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The LittleWins Podcast S3 EP2: WTF (Wow That’s Fantastic)- The Fantastic Julie Tye

Meet Julie Tye President and CEO of Hadley and join us as we discuss Julie’s story, vision loss, the unseen epidemic, and Hadley’s resources that are available…

Julie Tye was a science major but knew she didn’t want to go down the traditional medical route. When she was in college she worked in a hospital and didn’t like how she saw patients were being dealt with or treated, and so she set out to change it. Julie went on to get her MBA in hospital administration at Northwestern, then worked in a hospital to start to implement the changes she wanted to see. She moved into addiction treatment to help people overcome their struggles with addiction. Julie then got an offer to become a CEO at a child welfare agency before she became the president and CEO at Hadley.

“The human condition does not change no matter the sector” – Julie Tye

To identify vision loss you have to keep up with routine optometrist check ups as they can identify macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts, the leading issues to cause vision loss. But the biggest issue when identifying and treating vision loss is the power of denial, as the sooner you begin learning new techniques the more independent you will remain.

Vision loss is the unseen epidemic of older adults, 40 years and up. Julie informs us that around 5.5 million adults either fall into the category of visually impaired or blind, and this number is expected to double in the next 10 years. This is because as a generation we are living longer than generations before us and therefore more people deal with medical issues due to aging, for example dementia. Around 1/3 adults will be visually impaired, this is an inconspicuous disability but a very serious one. Many people are afraid or ashamed when they are met with these challenges that stop them for reaching out for help.

Hadley was founded by William Hadley, a teacher who had gone blind later in life, to create a correspondence program to teach others braille. But when Julie started at Hadley the teaching was still very similar to William Hadley’s and she noticed that adults were not responding as well to it anymore, so she pivoted. She listened to the clients at Hadley and made the programs that they wanted and needed, in ways that people responded to best. They made these changes quickly so to help as many people as they could.

Braille is important for two reasons, the first being for young children to be literate, and the second for everyday use such as being able to read floors in an elevator or which is the women’s or men’s bathroom. Braille is not a language it’s a code that can be used in every language.

Hadley is an organization that has been around for over 100 years. Its reach is nationwide and all courses and groups are FREE. Hadley exists to help adults with vision loss to discover new ways to tackle daily tasks, such as pouring your coffee or using your phone. They have 400 short instructional videos to help with daily tasks and even ones to help with recreational activities. By using their resources you can keep your independence and even be connected with people so you aren’t alone in your journey. You have total control over your experience so don’t be afraid to reach out.

Get started at with just 4 easy steps!

Tune in, click here:

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Here are some helpful links mentioned in this episode!

How to sign up:

Adjusting to vision loss:

Click below for the Blindness Etiquette


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