Lynda Kahn served as the state of Rhode Island’s Executive Director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities from 1996 to 2005, serving in the public sector for 24 years. Her work included assisting in the closure of the state’s institution, The Ladd Center in 1993, collaborating on an individualized funding and budgeting approach for persons served by Rhode Island’s Division of Developmental Disabilities, and serving as President of the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS 2001-03), and on the Association’s Board for 8 years.
Her 40 years experience has taken her from institution to community settings, involving values-based person-centered planning as a means to facilitate individual and organizational change. She is passionate about leadership, change and personal engagement to realize a more just world where everyone’s voice and gifts are welcome.
She helped found Rhode Island’s Service Quality Network, and later was instrumental in creating the Rhode Island Facilitator’s Forum, which still thrives, as well as being a catalyst in the state’s Integrated Initiative on Positive Approaches, eliminating aversive and restrictive procedures.
She is a co-leader with Inclusion Press International and the Marsha Forest Center on Inclusion, Family and Community. Lynda, together with her partner and husband, Jack Pearpoint, works with individuals, families, organizations and governments interested in positive change through facilitating conversations, planning sessions and offering training workshops.
Lynda was also at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center, as faculty advisor to an initiative focused on disaster preparedness including citizens with developmental disabilities and creating an opportunity for positive social change. Lynda also currently serves on the Board for Neighbours, Inc., an innovative organization based in New Jersey which assists people in living full lives, directing their own supports.