“Literacy is my passion” is a phrase Alphapointe Braille Instructor Helen Hahn uses repeatedly.
Given that she’s personally mentored more than 5,000 children and more than 1,500 adults and instilled that same passion in many of her students, her usage of that phrase seems particularly fitting.
On the heels of a 30-plus year career, Hahn was honored as a member of the 2021 “Icons of Education” class as announced by Ingram’s.
One of only six individuals selected throughout the region, Hahn is among the most widely respected Braille instructors in the country. Her excellence as a Braille instructor is easily demonstrated by the success of her students during the international Braille Challenge event held every year. The event features students from around the United States and Canada and Hahn has personally tutored and supported more than 10 national finalists who have cumulatively made dozens of appearances at the national finals of the Braille Challenge.
“It’s impossible to describe what Helen Hahn means to the children she teaches and their families,” said Lyn Petro, whose daughter, Brooke, was taught for years by Hahn. “Helen’s a fantastic and engaging teacher, she brings joy to all those around her with the constant smile on her face and her laugh which echoes in the entire building. She is an incredible mentor and friend. She is able to reach each student no matter what their needs are, and she is somehow able to make learning fun using only a complex code of just six dots. To the visually impaired community in Kansas City, Helen Hahn is an icon. There is no one better.”
Thanks to Hahn’s efforts during an incredible 30-plus year career, thousands of children and adults have the ability to read Braille and their lives have been changed forever.