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If I can do it as a visually impaired student, anyone can do it.


Heidi Ancar had already established herself as a successful romance novelist when she decided to return to school and earn her degree. Being visually impaired, she was looking for a college that could accommodate her, and wouldn’t require her to be in a classroom on certain days or nights. Ashford University turned out to be the perfect fit.

“It gave me the freedom and flexibility to accomplish my educational goals without being so structured,” she said while attending Ashford’s 2016 Spring Commencement in San Diego.

Ancar had traveled to the ceremony with her husband and two sons, and crossed the stage to accept her Master of Arts in Organizational Management with a Human Resources Management specialization. It was her second degree from Ashford; she had previously earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2014.

“Being visually impaired, going back to school seemed kind of impossible,” she said. “If I can do it as a visually impaired student, anyone can do it.”

Ancar was able to do it with the help of a screen reader program that was compatible with Ashford’s online learning resources. The software allows visually impaired users to read text via a speech synthesizer or a braille display. Ashford’s Access and Wellness Department ensured that Ancar received the full Ashford experience and was able to engage in discussions with classmates and professors through the online classroom.

With her new degree, Ancar wants to pursue a career in human resources, and she admitted that her success surprised even herself.

“In five years I’ve done what a lot of people have taken years and years to do.”

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