FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lane Till
Rebecca Lynn Bax Named Executive Director of the Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council
DES MOINES, Iowa, (August 16, 2017) — The Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council (DD Council), a federally funded state agency that advocates for the development of services and supports for Iowans with developmental disabilities, has announced the selection of Rebecca Lynn Bax as its new executive director. Bax will fill the vacancy created by Becky Harker’s retirement after 20 years with the Council.
Prior to joining the Iowa DD Council, Bax was a program coordinator at the Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council. There she provided technical assistance to the Education Committee and the Support Families Committee, directed major grants for statewide projects, and held leadership roles on statewide boards and task forces to influence systems change.
“We are excited to welcome Rebecca to the Iowa DD Council,” said Steve Crew, chair of the Council. “As a former staff member of the Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council, Rebecca occupied numerous leadership roles and brings a wealth of knowledge in the area of developmental disabilities advocacy. In addition, her ability to create and implement innovative approaches to address systemic weaknesses was a trait our Council sought to foster moving forward. While Iowa’s Developmental Disabilities Council is viewed as a national leader, Rebecca’s leadership will further our Council’s effectiveness in the creation of innovative practices to provide greater community access for individuals with developmental disabilities.”
As a parent of a child with special healthcare needs and learning disabilities, Bax knows how important the DD Council’s mission is. She said, “I saw how easily low expectations became the norm for my daughter. We are capable of so much more together. Our capacity to care, support, and include is boundless. The Council has the unique opportunity to create change and empower all people to live the life they desire.”
Bax’s immediate goals are to gain a working knowledge of the Iowa system and support for individuals with disabilities. She also has a passion for advocacy work. Bax said, “Advocacy is in the fiber of my being. It is part of my cellular mechanism. I am always seeking to improve an idea, concept, or project. When I ask “why?” and “to what end?” it is only to seek deeper and more intentional change.”
Bax graduated from Lincoln University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Science in sociology with a minor in history and Master of Arts in history with a minor in political science. She and her two daughters are settling into Des Moines and looking forward to exploring Iowa.
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