Strength and compassion combine in Duane French, forging a leader with foresight and concern for others. Advancing the rights of people with disabilities is the force that drives Duane French in his career and in his life.

The most pivotal and treasured moments in Duane’s career occurred while working in Independent Living and Vocational Rehabilitation Services. His career has spanned nearly 35 years—he worked as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, and has served as a Client Assistance Program Director, DDS Examiner, Independent Living Specialist, Independent Living Manager, Director of Access Alaska, Director of the Alaska Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and Director of the Washington Division of Employment and Assistance Programs.

Currently, Duane is the Director of the Washington Division of Disability Determination Services.

The most sacred forces in Duane’s life are his family, friends, and the love of his life, Kelly Boston and her daughter, Andrea.

In Duane’s keynote presentation, The Transformational Force of the Public VR Program, he chronicles his life from “handicap too severe” to a lengthy career in Independent Living and Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services. He shares the pivotal and treasured moments of his 35-year career – from his own closed case to Rehabilitation Counselor to Director – including finding the love of his life. Duane demonstrates first-hand the transformational force of the VR program in the lives of people with disabilities.