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2019 Braille Learner of the Year: Evin Yager

Yes. I remember specifically when I started my approach toward total blindness. I was an adult. It's been 10 years, and I was driving and I realized that I couldn't see properly the distance between the front of my car and parked cars. So I turned around and parked my car back in my driveway and went in for a good cry, and that was that.

I love to read and I wanted to give my ears a break and learn to read another way, and also I wanted to learn to produce braille so that I could make notes to myself, because at that point I could write something down but I couldn't see it, so I'd have to write it down and go, "What does that say?"

Even when I do shopping lists for my son they're in braille. He does not read braille. I have to read it to him and he has to write it down. But for me, that's the only way I can read it, right? I mean braille is now a part of my life, an integral part of my life. There's not a day that goes by that I don't use it.

To me, the Hadley community would mean not just the people involved, meaning students, instructors, administrators. The community includes its mission and atmosphere and purpose, which you can kind of feel when you speak with someone affiliated with Hadley, when you are working through the lessons, when you're talking with your instructor. Even when you just call student services, the desire to be helpful, the belief in what you're doing, comes through. I think that's a great word to use to describe the wholeness of what Hadley is and provides.

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