2017 Braille Student of the Year Award Winner
Andrew Simpson - TX
Andrew lost his sight at the age of 25, due to Diabetic Retinopathy.
While earning a Masters of Science at a fully-sighted university, a professor insisted Andrew find a school to learn braille, telling him he couldn’t maintain a career without effective braille skills. “Now that I have braille skills I can apply my skills effectively in communicating with braille notes I send by postal mail.”
Andrew’s instructor said, “Andrew has been involved in my weekly Office Hours sessions for several years. He has a Master’s in counseling and uses his skills to assist the group. He is a wonderful role model: encouraging, appreciative and willing to share personal experiences and frustrations.”
“I’m frequently using my braille to type out notes to other Hadley alums, and braille demo-tape labels for postal packages, going to my peers, with audio cassette tape recordings from our instructor’s Office Hour sessions.
Andrew recalls how his instructor helped drive him through the coursework in Braille Literacy III and IV. “These were the toughest times of braille learning. My instructor’s patience and consistency in tutelage came through. He caught some of the slightest errors, yet was always gracious in the way he said braille proficiency is ultimately in the quality of the end result of our efforts.
“Now that I have some modest proficiency in braille, I can better plan how to coordinate my home office as I consider a future venture into professional counseling. Hadley has given me the resolve and adaptive skills I need to bring more personal and professional fulfillment to my life.”