CHICAGO, July 19, 2021 / PRNewswire / – For more than one century many know Hadley as the premier charity for the visually impaired. Hadley’s iconic building that dates back to a mid-20th centurythe Century school, embedded in a Chicago Suburban neighborhoods for 60 years.
But few know that Hadley was never a “school” in the traditional sense, with no classrooms, blackboards or school buses to drive children back and forth. Even fewer know the early history of Hadley, which was founded as a correspondence school in 1920 and offers Braille classes by mail through the U.S. Postal Service.
In the early 1960s, Hadley explored new approaches to distance learning, producing plastic braille books and audio recordings from his suburb for distribution across the country. In the decades that followed, Hadley expanded its media channels offering to include film and video productions to enhance the learning experience.
With the advent of the internet in the 1980s, e-learning quickly became an integral part of distance learning. Hadley executives point out that they had a 100-year lead in distance learning. “We have worked remotely with learners for a century. There are many best practices that we have pioneered, particularly in technology, to create personalized learning opportunities that enable people with vision loss, at home, at work and to be successful in their communities. ” , “said Julie Tye President and CEO of Hadley.
Today Hadley, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, is statewide leader in distance and online learning for people with visual impairment. Hidden behind the historic exterior of Hadley is an impressive array of state-of-the-art media production technology, including a digital recording studio and advanced sound and editing rooms that produce videos, podcasts, Braille brochures and online workshops for thousands of visually impaired learners every year out of all 50 States and more than 100 countries for free.
In recent years, Hadley has seen an explosion in the number who could benefit from his help. As life expectancy increases and baby boomers age, the number of older Americans facing vision loss is projected to double by 2050, with macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy being the leading causes of vision loss in aging seniors.
To learn more about Hadley’s story and the free resources available to people with vision loss, Click here.