ATLANTA – The State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) and the Statewide Independent Living Council, Inc. (SILC), in collaboration with the Georgia Department of Labor Vocational Rehabilitation Program, will hold a series of joint public hearings statewide to obtain input on the needs for vocational rehabilitation (VR) and independent living (IL) services leading to greater independence and employment for people with disabilities.

The Georgia VR and IL programs are required to submit plans to the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) of how Georgia will use federal and state funds to provide a wide array of rehabilitation services to achieve priority goals and objectives in FY 2011-2013. The public hearings are opportunities for citizens to provide valuable input for those plans. RSA is the federal agency responsible for administrative and fiduciary oversight for VR and IL funding disbursed by the United States Congress.

Citizens attending the hearing who wish to comment for the record will be limited to five minutes; no extended two-way dialogue is permitted. Those who wish to comment, but cannot attend the hearing in person, may send written statements of no more than two (2) pages, double-spaced to:

Linda Shepard, SRC Chair
c/o Parents Educating Parents & Professionals, Inc.
3680 Kings Highway, Douglasville, GA 30135
Email: shepard.linda@peppinc.org
OR
Patricia Puckett, Executive Director
Statewide Independent Living Council of Georgia
755 Commerce Drive, Suite 415
Decatur, GA 30033
Email: ppuckett@silcga.org

Written or emailed comments must be postmarked no later than Friday, January 22, 2010.

The Georgia SRC and the Georgia SILC will hold hearings in four separate locations to solicit comments from a representative and diverse population. The date, time and location for each public hearing are as follows:

Tuesday, January 12: Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation, from 1-3 p.m., Roosevelt Auditorium, 6135 Roosevelt Highway, Warm Springs, GA. Contact for directions: 706-655-5000

Wednesday, January 13: Rome, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Etowah-Oostanaula
Room, Rome-Floyd County Library, 205 Riverside Parkway, NE, Rome. Contact for
directions: 706-295-6407

Thursday, January 14: Atlanta, from 4-6 p.m., Westin Atlanta Airport Hotel,
Atlanta Room 3 & 4, 4736 Best Road, Atlanta. Contact for directions: 404-762-7676

Friday, January 15: Athens, from 1-3 p.m., Georgia Department of Labor
Career Center, Oglethorpe-Oconee Room, 150 Evelyn C. Neely Drive, Athens. Contact for directions: 706-354-3900

In addition to holding in-person public hearings and providing outlets for written and emailed comments, a survey instrument soliciting feedback will be available on or about January 11, 2010, at the SRC web site, www.srcgeorgia.com, the SILC web site, www.silcga.org, and the PEPP web site, www.peppinc.org.