they would like to see included in the future inclusive playground at Granny White Park. (Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)
Brentwood seeking resident feedback for Granny White Park inclusive playground

The city of Brentwood is asking residents what they would like to see included in the future inclusive playground.

The Black Business Coalition is served by four co-chairs: Robert Blair, owner of a local media company and chair of the Franklin Special School District board of education; Tara Blue, executive director of the Community Child Care Center in Franklin and board member of Williamson Inc.; Jemond Daughtry, co-owner of The Good Food Group; and Jeffery McGruder, chief relationship officer with Citizens Banking & Trust Company.
New Black Business Coalition aims to support Black business owners in Williamson County

" I wanted to make sure this was something that when the tide floated in or floated out, they would still be there. We were looking at something that was long-term, not something that was temporary, just because of the climate in our country or in our city."—Robert Blair, co-chair of the Black Business Coalition

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended health providers pause distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine April 13. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
Tennessee, federal health authorities recommend pause of Johnson & Johnson vaccine after 6 rare, severe blood clots

Tennessee health officials announced April 13 they do not anticipate that the pause will affect vaccine efforts statewide.

Pool and splash park facilities will open May 1, according to the Williamson County Parks and Recreation Department. (Courtesy Williamson County Parks and Recreation)
Williamson County outdoor pools and splash parks to open May 1

Weekend hours for indoor facilities will also be extended on weekends.

Coaltown Pizza & Public House opened in early April in Westhaven. (Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)
Coaltown Pizza & Public House now open in Westhaven

The eatery, which will be in a soft opening phase through April 18, offers signature pizzas such as Buffalo chicken, margherita pizza and smashed potato pizza, made with garlic ricotta sauce, bacon, cheese and smashed potatoes.

Hattie Jane's Creamery is now open in Franklin. (Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)
Hattie Jane's Creamery now open in Franklin

The ice cream shop offers signature flavors, such as Nana Puddin', Toasted Coconut Minty Chip and Chocoholic, as well as seasonal flavors, such as Blood Orange Mimosa and Strawberry Jam.