A school that serves over 10,000 students from 100 countries has honoured a Trail resident for her dedication to learning through distance education.
The Hadley School for the Blind recently presented Debra Bray with the 2012 Richard Kinney Challenge of Living award at its annual meeting in Chicago.
Bray was treated to a whirlwind trip to the Windy City where she was presented with the award and met some of the teachers she corresponded with while taking courses.
She first learned about the school through a visual aid display at a meeting for the Canadian Institute for the Blind (CNIB).
“You don’t have to sit in a classroom to learn new things, you can do it on our own at home,” she said.
Bray, who lost some of her hearing at five-years-old and is legally blind due to glaucoma, has worked at the Trail library for over 30 years. She said she jumped at the chance to study and improve her skills.
Bray received her large print books and assignments by mail.
In a little over three years, she has completed 26 courses, all with high marks.
“The Hadley teachers are also blind, so they understand,” she explained. “They were always willing to answer any questions and help in anyway they could.
“Using Excel was an especially useful course, because I have to make my own spreadsheets for my work hours,” she added.
Bray wants to get the word out about the school to other blind and visually impaired members of the community.
“All the courses are free, so there is nothing to stop you,” she said.
“I’m not stopping now,” said Bray. “I just signed up for another course this afternoon, because I always wanted to learn more about word processing, like making fancy letters.”
Information and applications for the school can be found on the CNIB website www.cnib.ca.