In 1973, a group of citizens in Fairview, Tennessee, met to discuss the needs of individuals in their community with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Determined to “make waves” on behalf of the individuals they wanted to serve, the group identified programs and services needed, and Waves, Inc. began.

Organization of the agency progressed and financial support was sought. The July 28, 1973 minutes read: “Waves, Inc. has very good news regarding financing from the county.” However, stipulations were made by Williamson County that the agency was to serve the entire county, not just the Fairview area.

Not expecting this increase in service area, the group rose to the challenge with determination. Opportunities were to be extended to all children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Williamson County.

In September 1973, the Charter was received from the State. A director, two direct teaching staff and a social worker (who doubled as a van driver) were the first Waves employees. Six people attended the first day of operation.

Today, there are close to 100 full-time and part-time employees of Waves. A broad range of services and supports are provided to over 700 children and adults each year through our Early Learning, Adult Day Services, Adult Residential, Employment Programs.

Programs include the following:

  • The Early Learning Program provides play-based early learning, developmental assessment, and treatment protocols for infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children.
  • Adult Day Services–both Center-based Day Program in Fairview and Franklin and a Community Transitions Program in Franklin– serve more than 50 individuals every weekday.
  • The Adult Residential Program, which includes the Semi-independent Living Program, operates eight homes and four apartments in Fairview and Franklin and currently provides around-the-clock support and services for 27 individuals.
  • The Employment Program includes vocational training, job placement, and job follow-along and support.

Waves, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides services in Middle Tennessee.