Cindy Scott-Huisman applies Hadley learning to frame the future
As the owner of Cantrell Gallery, a custom framing shop and art gallery in Little Rock, AR, Cindy Scott-Huisman works in a visual world. So, it was a challenging adjustment when her sight began to decline in late 2017. Cindy has worked at the gallery, a family business, since she was a teen and was involved in every aspect. Now, she could no longer execute tasks such as designing and producing the framing projects, but she was determined to carry on with the rest of her responsibilities and keep the business on track. However, this would require developing new skills to operate effectively in the workplace.
Cindy’s sight loss was not her first experience with visual impairment. It has been a big part of her life for the past 20 years, since her son was diagnosed with Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON) at the age of 7. A rare genetic disorder that usually begins in a person’s teens or twenties, LHON is marked by the death of cells that relay information from the eyes to the optic nerve and leads to a profound loss of visual acuity and color vision.
As a youth, her son had access to a school for the blind where he learned critical skills that allowed him to return to and flourish in the regular classroom. However, when Cindy began losing her vision from this same condition as an adult, it was a different circumstance for her to get the help she needed. She was thrilled to find out about Hadley on the LHON website.
Cindy first turned to Hadley to learn proper keyboarding skills. A self-proclaimed “hunt and pecker,” she never had proper typing training and relied heavily on her eyes to find the letters. Hadley’s keyboarding course gave her the tools she needed to type efficiently with compromised sight and provided her with the support and framework to hone this new capability.
She describes her Hadley learning as a “life changing” experience. With proper keyboarding skills she can now efficiently execute her work, such as managing marketing and promotions, to keep the business running. Keyboarding has also had a significant positive impact on other aspects of her life because it allows her to pursue her interests and connect with others—such as the Facebook group she launched to share book recommendations and continue her love of reading.
As a “lifelong learner” Cindy is also excited about the other resources that Hadley offers. She describes Hadley’s instructional videos on Apple’s built in screen reader, VoiceOver, as “just amazing” and is looking forward to delving into much more of Hadley’s programming.
She is also eager to share her enthusiasm and recently spread the word about Hadley as a panelist at the 2019 LHON Conference in Washington DC. “I can’t think of a better way to help the visually impaired community than by supporting Hadley,” Cindy declares. “Hadley is actually educating people dealing with sight loss. It opened new doors for me and has had a huge impact on my life.”