The Council

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The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities, also known as “Georgia’s DD Council” is one of 55 entities of its type in the United States and territories that report to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. It is authorized under Public Law 106-402, the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act Amendments of 2000.

Our activities are governed by a 27-member board, appointed by the Governor and comprised of at least 60 percent individuals with developmental disabilities and family members.  Other members include policymakers that represent various agencies and organizations having a vested interested in persons with developmental disabilities

Originally established as the Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities, our name was changed in July 2009 to the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities, in accordance with legislation that ordered the reorganization of the Department of Human Resources (DHR), Department of Community Health (DCH) and the newly created Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD).

Today, the GCDD continues to serve as an advocate for all persons with developmental disabilities. We are charged with creating systems change for people with developmental disabilities and their families by increasing opportunities for independence, inclusion, integration, productivity and self-determination.  Activities include public policy research and analysis, reform, project demonstrations, education and training.

Since our inception in 1971, we have been a powerful advocate for more than 1.7 million Georgians with developmental disabilities and their families.  The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities wishes to thank those members who rotated off the Council during November 2014.  Below is a list of current Council members. 

Council Members / Advisory Board Members

Josette Akhras Parent Advocate Eatonton
Becky Brightwell Institute of Human Developmental & Disability – University of Georgia - Designee Athens
Katie Chandler The Georgia Advocacy Office
Farah Chapes Local Nonprofit/Provider Atlanta
Thomas Connelly Self Advocate Albany
Daniel Crimmins Center for Leadership in Disability - Georgia State University Atlanta
Pam Hunter Dempsey Parent Advocate Rome
Deborah Gay Georgia Department of Education Atlanta
Trace Haythorn Parent Advocate Decatur
Renorta Heard Georgia Department of Human Services Atlanta
Teresa Ann Heard Local Nonprofit/Provider Albany
Deborah C. Hibben Parent Advocate McDonough
Teresa Johnson Parent Advocate/Advisory Member Monroe
Geneice McCoy Parent Advocate Augusta
Ruby Moore Georgia Advocacy Office Decatur
Brenda Munoz Parent Advocate Duluth
Eren Kyle Niederhoffer Self Advocate Atlanta
Evan H. Nodvin Self Advocate Atlanta
Mitzi R. Proffitt Parent Advocate Brooklet
Stacy Ramirez Center for Leadership in Disability - Georgia State University - Designee Atlanta
Marcia Singson Parent Advocate Winder
Dr. Zolinda Stoneman Institute of Human Development & Disability - University of Georgia Athens
Rickie Jodie Wren Parent Advocate Villa Rica


Commissioner Frank Berry Georgia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities
Commissioner David Cook Georgia Department of Community Health
Commissioner Peggy Fitzgerald Georgia Department of Public Health
Commissioner Clyde L. Reese, III Esq. Georgia Department of Human Services
Commissioner Greg Schmeig Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency

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