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GCDD Endorses Employment First Bill for People with Disabilities in Georgia



GCDD Endorses Employment First Bill for People with Disabilities in Georgia

February 21, 2018 (Atlanta, GA) – The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD), a member of the coalition in support of Georgia Employment First, asks for consideration of House Bill 831, common sense legislation that establishes employment as the first and preferred option for all people who want to work, regardless of their disability.

The bill creates a 14-member council, comprised of members of the disability community, state leaders and business representatives. This council will make recommendations for policy and legislative action advancing Employment First policy.

The Georgia Employment First Act is sponsored by Rep. Terry Rogers (District 10), Rep. Terry England (District 116), Rep. Katie Dempsey (District 13), Rep. Trey Rhodes (District 120), Rep. Chuck Efstration (District 104), and Rep. Sharon Cooper (District 43). Its passage would bring Georgia on board with the 33 other states that have similar policy by Executive Order or Legislation.

Georgia Employment First is important to individuals with disabilities, their families, the business community and the economy because it reinforces the reality that all people have abilities that are needed in the workforce.

“Competitive, supported employment has long been a point of advocacy for GCDD,” said Eric Jacobson, executive director of GCDD. “Employment First in Georgia would mean people with disabilities could having meaningful employment based on unique skills, interests and talents while earning a livable wage with career advancement opportunities.”

States that have embraced Employment First policies have results that speak for themselves. The State of Washington has the oldest such policy in the country, according to the website There, 86% of people with intellectual or developmental disabilities getting state-funded services are either working or preparing to enter the workforce. In Georgia, that number hovers around 13%.

The Employment First bill was introduced into the Georgia House of Representatives on February 5, 2018, and has been assigned to the House Industry and Labor Committee. Find a full list of Committee members here:

Read the full bill here:

About the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities: The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) is the State's leader in advancing public policy on behalf of persons with developmental disabilities. Its mission 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.



Devika Rao
O'Neill Communications
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