During the early part of the planning process, the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD)’s Council members identified the need to better market the agency, its name and its product as a top priority. The Council currently publishes several publications whose outcome is to provide people with the information necessary to make informed decisions about their lives and advocate for changes in the system. Making a Difference magazine Public Policy for the People newsletter and GCDD e-news are sent to over 3500 individuals through e-mail and posted to the website. GCDD’s website continues to be a tool that people can use to find information. GCDD staff consistently meets with members of the media to respond to questions and pitch stories. In addition, media roundtables are held when the Council’s quarterly meeting is held in sites other than Atlanta.
GCDD’s priority for Real Influence is to increase awareness of the Council’s activities and promote initiatives supporting its goal and mission. Advocates throughout the state look to GCDD as a leader in assisting individuals with developmental disabilities and their families to become better advocates and have the skills need to support initiatives throughout the State. In addition, the Council has worked in coalition to educate elected officials about the needs of persons with developmental disabilities and their families. Leadership provided during the General Assembly has resulted in increased funding and passage of legislation that continues to move the State in the right direction. With the upcoming reauthorization of the Developmental Disabilities Bill of Rights and Assistance Act, the need to develop the same kinds of relationship with federal legislators is very apparent. GCDD priority is to support coalitions and advocates in promoting coherent public policies for integrated life in the community for people with developmental disabilities and the people who support them.
GCDD Supported Efforts
Make Your Voices Heard: Dawn Alford, planning and public policy development specialist, participated with Rep. Pat Gardner in a webinar hosted by Parent 2 Parent. The video looks at how you can reach out to your local representatives to talk about the issues most important to you.
Media Roundtables - As GCDD moves around the state to host its quarterly Council meetings, one component is to hold a media roundtable in those locations. The Media Roundtables are usually held at the Chamber of Commerce. Newspaper, radio and television media representatives are invited to attend. Valerie Meadows Suber, Public Information Director, and Eric Jacobson, GCDD Executive Director, serve as hosts. There are usually a few family members and advocates who come to share what the local issues or concerns are. Materials about using People First Language are distributed. The media is encouraged to come and cover the Public Forum that is held the next night.
GCDD Public Policy Initiatives
Click each item below for more information on the current priorities.
* Indicates Items supported by GCDD but led by other entities
+ Health & Wellness
+ State Budget
Other Partners and Resources
All About Developmental Disabilities (AADD)
The ARC of Georgia
The Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities
View Our Real Influence Resources