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Georgia Voices That Count:. Seven Years of Advocacy Training and Support. Introduction. Advocacy project Quarterly meetings Curriculum Support the disability community Political awareness. Activities of GVTC. Provides advocacy training Fosters peer support Shares resources

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georgia voices that count

Georgia Voices That Count:

Seven Years of Advocacy

Training and Support

introduction
Introduction
  • Advocacy project
  • Quarterly meetings
  • Curriculum
  • Support the disability community
  • Political awareness
activities of gvtc
Activities of GVTC
  • Provides advocacy training
  • Fosters peer support
  • Shares resources
  • Communicates historical context
activities continued
Activities (Continued)
  • Promotes self-advocacy and self-determination
  • Emphasizes lifelong commitment
  • Supports personal growth and achievement
  • Creates leaders and activists
  • Strengthens community
what makes gvtc unique
What Makes GVTC Unique?
  • Only for people with disabilities
  • 80% taught by people with disabilities
  • Cross-disability
  • Collaboration of disability organizations
what makes gvtc unique cont
What Makes GVTC Unique? (cont.)
  • Training with support
  • Individualized experience
  • Experiential training
  • Addresses disparities
  • Challenges the “disability hierarchy”
conferences and curriculum
Conferences and Curriculum
  • History of Self-Advocacy
    • Held in Atlanta
    • Tour the MLK Center
    • Make connection between Civil Rights Movement and the Disability Rights Movement
conferences and curriculum8
Conferences and Curriculum
  • Advocating for Community Living
    • Held in Athens
    • Learn about the Americans with Disabilities Act
    • Learn about the Olmstead Decision
    • Learn about supports and barriers to community living
conferences and curriculum9
Conferences and Curriculum
  • Advocating for Employment
    • Held in Warm Springs
    • Tour the Little White House
    • Consider why Roosevelt hid his disability
    • Examine the supports and barriers regarding employment
conferences and curriculum10
Conferences and Curriculum
  • Leadership
    • Held in Atlanta
    • Coincides with participation in Disability Day at the State Capitol
    • Consider the attributes of good leadership
    • Graduation
circles of support
Circles of Support
  • David – to help deal with serious illness
  • Sheila – to help plan move back into community
  • Tommy – to help publish book
  • Annette – to help move from nursing facility
participants achievements
Participants’ Achievements
  • Joy Norman
    • Class: GVTC #4
    • Advocacy Project: create job fair for people with disabilities
    • Current activities:
      • Works with Mayor’s “Committee for Persons With Disabilities” for annual job fair
      • Now on Statewide Independent Living Council
      • Working to develop Center for Independent Living in Columbus area
      • Provides support to many individuals and causes
      • Quote: “I’m a voice to be reckoned with.”
participants achievements13
Participants’ Achievements
  • Margo Waters
    • Class: GVTC #2
    • Advocacy Project: organize curb cuts
    • Current activities:
      • Testified at State Capitol regarding the Independent Care Waiver Program
      • Helped create legislation for the Visitability Campaign
      • Testified at city council regarding pedestrian accessibility
      • Now employed at disABILITY LINK and supporting many persons with disabilities and important issues
      • Quote: “Voices has empowered me to speak up whenever, where ever necessary.”
participants achievements14
Participants’ Achievements
  • Ryan Mercer
    • Class: GVTC #6
    • Advocacy Project: create a website featuring resources for young people with disabilities
      • http://ryansresources.homestead.com/
    • Current activities:
      • Continues to update site
      • Featured in Sept. ‘08 AJC article
      • Member of People First of Atlanta
      • Working on his own plans for independence
      • Quote: “They taught me how to stand up for myself.”
participants achievements15
Participants’ Achievements
  • Betty Hasan-Amin
    • Class: GVTC #6
    • Advocacy Project: create and distribute a brochure of resources relevant to people new to independent living
    • Current activities:
      • Board member of the Interfaith Disability Connection
      • Current Organizing Institute participant working to connect disability and refugee communities
      • Active in transportation advocacy
      • Quote: “We are strong.”
participants achievements16
Participants’ Achievements
  • Whitney Walker
    • Class: GVTC #1
    • Advocacy Project: Letter writing campaign for full implementation of the Olmstead Decision
    • Current activities:
      • Continues to write actively
      • Attended Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered 2008
      • Member of People First of Atlanta
      • Quote: “Georgia Voices That Count helps a lot of people help a lot of people.”
participants achievements17
Participants’ Achievements
  • Barbaraann Bongiovanni
    • Class: GVTC #4
    • Advocacy Project:
      • successfully advocated for accessible sidewalks, crosswalks and curb cuts in her community
    • Current Activities:
      • Appointed board member of the Georgia Independent Living Network Meeting and disABILITY LINK
      • developed summer camp for teenagers with disabilities to learn about self advocacy and self determination as part of The Organizing Institute
      • Certified Peer Supporter through The Georgia Peer Support project and actively provides peer support
      • Volunteers in local and statewide organizations for people with and without disabilities
      • Quote: "I am truly a Georgia Voice that Counts!"
participants achievements18
Participants’ Achievements
  • Percy Hardy
    • Class: GVTC #5
    • Advocacy Project: Become a peer supporter
    • Current Activities:
      • Is now a Certified Peer Supporter
      • Recognizes that his experiences, though difficult at times, has provided him the unique ability to offer support to other people with disabilities
      • People First board member and active in disability community events
      • Overcame his fear of public speaking!
      • Quote: "I am now confident I have something to offer!"
participants achievements19
Participants’ Achievements
  • Dawn Alford
    • Class: GVTC #4
    • Advocacy Project: a student at Georgia Tech and working on campus accessibility issues
    • Current Activities:
      • Appointed Ex Officio member of the Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
      • Regularly testifies at the State Capitol regarding services for people with disabilities
      • Undertakes speaking engagements on a variety of disability related topics including service dogs
      • Working towards full accessibility in her worship community
      • Quote: “Everyone can be a leader!”
outcomes of gvtc
Outcomes of GVTC
  • GVTC has produced “positive personal growth” and “clear progress” in participants1
  • Promotes ethnic, gender, and geographical diversity in advocacy training2
  • Essential to “positively influence public policies that enhance the quality of life for people with…disabilities and their families.”3
  • Produced community leaders with direct impact on legislative and other decision making bodies.

1 “Values in Action: Outcomes & Impact of GCDD Programs”, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. April 2008. p.45

2 Ibid., p 41

3Ibid., p 45

conclusion
Conclusion
  • Creates Self-Advocacy
    • Enhances existing skills
    • Builds confidence
    • Cultivates self-direction
  • Creates Leadership
    • Promotes perseverance
    • Fosters mentorship
    • Enhances public speaking skills
  • Creates Community
    • Projects have direct social impact
    • Strengthens disability community
    • Encourages inclusion and diversity