Why It Is Easier Than Ever to Improve Life Skills With Low Vision

woman using screen reader
Harry Williamson / SpringStudio

No matter what area of our lives we aim to improve, life is a constant training session. We truly do live and learn.

But some of us have an extra course added to our life’s curriculum called Living with Low Vision’.

According to the National Eye Institute (NEI), in 2010 it was estimated that 2.9 million Americans lived with low vision . The number is expected to increase dramatically by 2030 as the population ages.

Perhaps you are surprised to be involuntarily enrolled in this life-course as a mature-aged student, or to have a young adult in your family new to vision loss. What can you possibly gain by the course in low vision?

A multitude of learning options!

Living with low vision does bring certain challenges but the smart way to tackle this life-lesson is to focus on other pathways that will assist you in gaining new skills in areas that really matter to you.

For instance, one aspect of life you may value highly is retaining a strong sense of independence, knowing that learning skills in Orientation and Mobility (O&M) training can satisfy a sense of self-sufficiency. Me too!

Many of us function at our best when we are able to make our own decisions, solve problems, and take action that moves us closer in the direction of our aspirations. Being independent boosts a person’s sense of confidence to keep setting those important goals and fulfill their potential.

Having low vision doesn’t have to hold you back from reaching these goals.

It can be a challenge but it is one that can be overcome by finding the right tools and resources which support and nourish your personal and professional growth.

A New Focus on Distance Learning

One easy alternative in developing new skills for this ‘vocation’ with low vision is to find a training course or program accessible on the Internet.

If geographical location, transportation or limited funds have been a barrier to learning in the past, consider a brand new way of life-education.

One such online path to further education is seeking the options offered by Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

You may have heard of them by their former name, for almost a century, this training institution was called The Hadley School for the Blind.

The organization, which  is by far the largest provider of distance education programs for people experiencing vision loss worldwide, recently launched not only a brand new name but also added even more FREE online programs and services in 2016.

Seeing Hadley through New Eyes

A hive of activity took place on 16 February this year when Hadley announced its new Logo and name change to  Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

In keeping with Hadley’s ‘old heart’, their mission is as strong as ever in delivering quality courses to people who are blind or visually impaired, while offering support and special assistance to those keen to pursue their independence through life-long learning.

Their programs are designed to further the education of individuals aged as young as 14 through to adulthood.

  Hadley’s courses and resources include

  • Braille Literacy
  • Achieving a High School Diploma
  • Instructional Videos & Seminars (with new Low Vision Quick Tips)  
  • Assistive technology courses
  • Monthly Webinars
  • Resource Lists
  • Audio recordings on CD for those without a computer (Tips on daily living skills)

And, connecting families to other service providers for the parents of blind children.

Hadley is committed to “Educating-for life” training that can also assist entrepreneurs and blinded veterans enthused to start a business or run a support group in their area – all tuition FREE!

By being aware of some of the alternatives available at your fingertips, you can look forward to a much brighter future in spite of living with blindness or a visual-impairment – remembering that

“The best dreams happen when you’re awake.” Cherie Gilderbloom

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