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Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services

IVRS Welcomes Interim Administrator Brian Dennis


Brian Dennis, IWD’s Bureau Chief for Disability Services and an adjunct instructor at Drake University’s counseling master’s degree program, was named Interim Administrator of Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services (IVRS).

Brian Dennis

IVRS is slated to become a division within IWD as part of a statewide government reorganization that takes effect July 1.

Dennis graduated from Georgia Southern University with a psychology degree in 1998, moved to Iowa (“just for the summer”), and quickly began helping others. He worked first in HCBS residential services, then case management services for Iowans with chronic mental health concerns, then in low-income housing programs. Dennis began dealing with education, employment, and training in 2013 – first for Des Moines Area Community College, then with the state of Iowa. He joined Iowa Workforce Development in 2020 as Disability Services Program Coordinator.

Along the way, Dennis picked up a master’s degree clinical rehabilitation counseling in 2013. Roughly 2½ years later, on Christmas Day 2015, he began his lived experience with disability when a spinal cord injury placed him in a wheelchair.

“I’ve gotten to experience disability services from both sides of the table,” Dennis said.

As IVRS prepares to move into IWD and the agencies learn to work together more efficiently, he is excited about the possibility of providing a wider variety of workplace services. It will be a chance to help even more Iowans achieve their goals.

“Employment is possible for every person, but that journey will look different for everyone,” Dennis said. “The best way to assist someone on that journey is to provide as much support as possible.”