BVA Announces Partnership with The Hadley School for the Blind

The Blinded Veterans Association and The Hadley School for the Blind have formalized a new collaborative relationship designed to help both organizations better fulfill their designated missions and offer improved services to the blind and visually impaired throughout the United States and overseas.

The terms of the agreement, signed by The Hadley School President Chuck Young and BVA Executive Director Tom Miller just prior to the latter’s retirement, are for a three-year period beginning May 1, 2012 and ending April 30, 2015.

“The two agencies recognize that through a formal partnership, working together, they can expand their influence and impact on behalf of those served,” the agreement states.

Both BVA and Hadley are committed to serving veterans who are blind or visually impaired, whether they are service-connected for blindness or experiencing age-related vision loss due to a medical condition. Their commitment to veterans extends to veterans’ families.

On Veterans Day 2011, Hadley launched its Blinded Veterans Initiative, geared toward educating and inspiring blinded veterans to pursue their personal and professional goals and to help support their families.

“We are thrilled to be working with our friends and colleagues at the Blinded Veterans Association to get the word out about this important new project,” said Hadley President Chuck Young. “I cannot think of a better partner to support our efforts.”

Judith B. Castellini, Board of Trustees Chair for The Hadley School for the Blind, signs Memorandum of Understanding linking BVA and Hadley for three years in a partnership relationship. BVA Director of Government Relations Tom Zampieri signed the agreement for BVA. Looking on in back row, left to right, are BVA members Steve Beres, Richard Hunter, Steve Baskis, Sharon Giovinazzo, and Urban Miyares. Photo courtesy of The Hadley School.

The BVA-Hadley partnership will result in cross promotion of each other’s programs and services, expanding the reach and influence of both organizations. Details of the partnership include linking the websites of each organization; outlining the features and benefits of each on the websites, in publications, and through social media and emails messages to organization members and constituents; publicizing the partnership at the BVA 67th National Convention; and announcing news about each other’s initiatives and events in their respective publications.

The mission of The Hadley School for the Blind is to promote independent living through lifelong distance education programs for individuals who are blind or visually impaired, their families, and blindness service providers.

The school is the single largest provider worldwide of Braille education and distance education for the blind community. It serves 10,000 students in all 50 states and more than 100 countries. The institution relies on contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations to fund its programs.

The Hadley School was founded in 1920 by William A. Hadley, a former high school teacher who lost his sight at age 55, and Dr. E.V.L. Brown, an ophthalmologist and neighbor. Hadley taught himself Braille so that he could continue to enjoy reading but was frustrated to find that there were few educational opportunities for blind individuals. He and Brown conceived the idea of teaching Braille by mail so that others could acquire skills to foster independence.


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