“For people living with developmental disabilities, transitions are a challenge, be it from elementary to high school, high school to college, to a new job or to a new living place,” said Azalene James, AADD’s director of Family Support Services. “There are emotional, physical and financial issues, and AADD’s new Family Support Center is designed to make it easier for families to navigate the process.”
Obtaining disability services can be difficult because Georgia relies on an antiquated system of services and support. In addition, economic uncertainties are reducing funding support, even as the number of people in need increases.
“AADD has created systems at the Family Support Center to support individuals so that they can live and work in their communities,”
Funding for the FSC was made possible through money raised by the Cathedral Antiques Show, a community outreach project sponsored by the Episcopal Church Women of the Cathedral of St. Philip. The 2012 show raised $312.000, specifically to benefit the FSC.
Family Support Center Services
Developmental disabilities cover a wide spectrum, making it crucial that the services are tailored to each individual’s needs. Services offered by the Family Support Center include:
● Personal Advocacy — Determining which services are available and appropriate to a disabled person can be challenging. FSC staff work with individuals and families to gain access through consultation, advice and information. Cost: $135/hour, with scholarships available via private donations.
● Navigational Consulting – Government processes can be insurmountable obstacles to those unfamiliar with them. A team of consultants helps individuals and families understand the various offerings of government and educational institutions and assists them in obtaining the most appropriate services and financial aid available. Cost: $135/hour, with scholarships available via private donations.
● Peer Support Groups - Offered weekly for women, teens, men and caregivers, support groups are formed in the fall and spring for six-month cycles.
● Resource Center – Provides information on services and referrals to other organizations and services in the community.
Other AADD Services
In addition to their Family Support Center programs, AADD offers a range of services focusing on Public Policy and Advocacy (legislative advocacy, informational meetings and training) and Community Engagement (workshops, seminars, law enforcement training).
About All About Developmental Disabilities
Founded in 1956, All About Developmental Disabilities (AADD) is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating lifelong support, education and opportunities for children, adults and families living with developmental disabilities. AADD provides support services, advocacy and training to families living with developmental disabilities.
Developmental disabilities are defined as severe chronic disabilities that limit three or more critical functional abilities. Examples include Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, autism disorders, fetal alcohol disorders and intellectual disabilities. These disabilities often manifest early in life (before age 22) and last a lifetime. More information at http://www.aadd.org
Contact: Mitch Leff, Leff & Associates, (404) 861-4769, firstname.lastname@example.org