Eric A. Evans is the chief executive officer of Disability Rights Nebraska. He has worked for the agency since 1987. Eric was the chief operating officer of the agency, a position he had held since 2007. Before that, Eric was deputy director.
Before joining Disability Rights Nebraska, Eric had an extensive background in disability policy within state government. He was executive director of the Nebraska Governor’s Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities from 1983-1987, its acting director from 1981-1983, and its planning director from 1979-1981. From 1976 to 1978, he served as a mental retardation program specialist within what was then called the Nebraska Department of Public Institutions. From 1974 to 1975, he was a social services worker for that state agency.
Eric holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio specializing in social anthropology, linguistics and philosophy. He holds a master’s degree in anthropology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, specializing in cultural anthropology. In 2011, Eric earned a doctorate in educational studies from UNL, specializing in education policy, practice and analysis. Since 2002, he has been a lecturer in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education in the UNL College of Education and Human Sciences. He pursued his doctoral degree while working full-time at Disability Rights Nebraska.
Eric has been involved with some major systems-level accomplishments, including:
- The Developmental Disabilities Service Act of 1991, in which Nebraska’s service system changed from an exclusive mental retardation emphasis to encompassing all developmental disabilities.
- The Nebraska Guardianship Act revisions of 1994, which provided for the use of limited guardianships.
- The Behavioral Health Services Act of 2004, which moved Nebraska’s mental health system from an institutional model to a community-based services model, and provided for the inclusion of consumers in all aspects of service planning, delivery and evaluation.
- The Office of Public Guardian Act of 2014, which established a state-operated Office of Public Guardianship, bringing Nebraska in line with all 49 other states.
Eric is a part of the following Boards and Coalitions:
- American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD)
- American Orthopsychiatry Association - Member
- American Journal of Orthopsychiatry - Editorial Review Board
- American Educational Research Association – Member
- Philosophy of Education Society – Member
- John Dewey Society – Member
- Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy - Member
- College of Education and Human Sciences, University of Nebraska--Lincoln - Lecturer