Since being appointed Commissioner by Governor Baker in 2018, Commissioner Ryder has been a staunch advocate for the more than 33,000 adults and 10,000 children with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the Commonwealth. Even before that, Commissioner Ryder had spent much of her career advocating on behalf of individuals with disabilities for equality, empowerment and independence. She joined DDS in 1995 and worked her way up to Deputy Commissioner before her current appointment. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Commissioner Ryder and her team have been working tirelessly to support individuals and families by meeting or exceeding CDC and DPH guidance standards. Under her leadership, service coordinators are conducting outreach, Family Support Centers are providing urgent resources, and support is being provided to the front line direct care staff so that everyone remains safe.