Dr. Ed Hersh , who was born blind, began working on his Ph.D. after spending 17 years in a career in software development. Now an ordained minister and spiritual counselor, he has turned his dissertation into a book with the hope that his research could help others. “Escaping the Pain of Offense: Empowered to Forgive from the Heart” is now being used as a textbook at a Virginia university. Scan. Enlarge. Read. Scan. Enlarge. Read. Write. Remember. Scan. Enlarge. Read. Listen. Listen? Yes, listen . Dr. Ed Hersh was born with optic nerve damage and doesn’t hesitate to describe the overwhelming amount of work it takes to conduct research when one has a visual impairment. "I literally scanned thousands of pages into my computer in order to magnify and read them," he explains. "It was not a small project." "I have around 20/400 acuity and can read some with the use of magnification, but obviously my eyes tire easier and quicker. So, audio is much preferred when I'm reading a lot of material. Completing my research and education would have been next to impossible without Learning Ally." In the early 1970's when audiobooks came in the form of reel-to-reel tape, Dr. Hersh was in high school. He was introduced at that time to Learning Ally (then known as Recording for the Blind), and over the course of nearly 50 years has continued borrowing books for leisure and to complete two bachelor degrees, his masters and then a doctorate in 2010. Now as an ordained minister and partner in a spiritual counseling program, he is a lifelong learner and keeps several Learning Ally audiobooks on his computer and his Victor Stream at all times. “I completed my own book published in 2011, which is understandably the most intense project for which I needed the vital services of Learning Ally,” Dr. Hersh says. What made him decide to turn his dissertation into a book? He wanted to make the information accessible to others. “I work with mental health and addiction treatment and I encounter the topic often – the need to let go of things that might be affecting us from our past and overcome situations in our life. So, I thought it would be nice to make the research I’d done available to others by reformatting my dissertation into a more usable book format.” Escaping the Pain of Offense: Empowered to Forgive from the Heart includes a group study guide and is now available for download in the Learning Ally library. Now that his book is being used as a textbook at a Virginia University, Dr. Hersh is thrilled that Learning Ally has made it accessible for others like himself. He even got to participate in audiobook production when our Philadelphia studio arranged for him to use an enlarged version of his book’s preface to kick-off the recording process. Dr. Hersh is now one of very few people who reflect three aspects of Learning Ally’s mission: he’s a member, a volunteer reader and an Author for Access . Dr. Hersh is also a father of four children and husband to his wife, Stephanie. The couple turned their home in Lancaster County into Blue Rock Bed and Breakfast , which they manage together. Visit Dr. Hersh’s blog at http://authoredhersh.blogspot.com .