Around GCDD: Spring 2016

GCDD’s Real Communities Initiative Receives National Award
The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) will present its 2016 Full Community Inclusion Award to the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) for its Real Communities Initiative at the AAIDD Conference in June in Downtown Atlanta. This award recognizes culturally responsive programs that have succeeded in full community inclusion and participation.

“We are excited and grateful for this recognition,” said GCDD Executive Director Eric Jacobson. “We share this with our Real Communities Community Builders, partners, GCDD Council and staff who continue working towards an inclusive community for Georgians with and without disabilities.”

The AAIDD conference theme is The Meaning of Professional in an Era of Change and will feature seven pre-conference workshops, an opening reception featuring Georgia luminaries in the disability movement, three plenary sessions, 30 concurrent sessions and several post-conference workshops. Professionals, family members and self-advocates are welcome for both the pre- and post-conference workshops (separate registrations) and the main conference. AAIDD conference program and registration is available here:

Basmat Ahmed receives Dottie Adams Community Organizer Award
Basmat Ahmed, Real Communities Community Builder for the Clarkston International Garden, received the newly minted Dottie Adams Community Organizer Award at the Georgia Winter Institute (GWI), held January 24 – 27, 2016 in Columbus, GA.

“We wanted to select someone who is mission driven and builds and supports a diverse, inclusive community – the great qualities that Dottie has brought to our disability community across the State,” said Stacey Ramirez, state director of The Arc of Georgia. “We were excited to present this award to Basmat as she exemplifies Dottie’s spirit in the work she is doing in her local community.”

Originally the GWI Community Organizer Award, it was renamed in honor of Dottie Adams, GCDD’s Individual and Family Support Director, who is also one of the original founders of GWI.

Update on GCDD’s Five Year Plan
After receiving feedback from the online survey and public forums in regards to what the disability community would like to see in services and supports, GCDD is now drafting goals and objectives for its Five Year Strategic Plan (2017-2021). The goals and objectives will be released for public comment in May 2016. Stay updated by signing up for our news and alerts at

Remember that GCDD is here to assist you. Check out our website and join our advocacy network so that you can stay informed. We hope you enjoy reading this magazine and we want to hear from you. Let us know your thoughts and comments about the magazine by writing to our Editor at

Eric E. Jacobson
Executive Director, GCDD

Read the complete spring issue of Making A Difference:


Download pdf version of Making a Difference Summer 2015    largeprint