Press Releases

Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) to Host State’s Largest Gathering of Disability Advocates and Supporters

MEDIA ADVISORY: March 5, 2015
17th Annual Disability Day at the Capitol Theme Pays Tribute to the Americans with Disabilities Act 25th Anniversary

WHAT: GCDD’s Disability Day at the Capitol Rally will unite thousands of Georgians who travel across the state in support of legislation that will promote the independence, inclusion, productivity and self-determination of people with disabilities. Each year they gather with family members, policy makers, business leaders and service providers to celebrate growth in community, advocate for effective legislation and reignite the bonds of friendship. The theme of this year’s event is “Fulfilling the Promise of the ADA”; in addition to celebrating the significant milestone of this impactful legislation, Disability Day continues a year-long schedule of activities throughout the State that will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The days' activities include the following:

  • ADA Pledge: Attendees will be encouraged to sign an official pledge to actively recommit to the fulfillment of the ADA and become part of the nationwide series of events that will pay tribute to the passage of this historic disability rights legislation.
  • ADA Proclamation: Gov. Nathan Deal will recognize the anniversary by announcing Georgia’s ADA Proclamation that recommits the State to reaching full ADA compliance while reaffirming the principles of inclusion and equality.
  • ADA Exhibit in the Rotunda of the Capitol: A three-panel banner displaying the “preserve, educate and celebrate” slogan of the National ADA Legacy Project will be presented by GCDD with a table of informational material that includes current copies of its quarterly news publication Making a Difference magazine.
  • Advocacy 101 Training at the Georgia Freight Depot: GCDD’s public policy team will provide a primer on GCDD’s legislative priorities and offer first time advocates tips on how to speak to legislators at the Capitol.

WHY: More than 1 million people with disabilities live in Georgia, representing one of the fastest growing socio-economic segments of the State. Each year they gather with family members, policy makers, business leaders and service providers at the State Capitol to celebrate growth in community, advocate for effective legislation and reignite the bonds of friendship.

The theme of the event supports GCDD’s mission and 2015 legislative agenda of promoting social justice, ensuring voting rights and encouraging accessible employment, all of which are necessary elements for independence and inclusive communities. The 2015 legislative agenda also includes support of:

  • An Employment First policy in Georgia - Employment in the general workforce at or above minimum wage is the priority service outcome for individuals with disabilities in the publicly funded service system.
  • The Unlock the Waiting Lists! Collaborative - Unlock the Waiting Lists! advocates investing in Georgians with disabilities so they and their families can live full lives and contribute to Georgia communities and the Georgia economy.
  • Inclusive post-secondary education - Inclusive post-secondary education provides opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities to access higher education.
  • The Family Care Act - This would allow Georgians who have earned sick leave to use up to five days of that leave to care for sick or injured members of their immediate family.

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

Capitol Rally at 11 am: Fulfilling the Promise of the ADA

  • Governor Nathan Deal to address the gathering
  • Exclusive first showing! Disability Day ADA 25th anniversary video message to GCDD from Congressman John Lewis
  • Mark Johnson, national chair, ADA Legacy Project and Shepherd Center Advocacy Director delivers keynote
  • Rev. Susannah Davis, Kirkwood United Church of Christ leads a moment of silence to honor the memory of "Fallen Soldiers," Georgia’s recently deceased disability advocates
  • Joey Stuckey, known as the Music Minister of Macon, sings the Star Spangled Banner acappella and Georgia On My Mind self-accompanied on guitar
  • State legislators and other elected officials bring greetings and join constituents

WHEN: Thursday, March 5, 2015

9:00 am – Registration and Exhibit Hall, Georgia Freight Depot:
11:00 am – Rally at Liberty Plaza, the Capitol’s new “front door”.
12:00 pm – Lunch (Legislators, Constituents, Advocates), Georgia Freight Depot

WHERE: Liberty Plaza: Capitol Rally. The new venue is located at the intersection of Capitol Avenue and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard
Georgia Freight Depot: Exhibit Hall, Advocacy 101 training, t-shirt distribution & lunch

Media packets available for pick up at white "Media Tent" adjacent to stage.

Valerie Meadows Suber, Public Information Director
Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities
404-657-2122 (office) 404-801-7873 (mobile)
Follow Updates on Twitter at #GCDDAnnualDisabilityDay
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Tags: Disability Day, GCDD, Capitol, Advocacy