The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities' Executive Director Announces Retirement After Serving Almost Thirty Years
November 3, 2021 (Atlanta, Georgia) - Eric Jacobson, Executive Director for the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) announced his retirement late last month in October, saying he wants a new person to lead the DD Council work. Jacobson began working for what was then called the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities in 1992. In 1997 he was appointed the Executive Director and has led the organization ever since. Jacobson has led GCDD on its mission to collaborate with Georgia citizens, public and private advocacy organizations, and policymakers to positively influence public policies that enhance the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities and their families.
“We have made great strides in creating a state that is prepared to offer long-term services and supports in the most integrated setting. Are we where we want or should be? No. There is still a lot to be done. However, this work will continue without me at the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities,” said Jacobson. “I want to thank you for your support and collaboration over these years, but it is time for new blood to take over. There are lots of stories to share and issues to discuss.”
Jacobson, who has served as the primary spokesperson for GCDD over the years, has had the opportunity and privilege to meet people with developmental disabilities and their families all throughout the state of Georgia in his role as executive director. He has spent the past 30 years fighting for equity and rights for all people, including those with developmental disabilities. Additionally, the GCDD’s new 2022 – 2026 strategic plan focuses on employment, transportation, housing, and healthcare for people with developmental disabilities. Jacobson is urging Georgians to continue to talk to their elected officials, including state representatives and senators, to remind state officials to focus on issues that affect individuals in Georgia who have developmental disabilities.
“Remind them that there are over 7,000 people waiting for home and community-based services. Remind them that people want to go to work. Remind them that there is a budget surplus and some of that money should be used to pay direct support professionals a living wage. Now is the time for the legislature to make a serious attempt to meet the needs of people with developmental disabilities and their families,” said Jacobson.
Prior to working with GCDD, Jacobson worked with the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. His responsibilities included examining community services for people with disabilities and older adults as well as coordinating volunteer fundraising activities. He will retire May 1, 2022. For more information, visit www.gcdd.org.
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 the wide spectrum of diverse people/persons with developmental disabilities and their families to live, learn, work, play, and worship in their communities. For more information, visit at www.gcdd.org.