For Immediate Release
September 17, 2018
DHS Division of Services for the Blind
Attending an awards presentation were, from left to right, Buddy Fry, Green Forest Lions Club president; Kevin Estes, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor; Billy Langwell, area Consumer of the Year; Marti Langwell, his spouse; and Jared DeMeyer, his supervisor at Walmart. The Department of Human Services Division of Services for the Blind recognized the Walmart in Berryville as an outstanding business partner for its commitment to promoting the employment of persons with vision impairment.
Carroll County Walmart Employee Earns Achievement Award
Billy Langwell of Green Forest in Carroll County has been named the area outstanding Consumer of the Year by the Department of Human Services Division of Services for the Blind (DSB).
Langwell has worked eight years at the Walmart in Berryville as a landscape, lawn, and garden associate. DSB Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Kevin Estes nominated Langwell for the achievement award because of Langwell’s determination to overcome adversity, serve his community, and succeed at work.
Langwell volunteers with the Cup of Love Ministry in Eureka Springs and is an ordained minister.
“He is actively involved in the prison ministry at the Carroll County Detention Center, sharing hope and faith with those currently incarcerated. His leadership and direction prepares them to re-enter their communities and find new,positive life paths,” said Estes.
Langwell was selected from an area that includes Boone, Newton, Marion, Baxter, Carroll, Madison, and Searcy Counties. The award presentation was made at the noon meeting of the Green Forest Lions Club on September 17, at the Cattleman’s Restaurant.
His employer, Walmart of Berryville, was recognized by DSB as an outstanding business partner for its commitment to promoting the employment of persons with vision impairment.
Langwell said he was diagnosed with bilateral cataracts a few years ago, but finances made it impossible for him to get the surgeries he needed. By the time he was referred to DSB, his cataracts had progressed to the point he had very little usable vision. DSB paid the remaining costs, after his insurance, for the surgeries, medications, and related medical treatment.
Langwell said the assistance from DSB allowed him to maintain his employment and enabled him to assist his wife through her own health issues. DSB also provided counseling and guidance services to Langwell during his treatments.
This is the 11th year DSB has given Consumer of the Year awards to recognize individuals who have managed their rehabilitation plans, gained marketable skills, secured good jobs, and become role models for others. An overall state winner will be selected at the end of the year.
DSB provides vocational rehabilitation services to adults who are blind or severely visually impaired and whose goal is successful employment. The division also serves youth and older blind individuals. For information about DSB’s programs and services, visit the DSB website at https://humanservices.arkansas.gov/about-dhs/dsb, or call 1-800-960-9270, 501-682-5463, or deaf relay 711.