GCDD 2017 Annual Report

GCDD Annual Report 2017


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

GCDD AR 2017 Save Medicaid banner

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.

Press Coverage: 116 Media Outlets Covered, 31 Million Reached




5 Advocacy Days at the State Capitol - 450 Attendees

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 Annual Take Your Legislator to Work Day (TYLTWD)

Second Take Your Legislator to Work Day

Take 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

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 AR Facebook

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

GCDD AR Magazine


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.

$14,000 - Amount per year people with disabilities can now save and invest with Georgia STABLE Accounts





First e-news Digital Newsletter Sent

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

The Disability Vote - 18.6 Million Voters with Disabilities would be the largest minority voting block in the USThe Disability Vote - Feel the Power!

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

18 Project SEARCH sites grow in Georgia - Project SEARCH is an business-le, high schoo-to-work transition program, serving students with DD with the goal of integrated employment

8 Inclusive post-secondary education (IPSE) programs


8 Inclusive post-secondary education (IPSE) programs in GeorgiaIPSE* 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

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

GCDD Annual Budget $3.14 Million - Amount per year GCDD spends to support people with developmental disabilities in GA. Real Council: $649,743, PRIORITY AREAS: Real Communities: $642,393, Public Awareness: $428,571, Self-Advocacy: 216,579, Public Funded System: $433,852

Council Members

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.

Click here to download a pdf of the GCDD 2017 Annual Report

© GCDD 2017 Annual Report • GCDD Office of Public Information •
2 Peachtree Street NW, Suite 26-246, Atlanta, GA 30303-3142
404.657.2126 •