Media Tour of Hospital Shows People With Developmental Disabilities Working

MEDIA ADVISORY For Wednesday, October 12, 2011


News, Discussion, Hospital Tour Give Insight Into Community Life for Georgians with Developmental Disabilities

WHAT: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month.  Media representatives have an opportunity to interact in a roundtable discussion and take a tour of employment opportunities and internships, seeing young people with disabilities at work in the Project SEARCH program at Northeast Georgia Health System.  This program has successfully graduated students who are now hospital employees.  Media will get to meet these employees and interns, and get a glimpse inside a day in the life of a Project SEARCH worker.

The tour will include photo opportunitiesof Project SEARCH interns and graduates:

  • stocking IV bags and alcohol swabs in the Materials Management area,
  • scanning patient records in the Cancer Research area,
  • breaking down, cleaning and sanitizing isolettes in the Neonatal Unit,
  • serving food and stocking supplies like ketchup, mustard, straws and napkins in the Cafeteria and Nutrition areas, and
  • sharing experiences and how to take vitals, transport patients, stock exam rooms and take blood pressure as an Emergency Room Patient Care Technician.

WHEN: WED., OCTOBER 12, 2011:  11:30 A.M. – 1:00 P.M.
Lunch will be provided.  Presentations and discussion at 11:30 pm
Tour begins at 12:15 pm
Please RSVP to: Valerie Meadows Suber

Northeast Georgia Health System, Inc.
Walter’s Auditorium – South Tower

743 Spring Street, Gainesville, Georgia 30501

CONTACT: Valerie Meadows Suber, Public Information Director
Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities
404-657-2122 (office); 404-226-0343 (mobile)

One in five Georgians has a disability and greater than 50 million Americans have some type of disability as an occurrence of birth, injury or longevity.

The roundtable discussionwill include news and updates on:

  • disability employment,
  • the Transportation Investment Act (TIA) Referendum, currently accepting feedback on transportation improvements for all Georgians including those with developmental disabilities,
  • “Unlock the Doors to Real Communities Listening Tour,” GCDD currently traveling to communities across Georgia getting feedback on a variety of disability topics
  • Other student and community involvement in programs including Project SEARCH, The Listening Tour, Partnerships for Success and Project Success, all of which support GCDD’s “Real Communities” initiatives;
  • “The Missing Pages In Your Style Book” – introduction to “People First Language”
  • Screening and excerpts from GCDD’s newly released video public awareness series, “Voices Beyond the Mirror.
  • Hosted by the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD), Project Search and the Northeast Georgia Health System.


Eric E. Jacobson, executive director, GCDD

Northeast Georgia Health System representatives including Ashley Smith RN, BSN, (Education Affiliation Instructor) and Angela Nicholson (Recruiting Assistant)

Project SEARCH professionals including Susan Wright, Transition Coordinator for Hall County Schools), Colleen Pirkle (Instructor) and Brent Wykle, (Job Coach)

Project SEARCH interns and employees currently working at NGHS including: Gadge Nieves(NICU/Environmental Service Tech), Hilda Diaz (NGPG Office Assistant), Kristin Mott (ER Patient Care Tech), Sonia Pizano (Cancer Research Assistant, Nutrition Service Worker II), and Bradley Schipper (Graduate and Employee- Environmental Service Tech)

Partnerships for Success Georgia Program Manager, Flowery Branch HS Club Sponsor, Cindy Saylor (two Flowery Branch HS students recently won GCDD awards)

Project Success students
are catering lunch.  Project Success is a transition program for young adults, ages 18-21 years old which is an extension of Project SEARCH.

The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities
(GCDD) a federally funded independent state agency, works 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.  A developmental disability is a chronic mental and/or physical disability that occurs before age 22 and is expected to last a lifetime.  Visit for more information.

Project SEARCH is a unique business-led transition program designed for students with disabilities whose main goal is employment and will benefit from career exploration.  The cornerstone of the one school-year program is immersion in the Northeast Georgia Medical Center.  The students learn employment related job skills while participating in three worksite rotations that prepare them with essential job-specific skills needed to gain and maintain meaningful employment.  Individualized job development and placement occurs based on the student’s experiences, strengths and skills.  Students are given support with accommodations, adaptations and on the-job coaching, and may earn seven elective credits per year for successful completion of Project SEARCH.