The Georgia Advocacy Office (GAO) provides a wide range of services to persons with disabilities in Georgia. Some examples are:

  • Information and referral
  • Technical assistance, advice, and support in self advocacy
  • Assistance in advocacy, negotiation, or mediation on behalf of individuals
  • Investigation of allegations of abuse, neglect, or violations of rights
  • Deflect and prevent guardianships, support individuals in the restoration of rights, and advocate for supported decision making as an alternative to guardianships
  • Public information and education regarding the needs and rights of people with disabilities
  • Multicultural outreach to unserved or underserved groups of persons with disabilities
  • Identification of problems in the system of service delivery and advocacy for systemic change
  • Legislative monitoring and technical assistance
  • Technical assistance to attorneys on disability law

Your input on our priorities is welcome throughout the year. Our priorities specify the services we provide. The following services do not fall within the priorities of GAO because they are commonly accepted by legal services, the private bar, and court-appointed counsel, or because the primary issue is often not based on discrimination due to disability or the person has already retained legal counsel:

  • Social Security applications
  • Food Stamp applications/claims
  • Criminal proceedings
  • Divorce, custody, and child support
  • Ad litem representation of children in parental rights terminations
  • Drafting of wills, trusts, and estate planning
  • Malpractice cases
  • Workers Compensation, issues related to collective bargaining agreements, unemployment compensation
  • Product liability
  • Bankruptcy matters
  • Personal injury
  • Consumer protection issues
  • Tax issues
  • Pension, ERISA issues
  • Property disputes
  • Guardianship proceedings (GAO does not support petitions for removal of individual rights)
  • Commitment proceedings

GAO does not represent the interests of care providers, families, or guardians unless that interest is consistent with the interest of the individual with a disability and GAO is also representing the individual with a disability (the individual with a disability may be “Jane Doe”).