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Real World Experiences

Real World Work Experiences Enable Inclusive College Students at Columbus State University to Emerge as Workforce Leaders

Students enrolled in the GOALS program at Columbus State University (CSU) are getting critical op...     Read More
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The State of Inclusive Education in Georgia: A Conversation with Leslie Lipson

As students head back to school, education is top of mind for parents of children with intellectu...     Read More
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COVID-19 Updates

School is out. Summer is here. People are enjoying time at the pool or finding places to stay coo...     Read More

Topics

Viewpoint: Gaining Momentum

By D'Arcy Robb
January 8, 2024
At the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD), we are always driven by our overarching values, and specifically by our public policy agenda. As we gear up to head into another legislative session in 2024, I want to take time

Viewpoint: A Golden Opportunity to Build Georgia’s Workforce and Economy

By D'Arcy Robb
October 4, 2023
I was one of those college students who had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. So, after graduation day, I worked a variety of different jobs. I was a childcare worker at a provider agency working with troubled youth. I worked on a political campaign, then did public relations for a community recreation center, then was a television producer. Meanwhile, in my down time I developed a mild obsession with purpose-driven career development. I can’t tell you how many times I took aptitude tests and re-read “What Color is Your Parachute?” 

Viewpoint: Advocating During the “Home Season”

By D'Arcy Robb
July 12, 2023
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).

Georgia Tech Program Prepares Students to EXCEL at Work

By Jacob Segura
January 8, 2024
Navigating the world of employment after school is often daunting, and for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), this is particularly true. An inclusive post-secondary education (IPSE) program at Georgia Institute of Technology is striving to provide students with

EAGLE Academy Allows Students with Intellectual Disabilities to Soar

By Mara Waldruff and Wes Nelson
October 9, 2023
The EAGLE Academy is a two-year program within Georgia Southern University that provides individuals with intellectual disabilities a chance to gain independence, skills, knowledge and confidence alongside students who do not have intellectual disabilities. The program currently focuses on years three and four of the college experience, meaning the students have either attended other post-secondary programs for one to two years, worked previously, or have been out of high school for a couple of years. 

Higher Education an Easy CHOICE for Students with Disabilities

By Devika Rao, Laura Schroeder and Wes Nelson
July 12, 2023
“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.

Uniting for Change Prepares to Advocate for Change in 2024

By Uniting for Change Collective Leadership Team
January 8, 2024
In November, Uniting for Change held a State and Area Leadership Collective retreat in Macon with 80 people attending. During this retreat, we set priorities for 2024 within each workgroup of the four Local Area Networks, and as the Statewide

Georgia Self-Advocates – How We Contribute

By Uniting for Change Collective Leadership Team
September 29, 2023
Self-advocates across Georgia work and contribute to their communities as individual citizens and as members of the growing self-advocacy network, Uniting for Change. When we focus on how everyone has something to contribute, we find ways for people to find and share their gifts and talents.

The Foundation of Advocacy

By Charlie Miller
July 12, 2023
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.
Fall 2021

What’s Happening in Washington?

By Serena Lowe
October 13, 2021
As we round out the end of the fiscal year, action in the nation’s capital is both frenetic and action-packed. Congress is super-focused on passing a historic multi-trillion-dollar reconciliation bill that includes major investments in COVID recovery, infrastructure development, and
Summer 2021

What’s Happening in Washington?

By Serena Lowe
July 12, 2021
Federal Disability Policy Updates If 2020 felt like a long crawl across the Sahara Desert, 2021 feels a lot more like being in a race at the Indy 500 here in Washington! Check out the whirlwind of activity occurring both

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:

Public Policy for The People: GCDD’s Vision for Georgia’s Disability Community in the 2024 Legislative Session

By Charlotte Densmore
January 8, 2024
Hello! My name is Charlotte Densmore. I joined the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) as the Public Policy Director in August 2023. My involvement in disability advocacy originated from my work as a mentor with the EXCEL (Expanding Career,

Public Policy for The People: The Next Legislative Session is Almost Here!

By Charlie Miller
October 9, 2023
Fall is in the air, the leaves are changing, holidays are right around the corner and my favorite time of the year is almost here. That's right, the legislative session! From the second week of January to mid-March or later in the spring, Georgia State legislators come together at the state capitol, or what we like to call “the Gold Dome,” to work on the state budget for the upcoming year, and pass laws that affect Georgians like you and me. 

Public Policy for The People: Keep Up The Momentum

By Charlie Miller
July 12, 2023
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.
Welcoming Community Movement

The Blossoming of Real Communities

By Jennifer Bosk
October 12, 2021
When a Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) initiative ends, the celebration continues. The work has planted a seed, sown results, and now all can watch the fruits and impact of the initiative multiply as time goes on. So it

Welcoming Community Movement Adds Think Tank Partner to Coaching Group

By Jennifer Bosk
July 12, 2021
TeMaya Eatmon has been chosen as the Think Tank Partner for the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) initiative the Welcoming Community Movement (WCM), overseen by Global Ubuntu. Eatmon joins other leaders who are coaching those participating in the WCM
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

Telehealth Survey Reveals Improvement Measures Needed for Georgia’s Disability Community to Access Health Care Services

By Jacob Segura
January 8, 2024
With the expansion of telehealth and similar methods of virtual care, many people, particularly people with disabilities, may have questions about the efficacy and availability of telehealth. A study at the Morehouse School of Medicine’s (MSM) National Center of Primary

Emergency Preparedness Grant Supports Listening Sessions Across Georgia

By Mara Waldruff
September 28, 2023
Life can change in an instant. From a loved one falling ill, to a natural disaster in your hometown, to a pandemic shutting down the world, emergencies can strike any time, any place and anyone. And, when it comes to people with disabilities, medical, situational and mental health emergencies can be even more critical and difficult to navigate. For example, a person who uses a wheelchair is more likely to experience a crisis if a building’s elevator breaks down, such as Naomi Williams’ son, Noah, who uses a wheelchair. He also has significant medical needs and requires full-time support, so a broken elevator can cause a dangerous situation for him and his caregivers.

WheelChariot Strives to Improve Businesses’ Accessibility and Services

By Gunter Schroeder
July 12, 2023
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.

Expert Update: In Their Own Words

By GCDD
January 8, 2024
As the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) gets ready to advocate at the 2024 Legislative Session, we wanted to share the expertise of the people with developmental disabilities across Georgia on what they have and what they need to

Expert Update: Untapped Pool of Talent

By Jacob Segura
October 4, 2023
The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) interviewed Emily Myers, region director at Briggs & Associates, a supported employment company that assists people with disabilities with finding employment. We spoke about the state of work for people with disabilities, unemployment among people with disabilities, and what Briggs & Associates does to help individuals find meaningful and accommodating jobs and careers.

disABILITY LINK’s Impact and Strong Links to the Disability Community in Metro Atlanta

By Gunter Schroeder
July 12, 2023
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.

Kelvin Carter: Living Life One Upgrade at a Time

By Kate Sweeney
July 12, 2023
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.

Cow Tipping Press Joins GCDD’s Storytelling Project

By Maria Pinkelton
January 10, 2023
What began in 2018 as an opportunity for Georgians with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to share stories with their legislators has become a robust collection of photographs, written stories, audio conversations, and films displaying the diverse array of experiences

Treasure Maps: Macon Event Wrap Up

By Maria Pinkelton
October 12, 2022
Treasure Maps: Macon, the first event in the three-part 2022 Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) Storytelling Project, kicked off on Saturday, September 17, to a wonderful crowd in Macon, Georgia. The film screening and community celebration that took place

Building an Advocacy Network

By Mara Waldruff
July 12, 2023
“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.

Practical Examples of Supported Decision-Making

By GCDD and John McCarty & Hannah Hibben
April 17, 2023
Supported decision-making (SDM) is a tool that allows people with disabilities to retain their decision-making capacity by choosing supporters to help them make choices. A person using SDM selects trusted advisors, such as friends, family members, or professionals, to serve as supporters. Self-advocates John McCarty and Hannah Hibben share their experience of how Supported Decision Making impacts their life and why it's important.

A Greater Sense of Independence

By Adrianne Murchison
January 9, 2022
Living Independently is an article series by the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD). The series will cover self-determination and self-direction. Participant self-directed services are growing in popularity as an avenue that can offer an increased autonomy for some individuals

A Desire for Independence

By Adrianne Murchison
October 13, 2021
Living Independently is an article series by the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD). The series will cover self-determination and self-direction. Jenny Pryor lives an active life working in a Kroger supermarket, hiking on her off days or sometimes catching

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