As some of you may already know, the recently passed Georgia House Bill 185 included increased funding and accessibility for Inclusive Post Secondary Education (IPSE) programs in Georgia. This was a huge win for the disability community and was made possible only by the hard work of disability advocates.
With the rise of online reviews through websites like Yelp! and Google, WheelChariot, an online platform based in Atlanta, Georgia is getting in on the trend to help the disability community by providing business reviews based on accessibility.
The first thing you notice about Kelvin Carter’s light-filled townhome is the style: The immaculate surfaces. The family photos hung above the sofa next to a silver cross. The colorful books with titles like “Empty Out the Negative” arranged just so on the weathered wood grain coffee table. From the jewel-toned shower curtain to the tidily appointed prayer room, everything in his living space is just how Kelvin Carter wants it. His voice becomes musical with delight when you ask him about two things: his décor and his church. “I love shopping and decorating my place!” says the 46-year-old in a voice burbling over with quiet joy.
“There is such beautiful potential,” said Teresa Heard as she looked proudly at her son, Derek Heard. Teresa had recently helped Derek start his own graphic design business. “It’s just getting the doors open to get people to realize a person’s potential,” she added.
“CHOICE is college, period. We are college, we do college, they do college. And so that’s what CHOICE is. It’s more than a program. It’s college. That’s the way I say it,” says Theresa Davis, confidently, about the inclusive post-secondary education (IPSE) opportunity at East Georgia State College.
With the onset of the global pandemic that impacted everyone around the world, the disability community and the services and supports that individuals received daily was greatly impacted.
At this year’s legislative session, there was a great sense of cohesiveness, where the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) worked together with different organizations, the disability community and most importantly with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).
disABILITY LINK is a nonprofit organization in Tucker, Georgia that supports Georgians with disabilities by providing five core services of advocacy, information referral, peer support, independent living skills training and transition services. disABILITY LINK has worked under its current name since 2008, providing services and opportunities to those with disabilities in 12 Georgia counties. However, disABILITY LINK’s organizational makeup is something that makes them truly unique.
Hello Advocates! My name is Charlie Miller and I am the Legislative Advocacy Director here at the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD). Session is finally out, and your state senators and house representatives are back in their communities. We have just finished celebrating two major holidays, Juneteenth and the Fourth of July. Both celebrate independence in different ways, but our community has another great Independence Day coming up – the day the federal legislature passed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This critical piece of legislation is one of the foundational pieces of the disability rights movement and helped pave the way for people with disabilities to advocate for their rights to be in the community.
In this issue of Making a Difference, Karen Addams, Vice President of Innovation at Parent 2 Parent — an Atlanta-based nonprofit that provides resource navigation and training for people with disabilities and their families — discusses the many services that help educate the community and promote self-sufficiency. Continue reading to learn more about the organization and its impact.