GCDD 2017 Annual Report
Message from the Executive Director
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 a message from GCDD Executive Director Eric Jacobson, click on the video.
In 2017, we worked with our partners, Council members, advocates and community to continue achieving inclusive and integrated communities in Georgia. Here are highlights of the year, and if you want to learn more, click on the links provided in each section for a more details on how GCDD’s work impacts the lives of people with developmental disabilities:
Campaign to #Save Medicaid
Campaign to #SaveMedicaid
GCDD launched the No Cuts! No Caps! campaign in June 2017 to bring attention to the changes to Medicaid proposed by the House and Senate plans to replace the Affordable Care Act. The campaign successfully blocked the vote on the replacement plan and won the Community Impact Award from Georgians for a Healthy Future in September. Read more about the Campaign here.
5 Advocacy Days at the Capitol
Advocates with developmental disabilities from around the state came to speak with policymakers about the issues that impact them at GCDD Advocacy Days during the 2017 legislative session. Topics covered included: DD Waivers Day • Employment Day • Inclusive Post-Secondary Education (IPSE) Day • Enable Work & Families Day • Home & Community Day. Read more here.
Second Take Your Legislator to Work DayTake Your Legislator to Work Day (TYLTWD)
GCDD kicked off its second annual TYLTWD to commemorate National Disability Employment Awareness Month and raise awareness about the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities. GCDD believes that employment and successful careers should be the expected and preferred outcomes of all publicly funded services for individuals with disabilities. Read more about their visits with GA legislators here.
DIsability Community Remembers Dottie Adams
Hundreds of advocates and community members gathered on May 6, 2017 at Centenary United Methodist Church in Macon, GA to celebrate the life of GCDD’s dear friend and teacher, Dottie Adams.
The ever dedicated Dottie served as GCDD’s Individual and Family Supports Director, where she worked hard to make local communities inclusive and integrated for people with developmental disabilities. She is missed daily and deeply. Read more about her work for Georgia’s disability community here.
First Facebook Live Healthcare Forum
GCDD held its first Facebook Livestream at July’s Council meeting in Macon – this statewide public forum discussed the future of healthcare, the ongoing proposed federal changes to Medicaid and its impact on people with disabilities as part of its Campaign to Save Medicaid. Guest speaker Ron Wakefield, Director, DBHDD Division of Developmental Disabilities shared his vision for services for people with developmental disabilities. Click on the video at right.
Making A Difference Digital in Spanish & Audio
Georgia STABLE Savings Plan Passed
GA STABLE Savings Plan
The passage of the ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) Act in Georgia has long been a legislative priority for GCDD. The launch of the Georgia STABLE program in June 2017 was the culmination of this fight to allow Georgians with disabilities and their families to create tax-deferred savings accounts without giving up critically needed Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Read more about STABLE accounts here.
First e-news Digital Newsletter
GCDD created a new digital e-newsletter that is published quarterly between Making a Difference Magazines to reach out with more timely news to self-advocates, community leaders, parents and other stakeholders to keep them informed about all of the things happening around Georgia for the disability community. Read the latest issue here.
The Disability Vote
GCDD worked to get out the vote for the November 2016 Presidential Election through their campaign to promote the power of the number of potential voters with disabilities. Read more about the election here.
Expanded Project SEARCH
8 Inclusive post-secondary education (IPSE) programs
• Albany Technical College LEAP (Albany)
• Columbus State University GOALS (Columbus)
• East Georgia State College CHOICE (Swainsboro
• Georgia Institute of Technology EXCEL (Atlanta)
• Georgia Southern University EAGLE (Statesboro)
• Georgia State University IDEAL (Atlanta)
• Kennesaw State University Academy for Inclusive Learning (Kennesaw)
• University of Georgia Destination Dawgs (Athens)
* Inclusive post-secondary education (IPSE) programs provide students with intellectual disabilities a college experience. Read more about IPSE in Georgia here.
6 Real Communities Partnerships
• Al Tamyoz Community Building/Basmat Ahmed
• Centenary United Methodist Church
• D.A.S.H. for LaGrange, Inc.
• Forsyth Farmers’ Market
• Georgians For Alternatives to the Death Penalty
• Peacebuilders Camp at Koinonia Farms
Real Communities Partnerships is a thoughtful, action learning approach that equips community members to work together toward common goals to improve their community. Purposefully involving people with and without developmental disabilities in collaborative projects is pivotal to the framework. Read more here.
GCDD Annual Budget $3.14 Million
Thanks to the our over 50 Council Members, Partners and Staff
who continue to serve as advocates for all persons with developmental disabilities by increasing opportunities for independence, inclusion, integration, productivity and self-determination.
View our current Council here.