At GRACE, we are dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with disabilities in Georgia. We advocate for policies on the state and local level that enhance equality and create opportunity. Learn more about our initiatives and join us in making Georgia a more inclusive, equitable, and accessible place to call home.
Blind and visually impaired students in Georgia do not have reliable access to Braille education. Assessments and Braille instruction are not required in individualized education programs (IEP). Students only receive instruction in Braille if an IEP team believes it is necessary, Every blind and visually impaired student should have the opportunity to develop literacy skills in the most effective way.
We are advocating for the Georgia Legislature to pass the "Blind Persons' Braille Literacy Rights and Education Act". This bill will require an evaluation of a blind or visually impaired student to determine such student's need for Braille instruction and require Braille instruction in the individualized education program of a blind or visually impaired student as appropriate. We are committed to empowering students to developing literacy skills.
Georgia has a growing DeafBlind population, and our state does not have a sustainable support system to help them thrive. DeafBlind individuals are struggling to live and participate in their community safely and effectively because they face incredible challenges in navigating their environment. These self-supporting individuals do not qualify for existing services, such as those available through Vocational Rehabilitation. They must rely on untrained and unreliable volunteers, family members, and friends.
Georgia must alleviate this serious access issue by funding Access Provider (also referred to as Support Service Provider or Co-Navigator) services. This specially trained personnel conveys environmental information and verbal and non-verbal interactions while working with DeafBlind individuals, so they can complete daily living and civic activities.
GRACE is partnering with several organizations to advance this legislation because, with the right support in place, DeafBlind individuals can live fulfilling lives.