Hadley Reaches Around the World to Help Zenith Capilitan

Zenith Capilitan

"I'm so grateful and amazed that Hadley can provide what I need," states Zenith Capilitan. "It is my do-it-yourself low vision rehab."

A resident of San Isidro, Saint Bernard, Southern Leyte, Philippines, Zenith Capilitan does not have local resources to assist her. When her brother bought her a tablet in 2016, she searched online and discovered Hadley. At that time, most Hadley materials were delivered by mail, which could be slow due to the long distance. So, Zenith is thrilled that Hadley’s innovative approach allows immediate online access. And she has made the most of it, completing more than 230 workshops to date.

Her favorite workshops are on daily living skills. Zenith, her brother and mother have been living with cousins since Typhoon Odette destroyed their home in 2021. Zenith helps in the house and assists her mother, so learning to safely cook, sew, organize, and clean through Hadley has been wonderful. She explains, “I now realize that no matter your level of vision, you can still do things. There are lots of techniques you can use.”

Zenith first understood she had vision issues as a child. Unable to see the blackboard at school, she questioned her mom who told her that her eyes “weren’t normal,” but the family did not have money for medical assistance. Two years ago, at the age of 32, Zenith received a grant to see an eye doctor and was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa. Today, she has no vision in her left eye and limited sight in her right. She has recently started to learn braille through Hadley in case her vision loss should progress further.

There is a significant time difference, but Zenith attends Hadley discussion groups live when she can. She gets nervous because English is not her first language but pushes herself to raise her hand and contribute. She feels very welcome when she does. “I experienced terrible discrimination in school,” she explains, “but with Hadley, I am one of the group.”

Zenith is thankful to Hadley donors who make this possible, “It is a privilege to have free learning. Thank you for being open and having the heart to share.” These gifts have allowed her to build her skills and confidence. “Hadley helped me embrace and get to know myself, to understand how talented I am and to help me get out of my shell and say, ‘hey, I am still okay.’”