Press Releases


3,000 Georgia Advocates Will Gather at the State Capitol – Thursday, February 18, 2016  

Final 18th Annual Disability Day at the Capitol Rally focuses on Voting and Disability Rights

MEDIA ADVISORY: February 18, 2016  


  • Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) Chair, Mitzi Proffitt and Executive Director, Eric Jacobson to announce major change to two-decade tradition of public rally
  • Governor Nathan Deal to address largest annual disability gathering on record
  • Keynote Speaker Ted Jackson - GOTV Elections Strategist and Community Organizing Director, California Foundation for Independent Living Centers; and member of the California Secretary of State’s Voter Accessibility Advisory Committee
  • Trace Haythorn, GCDD council member and parent advocate,leads a moment of silence, honoring Georgia’s “Fallen Soldiers,” recently deceased disability advocates
  • State legislators and other elected officials bring greetings and join constituents
  • Nearly 3,000 disability and social justice activists and their allies from across Georgia


Thursday, February 18, 2016
9:00 am – Registration and Exhibit Hall, Georgia Freight Depot
11:00 am – Rally at Liberty Plaza
12:00 pm – Lunch (legislators, constituents, advocates), Georgia Freight Depot


Liberty Plaza: Capitol Rally. Intersection of Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr and Capitol Ave (11:00 am)
Georgia Freight Depot: Exhibit Hall, t-shirt distribution (9:00 am) and lunch (12 noon)
NOTE: Open to the public. Media packets available for pick-up at white “Media Tent” adjacent to stage


The Disability Vote — Feel the Power, theme of GCDD’s 18th Annual Disability Day at the Capitol, will focus Georgia’s disability community to have an impact on the 2016 general election cycle and include the following activities:

  • Voter Registration, conducted on-site by the Fulton County Board of Registrations and Elections, Department of Voter Education and Outreach
  • Demonstrations of accessible voting machines designed for persons who are blind, low-vision, deaf, hard of hearing and wheelchair users, conducted by the Fulton County Board of Registrations and Elections Department of Voter Education and Outreach
  • Disability History Museum Collection: The Georgia Disability History Alliance, a coalition of advocates and organizations working to preserve and celebrate Georgia’s rich disability history, will gather memorabilia from attendees who want to donate items to the museum which will be housed at the University of Georgia.


  • More than one million Georgians have disabilities and approximately 652,000 are voting-age. Their voices, and their votes, are critical to the political decision-making process.
  • One in five, or 20 percent of all Americans have some type of disability as an occurrence of birth, injury or longevity; chances are, if a person does not have a disability themselves, they have a loved one, friend, neighbor or co-worker who does or will acquire a disability in their lifetime.
  • GCDD, the State’s leader in encouraging advocates while helping connect the disability community to State lawmakers and local civic leaders, will host its final large public disability rally and announce a new framework for allowing more individuals to participate in the legislative advocacy process through a series of targeted, smaller-group trainings and organized Capitol visits to be scheduled each year during the official legislative session.
  • “Our new framework for legislative advocacy will allow GCDD to support more intensive, targeted advocacy trainings and coordination of visits to the Capitol for more participants,” said GCDD Executive Director, Eric Jacobson, “We realized that people want to be better informed about the issues they care about in order to be effective when speaking to legislators, whether at the Capitol or in their communities and they want more opportunity to meet with legislators when the General Assembly is in session.” “An incremental two-year phase-in of the new approach, called GCDD Advocacy Days, has shown us that this strategy will help build stronger advocates who are likely to impact lawmakers more effectively,” Jacobson said.


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: Advocacy