Center for Disability Rights & Resources Announced for Downtown Augusta

Monday, February 22nd, 2021

A new addition to the renovation and revitalization of the Downtown Augusta Area was announced by Walton Options for Independent Living and Walton Foundation for Independence – the Center for Disability Rights and Resources.  

Situated opposite the Augusta-Richmond County Judicial Center on Walton Way, the new Center will not only house both organizations but will also be an epicenter of inclusion, intersectionality and equity for the community. 

The disability community comprises nearly one-third of the CSRA population and is a demographic that spans age, race, gender, and economic background.  Persons with disabilities are active throughout the community and contribute individually to the heartbeat of the area as it continues to grow. 

The Center for Disability Rights & Resources will house the resources, programs and services both Walton Options and Walton Foundation provide for persons with disabilities on a daily basis. 

Utilizing the same location as the current Walton Options Augusta Office, the new 6500 square-foot building will offer accessible consumer meeting spaces & classrooms, expanded staff areas, a communications lab as well as a multi-purpose room designed for community use including round-table legislative discussions, community information fairs, and other engagement opportunities. 

Support for the Center is starting with the Georgia Rehabilitation Institute (GRI) who today presented Walton Options and Walton Foundation with a check for $325,000 towards the launch of the Building Campaign. 

“For quite a few years, our current building has exhausted its ability to provide a functional setting for our work,” explained Walton Options Executive Director Tiffany Clifford. “We are so grateful for the seed money from GRI to begin the construction of a new accessible and efficient facility that will not only house Walton Options and Walton Foundation for Independence, but be representative as a Disability Rights and Resources Center for the CSRA. “ 

“It is exciting to be part of the revitalization that is occurring all around us,” said Clifford. “It is apropos that our center will be across the street from the county justice center.”

Walton Foundation for Independence, has been working to broaden their capacity to support the disability community in the CSRA during recent years. “Our success has been with the support of likeminded community partners such as GRI and Walton Options,” stated Cara Knollenberg, Director of Walton Foundation. “We could not be more thankful or feel more blessed than we do right now as we begin this new journey of joining our resources together, jointly establishing a Disability Rights and Resources Center for the CSRA. What a wonderful day it will be when we have a centralized place to represent and serve this significant percentage of people in our community.” 

Over the past 35 years, GRI has been a steadfast advocate for persons with disabilities. When asked about supporting this initiative, Dr. Dennis Skelley, President/CEO of GRI noted, “Providing funding assistance for a new building for Walton Options and creating Augusta’s own Disability Rights and Resource Center has been a goal for many years.

Having a Center that is easily identified, accessible, resourceful and attractive lets Augusta know all people are valued and provides a place where people with disabilities will be proud to call theirs.” 

The announcement today marks the start of a Building Campaign which is being created by a local agency, Kruhu, with full campaign details and supporting materials expected when shovels are in the ground Spring of this year. 

The new Center for Disability Rights and Resources, located at 948 Walton Way, is being built by Allen + Batchelor Construction and financed by First Citizen Bank.

Donations for the new Center are open to individuals as well as local businesses and organizations. To donate to the Center’s Building Campaign, please visit https://secure.givelively.org/donate/walton-options-for-independent-living-inc/center-for-disability-rights-resources-campaign or contact Ann Campbell-Kelly at 706-724-6262, ext 243 or acampbell@waltonoptions.org. You can also follow Walton Options on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for updates.