Born and raised in Griffin, Georgia, Gail Bottoms continues to call this small, rural, southern town home. A daughter, wife, mother, and grandmother, Gail’s gifts for writing poetry and for public speaking did not reveal themselves until she was more than fifty years old.
In the mid 1990’s Gail became active in the disability rights movement and People First of Georgia. Through her involvement with People First and her interaction with other disability rights activists, Gail’s inspiration surfaced. Possessing the uniquely combined gifts of humility and honesty, common sense and courage, friendliness and forthright wisdom, Gail learned that she could eloquently communicate the emotions and experiences of people with disabilities.
Gail served as the president of People First of Georgia from 1997 through 2000. She frequently travels throughout the Southeast, and other areas of the U.S. including Phoenix, Dallas, Chicago, and Washington D.C. to attend conferences, serve as keynote speaker, and participate in leadership workshops. Gail has spoken before Georgia State Legislators as well as United States Congressional and Senate leaders on behalf of the rights of people with disabilities.
Gail has presented keynote addresses for the Georgia Statewide Better All Together Conference in Athens, Georgia; keynote addresses for the 2006 National Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered Conference in Atlanta, and presented to the Mid-year meeting for the National Association for State Developmental Disabilities Director’s in Santa Fe, New Mexico.