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Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Adult Education, Diseases of Specific Organs, Education, Health, Job Training, Special Education

Mission: The mission of Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired is to create personalized learning opportunities that empower people to thrive – at home, at work and in their communities.

Programs: Celebrating 100 years in 2020, Hadley is the world’s oldest and largest nonprofit provider of distance education for people who are blind or visually impaired, serving 145,000 annually in all 50 states and 66 other countries. Hadley is also the world’s largest provider of braille education. All of Hadley’s assistance to those with vision loss is provided at no cost to them. A 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, the organization relies on contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations to fund its programs. Learn more at www.hadley.edu

Community Stories

28 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hello, my name is Frank Strong. I live in Des Moines, Iowa. I am a proud Hadley Institute student. I have been blind for over 40 years. Hadley has been a wonderful resource for me over the years. I have taken many classes through Hadley’s distance learning services. I have learned how to read and write Braille, learned computer skills including use of MS Excel, attended webinars on creative writing, and how to play chess. I even took a Hadley course which taught me how to identify bird songs.
Hadley instructors are both knowledgeable and helpful. Hadley has broadened my skills and given me confidence to become more involved in the community.
Thanks, Hadley!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Mark Preston Yendes and I am a graduate, and a Challenge of life Award winner of THE HADLEY INSTITUTE
FOR THE BLIND
It took me a total of 32 years to finally achieve a high school diploma! When I was introduced to The Hadley Institute For The Blind I was very skeptical but yet continue to order courses including six different braille courses. Course is ranging from spelling, English, World history, American government, math poetry adjusting to blindness gardening and so many more! In the four years that I worked on course after course after course with Hadley my intelligence grew my mental strength through my ability to look forward and not at the ground became more noticeable to other people! In fact my determination to achieve my high school diploma through Hadley got so strong that there was nothing that was going to stop me and the fact that Hadley was my last best and only choice in order to achieve a high school diploma was amazing to me! In all I completed a total of 26 courses with Hadley. Now I know of other students who have completed 36 courses and even more in the time that they have been going to have with our getting courses sent to them through the mail and I think it’s absolutely amazing! My confidence to move forward and even achieve a higher degree than I already have in college has jumped up by leaps and bounds because of what I have accomplished with Hadley. The staff and the instructors and faculty at Hadley are very hands on in order to help students grow in more ways than I thought possible! And now being the 2019 winner of the challenge of life award from Hadley for everything that I have gone through since I lost my vision in a in a very bad way when I was five years old 46 years plus or later to have finally graduated high school I look at myself in the mirror not that I can actually see myself in the mirror a whole lot different than I used to! I hold the faculty staff and instructors at Hadley in the most highest regard without them and their continued strengthening of my will to continue in all the courses when I receive them and was overwhelmed at times just continue to strengthen me to move forward now that I have a client uplift this there is nothing I cannot do and I think Hadley for that I did not know that I was in for winning an award from Hadley but I think him for it it’s actually helping to propel me forward and not just at my job but in other places and it’s amazing what Hadley has done for me I think them very much and my studies have not ended yet I just have to go back to work now since I have not worked in a new half years and right now I have just completed six months back at work with Wal-Mart and because of the strength that I now have in me after achieving a high school diploma has propelled me forward to be a leader and a teacher in my own job to help strengthen and train other associates! I think you for the time and the opportunity to tell you about Hadley I apologize if some of my words came off a little wrong I am talking to my phone to get this to you I am but I can assure you that Hadley Institute For The Blind is awesome and again I hold them in the highest regards they are they are wonderful the things they were able to help me with to accomplish my goals just was great and I feel so much better and empowered to move forward and even teach my own daughter then I would have if I had not been able to complete my high school diploma! Attached will be a photo of myself holding my diploma in my cap and gallon that I received from Hadley thank you again for this opportunity

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Hadley Institute has been a fantastic resource for me to learn how to use my computer and cell phone better since my vision loss started. I own a small family business and I’m not sure how I would have stayed involved without the skills I have learned through this organization. Being able to communicate through technology is key. I am thankful for Hadley on a daily basis.m

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired has changed my life! Thanks to Hadley, I will graduate from high school soon and I have been already admitted to college . Hadley offered me a whole new world of opportunities after losing most of my vision, when I thought there was nothing else to be done, they inspired,supported, and encouraged me to follow my dreams.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a professional in the field of Blind Rehabilitation. In the past eighteen years I have completed twenty of Hadley’s courses. My first experience with Hadley is consistent with my most recent experience. Everything is exceptionally professional and well done. The course material is relevant and up to date, and the instructors take the time to enhance the experience of the course offerings. I have benefited greatly from my relationship with Hadley and encourage other professionals in the field and visually impaired individuals to take advantage of Hadley’s offerings.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

For many years, I lived in fear, allowing myself to be a victim of perceived limitations and feeling a lack of support. I was born with poor visual acuity but corrective lenses were always an option for me, until a series of medical events changed that 20 years ago. Transitioning from a world with corrected acuity and plagued by double vision and visual perceptual/processing challenges; to a world seeing 20/700 with diminishing visual fields of vision, has been frightening. I experienced job loss, isolation, misdiagnosis, and had no tools in my toolbox. As a single parent, this was unacceptable.

Hadley has been more than a school to me. It has been a lifeline. It has been a place of acceptance, understanding, and hope. The courses I have taken have helped me to be independent again. I now feel safe and no longer live in fear. The courses have helped me to be a better parent to my daughter, who also experiences visual challenges as a result of a brain injury, which means the world to me. I have become a better advocate and have taught her skills that I have learned. Through my connection with Hadley, I no longer feel alone in my journey. Hadley gave me more than I could ever imagine; safety, confidence, independence, skills to parent, recreation and fun, a sense of self, community, and most of all hope.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I cannot speak highly enough for Hadley Institute. I first took a course from them in the year 2000 and then came back again for ongoing coursework in Spanish and Braille from 2010 until 2018. Because Hadley's student support network is so extensive I've stayed on with their group teleconferencing forums which inform about various topics of personal interest, adaptivity and independence resources, and which also allow for social connecting to others with similar interests. The social support networks have been incredible and I've made friends literally across the U.S. and in some cases - across the world. Equally, whereas at one time I couldn't read Braille, now I can read with reasonable fluency though of course needing my own ongoing practice. Considering that I've always been treated well by Hadley faculty and staff, and further that the education and personal or resource networking has essentially been totally free for me (other than my paying for some materials or making donations), what real negatives can I bear against this group? I know that Hadley is presently going through a long season of changes and upgrading their technical focus with the institute, and I'm pleased to hear about the renovated Hadley home campus, but I've found even with newer employees and faculty that their is a BIG ear to listen to my concerns and there appears to be a willingness to modify their administrative course as they build and expand and try to innovate how course material is presented to older students and new enrollees alike. Indeed, I've been quite impressed at how Hadley has ensured that students with every type of learning curve or technical adaptivity have been included so they could stay active in Hadley course resources: I know of one student who is 93 years old and only receives study materials by Braille or audio recordings through either postal mailing or by telephone and no computers. Yet, younger students are able to take courses online via their Smart Phones and interact through apps on the same; the wide range of resource support and the broad expanse of learning enablements has been impressive to me. Further, I've not met hardly a single co-student who wasn't willing to find practical learning tools, hardware and equipment or software support, and to offer helpful advice to a fellow student who was either struggling with learning the Hadley course materials or simply having a hard time in life. The positive inducements to support one another in learning and in daily living first by Hadley Learning Experts and second by fellow students has at times been comparable to the personal encouragement and growth opportunities which I receive at my local church (Wow). May the Lord bless Hadley and only help them to do things better and thus continue growing. Thanks!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My wife and I just returned from our second visit to the Hadley School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Both visits left us with the most amazing uplifit because of the excellence of the program. From President Julie Tye on down this is an organization that exceeded everything I have ever seen in a charitable organization. I have been an attorney for the last 46 years and have been on many boards over this period of time, but none can even remotely compete with the excellence of Hadley. We met several dozen staff members and each and every person was a positive experience. The staff believes in the organization and in excellence of product. They are highly educated and well trained and justifiably proud. I have taken two courses from Hadley in Braille studies and have had two wonderful instructors. They have been uniformly great teachers and both have been very supportive. Each year I have donated to Hadley and will be giving them even more this year. What a wonderful organization that uses its resources wisely and is a loving and caring place.

Michael A. Gold
Attorney at Law
345 Buffalo Avenue
Niagara Falls, NY 14303
(716) 285-2267
michael@goldandgoldlaw.com

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My six-year-old daughter unexpectedly lost her vision three years ago due to malformations in her eyes. As parents, we spent the majority of our time working with doctors, therapists and other medical professionals hoping to retain any of her vision that was salvageable. Throughout this time we were also supported by the teachers and services offered by the public school system, who realized my daughter would be most successful if she were to begin learning braille. My daughter took to braille quickly and it was soon apparent we, as parents, were going to need to learn what felt like a new language—one of dots in two by three cells.

My husband and I struggled with little success in learning braille until I received a recommendation by my daughter’s braillest for Hadley’s braille courses—courses for sighted individuals who wanted or needed to learn braille to support a visually impaired person in their lives.

Hadley’s online courses are well-organized, easy to follow and provide the resources I needed in order to be successful in sight-reading braille. I was surprised to find out I was shortly thinking in braille and the mental struggle to translate dots into letters and words was becoming both easy and fun. I learned to both read and write braille and was surprised to find the two skills related but initially separate in my mind, and yet both were crucial to helping support my daughter.

And while online and remote, I got to know my instructor and have appreciated all her guidance and advice on how to learn and be successful with braille. I’ve gained an appreciation for braille I didn’t expect to have. Today, my daughter is still my teacher, laughing at me with an, “I told you that last time, mom” comment when I forget a contraction or punctuation.

Learning braille has been an important bonding point for my daughter and me and it was made possible by Hadley. My thanks to Hadley is immense. You have changed our lives for the better.

Courtney Blum

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired is an exceptional resource for all! We have enjoyed being a client of the Hadley Institute for nearly three years when we began our journey to adopt our daughter from China.
As soon-to-be parents of a child who is blind, we wanted to equip ourselves with as many resources as possible before bringing our daughter home. When we contacted the folks at Hadley, they truly echoed the words of Helen Keller, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” What a great feeling knowing we were being supported, encouraged, educated, and given the tools to equip ourselves and our daughter for the journey ahead! Learning braille has been amazing! We have experienced outstanding instructors, staff, and volunteers that took us where we were, and to this day, continue moving us forward to where we need to be!
The Hadley Institute has positively impacted our lives. We are grateful for the kindness and compassion shown to us by the folks at Hadley. I encourage others to seek out the tremendous resources offered by the Hadley Institute! We give the Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired our highest recommendation!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our family learned of Hadley in 2002 when our son, Eli, was born blind. My husband and I were eager to learn skills to help our child grow up in a visual world. We took the 'Reach out and Teach' course for parents of children with visual impairment. I was so encouraged to be introduced to the Hadley community. Hadley gave me great hope and assurance that Eli certainly could and would live a full and enriching life. Today, I am honored to be an active member on the Hadley Woman's Board and a faithful donor. I have the utmost respect for this organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been legally blind my entire life. When I was a child it was considered adequate for me to read with my nose in the book. I graduated high school with a second grade reading speed. I was not able to finish college because I could not keep up with the work in spite of the fact that I knew many totally blind students who had the Skills they needed to succeed.

Now 50 years later I have discovered the joy of braille. I have just completed the braille course through Hadley and for the first time in my life I can say I am literate

Hadley courses change peoples lives! Their courses in their personal attention is priceless!

Thank you Hadley ! Jody W Ianuzzi

Review from Guidestar

2 Sue B.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I wanted to learn braille when my sight worsened because I always wanted the pleasure of holding a book. My instructors encouraged me as I experienced reading with my fingers instead of my eyes. Phone chat groups of Hadley students learning braille and other things related to vision impairment also helped my struggles. I have joined a book club and a container gardening group with Hadley facilitators leading the discussions . Many courses are available for adults wanting continuing education. Hadley honored my participation with them when I won the Braille Student of the Year Award in 2016. I am grateful that Hadley is available to people throughout the world turning what some people say is a "disability" into an "ability" no matter where we live!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started taking Hadley classes back in 2015 after moving from Florida to Iowa. The first class I took was on glaucoma because I want to learn more about my eye condition. The second class I took after that in 2016 was Braille literacy 1 And the I pass ed that one.In 2017, I took Braille literacy 2 Which was another awesome class. After that, I decided to take a class on the human I to learn more about the human eye. So far, these classes have really increased my knowledge on Braille , Glaucoma , and the human Eye.I am looking forward to taking more classes!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Forty years ago, I dropped out of high school due to bullying. It was drop out, or take my own life.
I had to wait until I turned 18 to take my GED, but I did and passed on the 1st time.
Then, while working part-time, I earned a Forty - Hour Certificate in Office Administration from Jackson State Community College.
I took the test to get into the U.S. Armed Services, but was told I had failed by a mere five points. If I had only graduated from high school, i would have passed. My GED was not the same.
As it worked out, I married and became a wife and a mom. I put my college education to volunteer work.
Then I lost my sight to a rare disorder... That’s when I found out about Hadley. Due to health issues, it has taken me six years, but I DID IT! I AM NOW A HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE!
My teachers have taught me to dig deep inside myself.. that I CAN DO THIS! There were patient with me when I was sick or could not understand what the lesson was about.
Each teacher was available to discuss anything I needed.
I thank GOD for HADLEY!
I also think doing away with the high school program is a mistake. There are more people out there like me.
How could I tell my sons not to quit when the going got tough, when I did?
THANK YOU HADLEY FOR ALLOWING ME TO FULFILL MY DREAM!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was very fortunate to find Hadley soon after I lost my sight. I was able to use it to restore some confidence in myself after losing pretty much everything on top of my vision. I have used their seminars in the past to help learn how to do things and keep up with the tech advances for accessibility. I love being able to continue learning and being able to ask my instructor if I need any help ... without having to explain my limitations too much. I highly recommend it to anyone who qualifies for its services.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I cannot tell you enough, how Hadley Institute for the Blind, has changed my life! Not only was I able to finally complete my high school diploma at age 57, but I am also learning Braille. I have also learned many tips and tricks to help get me through my every day life easier. Hadley has helped me to have more confidence and because of them, I am an active and outgoing part of my community! Thank you Hadley, for showing me the way!

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was born with an idea fat. The small town where I grew up offered absolutely nothing for the visually impaired and my family and I were offered no assistance. I struggled to make it through elementary and high school. It turned out all of my struggles were due to my print challenge.

As an adult, my problem is finally discovered and the only suggestion my doctor had was to learn braille. Of course now I know that is not the answer, but the schools I looked at were so expensive! I didn’t know what else to do other than to learn braille as suggested.

It was suggested to me that I try Hadley school for the blind and visually impaired. I was told there services would be free to me because of my vision impairment. I eagerly made the right connections and contacted student services. I learned over the years to read and write boreal fluently. Hadley offers many other courses to help those with vision impairments function in there every day world. I don’t know what I would’ve done without Hadley Institute for the blind and visually impaired.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Hadley School for the Blind is a fantastic school. I took my first course in 1999 and I am still involved in learning at Hadley. The online courses that I have taken are marvelous, allowing a flexibility that I appreciated. As a fairly organized person, these courses enabled me to work independently on my own timetable. The professors with whom I worked were highly professional, caring individuals who were always ready with explicit explanations of the coursework.
Hadley is a great place to learn. I recommend the school without reservation.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Hadley School for the Blind had made all the difference for me and my family. With our first grandson blind at birth we knew we needed to learn as much as we could to help him grow and learn. The information and support I received from the instructors and staff at Harley was tremendous, and the courses taught me what I needed to understand what his world was like as well as how to best help him learn as he grew. To be sure that he has a support system in the future. I have taken several business courses through Hadley with a vision to include visual design and tactile images for advertising and written documents for both sighted and visually impaired persons. Without The Hadley School for the Blind, none of this would be possible. They have given me the tools and education to be successful and help provide for my grandson in the future.