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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

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

48 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

During the last 5 years of retirement, I have been a Hadley Learner. Even though, I have been blind for 46 years and worked as a Vocational Rehab Counselor for 30 years, I continue to learn new and interesting things concerning changes in medical discoveries about blindness, new technologies and even tips on cooking and other techniques for performing daily tasks. All from Hadley’s videos, interviews with people from all walks of life with stories such as a man who is blind who has won championships in golf, a woman chef who is blind, a married couple with a blind spouse and their ups and downs and adjusting to blindness and many more helpful trainings. A couple of my favorite monthly Zoom meetings are Cooking with Hadley, and Tech It Out. I highly recommend Hadley to any person going through vision loss seeking knowledge on how to live a meaningful and happy life.
I like giving back to Hadley through donations and encourage others to do the same.

Client Served

Rating: 5

A few years ago I decided I would like to learn Braille.. Hadley was recommended to me as a great resource. When I went to their website I was amazed at what I found. Not only did they have a great system for learning braille they had many tools available for living with vision loss. One of Hadley's greatest strengths is their staff. I found that they are very helpful and encouraging.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I’ve been blind since birth. I learned to read Braille by the time I was 6 months old. When I found out I could complete Hadley’s Transitioning to UEB course by mail for free, I was ecstatic and relieved! Thanks to Hadley my Braille skills are up to date. Now I’m able to read and write using the new Braille code. Hadley has given me the knowledge to be successful in all areas of my life.

Hadley offers so many learning opportunities such as, discussion groups, workshops, podcasts and Braille course’s. Through these opportunities it has allowed me to connect with other visually impaired people from all over the world. Plus, if you need further help their learning experts are just an email or phone call away. They are some of the kindest, most caring and knowledgeable people I’ve ever had the opportunity to learn from. When you enroll at Hadley your life will be changed forever whether you’re a family member, friend or visual impaired yourself.

Hadley has completely changed my outlook on life. Now instead of saying “I can’t “ I’m saying “I can”! They have brought happiness, hope and fulfillment into my life. I cannot thank them enough! By donating to Hadley you are bringing hope, happiness and so much more into the lives of people who are visual impaired.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was referred to Hadley during the COVID lock down, while trying to learn Braille remotely, Zoom. In 2016 I had cataract surgery and in 2017 my retina detached and tore in multiple places. At 59, I found myself being told I should not drive and I was legally blind. I was starting over with regards to life skills. I was trained at DETER, but was overwhelmed my the large number of little things I needed to know. When I found Hadley, I discovered the Videos that you can watch/listen to over and over again. At that point I sometimes remember it had been covered or I totally spaced it while trying to deal with my lost sight. And then while trying to learn Braille so I could continue to read, Hadley sent me materials and never asked me for a dime. Who does that??? All the folks I have interacted with at Hadley have had only one goal for me. To assist me in being me. I may be legally blind, but blindness does not define me. Hadley Institute has been a true life ring and I can’t say thank you enough.

Client Served

Rating: 5

When learning I was losing my eyesight I didn’t know where to turn or what to do next. My life was over as I knew it.

I eventually contacted Hadley which has become my go-to resource. It provides a veritable wealth of information from live discussion groups to free Voiceover
and other workshops. Their podcasts are so informative and helpful. Just yesterday I listened to one about about the Accessible Pharmacy. That one hit home since I have been having such difficulty managing my meds. That’s a big deal for those of us with little or no vision.

Hadley centers itself around “our” needs allowing us to choose from a variety of learning and listening experiences and, most importantly, has staff available to offer personal help just a phone call away. The staff is also visually impaired so they get it. That part is so critical.

For me, Hadley was really a savior in my journey through blindness. Hadley inspires trust. Hadley cares about “us”. That’s what makes it so exceptional. That’s what a non-profit should be all about. I wish I could give Hadley more than 5 stars since it made such a difference in my life.

Client Served

Rating: 5

When we were told that my 1-year old granddaughter, Gracie, had small optic nerves and that her vision could not be helped with glasses or contacts, we were more than a little overwhelmed. We didn't know where to go or how to help Gracie. My mind wandered into her future school days and I wanted so bad to be able to help her with her homework. Of course, I didn't know how I could do that if I didn't know how to read braille. I am such a "planner" by nature that I thought I need to start now if I am going to be ready by the time Gracie is in school.

I started looking for resources and everything fell short of my expectations. Searching the internet for something that was relatively easy and inexpensive, I found Hadley. They have truly been our pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Their courses are free of charge and easy to use. It's hard enough that you have to learn to adapt to new circumstances but Hadley offered financial peace of mind and we could focus on learning. They have amazing resources that are just a phone call away.

After working through the Braille for the Sighted courses, I wanted to make sure that others would be able to focus on learning to adapt to visual challenges the same as we did and not be concerned with the financial impact. I am now a donor as well as a learner. I cannot think of a better place to support than Hadley. You know that they are always just a phone call away.

Client Served

Rating: 5

When my vision became so bad that I could no longer use a CCTV to read print, I decided to learn braille. In 2000 I went to a program in Kansas City, Missouri for people who are blind to study contracted braille. You would think I'm a braille expert by now, but I only had two months at the program. It was like a crash course.

Still, I was skilled enough to be able to read braille and earn a MFA degree. But, I used an electronic braille device and preferred to read uncontracted braille. Plus, I did all my writing with a regular keyboard.

My braille writing skills were very poor. And it was time to switch to a new electronic braille device. I needed to improve my braille writing before I could do this. I turned to Hadley and signed up for Braille Literacy 4 which focuses on reading and writing contracted braille. Now, I can write braille without having to stop and think about how to write the contractions. I can't believe how much my braille writing skills have improved. Thanks to a terrific teacher who is blind and very encouraging and patient. And thanks to the wonderful braille materials and services Hadley offers, including loaning me a Perkins braille writer to use for the course. Thanks especially for the generous donations that make Hadley possible.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I became legally blind a few years ago and started searching for information and assistance / support for dealing with my changed circumstances. Even though I live outside the USA, I heard about Hadley and accessed their website. The variety and depth of resources was and continues to be extremely helpful. The employment rate amongst blind / vision impaired people is very low, leading to many not being able to access training courses or paid assistance. Hadley's generous provision of free, detailed information and courses on a range of subjects is of invaluable benefit. As well as training, there are also the opportunities for social interaction through the internet / phone based monthly group chats covering a variety of interests. The Hadley Institute does a sterling job of supporting vision impaired people and deserves respect and support to carry on those invaluable functions.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

I joined the Hadley Women's Board several years ago after a few friends put me up for membership. I have a nephew who is blind and I was thrilled to be a part of an organization that gives so much to people who are visually impaired.

I cannot begin to say enough wonderful things about The Hadley Institute and how they help these individuals through various programs and classes that are free of charge. The team at Hadley works tirelessly on developing these to make sure their student's lives are a little bit easier and that they are better able to navigate life with an impairment.

Hadley is determined to keep up with our ever-changing world of technology and life so that no student is left behind. The group of people who work at Hadley are some of the brightest, special and hard-working individuals I have been around and they truly care about the Institute and the students they serve. I am always in awe of what Hadley has accomplished in the last 100 years and I am honored to be a part of an organization that has helped so many people and one that i know will continue to grow in the future. Mindy Rendell

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a proud Hadley Woman's Board member! I learned of Hadley over a decade ago when I first moved to Winnetka, IL. My grandmother, who is blind, shared with me how amazing Hadley is for the blind community. Some time later, a good friend of mine reintroduced me to Hadley where I got to meet an amazing group of women. The Hadley Woman's Board invited me to become a member! I was excited and touched to serve in a way that not only helps others, but would also make my grand mother proud. I am alway's impressed with how Hadley works incredibly hard to understand the visually impaired community and Hadley's great strides to innovate and empower the community it serves. Five stars+ for Hadley!

Board Member

Rating: 5

My affiliation with Hadley dates back nearly 50 years when I was an 8th grader living in Wilmette and I met Dr. Richard Kinney, one of the organization's pioneers. Dr. Kinney was the first blind person that I ever met and he made an impact on my life.
Years later, in 1992, I became reacquainted with Hadley when I was sponsored for Women's Board membership. I have enjoyed being part of this board from the start!
My connection became more personal after my sister gave birth to her daughter, Annie. Born at just 26 weeks, Annie had blindness caused by retinopathy of prematurity. When Annie was very young , she and my sister designed the Holiday card used by Hadley. Annie began taking Hadley courses throughout her high school, college and post college years.
Many people assume that I became involved with Hadley because of Annie, but that wasn't the case as I had been a Woman's Board member long before she was born. However; Annie's story has given me more drive to make sure that the visually impaired population is served, accepted and mainstreamed into our society. She has been an inspiration to me and my family. Knowing how she has flourished in life has pushed me to be an even more active supporter of Hadley.
I have served in many roles as a Board member and as a Trustee but feel I have personally gained more from those experiences than I have given. It was an honor to achieve Life Trustee status this fall.
I am proud to continue to uphold Hadley's mission of serving the visually impaired and blind population free of charge throughout the world for the past 100 years!
Sarah B Barden

Review from Guidestar

Andrew L.6

Client Served

Rating: 5

My local state service for the blind told me that braille was too hard for an adult to learn. I pushed them and they taught me, but my sighted instructor didn't read braille tactilely and when I spoke to lifelong braille readers they told me he was teaching me absolutely the wrong way. So I sought out Hadley, which was a lifechanging experience. My teacher there was blind, a true expert, exacting and compassionate. Now I read novels in braille and my quality of life has improved many times over. And I didn't pay a dime (except for the donations I made, inspired by their excellence.) Long live Hadley!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been affiliated with Hadley for twenty-one years as a volunteer. What drew me to the Institute initially was the dedication of the staff to provide learning experiences and support to those with vision loss, all at no cost to the individual. As a volunteer, I served on committees, worked on fundraisers, and organized programs. As I became more involved I had the opportunity to meet some of those who were impacted by Hadley. This is my favorite part of being a volunteer. The personal stories of overcoming obstacles and achieving personal goals are moving. Seeing the results of Hadley's work first-hand is inspiring and it reinforces the fact that we are truly making a difference in peoples' lives. Hadley is a strong community of learning experts who are available to talk to individuals about their interests and challenges. More recently, Hadley launched a new and updated website with relatable content for those with vision loss. The dedication of the staff I mentioned early, is even more evident today. I am honored to be a volunteer at The Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I’ve been a recipient of services from Hadley for the past 20 years. It's the only correspondence school in the world for people who are blind. their services are exemplary; timely and accurate response from all staff. As a professional rehabilitation specialist, I have referred numerous students to their programs.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hadley has been helping blind and low vision people navigate their world for a long time. I have personally taken their Braille courses by mail and I regularly attend their Tech It Out zoom meetings to find out what is the latest technology for blind people.

I have learned so much from Hadley courses and presentations! But there is so much more to learn and Hadley is committed to providing resources for learning. The Hadley website has been recently revamped to make it easier for us to use and they are sensitive to providing learning in formats that are the most useful to the blind community.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

The services they offer for blind and visually impaired are outstanding! Their programs, educational, instructional and social help with the adaptation to vision impairment.
Sharon Kassakian

Review from Guidestar

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I was first introduced to Hadley when my son was in elementary school. I was given a copy of Just Enough to Know Better by his TVI. That began my journey into the world of braille. I have also taken some courses over the years. This past Spring I was asked to try out their new website. It is fabulous! I loved it. My son loved it. My co-workers loved it! (I am a certified braille transcriber now for Guilford County Schools in Greensboro, NC.) Hadley has been so helpful to me and other parents of blind/VI children. They are a wonderful organization!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My world grew so small when a progressive eye disease caused reading difficulty. A word of advise from a mentor and telephone number for Hadley has been a blessing for me. I have taken several college credit courses. The large print materials and variety of courses with instructors who have a passion for what they do has lifted my spirits and quest for knowledge. My most memorable course was the use of the Abacus. It was a bit of a challenge at first. By the end of the course I was able to work through math problems faster with an abacus than a calculator! I had acquired a skill few have mastered. Recently Hadley kicked their offerings up a big notch. They have answers available day or night that only another blind/low vision person can offer. When you don't grow up blind you have "normal skills" but chopping vegetable and not fingers is a question I needed answered years ago so I called my older brother who was blind. Now I can get on my computer and go to Hadley and they can tell and show me how to paint my fingernails and chop vegies! They've given me pointers on making the most of apps on my iphone. Hadley is giving the best of all information in so many ways to those of us who need and want help to survive in a sighted world.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am very proud to be a Hadley student in the adult continuing education program. I have gained knowledge and skills which have enabled me to participate more fully in the life of my family and community. The staff of Hadley is experienced, knowledgeable and caring and have enriched my learning Experience. The information available in workshops, instructional presentations and group discussions is accurate, up to date and useful, and is available in a variety of formats from braille and large print to downloads and videos. Hadley hasn’t given me a handout, it has given me a hand up and has made my life richer and more challenging. This is indeed a worthy organization to support.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I found the Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired after losing my vision to myopic degeneration of the retina and optic nerve. My vision began deteriorating approximately 10 years ago. Before that, I was fortunate enough to have my vision correctable to 20/40 with contact lenses. Now, I can only discern light from dark. I took cane lessons, made my home blind-friendly and changed from print books to audiobooks, so the experience has not been as depressing as it might have otherwise been.
The problem was that I couldn’t write notes to myself other than digitally and I could only read in audible form. I needed to learn braille.
After looking into the Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired, I started taking correspondence Braille courses from them. That experience has completely changed my life! Firstly, the courses were extremely well-designed, easy to follow and genuinely fun. I began with the course called Tactile Readiness, which taught how to use one’s hands and fingers to determine the amount and location of characters on the page. I proceeded through the second, third and fourth classes, which introduced and taught the Braille alphabet, numbers, punctuation and most challengingly, contractions. Now, I braille notes to myself and shopping lists, and I can read braille menus and books. It is enjoyable and empowering.
Every course I took was very well thought out, well-designed and the exercises and assignments were excellent. All staff members and instructors with whom I have been in contact were kind, knowledgeable and very helpful. I even visited the Institute, which is in a suburb of Chicago, and found the atmosphere to be so positive and pleasant that it was difficult to leave!
I rate Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired as top-notch. It is the very best non-profit organization with which I have ever been involved.
The Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually impaired has the mission of enhancing the quality of life of persons challenged by visual impairment, and they accomplish that mission beautifully, in my opinion. There are so very many visually impaired people who don’t know where to turn for assistance in making their lives “normal” again. My wish is that the Hadley Institute becomes one of the first and best-known organizations to which the visually impaired are referred. It would please me beyond words to learn that charitable contributions to the Hadley Institute increase every year so that Hadley may reach more people in need of their services, and more donors experience the pride of supporting such a wonderful organization.

Review from Guidestar

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.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hadley's business courses were excellent, in that they taught me me to examine my business ideas in depth. They brought up some things I would not thought of on my own. It was a valuable experience. The instructors were kind and knowledgeable. I highly recommend Hadley.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love to cook and read. With my midlife vision loss I needed to find a resource for learning braille so I could continue to cook and read. Hadley filled that need and more! Hadley offers FREE courses in braille and independent living. Through their awesome Hadley courses, I learned in the privacy of my own home, at my own pace, with very little time input on my part. Hadley instructors are so caring and such professionals it stretches over the distance to make you feel so at ease. No wonder Hadley has over 10,000 students from around the world knocking at their door to get to their excellent courses, primarily braille. Hadley’s braille literacy program is easy and guaranteed to work for a newbie like me or anyone else. Their braille literacy program consisted of four courses: the first one just simply awakened my fingers to be better at tactile feeling and taught my hands to move about a braille page in six easy lessons; the second course taught the braille alphabet and had me making braille labels for items about the house after 16 easy lessons; the third course had me reading and writing uncontracted braille with nine lessons; and the fourth course provided the 189 braille contractions in its 30 very easy lessons to make me fully braille literate. Braille made me whole again giving back what I had lost. I was literate again, albeit in a different format, but I could read, cook from recipes, and even do my favorite Sudoku puzzles all in braille. I fell in love with braille and with Hadley. Thank you Hadley, thank you to those individuals upfront involved in teaching me, as well as, those behind the scenes, and those who keep Hadley going. There are many, many of us out here who fall between the cracks and are in need of Hadley. I am so glad I found Hadley!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My experiences with Hadley School have provided me some useful and essential insights with the unique needs of adventitiously blinded students and potential applicants for guide dog schools. Understanding the “grief management” part of losing one’s sight later in life and the decision making process related to obtaining a guide dog has added to my experiences as a teacher and as a resource person for parents, teachers, and other school officials.

I was first informed of the Hadley School at the Spring Vision Conference for Teachers of the Visually Impaired in Harrisburg Pennsylvania.

My two favorite Hadley courses are: Self-Esteem and Adjusting with Blindness and the Guide Dog preparation course.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I would highly recommend Hadley braille courses to other potential students. I tried to learn braille twice before I took my first Hadley braille class. Not only did I succeed with Hadley, but I kept going and I have now learned contracted braille. The curriculum is well designed and the faculty support you every step of the way. It is amazing what you get for your time and effort. I am impressed with the organization, the faculty, staff and administration. They provide a quality education with limited resources. A lot of for-profit schools could learn many things from Hadley. Thanks to Hadley, I am closer to my goal of being independent. Now that I can label things and read braille, I cook for the family, grill, and do things for myself.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a longtime professional who has worked in the field of blindness and low vision for 30+ years as a university professor and direct service professional. Truthfully, my finest and most fulfilling experience during recent years has been my great pleasure as serving as a Hadley School for the Blind Ambassador.

The goal of the Hadley Ambassador program is to provide a first-hand opportunity to learn how Hadley can help supplement local rehabilitation services through a collaborative learning partnership. To date, Hadley has trained 60 ambassadors, who represent more than 50 agencies from 28 states and 10 Canadian provinces. To the best of my knowledge, this type of program is unique within the blindness field.

As an educator, I can state with confidence that quality of Hadley's programs is extremely high, and all staff demonstrate unerring dedication to the maintenance of this high-quality content and to the accessibility of all courses to learners who are blind or have low vision.

Thanks to the Ambassador program, I have renewed admiration for the comprehensive services that Hadley provides to learners throughout the world. I am proud to be associated with Hadley School for the Blind.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My education and training through the Hadley School for the Blind was life-changing for me. As a former member of the military who lost my sight following traumatic injury, the courses Hadley offered allowed me to begin and continue my rehabilitation while at home while I was healing. The courses were able to help me get on-track to realize that sight loss is more of an inconvenience than a disability. Following my military career, and with what I have learned through numerous Hadley courses, I have gone onto a successful career and future. Thank you Hadley!!!

Terry33

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I successfully completed the Hadley business communications and powerpoint courses. This gave me the confidence and the technical skills needed to develop a power point presentation which I presented to the VIST committee at the VA in El Paso, TX.

2 Eric O.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a current student in the braille literacy program. I recently enrolled after losing the last of my sight. So far, the school administration and professors have been of invaluable help in getting me started toward a life of increased independence. This is one of the few organizations offering education to the blind for free and it needs to continue to be funded. We have potential and need to realize it.