David Hanson to Head State's Lead Agency Serving People with Physical Disabilities

Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Secretary Michelle R.B. Saddler today announced the appointment of David K. Hanson of Chicago as the Director of the IDHS Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS). Hanson has more than 20 years of experience in government and most recently directed the Workforce Institute at the City Colleges of Chicago.

"David Hanson brings a wealth of knowledge and experience into this important position," said Secretary Saddler. "He understands the need for employment, inclusion and accessibility for people with disabilities. He also has a strong background in working with government budgets, which is critical as we struggle with limited resources."

As Commissioner of the Chicago Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD), Hanson oversaw the creation of the Mayoral Task Force on Employment of People with Disabilities. During his 13 year tenure at MOPD he also advocated for accessibility rights, worked to bring the City into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and started programs to help businesses owned by people with disabilities.

Hanson also spent five years as Commissioner in the Mayor's Office of Workforce Development.

Hanson succeeds Kristine Smith, who has been Acting Director since August 2011. Smith will continue as Deputy Director of the division.

The Division of Rehabilitation Services is the state's lead agency serving individuals with physical disabilities. DRS works in partnership with people with disabilities and their families to assist them in making informed choices to achieve full community participation through employment, education, and independent living opportunities.