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Who We Are

Advancing Employment is Georgia’s Technical Assistance Center for Best Practices in Employment Supports 


Advancing Employment is managed by the Institute on Human Development and Disability at the University of Georgia. Since 1965, IHDD has been a Georgia University Center for Excellence in Disability Research, Education and Service (UCEDD), and ranks as one of UGA’s oldest continuously-funded federal programs. The IHDD works with people who have disabilities and others, to ensure that all people can achieve their highest capacity and quality of life. Through UGA’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS), IHDD applies the vast resources, research, and scholarship of the university on behalf of people with disabilities. Future leaders in all disciplines can be certified in disability issues through IHDD. Nationally-known faculty and staff support local, regional, state, national and international efforts. As a member of the Association

of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), IHDD collaborates with some 60 universities and teaching hospitals around the nation. All of the programs at IHDD are funded solely through grant funds and donations from private entities and friends.


About the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities: The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) is the State’s leader in advancing public policy on behalf of persons with developmental disabilities. Its mission is to bring about social and policy changes that promote opportunities for persons with developmental disabilities and their families to live, learn, work, play, and worship in Georgia communities.


Advancing Employment is staff by individuals highly knowledgeable about advancing the employment of people with disabilities. 

Portrait of Doug Crandell.
Portrait of Tracy Rackensperger
Portrait of Hamida Jinnah

Project Director

Doug Crandell, MFA has worked for decades in the field of community-based employment practices. He works with providers, stakeholders and employers to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Mr. Crandell is a public service faculty member within FACS at IHDD. He provides training and technical assistance to Georgia's supported employment providers, both through webinars and on-site mentoring. In addition, he has provided hands-on, real-time training to organizations across the country. Crandell has been the Project Director for a number of demonstration grants funded through the U.S. Department of Labor, the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Social Security Administration (SSA). He is a Subject Matter Expert with the Employment First Leadership State Mentoring Program at the Office of Disability Employment Policy.


Resources and Outreach Manager

Tracy Rackensperger, Ph.D. has worked with people with developmental disabilities for nearly 20 years. Dr. Rackensperger holds a public service faculty position within FACS at IHDD. Dr. Rackensperger has provided user-friendly and timely information to stakeholders via an online platform, assisted in developing forum topics for discussions, and led discussion on  identified topics via online venues. She was the Program Assistant for a customized employment project called Jobs for All: An Olmstead Initiative.   In this role, she scheduled activities, managed communication between staff, providers, and subcontractors, provided technical assistance and support via online mediums. She has expertise in overseeing the development and implementation of community education and outreach activities, developing and conducting training materials, providing technical assistance, and preparing articles for research publication.


Project Evaluator

Hamida Jinnah, Ph.D. is the Director of the Research and Evaluation Unit (REU) at IHDD and holds a research faculty position within the University. She has expertise and experience evaluating a wide variety of programs. She uses a multi-method approach to evaluation and has experience in both randomized control evaluations using large data sets and qualitative focus groups and interviews. She has expertise in developing logic models, conducting strategic planning, needs assessment, formative (process) and summative (outcome) evaluations for organizations.

Project Coordinator

Joseph Harrison, MPPA is the Advancing Employment Program Coordinator at IHDD. He comes to IHDD with an educational background in political science and public policy. Joseph is new to the field of community-based employment but looks forward to the opportunity of utilizing his passion for public service. An Athens native, he studied Political Science at Piedmont College before going on to earn his Master of Public Policy and Administration at Mississippi State University. 


Amy Price is a Georgia native with roots in Augusta, and has made a home with her family in Chamblee. Amy has been working with people with disabilities for over ten years, in settings from camps to non-profits, gardens to employment organizations. She has found a particular passion for supporting individuals in discovering work and interests that spark joy, connection, and possibility. Amy studied Child and Family Development at the University of Georgia, and went on to earn a Masters in Educational Policy, studying the Social Foundations of Education at Georgia State University.  Amy is passionate about building community, and is active in Atlanta's Jewish and activism communities.

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Amy Price website headshot.jpg
GCDD logo shown
Advancing Employment logo shown
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Institute on Human Development
and Disability (IHDD)
Georgia Council on Developmental
Disabilities (GCDD)
Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation
Agency (GVRA)
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