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Who We Are

Eric Evans, Ph.D.

Eric A. Evans is the Chief Executive Officer at Disability Rights Nebraska. He has worked for the organization since 1987, first as Deputy Director and then as Chief Operating Officer.

Before joining Disability Rights Nebraska, Eric was Executive Director of the Nebraska Governor’s Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities. Prior to working for the Council he taught in the Human Services Program at Southeast Community College and served as both a Social Service Worker and Mental Retardation Program Specialist with the Nebraska Department of Public Institutions.

Eric holds a B.A. in anthropology from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and an M.A. in anthropology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He holds a Ph.D. in educational policy, practice and analysis from UNL. Eric has served as a Lecturer in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education in the UNL College of Education and Human Sciences and is an Adjunct Professor in Administration at the Munroe Meyer Institute of the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Eric has been involved with many 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:


Eric has published the following:


  • Treichler, E., Evans, E., and Spaulding, W. “Applying Skills Training to Improve Shared Decision-Making in Serious Mental Illness”, Schizophrenia Bulletin, Volume 43, Issue Supplement 1, March, 2017.
  • Lubling, Y. and Evans, E. A., Peace In Motion: John Dewey and the Aesthetics of Well-Being. American University Studies V: Philosophy, Peter Lang Publishers, New York: NY. January, 2016.
  • Evans, E.A. Review of: Scott Stroud, John Dewey and the Artful Life, University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2011. Education and Culture: the Journal of the John Dewey Society, Spring, 2016.
  • Treichler, E, Evans, E., Johnson, J. and Spaulding, W. “The Relevance and Implications of Organizational Involvement for Serious Mental Illness Populations”, American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. Volume 85, Number 4, 2015.
  • Evans, E., M. Schere, and K. Rasmussen “Making It Happen: The 1970’s”, in Out of the Darkness and Into the Light, R. Schalock (ed.) American Association on Mental Retardation, Washington, D.C., 2002.
  • Leibowitz, J.M., McClain, J.W., Evans, E.A., Ruma, P., and Rauner, T. “A Social-Ecological Analysis of the Quality of Life of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Living in Community Based Facilities”, Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, Volume 4, Issue 6, pp. 339-346, 1996.
  • Morton, J., Hughes, D. and Evans, E. "Individualizing Justice for Offenders with Developmental Disabilities: A Descriptive Account of Nebraska's IJP Model", The Prison Journal, Volume LXVI, Number 1, Spring-Summer, 1986.