Three images of people doing diferent things representing the legislative priorities

2021 Legislative Session

Current Feature Stories

Georgia’s 2021 Legislative Recap

In March 2020, we experienced the world come to a glaring and hard stop. Now in 2021, things are...     Read More
GCDD Advocacy Days

2021 Virtual Advocacy Days Bring Greater Access to Event for People with Disabilities

Over 550 disability advocates registered to virtually attend the 2021 GCDD Advocacy Days – the fi...     Read More

New Georgia Transportation Projects Seek to Improve Services

In October 2020, the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) collected public input...     Read More

Topics

Now is the Time to Get Vaccinated

By Eric E. Jacobson
April 12, 2021
It has been over a year since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Since then, we have struggled with how the virus might impact us or a loved one. We’ve worn masks and isolated ourselves from others. When people got sick and went into the hospital, we could not visit them.

Our brothers and sisters living in nursing facilities have been left alone, and many have passed away without the comfort of friends and family. Our only hope was that scientists would develop an effective vaccine.

Picture of Eric Jacobson for Winter Viewpoint Issue

Hello 2021!

By Eric E. Jacobson
January 11, 2021
I am sure we are all happy to see 2020 leave and a new year begin. We have seen a virus take over our daily lives. Many Americans protested in the streets as Black men have been murdered by the police. People lost their jobs as restaurants and shops closed. And we experienced the most divided presidential election ever. It was a year of unprecedented strain, and I, for one, am glad it is over!
Picture of Eric Jacobson for Fall Viewpoint Issue

A Time of Opportunity

By Eric E. Jacobson
October 30, 2020
As we move closer to 2021, we can either look at this time with regret and sadness – or as a time of opportunity. Though battling COVID-19 has meant being away from friends and family, new technology allows us to be together even when we are far apart. We at the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) have learned so much from YOU, those who continue to participate in the bi-weekly Georgia Developmental Disabilities Network COVID-19 Zoom sessions or the weekly Community Strong virtual gatherings.

East Georgia Makes Higher Education an Easy CHOICE

By Clay Voytek
April 12, 2021
Theresa Davis retired from her position as a special education instructor and high school transition coordinator after more than a decade, but she chose to continue working with young adults with disabilities who wanted to attend college after high school.
"Include College Corner" logo is on the lower right hand corner. Photo is of three women wearing graduation attire posing together, smiling.

Columbus State Helps Students with I/DD Reach GOALS

By Clay Voytek
January 11, 2021
Amid the pandemic, college students in Columbus, GA still need to connect. One might be playing Dungeons & Dragons on a Zoom call, another exercising independently during a group FaceTime. Some of these students have intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD),
Albany Tech Takes a L.E.A.P. for Students with I/DD

Albany Tech Takes a L.E.A.P. for Students with I/DD

By Clay Voytek
October 30, 2020
Include College CornerRegina Watts is the special needs and disability services coordinator at Albany Technical College and the director of Leveraging Education for Advancement Program (L.E.A.P.), the school’s inclusive postsecondary education (IPSE) program. Watts started the program shortly after arriving
Self Advocacy Spotlight

Uniting for Change Impact Committee at Work!

By Uniting for Change Collective Leadership Team
April 9, 2021
Hello from Uniting for Change, a statewide network of self-advocates who are “uniting Georgians and influencing change by speaking up and taking control of our lives.” We are a group of folks in Georgia who have intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) and
Self Advocacy Spotlight.

How Self-Advocates Build Relationships with Legislators

By Uniting for Change Collective Leadership Team
January 11, 2021
Uniting for Change continues to grow the self-advocacy movement in Georgia by staying connected during the pandemic and learning more about how to build relationships with legislators so that our voices are heard. Since the pandemic, Uniting for Change has
Exercise Your Voting Rights banner with blue background

Exercise Your Voting Rights

By John McCarty
October 30, 2020
Uniting for Change is a grassroots network of self-advocates that is growing the self-advocacy movement in Georgia. Along with family members, allies and supporters, self-advocates work on “uniting Georgians and influencing change by speaking up and taking control of our

What’s Happening in Washington?

By Erin Shea
April 13, 2021
It’s been a busy 2021 so far, which has brought some important wins for the disability community. Below we provide a few key updates and what we expect to see in the coming months. COVID-19 Response American Rescue Plan Act:
Photo of the White House with sky blue background. Winter 2021.

What’s Happening in Washington?

By Alison Barkoff and Erin Shea
January 11, 2021
It’s been a busy few months, with ongoing advocacy with Congress and federal agencies while simultaneously preparing for a new administration and Congress that begins in January. Below we provide a few key updates and lay out expected priorities for
Photo of the White House with sky blue background. Fall 2020.

What’s Happening in Washington? Federal Disability Policy Updates

By Alison Barkoff and Erin Shea
October 30, 2020
These past few months have seen a number of starts and stops in negotiations on a new Congressional COVID-19 relief package, and we expect a busy fall ahead as this Congress wraps up. COVID-19 Response: Congressional Response: Congress passed three
GCDD Advocacy Days

2021 Virtual Advocacy Days Bring Greater Access to Event for People with Disabilities

By GCDD
April 10, 2021
Over 550 disability advocates registered to virtually attend the 2021 GCDD Advocacy Days – the first time the DD council has hosted the days exclusively online since the initiative’s inception. Hosted by the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) in

Georgia’s 2021 Legislative Recap

By Naomi D. Williams
April 9, 2021
In March 2020, we experienced the world come to a glaring and hard stop. Now in 2021, things are slowly opening back up, including the Georgia State Capitol. Legislative session feels, looks and is different for everyone this year. We
Computer image with photo of 4 women with advocacy day logo

Gearing Up for Virtual 2021 Advocacy Days

By Charlie Miller
January 11, 2021
Hello, advocates! We are so excited to be preparing for another legislative session. Slated to begin on January 11, the session will go for 40 non-consecutive days, which marks the start of a new biennial legislative session. What’s New With
Welcoming Community Movement

Welcoming Community Movement Gaining Momentum across Georgia

By Jennifer Bosk
April 12, 2021
A new focus has changed the 10-year-old Real Communities Initiative, funded by the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD), into a totally new movement. The program, now the Welcoming Community Movement (WCM), has shifted its goal to creating welcoming communities
Photo of open faced palms in a circle.

Real Communities Transitions to Welcoming Community Movement Fund

By Jennifer Bosk
January 11, 2021
Ten years ago, the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) launched its Real Communities Partnership (RCP) initiative to equip community members at the local, grassroots level to work together toward common goals to improve their community. Now being led by
Welcoming Community Dialogue Groups Host Virtual Retreat and Summit

Welcoming Community Dialogue Groups Host Virtual Retreat and Summit

By Jennifer Bosk
October 30, 2020
Twenty-seven community advocates for inclusion and change from the Real Communities Partnership (RCP) and the Welcoming Communities Dialogues (WCD) groups gathered virtually from August 19 to 21 for their annual retreat. For those three days, the work centered around their

GCDD Funding Boosts Key Georgia Projects Seeking Federal Support

By Clay Voytek
April 12, 2021
For the last 35 years, the Quick Response Research Award Program has awarded small grants to a variety of academic institutions to support social and behavioral science in the wake of disaster. As the pandemic began last year, Georgia State
Graphics with blue background and people connected

Statewide Disability Organizations Form New Network

By GCDD
January 11, 2021
The Georgia Developmental Disabilities Network (GDDN) is a consortium of 15 Georgia disability-focused organizations that are committed to connecting people with resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. Launched at the beginning of the pandemic in Spring 2020, GDDN has hosted monthly
GCDD Receives Five Year Strategic Plan Feedback from Disability Community

GCDD Receives Five Year Strategic Plan Feedback from Disability Community

By GCDD
October 30, 2020
The Five Year Strategic Plan determines how the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) will allocate funding to create systems change for individuals with developmental disabilities and family members through advocacy and capacity building activities. During the months of August
GCDD: Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities

Let’s Talk About Advocacy

By GCDD
April 13, 2021
Featuring Nandi Isaac, Self-Advocate & GCDD Council Member Nandi Isaac, self-advocate and GCDD council member; and Eric Jacobson, executive director of GCDD sat down for a virtual interview on what advocacy means and how it helped the disability community during
Center for Leadership in Disability

How COVID-19 Affected People with Disabilities and Direct Support Professionals

By GCDD
January 11, 2021
Erin Rachel Vinoski Thomas, PhD, MPH, Director of Health and Wellness at Georgia State University’s Center for Leadership in Disability, sat down with Making A Difference to share the findings of her research on how COVID-19 affected people with disabilities
Graphic of a man in a wheelchair in a workspace shaking hands with another coworker.

Keeping Employment First

By Kate Brady
October 30, 2020
The following is an edited excerpt from the Expert Update interview led by the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) on employment for people with disabilities. Kate Brady: There have been tremendous budget cuts in Georgia, which have resulted in

The Kidpreneur

By Shannon Turner
April 9, 2021
It’s a rainy Saturday afternoon in Columbus, Georgia. The Christmas tree is up in the Le Denney house, but it’s not yet been decorated. Seven-year-old Kalel, Kal for short, runs from one end of the house to the other, full
Man and woman posing closely together.

The Mayor of Lithonia

By Shannon Turner
January 11, 2021
When Tira Harper walks into the small, square building that serves as Lithonia’s City Hall, everyone knows who he is. Even before he gets there, when Tira tells his colleagues he’s going, they joke and say, “Tira, you’re the mayor!”
Nanditha posing wearing an orange shirt.

When Hobby Becomes Career

By Moira Bucciarelli
October 30, 2020
Nandi – short for Nanditha – is finally home. She has lived in a variety of places, some better than others. Nandi gets emotional as she recalls painful experiences from her group home life – in one instance being told