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Washington D.C. Champions: R.J. Dulin

Our Public Policy Team recently went to Washington D.C. to champion the rights and needs of the blind community as well as attend the National Symposium.  In this series, we'll be hearing from the team on their efforts and the impact of the trip.  This is the third installment of the series with a focus on R.J. Dulin:

What is your title and one sentence job description here at MWEB?

I’m the Shipping Clerk for the past two and a half years, which includes many responsibilities, but the main one is the day to day shipping.  Our products go across the country and around the world.  Accurate, on time fulfilment is critical. 

Why did you, personally, go on the trip to D.C.?

I went as the MWEB Employee of the Year.  Our employee of the year is nominated by top management.  After receiving that honor, I was also nominated for consideration for the National Industries for the Blind employee of the year.  

What was your experience at the conference?

There were so many people at the conference!  I had no idea how many other companies exist like ours, but it was impressive.  My time there was inspiring.  I was surrounded by legally blind people from all over the nation who are not only employed, but are making a lasting impact in their agencies and their cities. 

What was your role while you were in D.C. beyond employee of the year?

I was representing MidWest Enterprises for the Blind.  On the Hill I was able to put a personal face to our community’s larger story and share my personal struggles as a legally blind man.  There were a lot of different emotions that came with sharing my story even though I’ve been sharing in different arenas for a while; this experience was unique.  I liked talking to the politicians and their staffers, it seemed like they were really focusing on what I had to say and felt like they really cared. 

What was most impactful for you while you were on the trip?

Experiencing so many other legally blind people was awesome.  Hearing their personal stories and what they’re to impact their organizations and cities was inspiring. 

What are you taking back to your role at MWEB because of your time in D.C.? 

I really liked to share my story and help to put a face to the stories that people have heard in the past.  I want to do more for our Kalamazoo and West Michigan community, specifically with the legally blind.