Press Releases


January 2, 2024 (Atlanta, GA) - The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) will host its annual Advocacy Days beginning Monday, January 22, 2024, during the 2024 legislative session. The agency will again host three advocacy days at the Georgia State Capitol and three virtual days during the legislative session to give Georgia advocates with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) an opportunity to meet and speak with their state representatives about issues important to the disability community.

The topics for GCDD’s Advocacy Days 2024 include Inclusive Post Secondary Education (IPSE), Waivers and Wages, and Advancing Employment First and Ending Subminimum Wage. Each event will consist of a virtual portion where topics and how best to prepare for advocating at the Gold Dome are discussed. The second day will consist of an in-person opportunity for advocates to meet GCDD staff and partners, as well as state representatives at the Georgia State Capitol to advocate for these issues in person.

“As we eagerly anticipate our 2024 Advocacy Days, GCDD is preparing to passionately champion our community's needs. We look forward to joining our community in advocating for critical issues such as securing backing and funding for IPSE scholarships, providing more HCBS waivers and increasing DSP wages, and ensuring employment in Georgia is inclusive and competitive. Having people join us under the Gold Dome is the highlight of our year, and we hope to see many of our advocates there again this session,” said GCDD’s New Public Policy Director Charlotte Densmore.

Below are the 2024 Advocacy Days dates and times:

Inclusive Post Secondary (IPSE) Advocacy Day
January 22nd and 24th, 2024

Georgia has been leading the way in advocating for Inclusive Post Secondary Education (IPSE) programs. Currently, Georgia has ten schools supporting people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities (I/DD) to go to school in Georgia. These programs serve as a pipeline for future skilled and talented candidates with disabilities in Georgia to learn skills and get education that can help them to enter the workforce and/or live independently after college.

To register for the virtual event on January 22, 2024 at 10:00am, click here.

To register for the in-person event at the Georgia State Capitol on January 24, 2024 at 9:00am, click here.

Waivers & Wages Day
February 6 - 7, 2024

Georgia’s disability community is in a state of emergency regarding the Medicaid waitlist and wages for direct support professionals (DSPs). Currently Georgia has a waiting list of over 7,000 people waiting for HCBS services. These services are critical for the disability community who are supported by DSPs. DSPs provide essential care, fostering independence and community integration. Yet, low wages persist as a significant challenge, leading to high turnover rates and impacting the quality of care. Funding the DBHDD rate study will increase wages for DSPs, recognizing their invaluable contributions to the well-being of individuals with developmental disabilities.

To register for the virtual event on February 6, 2024 at 10:00am, click here.

To register for the in person event at the Georgia State Capitol at 9:00am, click here.

Employment Day
February 27 - 28, 2024

Creating inclusive employment opportunities is key to empowering individuals with developmental disabilities. The next legislative session presents an opportune moment to address two critical aspects of employment policy: ending subminimum wage practices and implementing ‘State as a Model Employer.’ The practice of paying individuals with disabilities wages below the established minimum has been legal for decades. Continuing to pay individuals subminimum wages perpetuates inequality and hinders progress towards an inclusive workforce. GCDD advocates for policies that eliminate subminimum wage practices and ensure that individuals with developmental disabilities receive fair compensation for their work.

To register for the virtual event on February 27, 2024 at 10:00am, click here.

To register for the in person event at the Georgia State Capitol at 9:00am, click here.

State representatives who will participate in Advocacy Days is to be determined. State Representatives Sally Harrell, Katie Dempsey, and El-Mahdi Holly have all participated in previous Advocacy Days events. For more information about GCDD’s Advocacy Days or how to register for an event, click 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 the wide spectrum of diverse people/persons with developmental disabilities and their families to live, learn, work, play, and worship in their communities.