Robin Kyle Wins Learning Ally National Achievement Award
Indianapolis resident proves that visual disability is no obstacle to educational and professional success
PRINCETON, NJ – Learning Ally, a nonprofit educational organization serving individuals with learning and visual disabilities, has bestowed a National Achievement Special Honors award to Robin Kyle of Indianapolis. Kyle is one of several students from across the U.S. who will receive cash awards of $3,000 in recognition of their academic excellence, extraordinary leadership, and service to others.
When she was 18, Kyle lost her vision after being diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosis. “At that time, I felt my life had come to a complete halt and I was not equipped to cope with the loss of my sight,” she recalls.
She later became a single mother of three children and worked in many jobs to support her family. When she started working in childcare, she discovered a new sense of fulfillment and decided to pursue a career in teaching. “I desired to be that individual who assists in turning on the light in young children’s minds,” she says.
Now at age 47, Kyle has completed her senior year in the elementary teacher education program at Indiana University-Purdue (the oldest member in her class), and plans to become a kindergarten teacher. “Being the only blind student in every college course that I have taken, I decided to use my college classroom as a platform to educate and speak on diversity and inclusion of students who are blind or visually impaired,” she says.
“My goal is to build a learning community where all learners’ diversities are accepted, respected and valued. My struggles and triumphs in learning are a testimony that disabilities can be gifts, rather than stumbling blocks.”
About the National Achievement Awards
Since 1959, Learning Ally has honored exceptional students who are blind or visually impaired through its privately endowed Mary P. Oenslager Scholastic Achievement Awards (SAA) for college seniors and beyond. Hundreds of students apply for these prestigious awards each year and are selected by committees of Learning Ally volunteers, board members, parents, educators, donors and staff. Students are recognized for their academic excellence, leadership, and service to others; each award winner has a long list of honors and accomplishments, and has graduated with a GPA above 3.0, with most near the 4.0 mark; and they have thrived on their education paths thanks in part to their use of accessible educational content and assistive technology provided by Learning Ally. For information about applying for Learning Ally’s National Achievement awards, visit http://NAA.LearningAlly.org/apply
About Learning Ally
Founded in 1948, Learning Ally serves K-12, college and graduate students, veterans and lifelong learners – all of whom cannot read standard print due to blindness, visual impairment, dyslexia, or other learning disabilities. Through its programs and audiobooks, Learning Ally enables families and schools to manage the needs of students with learning disabilities. The organization offers integrated learning management systems and professional development for teachers, as well as support for parents through personal consultations, webinars and other tools. In addition, Learning Ally’s collection of more than 80,000 human-narrated textbooks and literature titles can be downloaded on mainstream smartphones and tablets, and is the largest of its kind in the world. Several thousand volunteers help to produce the educational materials, which students rely on to achieve academic and professional success. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, Learning Ally is partially funded by grants from state and local education programs, and the generous contributions of individuals, foundations and corporations. For more information, visit http://LearningAlly.org
Contact: Doug Sprei
Learning Ally PR & Communications