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January 2022

In This Issue:
  • The State ADA Coordinator’s Office - Recognizing and Celebrating the Legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    • Interview with Mike Galifianakis, Esq.
    • The Necessity of Effective Communication regarding the ADA
  • COVID-19 Pandemic Update
  • ADA Legal Updates
  • State of Georgia Agency ADA Coordinator Spotlight
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act
    • ADA Title I - Employment
    • ADA Title II -State and Local Governments
      • Upcoming Virtual ADA Conference for State and Local Governments
  • Facilities Access Considerations
  • Accessible Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
    • U.S. DOJ Guidance
    • AccessGA
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Mental Health Wellness
  • “We will remember” – Remembering the Civil and Disability Rights figures we lost in 2020 and 2021
  • Effective Communication Matters
  • ADA Training and Event Opportunities
  • April 2022 Issue of The ADA Informer – Sneak Peek!
The State ADA Coordinator's Office Recognizes and Celebrates the Legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the March on Washington, on August 28th, 1963.
On January 17th, 2022, we will recognize and celebrate the life, ministry, activism, and leadership of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In this issue of The ADA Informer, we will highlight Dr. King’s tireless and diligent work, which ultimately led to the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and which later helped to provide the framework for the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

The second child born to Alberta Williams King and Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. on January 15th, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. King’s life was cut short when he was assassinated on April 4th, 1968. Although he was only on this earthy plane for 39 years, how Dr. King spent his 14,324 days during the “dash” between his birth and death dates is why we celebrate and honor him.

Writer Joseph Epstein once said, “We do not choose to be born. We do not choose our parents, or the country of our birth. We do not, most of us, choose to die; nor do we choose the time and conditions of our death. But within this realm of choicelessness, we do choose how we live.”

How Dr. King chose to live, the speeches and sermons he blessed us with, the alliances he created, and the sacrifices he made changed the course of our nation and helped to create a more inclusive world for all of us.  He lived by the creed that “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. King was killed before I was born; however, as an African American woman who at the young of 5 years old desegregated her Southern California elementary school, and as a graduate of Spelman College (Dr. King’s alma mater’s, Morehouse, sister school) who also had the honor and privilege of being taught by Dr. King’s sister, former Spelman Professor and fellow alumna, Christine King Farris, his legacy is woven into the very fabric of my life. I would not be who I am without his struggles and sacrifices.

Yoshiko and Justin Dart (right) lead a rights march. Above them is a banner reading " Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" by Martin Luther King Jr. Photo by Tom Olin.Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech reminds us that dreaming can be an effective method towards envisioning a world that, if we work together, can one day become a reality. To dream, strategize, and fight for change are exactly what disability rights activists did in the decades prior to the passage and strengthening of section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act and the passage of the ADA.

Gavel resting on the a book open Chapter 13 - Civil Rights.In 1964, the Civil Rights Act was passed, making it illegal to discriminate against a person based on their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. However, the Civil Rights Act did not include individuals with disabilities, whose fight for legal inclusion continued for close to 30 years. Disability rights activists continued to fight against similar injustices which Dr. King endured, and his courage, leadership, strategies, and perseverance inspired the persistence and determination of these advocates across the country. By following Dr. King’s example, as well as his words, they understood that “No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“[D]isability advocates saw the opportunity to join forces alongside other minority groups to demand equal treatment, equal access and equal opportunity for people with disabilities. The struggle for disability rights has followed a similar pattern to many other civil rights movements – challenging negative attitudes and stereotypes, rallying for political and institutional change, and lobbying for the self-determination of a minority community.Source: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Evolution of Disability Rights | Military Special Needs Network (

Christine King Farris quoted her brother as once stating to their mother, Alberta, “Mother Dear, one day I'm going to turn this world upside down." And Dr. King, did just that. His legacy is forever entrenched into the landscape of humankind, and we will forever be in his debt.

As we honor the legacy of Dr. King, I would like you to ask yourself, what am I doing to “turn this world upside down” for the better? How are my actions helping others, dispelling stereotypes, creating access and/or facilitating positive change? For in the words of Dr. King, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." In this new year of 2022, let’s make sure we continue to use our voices for good, acceptance, and inclusion.

Stacey Valrie Peace, Esq
Stacey Valrie Peace, Esq.
State ADA Coordinator

Interview with Mike Galifianakis, Esq.

“In my view, there is no ADA without the civil rights movement and Civil Rights Act of 1964.” – Mike Galifianakis, Esq., joins our Assistant State ADA Coordinator, Cheryl Ann Frazier, for an interview regarding Civil Rights

Mike Galifianakis, Former State ADA CoordinatorMike Galifianakis served as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator for the State of Georgia. The ADA Coordinator’s Office works with State agencies to promote full and equal access to state government programs, services, and activities for persons with disabilities. He retired in 2018. 

He graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology in 1981 and earned his Juris Doctor from Georgia State University School of Law in 1992.

Prior to serving as the State ADA Coordinator, Mr. Galifianakis maintained a law practice specializing in disability issues, including employment and fair housing law. In this capacity, he regularly handled housing discrimination cases, and served as a Special Assistant Attorney General to the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity’s Fair Housing Division. Below are the links to the accessible Word and pdf interview transcripts:


The ability to communicate is essential to all human interactions. According to the U. S. Department of Justice, State and Local Governments Tool Kit, Under Title II of the ADA, all State and local governments are required to take steps to ensure that their communications with people with disabilities are as effective as communications with others. This requirement is referred to as “effective communication.” The only exception to this requirement is where a state or local government can show that providing effective communication would fundamentally alter the nature of the service or program in question or would result in an undue financial and administrative burden.
What does it mean for communication to be “effective?” Simply put, “effective communication” means that whatever is written or spoken must be as clear and understandable to people with disabilities as it is for people who do not have disabilities. This is important because some people have disabilities that affect how they communicate. Individuals have the right to effective communication; it is the law.

How is communication with individuals with disabilities different from communication with people without disabilities? For many individuals with disabilities, there is no difference. But people who have disabilities that affect hearing, seeing, speaking, reading, writing, or understanding may use different ways to communicate than people who do not.
In 2007, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice issued a technical assistance document entitled “The ADA Best Practices Tool Kit for State and Local Governments” to assist state and local officials to improve compliance with Title II of the ADA.
“The effective communication requirement applies to ALL members of the public with disabilities, including job applicants, program participants, and even people who simply contact state or local government agencies seeking information about programs, services, or activities.” (Source:

There are a multitude of additional resources available to assist entities fulfill the effective communication requirements of the ADA. The State ADA Coordinator’s Office would like to share a few below: Also in this issue, the State ADA Coordinator’s Office’s team would like to share several publications, that have been authored and co-authored by our office, which focus on the importance of external customers with disabilities. Electronic versions of these publications can be found here on our office’s website.  If you would like a hard copy of any of these publications listed below or any of the other publications listed on our office’s website, please contact the State ADA Coordinator’s Office at 404- 657-7313 (office), 404-657-9993 (TTY), or via email at

State ADA Coordinator's Office's Publications

•	Best Practices when Interacting with People with Disabilities: A customer service guide for state government agenciesBest Practices when Interacting with People with Disabilities: A customer service guide for state government agencies
A Meaningful Opportunity to Participate: A handbook for Georgia court officials on courtroom accessibility for individuals with disabilities.A Meaningful Opportunity to Participate: A handbook for Georgia court officials on courtroom accessibility for individuals with disabilities. 
A Meaningful Opportunity to Participate: A Mental Illness and Cognitive Disability Companion GuideA Meaningful Opportunity to Participate: A Mental Illness and Cognitive Disability Companion Guide:  This is a Mental Illness and Cognitive Disabilities Companion Guide to Access to Justice for People with Disabilities: A Guide for Georgia Courts ("Access to Justice Guide"). In developing the 2017 edition of the Access to Justice Guide, the Judicial Council Access, Fairness, Public Trust and Confidence Committee ("Committee") decided that there were unique issues involved in providing accommodations to people with mental illness and cognitive disabilities that warranted additional attention.
•	2021 Capitol Hill Accessibility Guide for Visitors with Disabilities: This handbook provides information on the accessible features and accommodation protocols on Capitol Hill. A 2022 Capitol Hill Accessibility Guide will be available online soon!2021 Capitol Hill Accessibility Guide for Visitors with Disabilities: This handbook provides information on the accessible features and accommodation protocols on Capitol Hill. A 2022 Capitol Hill Accessibility Guide will be available online soon.
•	TIPS Guide for First Responders:  A quick reference guide that provides specific, practical tips for First Responders when working with people who have disabilities.TIPS Guide for First Responders:  A quick reference guide that provides specific, practical tips for First Responders when working with people who have disabilities.
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COVID-19 Pandemic Update

Coronavirus News Update
Governor Kemp's Update - Executive Order - Renewal of State of Emergency for Continued COVID-19 Economic Recovery – 12.17.2021 White House Update Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  State ADA Coordinator's Office - COVID-19 Helpful Resources ADA National Network – Disability and COVID-19 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Job Accommodation Network (JAN) American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD)
  • AAHD has been closely monitoring and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in the areas of research, policy, dissemination, and education.  Since March 2020, AAHD has developed and gathered COVID-19 resources to best serve the disability community. For more information please visit AAHD Covid-19 Resources.
World Health Organization (WHO)

ADA Legal Updates

ADA Legal Updates - a close up of a gold gavel
Recent DOJ Settlement and Voluntary Resolution Agreements Regarding Effective Communication: Recent EEOC Settlement Agreements and Inquiries regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA):

EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit Settled regarding reasonable accommodations - Health Services Provider Capped Leave and Light Duty, Federal Agency Says Fabrication, Coating, and Assembly Company Terminated Employee Because of His Depression, Federal Agency Charges Company Fired Employee Who Fasted for Lent and Was Regarded as Having a Disability, Federal Agency Charged Former Owner of Oak Park Hospital Fired Woman With a Disability Instead of Accommodating Her, Federal Agency Charged

State of Georgia Agency ADA Coordinator Spotlight

Latoya Doucette, Esq., Assistant General Counsel/ADA Coordinator
Georgia Department of Drivers Services

Years of service with the State of Georgia – 20 years

Years of service as an ADA Coordinator for DDS – 4 years
What do you enjoy most about being an ADA Coordinator?
“I enjoy the process of engaging with our customers to understand their needs and then working together to find solutions to ensure they have access to our services.”
Please tell us about a few ADA-related initiatives within the Georgia Department of Drivers Services (DDS) that you are proud to share. 
“(1) Through the AccessGA initiative, DDS partnered with the State ADA Coordinator’s Office and Georgia Tech’s Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation to improve the accessibility of DDS e-services program.  This program allows customers to manage their identity credentials online by offering services such as address changes, renewing or replacing a license or identity card, paying fees, and many other options. 

(2) DDS is continuously striving to ensure effective communication in the delivery of services such as the written examination.  For example, a request for assistance was received from a customer who was a person with both a cognitive disability and severe hearing loss.  The customer did not know sign language or how to speech-read.  The customer stated that they had been working with an instructor to prepare for the exam and therefore, the instructor could provide guidance on the specific accommodations the customer would need to take the exam orally.  After speaking with the customer’s instructor, DDS was able to implement reasonable accommodations that enabled DDS staff to successfully administer the oral examination.”

To learn more about our featured State of Georgia Agency ADA Coordinator, Latoya Doucette, please see her bio below:
Latoya Doucette is a native of Atlanta.  She is married with two adult children, a son and daughter, and she is the proud grandparent of a beautiful granddaughter.  Latoya is a licensed attorney who is a graduate of Emory University School of Law.  She has 20 years of experience with the State of Georgia in the areas of employment, disability, contracts, procurement, and administrative law.  Currently, Latoya is employed with the Georgia Department of Drivers Services where her responsibilities include serving as the Title VI/ADA Coordinator as well as an Assistant General Counsel for the legal department.
“Latoya is the consummate professional, and we are delighted that she is spotlighted in our January 2022 newsletter. She is committed to ensuring the programs, services, and activities offered through DDS are accessible to all. Most impressive is Latoya’s gift of collaboration with other ADA experts to ensure that DDS serves the public in the best possible fashion. She cares about humanity and models the tenets of the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act to ensure the citizens of Georgia are treated fairly and equitably. We are grateful to have Latoya and DDS as ADA partners.” – Cheryl Ann Frazier, Assistant State ADA Coordinator
Spotlight with gold streamers at the top.
Are you proud of the work you are doing as a State of Georgia Agency ADA Coordinator? Would you like us to spotlight you in The ADA Informer?  If so, please contact the State ADA Coordinator’s Office at:
Office: 404- 657-7313
TTY: 404-657-9993

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

ADA Title I - Employment

ADA Title II - State and Local Governments


State ADA Coordinator's Office - Georgia

Mark Your Calendar - Virtual ADA Conference for State and Local Governments May 3-5, 2022 Banner - A picture of the Georgia State Capital in the background
Registration coming soon for the 2022 Virtual ADA Conference for State and Local Governments!  

This Virtual ADA Conference is intended for State of Georgia and local municipalities’ agency ADA Coordinators, program officials, facility administrators, human resources professionals, and other individuals with ADA compliance responsibilities under Title I and/or Title II. The goal of the conference is to ensure that participants get useful information that is applicable to their work. The session topics will focus on the latest ADA regulations information, accessibility standards, implementation strategies, and best practices for State and local governments, as well as guidance for effective service delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additional Training Opportunities:

Facilities Access Considerations

  • 2010 ADA Standards
    • Effective Communication in new construction is scoped and detailed technically in the following sections
      • 215 & 702 Fire Alarms
      • 216 & 703 Signage
      • 217 Telephones
      • 219 & 706 Assistive Listening
      • 409 Elevators
      • 502 Parking Spaces
      • 705 Detectable Warnings
      • 230 & 708 Two-Way
      • 224 & 806 Hotel Guest Rooms
      • 232 & 807 Correctional Facilities Housing
    • These are some key points to remember.
      • Details of Alarm systems covered by NFPA 72 as a reference standard.
      • If communication is intended both audible and visible means should be provided to be effective for all individuals.
        Assistive Listening Systems
      • Signage is required to include braille when identifying permanent rooms and spaces, especially exit stairs.
         Image of women holding a cane and reading Braille signage with her fingertips.
      • Accessible Parking is identified by the international symbol signage, not the symbol on parking surfaces.
        Post-mounted accessible parking space sign 60" high min. measured to bottom edge and Universal symbol for handicap access.
      • Detectable Warnings in sidewalks are only warnings, not wayfinding devices.  
        Detectable Warnings on Curb Ramps Diagram

Accessible Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

A laptop with the word Accessible on it.  A glass of water sits next to the laptop
U.S. DOJ Guidance:

U.S. Department of Justice – Civil Rights Division – Disability Rights Section
AccessGA is a joint project of the State ADA Coordinator’s Office – Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission, the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Center for Inclusive Design & Innovation (CIDI), and the Georgia Technology Authority (GTA). AccessGA’s purpose is to support State of Georgia agencies with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) accessibility, promoting equal and timely access for employees and customers with a wide range of disabilities.
On December 1st and 8th, 2021, AccessGA held a webinar entitled: 2 - Part Fillable Forms AccessGA

Emergency Preparedness

A Piece of Paper with a blue banner at the top with the words Tornado, Flashflood, Earthquake, Winterstorm and below it are the words "Emergency Preparedness Checklist."  A pen is sitting on top of the paper

Mental Health Wellness

A gray piece of paper with words such as healthy, life, fitness, living, wellness, sport, exercise, with a stethoscope and colored pencils around the edges of the paper
Suicide Prevention – If You Know Someone in Crisis

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline) at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741). Both services are free and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All calls are confidential. Contact social media outlets directly if you are concerned about a friend’s social media updates or dial 911 in an emergency. Learn more on the Lifeline’s website or the Crisis Text Line’s website.

The Veterans Crisis Line connects Service members and Veterans in crisis, as well as their family members and friends, with qualified Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text messaging service. Dial 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 to talk to someone or send a text message to 838255 to connect with a VA responder.  You can also start a confidential online chat session at Veterans Crisis Chat.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)   Crisis Text Line - Text HELLO to 741741, Free, 24/7, Confidential   Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255 Press 1
Department of Justice and US Department of Education Seals
Supporting and Protecting the Rights of Students at Risk of Self-Harm in the Era of COVID-19 -
Mental Health Resources
A woman sitting in a chair with her hands on her face
A woman staring at her computer with a stressed look

"We Will Remember"

Remembering the Civil and Disability Rights figures we lost in 2020 and 2021
A burning white candle with a bouquet of lavender laying by it with the words "We will remember" above it
In 2020 and 2021, several Civil and Disability Rights figures transitioned. We will remember their service to humankind in furthering the recognition of the need for implementation and practice of Civil Rights in the United States and beyond. Please note, this list is not exhaustive.
Hank Aaron receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. BushHank Aaron, Baseball Legend and Civil Rights Icon
Hank Aaron was an American professional baseball right fielder who played 23 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB), from 1954 through 1976. Widely regarded as one of the greatest baseball players in history, he spent 21 seasons with the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves in the National League (NL) and two seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers in the American League (AL).In 1982, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.

Aaron was an activist in the civil rights movement having been fueled by a powerful inner desire after overcoming an impoverished youth and racial hatred to become one of the greatest and most consistent baseball stars of all time. On January 8, 2001, Aaron was presented with the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Bill Clinton. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, from President George W. Bush in June 2002. 11 Alive - Hank Aaron's Contributions to Civil Rights
Senator Robert “Bob” DoleSenator Robert “Bob” Dole, Civil Rights Champion
Bob Dole was a giant of U.S. politics in the 20th century. His leadership and service touched millions of lives in America and around the world.

Senator Dole was instrumental in the passage of the ADA and a lifelong advocate for people with disabilities. A veteran of the Second World War, Senator Dole sustained injuries resulting in limited mobility in his right arm and numbness in his left arm. His personal experience as a veteran with a disability informed his life-long commitment to advancing opportunities and equality for people with disabilities. Senator Dole considered the Americans with Disabilities Act to be his greatest achievement. His leadership, especially with the business community, is credited for the law's bipartisan support and ultimate passage. After leaving the U.S. Senate in 1996, he continued his work on behalf of people with disabilities both in the United States and globally.
Robert Joseph Dole (
Anne Emerman, seated, in 1990 after being sworn in as director of the Mayor’s Office for People With Disabilities under Mayor David N. Dinkins, second from right. Also with her, from left, were her mother, Mae Bobson; her daughter, Amy Emerman; and her husband.Anne Emerman, Disability Rights Advocate
Anne served as Director of the New York City Mayor’s Office for Disabilities (MOPD) during the Mayor Dinkins’ Administration. She contracted polio in 1944 and became a fierce advocate in support of the rights of people with disabilities. She was a principal member of the Disabled in Action Singers. Access to voting was one of the many causes she championed, and a quick wit was one of her many fine qualities. When she was asked, If you are unable to use the polling place, why not just file an absentee ballot?, her retort was: “I am not absent, I am not on vacation, I am part of my community”. New York Times - Anne Emerman - Disability Rights Advocate Dies
Dr. Margaret Giannini,Dr. Margaret Giannini, Disability Rights Expert
Margaret Giannini was an internationally recognized expert in the care of people with disabilities, was the catalyst behind what is now the Westchester Institute for Human Development in Valhalla, N.Y, north of New York City, one of the world’s largest facilities for people with developmental disabilities. New York Times - Margaret Giannini -  Disability Rights Expert Dies
Marilyn GoldenMarilyn Golden, Champion for Disability Rights
“Ms. Golden, who had worked with DREDF since 1988, was a leading advocate for passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a landmark law, signed by President George H.W. Bush in 1990, that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in areas including transportation, employment, and access to public accommodations.” The Washington Post - Marilyn Golden - Champion for Disability Rights Dies
Vernon E. Jordan, Jr.Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., Businessman and Civil Rights Activist
Vernon Jordan was an American business executive and civil rights activist who worked for various civil rights movement organizations before becoming a close advisor to President Bill Clinton.

Jordan grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, and graduated in 1957 from DePauw University. In the early 1960s, he started his civil rights career, most notably being a part of a team of lawyers that desegregated the University of Georgia. He then continued to work for multiple civil rights organizations until the late 1980s. In the early 1990s, he became a close ally and friend of Bill Clinton and he served as part of Clinton's transition team. Forbes: Prominent Civil Rights Leader Vernon Jordan Dead At 85
Larry KramerLarry Kramer, Pioneering AIDS Activist, Playwright and Writer
Larry Kramer was one of the first activists against AIDS, back when the disease didn't even have a name. His outspoken activism helped to shift national health policy in the 1980s and ’90s.  “An author, essayist and playwright — notably hailed for his autobiographical 1985 play, “The Normal Heart” — Mr. Kramer had feet in both the world of letters and the public sphere. In 1981 he was a founder of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the first service organization for H.I.V.-positive people.” NY Times - Larry Kramer - AIDS Activist Dies
U. S. Representative John LewisU. S. Representative John Lewis, Civil Rights Icon
John Lewis was an American statesman and civil rights activist who served in the United States House of Representatives for Georgia's 5th congressional district from 1987 until his death in 2020. He was the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) from 1963 to 1966. Lewis was one of the "Big Six" leaders of groups who organized the 1963 March on Washington. He fulfilled many key roles in the civil rights movement and its actions to end legalized racial segregation in the United States. In 1965, Lewis led the first of three Selma to Montgomery marches across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

Lewis was first elected to Congress in 1986 and served 17 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. The district he represented included most of Atlanta. Due to his length of service, he became the Dean of the Georgia congressional delegation. While in the House, Lewis was one of the leaders of the Democratic Party, serving from 1991 as a Chief Deputy Whip and from 2003 as a Senior Chief Deputy Whip. John Lewis received many honorary degrees and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011. History, Art and Archives - US House of Representatives - John Lewis
Reverend Dr. Joseph E. LoweryReverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, Known as the “Dean of Civil Rights”
Rev. Lowery was an American minister in the United Methodist Church and leader in the civil rights movement. He founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Martin Luther King Jr. and others, serving as its vice president, later chairman of the board, and from 1977 to 1997 its president. Lowery participated in most of the major activities of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s and continued his civil rights work into the 21st century. In 2009, Lowery received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from U.S. President Barack Obama. Atlanta Journal and Constitution - Remembering Rev. Joseph Lowery
U.S. Vice President Walter MondaleU.S. Vice President Walter Mondale, Civil Rights Champion
Walter Mondale was an American lawyer and politician who served as the 42nd vice president of the United States from 1977 to 1981 under President Jimmy Carter. A U.S. senator from Minnesota from 1964 to 1976, he was the Democratic Party's nominee in the 1984 presidential election.  The day following Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s assassination Mondale called for immediate congressional action on what would come to be referred to as the Fair Housing Act. As a young senator, Mondale wanted to complete the work of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which lacked provisions for federal enforcement of a prohibition on housing discrimination.

Mondale remained an ardent advocate for civil rights over the next 53 years. He was at the forefront of the hard fights to implement additional Kerner Commission recommendations, to extend the Voting Rights Act (which he had voted for as a new senator in 1965), and to realize the promise of equal rights and equal protection under the law to all Americans. “To a greater extent than any of his many missions, it was this commitment to civil rights that defined Mondale’s service as a multi-term senator, the vice president of the United States serving with President Jimmy Carter, the Democratic nominee for president in 1984, and an elder statesman of his own Democratic Party and his nation.” The Nation - Walter Mondale’s Decades-Long Crusade for Fair Housing and the Full Promise of Civil Rights
Robert “Bob” MosesRobert “Bob” Moses, Educator and Civil Rights Leader
Robert Moses was a lifelong educator and civil rights leader who inspired generations of organizers, engaging with them around the importance of collective action and respecting local knowledge. As an organizer with the Southern Nonviolent Coordinating Committee Moses worked alongside communities in rural Mississippi. In many ways, his work paved the way for contemporary organizing around voter registration and civic engagement.   News One - Robert Moses - Veteran SNCC Organizer Dies
Reverend Dr. James L. NettersReverend Dr. James L. Netters, Civil Rights Leader
Rev. Netters was a prominent civil rights leader, beloved pastor and one of the first Black members of Memphis City Council. Netters began his decades-long work of advancing civil rights for Black Americans and Black Memphians after he attended the March on Washington in 1963. He was galvanized into action after observing two giants of the civil rights movement — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lewis, who later became a congressman. Commercial Appeal - Rev. James Netters- Memphis Pastor and Civil Rights Leader Dies
Lucille TimesLucille Times, Civil Rights Activist
Lucille Times was an American civil rights activist. She was active in the struggle for civil rights in Montgomery, Alabama throughout her adult life. Times worked for the cause at a time when the city was at the center of the national movement. - Lucille Times - Civil Rights Activist Dies
Reverend Cordy Tindell “C.T.” VivianReverend Cordy Tindell “C.T.” Vivian, Civil Rights Pioneer
Rev. Tindell was an American minister, author, giant of the Civil Rights movement and close friend and lieutenant of Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement. Rev. Tindell went on to become an active and early member of the group that eventually became the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He resided in Atlanta, Georgia, and founded the C. T. Vivian Leadership Institute, Inc. In 2013, President Barack Obama honored Rev. Tindell with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. NPR - Rev. C.T. Vivian - Civil Rights Pioneer Dies
Archbishop Desmond TutuArchbishop Desmond Tutu, Civil Rights Giant
A giant of civil rights and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, helped lead South Africa out of apartheid - South Africa's official policy of racial segregation - and called for reconciliation around the globe. “[We] joined the world in celebrating his 90th birthday and reflecting on the power of his message of justice, equality, truth, and reconciliation as we confront racism and extremism in our time today.” President Joe and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden - Statement by President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden on the Passing of Archbishop Desmond Tutu | The White House
Cicely TysonCicely Tyson, Actress and Civil Rights Activist
Cicely Tyson was an actress and civil rights activist whose decades of singular, ground-breaking roles on Broadway and in Hollywood helped to make way for other African American actresses. Her career often defied the stereotypical roles that African American women were relegated to during her seven decades of acting, at times going without work because of her principles. “She was critical of films and television programs that cast Black characters as criminal, servile or immoral, and insisted that African-Americans, even if poor or downtrodden, should be portrayed with dignity,” the New York Times noted.  Ms. Tyson received many awards during her lifetime including, the NAACP’s 2010 Spingarn Medal for her exposure to media and expansion of black beauty and women empowerment and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, by President Barak Obama. NY Times - Cicely Tyson - Actress and Activist Dies
Special Remembrance Trailblazing Actor and Civil Rights Activist, Sidney Poitier, transitioned on January 7th, 2022. We will honor his contributions in the January 2023 issue of The ADA Informer.
Sidney Poitier with Barack Obama

Effective Communication Matters

Dear Daughter — A Hearing Loss Poem
Your voice is soft. You face away from me when you talk, distracted by something nearby. You cover your mouth with your hands. You speak rapidly and slur your words together. You laugh and talk at the same time. You cry and talk at the same time. It’s not your fault. You are a pre-teen girl. That is what they do.

But it is hard for me to hear you.

I do everything I can. I wear my hearing aids. I look at you to get clues from your face and lips. I remind you to speak up, to look at me, to speak slower. I remind you again. Sometimes I turn your face towards me. You don’t like that.

But it is hard for me to hear you.

Your father repeats what you say. Your brother repeats what you say. You repeat yourself once, twice. It starts off loud but gets quieter as the sentence goes on as if you forget along the way why you are repeating yourself.

But it is hard for me to hear you.

Should we write each other notes? Learn sign language? Pretend we are on the stage and enunciate? Get a megaphone? A special sound system? Not talk? No, not that.

But it is hard for me to hear you.

It’s not fair, I know, having a mom that cannot hear you. I would change it if I could, but I cannot. I will try harder, but it is really up to you. 

Please keep trying. I want to hear you.

CreditLiving With Hearing Loss

ADA Training and Event Opportunities

A hand writing on a chalkboard with Training circled and other learning skills written around it.
National Institute of Mental Health
Upcoming National Institute of Mental Health Virtual Training Opportunities

School-based Suicide Prevention: Promising Approaches and Opportunities for Research
January 14, 2022, 2:00 - 3:30 pm ET | Virtual
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Extramural Research Community Listening Session: Town Hall
January 21, 2022, 1:00 - 5:00 pm ET | Virtual
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Register Today! Join GCDD for Virtual Advocacy Days this 2022 Georgia Legislative Session! Jan 26: Addressing the DSP Shortage, Feb 16: Reducing the Waiver Waitlist, Mar 16: Ending Sub Minimum Wage. Register today!
Advocacy Day #1 • January 26 • 10 AM
Addressing the Direct Support Professional Workforce Shortage

There is a growing demand for DSPs to support citizens with disabilities in home and community settings. This demand is outpacing the supply of available workers. Vacancy rates and voluntary turnover is high. Low wages and limited benefits, minimal training, ineffective supervision, and few opportunities for career growth, combined with the growing complexity of work, are barriers to creating a stable workforce.

Advocacy Day #2 • February 16 • 10 AM
Reducing the NOW/COMP Waiver Waitlist

In Georgia, we have over 7,000 people with developmental disabilities waiting to receive a Medicaid waiver, some waiting more than a decade to receive. Although Georgia is not alone in having a waiver waitlist, limited spending on Medicaid waivers in Georgia has resulted in a longer waitlist than most states. Especially troubling is the result we see when waiver services are underfunded, which is the increased numbers of young people with disabilities who end up stuck in nursing homes. Join us is educating our state representatives and senators on this important topic.

Advocacy Day #3 • March 16 • 10 AM
Ending Sub Minimum Wage Practices

State and federal laws and policies are shifting toward requiring and supporting increased opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to work in their communities and to have meaningful days in the community when not working. Georgia's subminimum wage practices, currently allowed through 14(c) certificates, must be phased out in order to successfully support more people with developmental disabilities to be successfully employed in the community in jobs of their choice.
CDC Learning Connection. Connect. Learn. Improve health.
Stay informed about quality online trainings from CDC, other federal agencies, and federally funded partners with CDC Learning Connection. And don’t forget to sign up for their newsletter!

Free CE with a drawing of pills.Hot Topic Training:
Learn how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted antibiotic prescribing and ways to optimize antibiotic use. Earn free CE.

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Free CE: Young woman talking to doctor in a clinic. Both ar wearing protective face masks.Identify and Treat Lupus:
An estimated 1.5 million Americans have lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease. Learn about lupus diagnosis, treatment, and referral through four case studies. Earn free CE and MOC.

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Free CE: Cooling towers at a power stationRespond to a Toxicological Outbreak:
Toxicological outbreaks are caused by toxic agents like heavy metals and chemicals. Learn how to recognize and respond to a toxicological outbreak. Earn free CE.

Create an Account and Learn More
Free CE: Young boy sitting in wheelchair with caregiver.Include People with Disabilities
People with disabilities need public health programs and healthcare services to be healthy, active, and engaged in their communities—just like everyone else. Learn how to make health department programs and services more inclusive and accessible. Earn free CE.

Create an Account and Learn More
Great Plan ADA Center
Save the Dates!
This 3-day training is open to the public; membership in the ACTC Program is not required to register.
A full agenda and registration information will be announced soon and will also include a NEW ACTCP Advanced: Law Enforcement Certificate option.
Single/multi-day and full conference registration options will also be available.
Registration rates will be $150 per day or $375 for full 3-day conference.

For information on the ADA Coordinator Training Certification Program (ACTCP) go to our website at 
2022 National ADA Symposium - Virtual

National ADA Symposium
This 4-day training is open to the public and will provide a wide variety of session selections with nationally recognized expert presenters to meet your ADA educational needs.
Single-day, multi-day and full conference registration rates will be available. Pricing and session descriptions will be forthcoming in the new year.
Other Training Opportunities
Job Accommodation Network (JAN):

The April 2022 issue of The ADA Informer will focus on Assistive Technology!

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For more information about the State of Georgia ADA Coordinator's Office:
visit our website or email us.
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