The Commission for the Blind, established under ORS 346.120 is a governing body that provides leadership, financial oversight, and policy direction to the agency. Commissioners are selected by the Governor and their appointments require confirmation by the Oregon Senate. Members of the Commission represent key stakeholders that relate to the work of the agency and include consumer organizations, education, ophthalmology/optometry, business, and Oregon citizens who are blind. It is required that the majority of the seven members of the Commission are persons who experience blindness.
The Commission is a public body and their meetings are open to the public.
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Scott McCallum: Commission Chair. Represents Education. Mr. McCallum is the Superintendent for the Washington State School for the Blind. Scott's career has included working as a teacher of students who are blind or visually impaired and orientation and mobility specialist in the Oregon Low Incidence Regional Program system. He has also served as a Regional Program Vision Services coordinator for Northwest Regional Education Service District and as the administrator of the Oregon Blind and Visually Impaired Student Fund.
Samrawit Biyazin: Represents Oregonians who are blind. Ms. Biyazin has a Bachelor’s degree in Law from Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia and is currently studying Accounting at Portland State University where she is also part of the Accessibility Committee representing students with disabilities. Prior to coming to Oregon, Ms. Biyazin founded The Haleta Integrated Center for Blind Women and Children in Addis Ababa Ethiopia. Known as a consensus builder with a commitment to diversity and team work, Ms. Biyazin is excited to leverage her extensive experience with strategic planning and budget oversight to support clients getting the services they need from the Commission.
Dr. Christi Closson: Represents Optometry. Dr. Closson has dedicated her practice to support individuals to achieve maximum use of their remaining vision while maintaining as independent a life style as possible. Dr. Closson is the Chief of Low Vision Services at the Pacific University College of Optometry and the Director of the Lion’s Low Vision Clinic at the Washington State School for the Blind. She also has her own practice, Synergy Eye, in Cornelius, Oregon.
Laurel Hudson: Represents Business. Laurel Hudson began her career in the hospitality industry, learning the ins and outs of excellence in customer service. After 10 years working in hotels and retail, she is now serving the people of the State of Oregon at the Department of Human Services. Laurel graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management.
Jeanne-Marie Moore: Represents the American Council of the Blind of Oregon. Ms. Moore is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice in Eugene, most recently specializing in Life Coaching and consulting. A voracious reader, Ms. Moore also is a member of the Talking Book and Braille Library Board which gives her a chance to tell folks all about the wonderful programs the State Library has to offer people with all types of print related disabilities. Ms. Moore is a lifelong musician and music is a really large part of her life.
Vivian Carlile-Smith: Represents the National Federation of the Blind of Oregon. Ms. Carlile-Smith has dedicated her time to promoting education and skills training for youth. She participates annually in the summer National Federation of the Blind Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning (BELL) Academy for children 4-12 years old where they learn and improve their skills related to blindness.
Sharon Zenger: Represents Oregonians who are blind. Ms. Zenger is a teacher of the visually impaired/orientation and mobility instructor. She holds a Master’s degree from Portland State University in Special Education, a teaching degree, and a Bachelor of Science. Ms. Zenger has a degree in Orientation and Mobility from the University of Northern Colorado and is certified by the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education professionals. Ms. Zenger lives and works in Eastern Oregon. She loves the outdoors, traveling, and her many adventures with her guide dog "Jude".