News DDS Celebrates Juneteenth: A Letter from Commissioner Jane Ryder

  • DDS Commissioner Jane F. Ryder

Dear DDS Community,

On this date in 1865, enslaved black Americans were emancipated. Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom, and an opportunity to reflect on our history and the ways we can continue to make this nation fairer and more just for all our citizens.

Equity is intrinsic to our agency’s mission and work, and the tireless pursuit of access and justice is what brought us to where we are now. The Disability Rights Movement laid the groundwork for the person-centered and self-determined models of services and care we now employ, and this movement was possible because of the work and momentum of the Civil Rights Movement before.

As I reflect on the role of equity in DDS and the road paved for us by black Americans, I am proud of the steps we are taking in our agency to ensure that we put into action the words of our mission, creating opportunities for all individuals to become meaningfully engaged members of their communities.

There is always room for us to learn, listen, and improve. I hope you join me in taking the time today to think about the legacy of our nation, how far we have come, and how far yet there is to go.


Commissioner Jane F. Ryder

  • Department of Developmental Services  

    The Department of Developmental Services provides supports for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorder to enhance opportunities to become fully engaged members of their community.
  • Help Us Improve with your feedback