President Obama Appoints Assumption Adjunct Professor to U.S. Disabilities Advocacy Post

President Barack Obama has appointed Assumption College Adjunct Professor Janet L. LaBreck as commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) in the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C.

In her new role, LaBreck will advise the assistant U.S. secretary for special education and rehabilitative services on programs and problems affecting individuals with disabilities. She will provide overall direction, coordination, and leadership to two divisions -- State Monitoring and Program Improvement and Training and Service Programs -- and their support staff.

Most recently, LaBreck served as commissioner of the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind. Since 2005, she has been an adjunct professor at Assumption College, where she has taught graduate-level courses in rehabilitation of the blind and case management in rehabilitation.

"Janet has been an excellent adjunct faculty member, and has brought many special programs and speakers to Assumption over the years," said Lee Pearson, director of Assumption's Graduate Rehabilitation Counseling Program. "It’s great to have one of our own in such an important position in the field of Rehabilitation Counseling; we wish Janet well in Washington."

LaBreck was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the New England College of Optometry, and received a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts and an M.Ed. from Springfield College.

The RSA oversees grant programs that help individuals with physical or mental disabilities to obtain employment and live more independently through the provision of such supports as counseling, medical and psychological services, job training and other individualized services. RSA's major Title I formula grant program provides funding to state vocational rehabilitation agencies to provide employment-related services for individuals with disabilities, giving priority to individuals who are significantly disabled.
  • Read the August 27, 2013, Berkshire Eagle article on LaBreck's appointment.
  • Learn more about Assumption College's Rehabilitation Counseling Programs.

Kimberly Dunbar, Director of Public Affairs, Assumption College @AssumptionNews