Regional Rally Success & Your Weekly Round Up of Disability Advocacy News

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Representative Darrel Ealum, Legislative Aide James Ealum, III and parent James Tumlin learned about disability advocacy issues for the upcoming legislative session.



On Wednesday, Albany ARC hosted its first regional rally in conjunction with other members of the UNLOCK Coalition, a group of like-minded advocacy groups, service providers, and individuals with disabilities and their families. The coalition believes, “Georgia must re-balance its system of long-term care services and supports, so that fewer dollars are spent on institutional care and more dollars are invested into home and community-based supports.” (

Albany ARC, along with two other remote sites in Macon and Douglas, linked into UNLOCK’s home base in Atlanta to present and discuss our top six legislative priorities for 2017:

  • Increased access and funding for developmental disability waivers.  This Medicaid waiting list is currently the longest in Georgia (8,698 Georgians are waiting as of 9/30/16.) #UNLOCKddwaivers
  • Comprehensive elder and disability abuser registry #UNLOCKAbusReg
  • Employment First, which advocates for reduced barriers and improved outcomes to employment. #UNLOCKemply1st
  • Study of residential care costs and exploration of funding to support intellectual/developmental disability (I/DD) organizations to bridge the gap between an individual’s Social Security Income and the cost of housing. #UNLOCKhousing
  • Strike derogatory language used to describe individuals with disabilities from Georgia state code. #UNLOCKlang
  • 25% Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs) in our vehicle-for-hire (VFH)/ride share/bus tours/rental and any other transportation networks in accordance with the national ADA bill. #UNLOCKtrans

We are very excited to get to work for Georgians with disabilities and their families!  See here if you are interested in learning more about upcoming advocacy days in Atlanta.  If you would like more information about attending upcoming regional rallies in Albany, or you would like to tell your story about why disability advocacy matters to you, then please contact Erin Freeman (

Members of the UNLOCK Coalition believe and adhere to the following principles:

Individuals with disabilities should have the opportunity to live full, self-determined lives.  This means they want the chance:

  • to be employed
  • to have a real home
  • to be engaged in their communities with family and friends
  • to have control over how they spend their time
  • to make choices like anyone else









Now the best disability advocacy news the internet has to offer this week:

Stories like these detract from the immeasurable value of the American Disabilities Act and all the positive changes it has made to accessibility in America.  Many viewers agreed.

The latest on the GNETS situation.

Special Olympics getting some NFL love via My Cause My Cleats weekend.

“All are forcibly committed in institutions by families. … Once you get in, you don’t get out.”  

Yet another reason to visit Target this holiday season.

Learning dance moves is extremely hard, which is a shame because I find dancing beautiful and a great stress outlet.” An ‘Aspie’ describes life with Asperger’s.

Who better to have input in accessible technology design than individuals with disabilities?

“Still, she loves New York City night life and the possibilities that come with being in a crowd of strangers.”

“I am the first disabled person they’ve known personally, due in no small part to segregating disabled kids away as students where my friends wouldn’t have the opportunity to meet them.”

Have an excellent weekend!


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