CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The Tennessee Disability Coalition released their inaugural scorecard giving the state a poor score when it comes to adults with disabilities.
Local adults with disabilities we spoke to Monday attest to this, saying that living in the state is a struggle.
Cyndi Leach is paraplegic, after contracting polio at 2-years-old, years later, she's still wheelchair bound.
Her condition makes everyday tasks like driving a unique challenge.
"You're talking $20-30,000 for a vehicle you and then $30,000, at least, for it to be made accessible for you to drive," says Cyndi.
Cyndi spent over $200,000 to make her cars wheelchair accessible over the years. It's a price she had to pay with little assistance from the state.
"I want to be proud of my state and tell people 'Oh, you need to come to Tennessee, we take care of our people with disabilities.' But I can't say that right now," says Cyndi.
The Tennessee Disability Coalition released their inaugural scorecard digging into state policy and support systems for working-aged adults with disabilities.
Coalition Coordinator Jeff Strand says they scored eight different categories on an A-F scale, giving the state a cumulative D+.
"Living in Tennessee with a disability, somebody had to earn 51% more income than a person without a disability to achieve the same standard of living," says Strand.
The state received an ‘F’ grade in access to affordable housing, medical debt, and availability of home health care workers.
The report says the state is also failing family caregivers, with nonprofit organization AARP ranking Tennessee as 49th in the nation for supporting family caregivers.
The Tennessee Disability Coalition says they hope lawmakers can use this report to shape policy moving forward.
"We're building an accessible world for everybody. And Tennessee is not even close to that," says Strand.
In Nashville Hannah Lee felt that worker crisis first hand, after multiple chronic illnesses, and Myasthenia Gravis forced her to hire caregivers.
"In about a two year period 12 to 15 home health nurses, and that was just the turnover," says Hannah.
Unable to receive state support and cycling through nurses, Hannah's husband David quit his job to provide her care at home.
"It wasn't very feasible for me to do that, and and also take care of Hannah," says David.
The disability coalition plans to revisit this report annually, in hopes to award a better grade if things improve.
This is a developing story and will be updated.