Visually impaired Copperas Cove man earns Braille Student of the Year Award
WINNETKA, IL—Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired has recognized Andrew Simpson of Copperas Cove with the Braille Student of the Year Award.
Simpson lost his sight at the age of 25 due to diabetic retinopathy. At the time, he was earning a Master’s Degree at a fully-sighted university and a professor of his urged him to find a school where he could learn braille, telling him it would be difficult to maintain a career without effective braille skills.
“Now that I have braille skills I can apply them effectively in communicating with braille notes I send by postal mail,” Simpson said.
Simpson’s instructor says that he’s been involved in his weekly office hours for several years and is a wonderful role model for other students. He is willing to share personal experiences and frustrations and, with his Master’s degree in counseling, uses his skills to assist the group.
“I frequently use braille to type out notes for other Hadley alums and braille demo-tape labels for postal packages with audio cassette tape recordings from our instructor’s office hour sessions,” Simpson said.
Simpson appreciates the patience and consistency that his instructors have shown him along the way as well. In some of the tougher literacy courses he took, he said his instructor caught some of his very slight errors, yet was gracious in explaining to him that, “learning braille proficiency is ultimately in the quality of the end result of our efforts.”
“Hadley has given me the resolve and adaptive skills I need to bring more personal and professional fulfillment to my life.”