Disabled Georgians call for more jobs and education - CBS46 News

Disabled Georgians call for more jobs and education

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Dawn Alford has lived with the neurological disorder spinal muscular atrophy virtually all her life.

Alford gets around with the help of a powered wheelchair and her service dog McAllister.

The things most take for granted can create serious challenges for Alford.

"I have to plan for where the nearest accessible bathroom is, what is the accessible route to get to and from point A to point B."

While Alford's physical challenges are not impossible obstacles, she and other Georgians with developmental disabilities face societal obstacles and misconceptions that can stand in the way of getting a good education or finding a job.

"We want to be active parts of our community," Alford said.

Alford, the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities and hundreds of other people with special needs crowded the plaza outside the State Capitol to call on lawmakers and the governor to expand job and educational opportunities for people with differing needs, so they can be more self-sufficient.

"I want to live as a part of my community, to be able to contribute, to have a career, have a family and participate like everyone," Alford said.

Governor Nathan Deal, who spoke at the rally, said he would support legislation to encourage employers to hire more people with disabilities.

"We continue to look for more and better ways to employ the disability community, they have skills and abilities, not disabilities," Deal said.

Andrew Furey, who lives with muscular dystrophy, called for increased spending on healthcare for people with differing needs.

"They need more Medicaid," Furey said. "They need more flexibility and be able to work and still receive some benefits."

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