Since the onset of COVID-19 those with visual impairments have faced disproportionate vulnerabilities from living in extended isolation. Newly released data has shown that clinical depression within the visually impaired community is being reported at nearly three times the level than the general population.
Hadley, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and provider of free distance and online learning for adults with vision loss, is experiencing a surge in enrollment for workshops, podcasts and discussion groups designed to keep the visually impaired connected to expert help during the pandemic, including new learning modules for those with vision loss on how to use Zoom, as well as how to access special low vision features on their cell phones, smart devices, and computers.
Individuals with low vision or blindness have relied on their personal networks of family members, friends and others to navigate daily life. However, since COVID-19 many have since lost their support system, leaving them largely alone to try and keep informed and stay in touch with others, both of which are vital for maintaining mental and physical wellness.
Hadley recently overhauled its digital footprint, Hadley.edu, which takes a dramatically different approach to reaching an audience that is becoming increasingly difficult to reach during the pandemic, primarily older adults facing vision loss. Built on many months of research and development work, the new platform is entirely based on the needs and wants of visually impaired adults to keep them connected, engaged and informed during the pandemic.