Press Releases

GCDD Features Governor Nathan Deal at Final Disability Day at the Capitol, Provides In-Depth Wrap Up of the 2016 Legislative Session and Highlights the Importance of the Disability Vote in the new Spring issue of Making a Difference

ATLANTA, GA, May 17, 2016 -- Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities’ (GCDD) Spring edition of Making a Difference quarterly news magazine covers the 18th annual and final Disability Day at the Capitol, which was held on Feb. 18, 2016 at Liberty Plaza in Downtown Atlanta.

The theme of the event, The Disability VOTE – Feel The Power, highlights the potential impact of the disability vote in this current election year. The magazine includes the transcript of Governor Nathan Deal’s remarks in his address to 3,000 advocates as he declared March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in Georgia.

The event also featured Ted Jackson, a Get Out The Vote strategist and community organizing director with the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers, who educated the crowd about the importance of the disability vote during this election cycle and urged everyone to vote every year at every opportunity.

“Voters with disabilities were the second largest minority voting bloc in the 2012 election with 15.6 million votes,” said Jackson. “With an extra three million voters, we would increase our turnout to 18.6 million voters with disabilities, making our community the largest minority voting bloc in America. And at that point the media and our elected officials could no longer deny the size of our electoral power.”

Eric Jacobson, GCDD’s executive director, ended an 18-year tradition when he announced that the 2016 Disability Day at the Capitol would be the final to be hosted by the Council. He informed the crowd about the new framework for legislative advocacy, Advocacy Days, which will replace Disability Day at the Capitol and allow, “more intensive, targeted advocacy trainings and coordinated visits to the Georgia State Capitol.”

GCDD Advocacy Days has taken place for the last two years during the legislative session. This year, GCDD and other partner organizations hosted seven Advocacy Days on topics of interest to the disability community such as employment, inclusive post-secondary education (IPSE), Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act and Developmental Disabilities Waivers.

In this issue, GCDD offers a legislative wrap up of the 2016 Georgia General Assembly with highlights of the advocacy community’s legislative achievements.

The magazine also features an extensive interview with Aaron Bishop, commissioner of Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD), who speaks about the five-year strategic plans and what AIDD is seeking from DD Councils across the country. Also in this issue, Making a Difference highlights the experiences and perspectives of individuals and family members who participated in the 2016 GCDD Advocacy Days.

GCDD’s next quarterly meeting will be held in Atlanta, GA on July 14 - 15, 2016. All meetings are open to the public.

Media links:
To read Making a Difference Spring 2016, visit
For photos of Making a Difference Spring 2016, visit
For information on the 2016 Disability Day at the Capitol, 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