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Advocacy Work

JAA advocacy efforts support individuals with disabilities in making informed life decisions, recognizing and respecting their autonomy. By championing these causes, JAA not only shapes the community’s mindset but also influences policy and best practice to foster a more inclusive and supportive environment for individuals with disabilities in Jewish Atlanta.

Federation’s Jewish Abilities Atlanta promotes an inclusive community that celebrates the uniqueness of each person and lifts the voices and experiences of people with disabilities. In addition, it plays a critical role in advocacy work that ensures people with disabilities have the same opportunities that non-disabled people have and are part of all aspects of Jewish life. Here are some of the advocacy highlights that JAA supports to positively impact so many in our community.

  • The approval of funding for increasing the rate of pay for direct support professionals. This increase will ensure the individual has more consistent support staff and decrease staffing turnover.
  • JAA leads the way in advocating for an increase in Medicaid Waivers. There are over 7000 people on the waiting list and an individual can be on the waiting list for over 10 and last year alone only 500 new waivers were approved. JAA was instrumental in advocating for the increase from the original 125. Without a Medicaid waiver people with disabilities can be without support and rely solely on their family and friends to help with all aspects of daily life. Some cannot use supported employment without a Medicaid Waiver which can make it difficult for individuals to achieve their goals.
  • Attended several sessions and provided consultation on issues impacting people with intellectual disabilities. By advocating and giving feedback to the Senate Study Committee, the study committee made recommendations which will improve the quality of life for people with intellectual disabilities and their families.
  • Advocating to increase Medicaid waivers and advocate for 2300 Medicaid waivers to be funded
  • Amy Murphy, JAA Manager, acts as a team leader at Georgia Council on Developmental Disability Advocacy days at the state Capitol during legislative sessions, leading self-advocates and advocates on the issues. Amy and JAA supporters have met politicians in their offices, at the ropes and around the Capitol to highlight the issues and how they impact people with disabilities. JAA also participates in policy issues outside of legislative session by being part of steering committees and advisory councils.
  • JAA serves as a resource to community organizations, to provide information and assistance in advocating for and supporting the disability community.

Advocacy Days with the GCDD

The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) hosts its annual Advocacy Days beginning Wednesday, January 24, 2024. During the 2024 legislative session, GCDD will host three advocacy days that will take place over a two-day period, one day of virtual preparation, the next day in person at the Georgia State Capitol. Advocacy Days is the opportunity for GCDD, self-advocates, and our Developmental Disability (DD) Network partners across Georgia to go to the Georgia State Capitol during the legislative session and advocate on topics that are important to the disability community. The three 2024 Advocacy Day topics are:

Inclusive Post-Secondary Education (IPSE), Waivers and Wages, and Advancing Employment First and Ending Subminimum Wage.


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