Image of a computer screen with four group pictures of diverse Georgians from previous advocacy days with a logo

2021 Legislative Session: What We Can Expect

Current Feature Stories

Georgia State Capitol with logo for state of Georgia

Georgia’s 2021 Legislative Session: What We Can Expect

As many of you might remember, the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) introduce...     Read More
Computer image with photo of 4 women with advocacy day logo

Gearing Up for Virtual 2021 Advocacy Days

Hello, advocates! We are so excited to be preparing for another legislative session. Slated to be...     Read More
Collage of pictures of families

Coalition of Family Advocates Is Newest Initiative to Kick Off 2021

When family members of people with disabilities join forces, they work to promote and protect the...     Read More

Topics

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.
Picture of Eric Jacobson for Summer Viewpoint Issue

Justice and Equality

By Eric E. Jacobson
June 20, 2020
I hope that you are all doing well during this time of great change. Not only have we dealt with a global pandemic, economic chaos and a state primary election riddled with criticism – but now we are witnessing people in the streets asking for justice and equity. Never in many of our lifetimes have we seen an outcry of this scale in the United States. Indeed, this week, this month and this year have been difficult. Still, the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) continues to stand in solidarity with those around the world who speak out against systemic racism.
"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.

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
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
Photo of the White House with sky blue background. Summer 2020.

What’s Happening in Washington? Federal Disability Policy Updates Summer 2020

By Alison Barkoff and Erin Shea
June 20, 2020
Over the last few months, we’ve seen the devastating impact of COVID-19 on people with disabilities, who are struggling to get the home and community-based services (HCBS) they need to stay safe in their own homes and face a high
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
Georgia State Capitol with logo for state of Georgia

Georgia’s 2021 Legislative Session: What We Can Expect

By Alyssa Miller, PsyD
January 11, 2021
As many of you might remember, the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) introduced a legislative agenda that focused on “disability in ALL policy” for the first time during Georgia’s 2020 legislative session. Our idea for this type of legislative
The Disability Vote Counts!

The Disability Vote Counts!

By Alyssa Miller, PsyD and Charlie Miller
October 30, 2020
In this edition of Public Policy for the People, we will be focusing on the upcoming 2020 election, which sees key national and state seats up for grabs. This election will certainly be one for the history books, as much
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
GPB in the Community Online Screening Event. April 16 at 7 PM. Community First. A Home for the Homeless

Keeping the “Welcome” in Welcoming Community Dialogues

By Jennifer Bosk
June 20, 2020
As the world deals with COVID-19, the typical way of gathering for day-long brainstorming and discussions, going out into neighborhoods and doing face-to-face contact, are no longer viable options. Like many other groups and organizations, each of the Georgia Council
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
Group of kids with disabilities laughing and having a good time

Georgia Advocacy Office Raises Awareness about Supported Decision-Making

By Jennifer Bosk
June 20, 2020
From Toccoa to Macon to Savannah and points in between, the idea of supported decision-making as the best alternative to guardianship has turned people’s thinking 180 degrees. Supported decision-making is defined as a series of relationships, practices, arrangements and agreements
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
Banner with teal on the left and photo of Ron Wakefield on the right.

An Interview with Ron Wakefield

By Parker Glick
June 20, 2020
Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities Chairman Parker Glick interviewed Ron Wakefield, director of the Division of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities under the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) about the state of developmental disabilities services for Georgians
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
Telling our stories... GCDD. Everyone has a story. Read ours.

Meet the People Behind “6,000 Waiting,” GCDD’s Forthcoming Documentary

By Shannon Turner
June 20, 2020
After much hard work from the Friends of L’Arche project team, along with film producers, editors and directors, GCDD is excited to soon release its film, “6,000 Waiting.” Seasoned filmmakers Michael McDonald, Lexi Read and Zach Read came together and