When Toney Allan Duvall was born with a life-threatening birth defect, his mother put him in state care to save his life. However, once in the system, Toney endured major life injuries and remained institutionalized for more than nineteen years. Only after he graduated from a public high school with honors was he released to live in the community.

Today, Toney works two days a week at a job and spends much of his time as  an advocate. Just by telling his story, he is a living testimony to the harmful effects of institutionalization on children and their families. Toney also supports the Children’s Freedom Initiative, an alliance of disability advocates working to end  the institutionalization of children with disabilities in Georgia.

Recent honors, appearances and speeches

  • Statewide Better All Together Conference in Athens Georgia,
  • Testimony to the Georgia House Committee on Families and Children,
  • Guest lecturer to graduate students at The University of Georgia; and
  • Named 2006 Advocate of Year Award by Georgia Governor’s Council on
  • Developmental Disabilities.