Inslee appoints Michael MacKillop Director of Services for the Blind

Narrative

Governor Jay Inslee today announced the appointment of Michael MacKillop as Director of the Washington State Department of Services for the Blind. MacKillop has been the interim director since January 2020.

MacKillop provided the full range of agency services across numerous roles during his 21 years with the agency. He helped manage the growth of the agency and the success of agency clients across the state. DSB serves Washington State residents of all ages who are blind, visually impaired, or deafblind. The agency supports those who wish to engage in family, civic and community activities, manage household and personal chores independently, maintain current employment, or start a meaningful new career or small business.

As Acting Director, Inslee credits MacKillop for successfully maintaining continuity of services while ensuring the safety of agency staff and clients in the circumstances of the pandemic.

“Michael is an exceptional leader who has demonstrated he can implement the agency’s mission of ‘independence, inclusion, and economic vitality for people with visual impairments,'” Inslee said. “The pandemic has shown how important it is to promote inclusion and accessibility in all our work and I am pleased that he continues to bring his dedication, passion and varied experience so that we can be at the height of this expectation and this need.”

MacKillop says he is focused on continuing the agency’s tradition of helping people with visual and other disabilities meet their high expectations for independence and meaningful careers, by helping to identify and overcoming environmental barriers and advocating for full accessibility for all.

“A blind person who has the aptitude for a job has no limits other than what the outside world imposes on him,” MacKillop said. “There are tools and adaptations to do just about any job. When we think “a blind person couldn’t do my job” it’s only because we don’t know the range of adaptive tools and methods that would make it absolutely doable for the right blind person. I am honored to work at this nationally recognized agency that provides the skills necessary for greater inclusion and independence for people with visual impairments in Washington State.”

MacKillop’s appointment took effect April 18.

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