GCDD Hosts the 14th Annual Disability Day and Offers a Breakdown on the Direction of Managed Care in the Spring 2012 Making a Difference
ATLANTA, GA, April 26, 2012 – The spring edition of Making a Difference, the quarterly news magazine published by the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD), was released this week. This issue features a range of topics including the 14th Annual Disability Day at the Capitol, a look into the options, concerns and direction of managed care in Georgia and a reflection on the progress made in the 2012 General Assembly.
The 14th Annual Disability Day at the Capitol
Despite rainy weather, over 2,000 advocates from across the State turned out on February 16, 2012 on the steps of Georgia's Capitol to come together as a community at the 14th Annual Disability Day at the Capitol. GCDD Executive Director Eric E. Jacobson opened the rally noting the dedication of the crowd's support, "For 14 years, Georgia's Disability Movement has gained momentum, thanks to the families, advocates and people with disabilities to care enough to come from across the State and join together as one united voice on Disability Day."
Governor Nathan Deal and Mark Perriello, president and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) in Washington, DC delivered the morning and afternoon keynotes. "Real choice, real communities. This what it is all about," said Perriello. "That is why we're here today. It is about equality; it is about freedom and it is about the choices we all have as Americans to live our lives how we see fit and where we see fit."
Rally organizers recognized the contributions of two disability advocates. The Outstanding Self-Advocate of the Year Award was presented to Margo Waters, disABILITY LINK independent living coordinator and the Samuel Mitchell Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Joseph D. Frazier, Metro Fair Housing Service, Inc. president.
Reflecting on the 2012 General Assembly
As predicted, the 2012 legislative session was short compared to previous years. Before the session got underway, GCDD had identified several legislative, budget or public policy issues it would address, support with other groups or watch. GCDD was hopeful in particular to pass legislation benefitting Georgia's disability community including creating Individual Development Account (IDAs), addressing basic access in new homes and getting new funds to increase the number of people receiving supports and services. Although these issues were not moved forward, there was some legislation on GCDD's agenda that gained momentum, which is outlined in Making a Difference.
Managed Care in Georgia
Right now, there is a lot of discussion surrounding the issue of managed care. Although there are many different opinions on the issue, this article highlights that while managed care may have some good attributes, any overall proposal must include safeguards for a variety of potential users. "Managed care right now is not set up to handle people with mental illness. For those who want to live in recovery, it's more than healthcare. It's jobs, transportation and housing," said Ellyn Jaeger, director of public policy for Mental Health America of Georgia. "I think certain populations are at a disadvantage in the managed care system including people with mental health illnesses and developmental disabilities." This article provides a breakdown of the options, concerns and directions of managed care in Georgia, as well as offers different perspectives from various healthcare experts and advocacy groups.
This edition of Making a Difference also features a collection of essays from several students with GCDD's Partnership for Success Club at New Manchester High School in Douglasville, GA who share about attending Disability Day at the Capitol for the first time. The full essays are available at http://www.gcdd.org/blogs/gcdd-blog/2277-straight-talk.html
GCDD's next quarterly meeting will be held in Atlanta, GA, July 19-20. All meetings are open to the public.
Making a Difference is available online in accessible PDF and large print format, as well as on audio by request.
Making a Difference is published by the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD). Current and past issues are available in accessible formats online at gcdd.org. The mission of the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) is to bring about social and policy changes that promote opportunities for persons with developmental disabilities and their families to live, learn, work, play and worship in Georgia communities. For more information, visit gcdd.org or call 404.657.2122.
For more information, contact
Valerie Meadows Suber
Public Information Director
Editor-in-Chief, Making a Difference magazine