Our Supported Programs
GCDD collaborates with, supports and funds many projects across Georgia that promote best practices demonstrating innovative programs and activities that create opportunities to enhance the quality of life for Georgians living with disabilities. GCDD provides information to help educate decision makers, legislators and the general public about the benefits and ways of including people with developmental disabilities in all aspects of community life. While Real Communities Partnerships is our award-winning signature concept, the following are some of our other funded and supported programs and activities in alphabetical order.
ASPIRE – Active Student Participation Inspires Real Engagement
The Active Student Participation Inspires Real Engagement (ASPIRE) program is a student-led Individual Education Program (IEP) initiative that builds self-confidence, self-determination and self-advocacy skills, which are essential in preparing students for the educational, career and independent living decisions they will need to make in adulthood. The State wanted to introduce a systematic approach that would not only improve student transition outcomes but also allow students to have a greater voice in the IEP. For more information on ASPIRE, click here.
Children’s Freedom Initiative
The Children’s Freedom Initiative (CFI) is a collaborative effort to ensure that children who live in facilities are given the chance to live with permanent, loving families. They are a coalition of advocates dedicated to creating a Georgia in which no child resides in a facility. The CFI continues to educate families about resources available for children so that they can remain at home or in the community, even when their home of origin is no longer an option. The CFI also continues to advocate for youth to transition from facilities into homes in the community. For more information on CFI, click here.
Employment First Georgia
Locally, Employment First Georgia (EFG) is leading the way to make meaningful employment a first choice. EFG is a coalition of people with disabilities, their family members, service providers and advocates who are bringing awareness to disability employment. EFG is currently advocating for statewide legislation to make Georgia an Employment First state. Throughout Georgia’s social service system, meaningful employment would become a primary objective for all working-age Georgians with disabilities. For more information on Employment First Georgia, click here.
Georgia Microboards Association
A microboard is a person-centered, non-profit entity formed by a small group of committed friends and family members who volunteer to help plan, develop and maintain the ongoing services necessary to support one person with a disability. Using a unique planning tool called PATH (Planning Alternative Tomorrows With Hope), the Georgia Microboards Association helps each microboard develop a person-centered plan to address the individual's support needs on their journey to full self-determination, freedom, responsibility and authority. This PATH represents the hopes and dreams of the person and becomes the mission and focus of the microboard. For more information on microboards, visit http://www.gamicroboards.org/
Inclusive Post-Secondary Education (IPSE)
Inclusive post-secondary education (IPSE) programs provide opportunities for study beyond high school to students who historically have not been presented with these possibilities. These programs change lives by making college accessible for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Further, this education prepares them to live increasingly independent lives, pursue careers of their choice and provides the potential for increased earnings long-term. There are currently seven IPSE programs in Georgia. For more information on Inclusive Post-Secondary Education (IPSE), click here.
Partnerships for Success
Partnerships for Success is a high school based program founded on the belief that a student’s ability to make important life decisions for the future must begin by high school. To help students consider the endless possibilities for their lives, Partnerships for Success provides the opportunity for students with disabilities to participate in activities that enhance their educational experience and provide opportunities to develop leadership skills. The program provides students with disabilities the same fun experiences as their non-disabled peers in areas of recreation, social activities, sports, and community service, which allows them to make a contribution to the school and community at large. For more information on Partnerships for Success, click here.
People First of Georgia
People First of Georgia is a self-advocacy organization with 26 local chapters across the state. People First members are people with disabilities, many of whom use waiver services including NOW/COMP, ICWP, SOURCE, and CCSP that support them to live in and participate in their communities. People Fist programs include the Long Road Home movement, equal pay, self-advocacy and project vote. For more information on People First of Georgia, visit http://www.peoplefirstofga.com/
Project SEARCH is a business-led, high school-to-work transition program, serving students with significant intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). It takes place entirely at the workplace and the goal for each student participant is competitive employment. This means employment in an integrated setting, working alongside coworkers with and without disabilities, year-round work that is not seasonal employment, 16 hours/week or more and minimum wage or higher. For more information on Project SEARCH, click here.
SOPOS Housing Coalition
The SOPOS Housing Coalition is a multi-disciplinary group that grew out of the publication of the SOPOS Report, “Shut Out, Priced Out and Segregated: The Need for Fair Housing for People with Disabilities.”* The Coalition includes architects, developers, builders, lenders, professors, attorneys, disability advocates, government agencies, nonprofits, and other individuals and organizations. The Coalition currently advocates to create more accessible, affordable and integrated housing for Georgians regardless of age or ability. For more information on the SOPOS Housing Coalition, visit http://www.silcga.org/sopos/
Synergies Work is a non-profit that gives people with disabilities the support and a platform to become economically empowered as entrepreneurs with their own business. It provides them with mentorship, advice and practical training on business, technology and fundraising to help them get from idea to viable business to launch and beyond. They work to enable entrepreneurs with disabilities to leverage their skills and become an integral part of the social and economic fabric of their communities. For more information on Synergies Work, visit http://www.synergieswork.org
The UNLOCK! campaign advocates with Georgians with disabilities so we and our families can live full lives and contribute to Georgia communities and the Georgia economy. We believe Georgia must rebalance its system of long-term services and supports, so that fewer dollars are spent on institutional care and more dollars are invested into Home and Community Based supports. For more information on UNLOCK!, click here.