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Review for Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Winnetka, IL, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

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

Role:  Client Served