Linn-Miller works to continuously improve county-level disability services

Eric Linn-Miller, BSW '93
Program Manager, Dane County Human Services Developmental Disabilities Unit

Drawn to social work from a young age, Eric Linn-Miller grew interested in working with individuals with disabilities. He came to the School of Social Work as an undergraduate, excited that he could concentrate his major on disabilities but also receive a well-rounded, generalist education to prepare him for a variety of jobs. He went on to earn a master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan. Linn-Miller has nearly 20 years of experience working in a variety of positions for the Dane County developmental disability system. In his current position, Linn-Miller works as a program manager for the Dane County Human Services Developmental Disabilities Unit, which oversees developmental disabilities services and programs in the county.


Walk us through a typical day in the life at your job.

One of the most rewarding and equally frustrating aspects of most social work positions is that every day is different. A typical day at my job means juggling a variety of tasks and responsibilities. I perform a multitude of purely bureaucratic tasks related to Medicaid procedures, talk regularly with agency directors and case managers, and work on new initiatives, training, and related policies around long-term care services. I am always in search of new partnerships and open to participating in a variety of system work groups to improve customer services and create more efficiencies. Occasionally, I still find ways to be in the presence of people with disabilities, as well as their families and/or guardians, and practice micro social work.


What originally inspired you to become a social worker?

I like to joke it was inevitable that I would be a social worker.  My dad was a

What inspired me towards social work is how versatile the field of social work is and the countless places you can make an impact with social work training and a degree.

social worker in the field of community corrections and my mom was a learning disabilities teacher at a junior high school.  I grew up with a strong sense of social justice. While I thought about other vocations, what inspired me towards social work is how versatile the field of social work is and the countless places you can make an impact with social work training and a degree.


What is the most memorable or valuable experience you had with the School of Social Work?

My most valuable experience was doing an independent study with adjunct lecturer Don Anderson during my last semester as an undergraduate. It opened my eyes to the world of macro social work, which became my social work focus for graduate school. The project gave me initial insight into social policy as well as the government and politics that intertwine with long-term care services that many people with disabilities rely on for support.


My most memorable experience was a field seminar taught by Susan Kidd-Webster. She taught me disability is all around us and to open our eyes and our hearts to show compassion and patience. She also demonstrated a simple truth: that people with disabilities, just like everyone, want to be part of a community where you share ordinary places and spaces.

Last edited by karnaky on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 | Printer Friendly Version