With the onset of the global pandemic that impacted everyone around the world, the disability community and the services and supports that individuals received daily was greatly impacted.
From a Direct Support Professional (DSP) crisis that was already rising before the pandemic to a need for more waiver slots which has been an advocacy platform for many disability advocates, COVID-19 actually increased the issues that have been experienced by the disability community for years.
The U.S. federal government declared a Public Health Emergency early on during the pandemic in 2020, which allowed for extensions and enactment of programs that were able to provide more resources and relief. Among those was Appendix K that allowed states to request amendments to approved Home and Community Based Waivers (HCBS) 1915(c) Waivers.
The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) is driven by its Five Year Plan (2017-2021) goals of education; employment; self-advocacy; Real Communities; and formal and informal supports. The Council, charged with creating systems change for individuals with developmental disabilities and family members, will work through various advocacy and capacity building activities to build a more interdependent, self-sufficient, and integrated and included disability community across Georgia.
This project was supported, in part by grant number 2001GASCDD-03, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy.