Gov. Jay Inslee announced today the appointment of Michael MacKillop to serve as director of the Washington State Department of Services for the Blind. MacKillop has been the acting director since January 2020.
MacKillop has provided the full range of agency services through many roles during his 21-year tenure at the agency. He has helped manage the agency’s growth and the success of agency clients across the state. DSB serves Washington state residents of all ages who are blind, low vision or deaf blind. The agency supports those who want to engage in family, civic, and community activities, manage their home and life tasks independently, keep a current job, or start a new meaningful career or small business path.
As acting director, Inslee credits MacKillop for successfully maintaining continuity of services while ensuring safety of staff and agency customers during the circumstances of the pandemic.
"Michael is an exceptional leader who has demonstrated that he can implement the agency's mission of 'independence, inclusion and economic vitality for individuals with a visual disability,'" Inslee said. "The pandemic showed just how important it is to promote inclusion and accessibility in all our work and I am pleased that he will continue bringing his dedication, passion and varied experience so we can live up to that expectation and need."
MacKillop says he is focused on continuing the agency’s tradition of helping people with visual and other disabilities to meet their high expectations for independence and meaningful careers, helping identify and overcome 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,” MacKillop said. “There are tools and adaptions to do virtually any job. When we think ‘a blind person couldn’t do my job’ it is only because we aren’t aware of the range of adaptive tools and methods that would make it absolutely achievable for the right blind person. I am honored to work in this nationally-recognized agency that provides the skills towards greater inclusion and independence of people with visual disabilities within the state of Washington."
MacKillop's appointment went into effect April 18.