Joe Sarra of the Georgia Advocacy Office

Abstract: Last week's speaker (9/8/2017) was Joe Sarra, MSW, supports people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities as well as families/caregivers to identify and access home and community-based services so people remain in their communities and avoid institutionalization. The Children's Freedom Initiative is an example of the work being done around the state to move children out of nursing facilities and into loving, permanent homes. Joe serves as an Advocate with the Georgia Advocacy Office, the independent, federally-mandated Protection and Advocacy System for people with disabilities in Georgia. GAO envisions a Georgia where all people have value, visibility and voice; where even the most difficult and long-lasting challenges are addressed by ordinary citizens acting voluntarily on behalf of each other; and where the perception of disability is replaced by the recognition of ability. This week's speaker (9/15/2017) was Jay Neal, Executive Director of Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.