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Office of Governor Gary Locke
Contact:  Governor's Communications Office, 360-902-4136

Locke names Gary Haug to head Washington State Department of Services for the Blind

OLYMPIA — Gov. Gary Locke has named Gary Haug as executive director of the Washington State Department of Services for the Blind (DSB). The appointment follows a nationwide recruitment campaign for the position.

"Gary Haug is committed to making a real difference in the lives of the blind and those with severe visual impairments," Locke said. "He has done a stellar job at the New Mexico Commission for the Blind, and I know we can expect great things from him when he comes to Washington."

Haug is currently at the New Mexico Commission for the Blind, where he has served as executive director since 1997 and as deputy director since 1986.

"I hope to repay the confidence Gov. Locke has placed in me, and I look forward to contributing to the ongoing improvement of services for blind and visually impaired persons," Haug said. "They strive for independence, both economically and socially, and our job is to help them get it."

Washington DSB's goal is to promote the economic and social independence of people who are blind or visually impaired through employment, training, and other opportunities. Among the services offered by the department are: vocational rehabilitation resulting in competitive employment, assistive technology services, assistance to employers in recruiting and hiring qualified blind individuals, residential training in adaptive skills, independent living services and training for older adults, food service enterprises in public buildings, and help to schools and families with blind children.

Haug, 53, must now be confirmed by the state Senate. The position, where Haug will begin on July 1, pays an annual salary of $64,088.

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