HCN News & Notes

John Oliveira Appointed Commissioner of Massachusetts Commission for the Blind

BOSTON Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services Kate Walsh announced that John Oliveira, who has served as acting commissioner of the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) since April, has been appointed to the role of commissioner effective immediately. Oliveira has held numerous roles at MCB since joining in 1987, including 10 years as deputy commissioner before his appointment as acting commissioner.

“Through decades of work at MCB, John has proven his dedication to the community he serves and to the team at MCB,” Walsh said. “Over the last few months, I have heard overwhelmingly positive responses from the community and our partners who are excited about the breadth of experience that John brings and his passion for the work of the commission. I look forward to our continued work together to support MCB consumers in living full, independent lives in communities across Massachusetts.”

Legally blind since birth, Oliveira is an advocate for increased independence for people who are blind and visually impaired, and inclusivity for the blindness community.

“I am grateful and fortunate for this opportunity to continue to serve the residents of the Commonwealth who are legally blind, as well as the broader blindness community,” he said. “I am looking forward to leading our dedicated staff as we continue working together to build on this agency’s tremendous history of providing social rehabilitation and employment opportunities to consumers with the goal of increasing their independence and full community participation.”

Oliveira first joined MCB as a rehabilitation teacher, providing adaptive living skills to MCB’s consumers. From there, he moved through the commission in a number of roles, including vocational rehabilitation counselor, employment services supervisor, director of training and staff development, and director of assistive technology, allowing him to learn every facet of MCB. Through case work and leadership positions, he constantly found solutions for consumers with complex needs that would grant them autonomy, whether through employment opportunities or consumer services.