Information and Support for Parents & Caregivers
This page shares resources for family members, caregivers, and others who support individuals with developmental disabilities. Please check back for upcoming events (including Rec Night information), Parent Advocacy agendas, organizational announcements, useful information, and training resources.
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IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND DATES
Call (912) 644-7529 for all transportation changes.
Please submit all changes 24 hours in advance. For unexpected requests, please submit before 7:30am of the requested day.
2020 Holiday Closings
- January 1, 2020
- January 20, 2020
- May 25, 2020
- July 3, 2020
- September 7, 2020
- November 11, 2020
- November 26 – 27, 2020
- December 21 – 25, 2020*
*We are open
December 28 – 31
EmployAbility Announces the Retirement of Dr. Ken Boyd and the Appointment of Brendan Ferrara
January 8, 2020
Dear Parents and Caregivers,
I’m writing to let you know that our Executive Director, Dr. Ken Boyd, has announced his plans to retire on January 31, 2020 and move closer to family with his wife, Kathy. You can read the full press release here.
In accordance to EmployAbility’s succession plan, Brendan Ferrara – who currently serves as the Director of Training and Supported Employment – will take on the role of President/CEO of EmployAbility on February 1, 2020.
Before joining EmployAbility, Ferrara spent 20 years at Savannah Technical College, first as an instructor, and finishing his tenure as the Dean of the Business and Public Services programs. He is excited to take on this role at EmployAbility, because he feels deeply that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) have many wonderful ways that they contribute to the community, whether it is through exploring the community, volunteering, or working in local businesses.
We wanted to keep you in the loop, because we value you as part of our EmployAbility family. We would also love for you to attend our February Parent & Caregiver Advocacy Meeting, where we will hold a “meet and greet” for you to meet Brendan – we will be sending out the time and date to that event shortly.
We hope to see you next month!
Director of Day Services
Advocacy Days 2020
January 3, 2020
MARK YOUR CALENDARS for 2020 Advocacy Days: January 29, February 6, February 19, February 27, March 11!
Join GCDD at the Capitol during the 2020 legislative session to learn about policies affecting people with disabilities and join advocates from across the state in speaking with elected officials about these very important issues. We need your help to educate Georgia’s lawmakers about topics important to our community.
What to Expect Each Advocacy Day: Each day kicks off at 8 AM at the Central Presbyterian Church, across from the Gold Dome, where leaders from GCDD and other organizations will train and teach advocates how to approach legislators, make a connection and discuss the topics that are important to you. After the interactive training, advocates and leaders will head over to the Gold Dome to meet with legislators. Event ends at 12:15 PM.
- Advocacy Day #1 – January 29 – Gracie’s Law (Organ Transplant Discrimination) – Advocate for Passage of Gracie’s Law to Safeguard against Organ Transplant Discrimination for Children and Adults with Disabilities.
- Advocacy Day #2 – February 6 – Inclusive Post-Secondary Education (IPSE) – Advocate for Inclusive College Opportunities for Students with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities.
- Advocacy Day #3 – February 19 – Home & Community-Based Services – Advocate to Eliminate the Waiting Lists for NOW and COMP Waivers until the waitlist in Georgia is ZERO.
- Advocacy Day #4 – February 27 – School-to-Prison Pipeline (SToPP)* – Advocate to keep African American Males in Special Education classes from being Pushed out of School and into the Criminal Justice System.
- Advocacy Day #5 – March 11 – Employment – Advocate for Policies that Improve Competitive, Integrated Employment Options for Georgians with Developmental Disabilities
Typical Advocacy Day Agenda
8:15 AM – Kick off at the Central Presbyterian Church (across from the Georgia State Capitol) 201 Washington St SW, Atlanta, GA 30334
8:15 AM – 8:30 AM – Arrival & Registration
8:30 AM – Breakfast is served!
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM – Advocacy Day Orientation
10:00 AM – 10:15 AM – Walk over from the church to the Gold Dome (Georgia State Capitol)
10:15 AM – 12:15 PM – Visit with Legislators “at the Ropes”
Find Your Legislator: Your Georgia state representative and state senator represent your district in the Georgia General Assembly. Additionally, it’s important to know what committees they sit on and what bills they have sponsored in the past. Find Your Senator and Representative Online using Open States
Team Lead Volunteer Training: Geared at preparing advocates to take a leadership role at GCDD’s Advocacy Days, Team Lead Volunteers will learn how to navigate the Georgia State Capitol and support attendees in speaking with their legislators. This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in honing their advocacy skills and supporting others to raise their voice! Interested? Visit our Team Lead Volunteer page.
Christmas Break Reminder
We’d like to remind you that EmployAbility will close promptly at 3:00pm on Friday, December 20 and will be closed the week of Christmas – Monday, December 23 through Friday, December 27.
The following week, we will be open with the exception of Wednesday, January 1, 2020.
Have a safe and happy holiday!
Director of Day Services
Start Saving Today with ABLENow Accounts
Benefits of ABLEnow
ABLEnow accounts help individuals with disabilities save money to pay for qualified expenses, without being taxed on the earnings – and in most cases, without losing eligibility for certain means-tested benefit programs.
Visit About ABLEnow to read about the origins of this groundbreaking program that’s helping thousands of people nationwide dream, save and achieve.
ABLEnow accounts are designed to be flexible – easy to manage, easy to contribute to, and easy to use. Pay for a range of qualified disability expenses with your ABLEnow Card, available to all account holders at no additional cost.
Earnings grow free from federal taxes. In addition, some states may offer state tax incentives.
Works With Other Aid
Generally, funds in an ABLEnow account are disregarded when determining eligibility for certain means-tested benefits programs, such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). For these details, please visit Frequently Asked Questions.
Parent Advocacy Format Change
November 14, 2019
Greetings Parents, Providers, and Caregivers:
As you know, we host Parent Advocacy Meetings on a monthly basis in an effort to ensure our families have current information on relevant resources and events at EmployAbility. Our attendance at meetings this year has been very low and we have received some feedback, positive and negative, on the topics we have presented in addition to the frequency of the meetings.
In an effort to encourage participation, we are moving our meetings from monthly to bi-monthly as well as changing our current format. We would love for you as the parent/caregiver to suggest topics for these meetings and suggest topic speakers, and you can do so by using this form and return it by hand, mail, or email to Shenequa Gresham ([email protected]). If your topic is chosen, it will be that parent/caregiver’s responsibility to schedule that speaker for our meeting.
I know this format is different. It is my hope that with more parental/caregiver involvement, these meetings will see increased attendance and parents/caregivers will find them more meaningful and beneficial!
We will not meet in November or December. We will start our new format soon, and you will be notified of the next meeting. Please contact me if you have any questions/concerns. If you are not on our digital mailing list, you can sign up here and choose the Parent & Caregiver News mailing list.
Thank you for all you do!
Director of Day Services
2019 Christmas Dinner Dance
40th Annual Christmas Dinner-Dance Details:
Thursday, December 5, 2019
The Savannah Golf Club
1661 E President Street
Savannah, GA 31404
7:00 pm – 10:30 pm
Christmas Dinner-Dance Tickets go on sale Wednesday, November 6, 2019 from 9:00 am- 1:00 pm!
$20 for participants
$25 for guests
Participants may buy up to ONE additional ticket for a guest
Purchase your tickets at the EmployAbility Warehouse at 1249 Eisenhower Drive
(Use back warehouse entrance for ticket purchases)
You must arrange for your own pickup and be picked up promptly when the dance ends!
If you have any questions, please contact your case manager.
It’s going to be a fantastic night – we can’t wait to see you there!
Director of Day Services
November 22, 2019
Dear Parents & Caregivers:
EmployAbility will close promptly at 3:00pm on Wednesday, November 27, 2019. This is the normal closing time, not early, and we would appreciate a timely pickup of individuals. Please make all necessary arrangements to have your loved ones picked up from the center at this time.
We will be closed Thursday, November 28 and Friday, November 29 for the Thanksgiving holiday. We will resume normal business hours December 2, 2019.
Thank you and have a safe and happy holiday!
Director of Day Services
November 25, 2019
Dear Parents & Caregivers:
Yates Astro Termite & Pest Control has provided a useful handout on the history, treatment, and prevention of bed bug infestations. Please take a moment to look through this information, because it can help your household avoid a bed bug infestation, which is extremely difficult to prevent and to eliminate!
Emergency Van Fundraiser
November 19, 2019
Earlier this month, one of our passenger vans that we use every day for daily transportation routes to and from our campus as well as for Community Access Group activities was stolen. Unfortunately, because of extensive damage done to the ignition and body of the van, the vehicle has been deemed totaled by our insurance company. We have set up an Emergency Van Fundraiser to help raise needed funds to purchase a replacement van.
EmployAbility transports approximately 160 participants from their home to our campus and return each day, on 14 different routes. This does not include CAG activities, which serve an additional 42- 48 people each day. Transportation is a $600,000+ per year expense and we are not reimbursed for these costs.
If you would like to donate to help us purchase a replacement van, please go to our website – www.employabilityga.org/van911 – no donation is too small to make a big difference! Thank you for your continued support.
Read the full letter from Dr. Ken Boyd
Resources for Individuals and Caregivers
Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities
The mission of GCDD is to advance social change, public policy, and innovative practices that increase opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families to thrive where they live, learn, work, play, and worship in Georgia’s communities.
Consumer Protection Guide for Older Adults
Do you know how to spot a scam?
The Georgia Protection Guide for Older Adults is a great resource GA Department of Law to help you and your loved ones avoid scams, schemes, and identity fraud! Download it here.
Georgia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD)
The first step of entering EmployAbility’s programs is visiting the Region 5 Office of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD), in Savannah, GA. (1915 Eisenhower Drive, Building 7, Savannah, GA 31406 (912) 303-1670).
DBHDD provides treatment and support services to people with behavioral health challenges and addictive diseases. They also assist individuals who live with developmental disabilities. The agency’s mission is to provide high-quality health care opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities or behavioral health challenges close to their homes, so they can live a life of independence and recovery and create a sustainable, self-sufficient, and resilient life in their community. Learn more at dbhdd.georgia.gov.
Georgia STABLE Accounts
STABLE Accounts give people with special needs more independence and financial security! Learn more at www.georgiastable.com and see how you or your loved one can benefit.