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 best interests of their loved ones, making sure their voices are heard and their rights are protected.

This group will not be parents talking for their family members with disabilities but rather with them, a true collaboration.

Seeing more and more families become active in advocating, the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) noted their efforts would be more powerful if they came together with one voice.

To achieve that unified effort, GCCD will work with Claritas Creative to create a new coalition of parent and family advocates within the disability community. The initiative, “Building a Coalition of Family Advocates,” will make an impact both by advocating at the legislative level and through developing and teaching advocacy skills to not only self-advocates but also to parents, siblings and family members.

The objectives for building the coalition include plans to:

  • Conduct an environmental scan for practices that best promote inclusive and proactive advocacy within family circles.
  • Identify family advocacy groups that have experience with policy and political advocacy.
  • Develop a strategic plan for how to engage key stakeholders in the community.
  • Gain an understanding of what families are most concerned about within their communities.
  • Create a curriculum for educating parents and family members.

The early goals of the initiative will include a comprehensive curriculum for training parent advocates, a strategic plan that delineates statewide issues of priority to the developmental disability community and how the Coalition of Family Advocates will tackle these, as well as a list of need-to-know family member groups that should be involved in the coalition.

“This group will not be parents talking for their family members with disabilities but rather with them, a true collaboration,” explained Charlie Miller, GCDD’s Legislative Advocacy Director.

Stay tuned for more details and the work being done as this initiative gains momentum in 2021. If you are interested in being a part of this work, you can reach out to Claritas Creative at