Press Releases

15th Disability Day at the Capitol – Gov Deal to Speak, Advocates Show “We Are All Connected”

MEDIA ADVISORY -- For February 21, 2013 
Follow Updates via Twitter at #GADisabilityDay 

15th Disability Day at the Capitol – Gov Deal to Speak, Advocates Show "We Are All Connected"

WHAT: One of the largest public gatherings held annually during the official legislative session emphasizes the statewide need for community-based services and vital supports for people with developmental disabilities. 2,500 pre-registered Georgians are expected to gather for the 15th Annual Disability Day at the Capitol and advocate for improved access, opportunity and meaningful community living for Georgians with disabilities and their families. "What's Your Connection?" is the theme for this year's Rally. Over 250 high school students from Partnership for Success programs around the state will host an activity where people can show "We Are All Connected" to disability and sign a giant banner, noting their name and hometown.

WHY: The state of Georgia is a focal point for disability rights.

  • GCDD opposes the scheduled execution of Warren Hill (set for 2/19), a man who GCDD argues has an intellectual disability.
  • Many requirements from the October 2010 Department of Justice settlement with Georgia are being put into action, upholding the US Supreme Court Olmstead Decision. This movement aligns with the spirit of GCDD's Real Communities initiative and Unlock The Waiting Lists! campaign.
  • Over 7,500 Georgians are on the waiting list to receive funding of community-based services and vital supports. One in five Georgians and about 57 million Americans have some type of disability as an occurrence of birth, injury or longevity.
  • GCDD's legislative agenda promotes Real Communities with specific requests for:
    • learning (GCDD has requested $350,000 to fund four additional post secondary education projects at four universities which will be similar to the GCDD-funded KSU Academy for Inclusive Learning high school and post-secondary program)
    • The Family Care Act (paid sick leave to care for children or aging parents as opposed to sick leave limited only for the employee's own use)

WHEN: Thursday, February 21, 2013,
9:00 am – Registration and activities, Georgia Freight Depot
11:00 am – Rally at the Capitol Steps
12:00 pm – Lunch (Legislators, Constituents, Advocates) Georgia Freight Depot
12:45 pm – Advocacy Awards

WHERE: Capitol steps, Atlanta: Washington Street side and adjacent Georgia Freight Depot

WHO: Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD,, Sponsor/Host (Eric E. Jacobson, executive director)
Capitol Rally at 11 am:

  • Governor Nathan Deal will address the gathering.
  • Other speakers: Frank Berry, Commissioner of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD), Greg Schmieg, Executive Director of the newly formed Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (GVRA), D'Arcy Robb, GCDD's new Public Policy Director.
  • Rabbi Analia Bortz, Congregation Or Hadash, will lead a moment of silence to honor the memory of "Fallen Soldiers," Georgia's recently deceased disability advocates.
  • State legislators and other elected officials.

Media packets can be picked up at the white "Media Tent" located behind the podium on the Capitol steps