I never thought I’d be able to say that I was an appointee to a gubernatorial administration. Even more importantly, I never thought I’d be able to say that I am a gubernatorial appointee working toward quelling his own hangups and admitted anxiety about working with others with disabilities.
But here I am.
Last summer I wrote this blog post. It was all about becoming more comfortable in social interactions with others with disabilities. Physical, motor, learning, intellectual, whatever – I realized that, as socially just as I try to be, I didn’t always demonstrate what I espoused. And that was a time for me to change that.
Now, thanks to the great support of some back at home in my Blacksburg community, I can proudly and firmly say that I am working on that. And now that I’m stable, and situated, back in Virginia quite firmly, I want to share that news with you all here.
The Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, appointed me to his administration as a member of the State Rehabilitation Council for the Blind and Vision Impaired. Through this position, I represent HESONWHEELS as founder and owner, and as a business/industry representative, specifically. We provide advice to the Commonwealth’s Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired regarding vocational services provided to consumers, pursuant to Title I and Title VI of the federal Rehabilitation Act. This position finds me working extensively with others with disabilities, particularly those who are blind and/or vision impaired. I saw this appointment as an opportunity to both provide some great input and advice as a former recipient of rehabilitative services in the Commonwealth, and also to develop personally and quell those anxieties I mentioned back in August.
See the special news release from Gov. McAuliffe’s office here.
I found out, and took the oath, and completed much of the formal niceties back in December 2014, nearly 4 months ago, I didn’t want to make the formal announcement until I had actually DONE something. Being appointed is all nice and dandy but that’s never really JUST been my thing – it’s about the meaning and the value of the work that you’re actually able to produce as a result of that appointment.
The board met for the first time, with me as a member, last week. Unfortunately – I still haven’t done anything! I had already committed to presenting in Austin, Texas at South by Southwest Education, so I wasn’t able to make it back in time for our meeting in Richmond. However, now that I’ve gotten deep into the minutes, have been a part of many-a-email-traffic, and am getting incredibly excited by some of the work this great board is doing, I felt particularly moved to share this announcement with you all.
Thanks for reading!