Welcome to the Association of Programs from Rural Independent Living
Dear APRIL Community,
We are writing to share news regarding a change in leadership at the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL).
Billy Altom recently informed the Board of Directors of his decision to retire as Executive Director after 15 dedicated years of service. His last day with our organization was Monday, August 1.
We are most grateful to Billy for his enduring commitment and dedication to APRIL, our mission, and most especially, our members. In particular, Billy has spearheaded countless efforts to nationally improve access to transportation for the disability community, leading to his appointment to the National Council on Disability in 2016 by President Barack Obama. Throughout Billy’s time with our organization, he has worked tirelessly to empower the independent living movement by building and lifting the next generation of disabled advocates, by starting national youth programs-- even before the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act in 2014. We wish Billy the absolute best in his retirement, and we thank him again for his steadfast leadership and support.
Moving forward, the APRIL Board of Directors is excited to announce that Dan Kessler has been named interim Executive Director. We are confident that Dan will seamlessly transition into this role, especially given his past experience.
Dan most recently served as the executive director of Disability Rights and Resources, a center for independent living in Birmingham, Alabama. Prior to that, he served as a program director at a center for independent living in New Orleans, Louisiana, and a program evaluator for an organization that provides support services to students at a local community college in New Orleans. He also worked briefly at a rehabilitation hospital.
In addition, Dan has held numerous leadership positions with the National Council on Independent Living, including president, vice president, and Region IV Representative. He has also served as a co-chair of the Rehab Act/Independent Living funding sub-committee and chair of the Housing subcommittee. At the state & national level, over the course of his career, Dan has worked closely with other independent living advocates and has successfully advocated for increasing funding for CILs and expanding the network.
As you can see, Dan has demonstrated a fierce commitment to the independent living movement, and we look forward to what the future has in store with him at the helm.
We are especially grateful to Dan for committing to serving in this role as the Board of Directors conducts a formal and thorough search for our next permanent Executive Director. A special Board-appointed search committee, with the assistance of professional consultants, will spearhead this search.
Please join us in congratulating Dan Kessler on his new role at APRIL. We are thrilled that he will help pave the way for new long-term leadership at our organization by continuing to advocate for equity and access for people with disabilities, further advancing the independent living movement throughout rural America and beyond.
On behalf of the APRIL Board of Directors,
Board of Directors
To Welcome Dan Kessler you can contact him at: