Summer Issue 2022

Back to School

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Current Feature Stories

Real World Experiences

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

By Kimberly Hudson
July 13, 2022
Students enrolled in the GOALS program at Columbus State University (CSU) are getting critical opportunities for real work experiences at the start of their inclusive college careers. Guidance and Opportunities for Academic and Leadership Success (GOALS) at CSU is a
Young boy smiling wearing purple shirt

The State of Inclusive Education in Georgia: A Conversation with Leslie Lipson

By Hilary Vece and Kimberly Hudson
July 13, 2022
As students head back to school, education is top of mind for parents of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. While special education provides opportunities for students to excel, there are often many obstacles that families and students face when
Two children playing doctor with a cat with the text COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Updates

By Naomi D. Williams
July 13, 2022
School is out. Summer is here. People are enjoying time at the pool or finding places to stay cool. Day programs are open, vacations are being taken, and summer camps are in full effect. People are ready for COVID-19 to

GCDD Viewpoint

Nick Perry Photograph

Nick Perry
GCDD Council Chairman


Dear Readers, GCDD anticipates announcing its new executive director soon. While we are in transition of new leadership, the staff is working hard, diligently, and succeeding in making sure GCDD’s mission is fulfilled by continuing to advance the lives of

Current Topics

The Value of Being Valued in Inclusive Post Secondary Education

July 13, 2022
By John McCarty, Self-Advocate in the Leadership Collective of Uniting for Change Many people believe that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) can’t learn and don’t belong in post secondary educational settings. As part of Uniting for Change and

Telling Our Stories: How The GCDD Storytelling Project is Lifting Voices in the Developmental Disability Community

By Hilary Vece
July 13, 2022
The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) Storytelling Project lifts and shares the stories of people with developmental disabilities throughout the state of Georgia. Using several mediums, The GCDD Storytelling project has produced a collection of written and photographed stories,

Back-to-School Tips from a Parent Mentor

By Hilary Vece
July 13, 2022
Cheryl Grant has been working with parents of students with developmental disabilities since 2008 when she became a Parent Mentor in Decatur City Schools. Primarily connecting parents with resources in the school and the community, Cheryl also provides parent training

The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities Welcomes Two New Council Members This Summer: National Black Deaf Advocate Sharia Stripling and Five-Time Olympic Medalist Elana Taylor

By Tianna Faulkner
July 13, 2022
Sharia Denise Stripling was born and raised in Fort Valley, Georgia. At age four, she suddenly and unexpectedly lost hearing with no cause of illness. As she grew older, she developed a passion for dance and pageantry after reading a

2021 GCDD Project Impact Map

July 13, 2022
GCDD’s mission is to bring about social and policy changes that promote opportunities for diverse people/persons with developmental disabilities and their families to live, learn, work, play, and worship in their communities. Learn how GCDD impacted communities across Georgia in

“Life is a journey, be prepared for the trip”: Destination Dawgs Brings Inclusive College Opportunities to University of Georgia

By Hilary Vece
July 13, 2022
Six years ago, inclusive college was in the news thanks to a viral video of Jordan Huffman’s acceptance into the first University of Georgia (UGA) Destination Dawgs cohort in 2016. The video depicts Huffman in his room playing drums when

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