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.
Further, when I was looking for gainful employment after finishing graduate school in May 2014, many people asked me, if i ended up in D.C., if I would move to DC-proper or relocate to Northern Virginia? I usually replied “Virginia,” and if the person was interested enough, I shared that it mostly had to do with my sociopolitical reasons. This is an example of one of those. From HESONWHEELS speaking, to opportunities to continue supporting the great Commonwealth that I was born in, many of those opportunities would be much more difficult to come by if I didn’t remain a Virginia resident. And that notion of continued service was and is very, very important to me.
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!