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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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.
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.