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David Hanson to head state's lead agency serving people with physical disabilities

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[November 20, 2012]  CHICAGO -- Illinois Department of Human Services Secretary Michelle R.B. Saddler has announced the appointment of David K. Hanson of Chicago as director of the IDHS Division of Rehabilitation Services. 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 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, known as 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 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 of the Division of Rehabilitation Services since August 2011. Smith will continue as deputy director of the division.

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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.

[Text from Illinois Department of Human Services file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

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