Press Releases

GCDD Promotes National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Reviews the Department of Justice Investigation into the Georgia Department of Education GNETS Program and Examines Georgia’s Progress toward the ABLE Act in the Fall issue of Making a Differen

ATLANTA, GA, November 4, 2015 -- Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities’ (GCDD) Fall edition of Making a Difference quarterly news magazine highlights National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) by covering the Employment First Georgia (EFG) campaign to make competitive employment a first option for Georgians living with disabilities.

EFG is a coalition of organizations that advocate for Employment First, a national initiative that supports the idea that employment should be the first consideration for people with disabilities. In partnership with GCDD, EFG is working with the Post Secondary Education and Employment Committee to bring this policy to the State.

In this edition, Ruby Moore, executive director of the Georgia Advocacy Office, provides an Expert Update on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which became a federal law last year. “The goal is competitive integrated employment,” writes Moore. “WIOA brings some clarity – and adds a little pressure – to getting people out of segregated employment programs.” Moore also sits on the WIOA’s federal Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities.

The magazine also looks at The Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act) that will allow Georgians with disabilities to save and build assets without losing their benefits. GCDD, Autism Speaks and All About Developmental Disabilities and other organizations have formed a Georgia ABLE Coalition to make the ABLE legislation a law in Georgia.

GCDD Council member Eren Neiderhoffer wrote for Perspectives on being employed in a competitive place of employment as a data mining analysts. His employer, Michael Kipniss, provided his perspective on the benefits of hiring a person with a disability for his financial firm.

Making a Difference also features an essay from Britnee Kinard, a military wife, who shares her personal story on being a caregiver for a veteran and child with a disability. Her family’s experiences drove them to launch the SD Gunner Fund, a nonprofit that assists veterans and children with disabilities with service animals.

The magazine also explores the investigation of the Georgia Network for Educational and Therapeutic Support (GNETS) program by the Department of Justice. The letter of finding revealed the segregated settings that children with behavioral and developmental disabilities are experiencing in schools, a practice that is noncompliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

GCDD also released a Save The Date for the 2016 Disability Day at the Capitol. The annual advocacy event will be held on February 18, 2016 in Downtown Atlanta. More details to follow.
GCDD’s next quarterly meeting will be held in Atlanta, GA on January 14 – 15, 2016. All meetings are open to the public.

Media links:
To read Making a Difference Fall 2015, visit
For photos of Making a Difference Fall 2015, visit

About Making a Difference:
Making a Difference is published by the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD). Current and past issues can be accessed online at and hard copies can be requested by contacting the GCDD Office of Public Information.
Making a Difference is available online in accessible PDF and large print format, as well as on audio by request.

About Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD):
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 Immediate Release


Valerie Meadows Suber, Public Information Director

Editor-in-Chief, Making a Difference magazine

Work 404.657.2122, Cell 404.801.7873

Twitter: @georgiacouncil