The staff at Greater Detroit Agency for the Blind and Visually Impaired have a wide variety of expertise and experience to accomplish the Agency’s mission, vision, services and programs. You are invited to contact them for additional information or resources in support of the visually impaired community.
Click on staff member names to learn more about them (to close, click again):
- Victor A. Arbulu, MBA, Managing Director
- Sue is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University (EMU) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Visually Handicapped Teaching; has done EMU graduate work in Secondary Education; and earned a Medical Assistant diploma at San Francisco School of Allied Health. She has much work experience in the public school system, private vocational schools, medical field and non-profit sector among children and adults of all ages. Sue’s experience in the medical field has given her the added experience and knowledge to better serve her clients who are legally and totally blind clients — many of whom have additional health conditions. As a VRT, Sue feels her greatest joy is when she begins to see her clients be successful in their adjustment to vision loss. She is also a member of several professional organizations, including: Association for Educational and Rehabilitation (AER); Michigan AER; and American Association of Medical Assisting (AAMA).
- Linda recently celebrated her 40th year anniversary as a member of the Clerical Department at the Greater Detroit Agency for the Blind and Visually Impaired. She is one of the original members of the Agency and has had a significant role in shaping its success over the years. Linda is a native resident of Southeast Michigan having graduated from Roseville High School in 1967, was employed a few years at Home Insurance Company in Detroit, and attended Macomb County Community College where she studied Liberal Arts. In 1972, she joined the staff at GDABVI as a Clerk/Receptionist. Over the years, her experience has grown in several capacities, including: information/referral of services for vision impaired callers, training of new clerical staff, office operations, accounts payable and receivable, project support services, mailings, human resource assistance and maintaining the fund development database. Linda receives the most pleasure in her work by knowing that she is assisting visually impaired persons.
- Malaika started at the Agency back in 2005 as a co-op student from Cooley High School in Detroit. She graduated and received her high school diploma with honors in 2006, and was asked to continue working at the Agency. As the Office Assistant/Rehab Aide, Malaika is involved in many aspects of GDABVI. Some of her responsibilities include partnering with the Senior Clerk to make sure all of the Agency’s clerical needs are met, plus bookkeeping, assembling/maintaining client files, information & referral; and acting as a support person to the rehab staff. She will be graduating with her Associate of Applied Science degree in May 2013 from Wayne County Community College District. Malaika says she’s always loved helping people and seeing a smile on their faces. Working at the Agency has taught her so much about blindness and it has become one of her career interests.
- Mary Beth Kullen, Community Outreach Coordinator
- As the Case Manager/Vision Rehabilitation Therapist, Shelley takes referrals, answers questions and does new client intakes. She also participates in health fairs as a representative of GDABVI and gives educational presentations on the importance of taking care of ones eyes. Shelley has a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Health Services and a Master of Arts in Vision Rehabilitation Therapy, both from Western Michigan University. She interned at GDABVI and then moved to Pittsburgh to work at Blind and Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh where she taught a wide range of classes, including Braille, computer typing, household arts and techniques of daily living. After spending a year in Pittsburgh she accepted a job in Detroit at the GDABVI and is glad to be back! Her favorite thing about the work she does is that every case is so unique and she learns something new from every person she works with. Shelley says the job never gets old because every client has varying degrees of vision, different needs and different goals. She enjoys the great feeling watching clients grow and gain back their independence. Although she enjoys teaching everything, Braille is her favorite subject to teach.
- Sylvia is an Administrative Assistant who works with the Managing Director and staff on Agency projects, including database management, website and social media communication and grant writing. At the end of 2012, she helped redesign and launch the new GDABVI website with improved accessibility features and content. Sylvia hopes the site can better connect the Agency’s services with the needs of Southeast Michigan residents. Through her community organizing experience, she is helping the Agency build a resource guide tailored to the needs of persons who are blind or visually impaired. Sylvia has a M.A. from the University of Michigan and a B.A. from California State University, Los Angeles.
- Eric is a Vision Rehabilitation Therapist who has always enjoyed helping people. Each day he works with GDABVI clients with visual impairments to help maintain or enhance their independence through using non-visual skills. He loves to teach Braille because it helps his clients to read and write, some for the first time. Eric received a fellowship to earn his master’s degree as a Rehabilitation Teacher and has a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration, both from Northern Illinois University.