Press Releases

GCDD's 16th Disability Day at the Capitol


Jobs, Education Among Legislative Priorities 2,000 People Will Meet, Tell Stories, Call To Gold Dome For Support 

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. The event is themed "We All Have A Story...What's Yours?" and in the spirit of the day, attendees will be encouraged to rove through the crowd sharing stories. Select "I Am Olmstead" stories will be recorded by StoryCorps and, at the Freight Depot, people can sign up for future StoryCorps sessions as well as hear pre-recorded narratives of "I Am Olmstead – Stories of Freedom" at listening stations.

WHY: Georgia is a focal point for disability rights and home state of The Olmstead Decision, the 1999 landmark US Supreme Court case brought by the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, on behalf of two Georgia women, affirming the right of people with disabilities to live in the community rather than institutions and nursing homes. Freedom for people in institutions is part of GCDD's 2014 legislative agenda along with:
• Supported employment in the community
• Inclusive post-secondary educational opportunities
• Unlock the Waiting Lists! Campaign, Children's Freedom Initiative (CFI), housing voucher programs, changes in the standard to prove intellectual disabilities in capital punishment cases, and the Family Care Act (HB 290).

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.

WHO: Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD,, Sponsor/Host: Eric E. Jacobson, executive director; Mitzi Proffitt, chair

Capitol Rally at 11 am:
• Governor Nathan Deal will address the gathering.
• Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, founder, CEO and president of RespectAbility, will deliver keynote about "empowering people with disabilities to live the American dream" through jobs and voting rights.
• Talley Wells, director of the Disability Integration Project, Atlanta Legal Aid Society.
• Andrew Furey, self-advocate, artist and Eagle Scout from Lula who fought a long, frustrating battle to receive nursing supports in his home.
• State legislators and other elected officials.

WHEN: Thursday, February 20, 2014
9:00 am – Registration and Exhibit Hall: accessible voting machine demonstration, creation of a giant collective story narrative collage, sign-making, plus StoryCorps listening / sign-up station and other 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

Media packets available for pick up at white "Media Tent" on Capitol steps behind the podium.

Valerie Meadows Suber, Public Information Director 
Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities 
404-657-2122 (office); 404-226-0343 (mobile) 
Follow Updates on Twitter at #GCDDAnnualDisabilityDay

Tags: Disability Day, GCDD, Georgia, Capitol, Advocacy, Atlanta, Developmental Disabilities