Tonya J. Drew is a Certified Braille Transcriber from rural Indiana and the owner and operator of Essentially Braille, as well as Essentially; for the Visually Impaired (an essential oils business).
Tonya was born with a congenital eye condition that was so rare, the doctors could not figure out what it was. Finding out she was losing her eyesight at the age of 29, she began to learn Braille throughout her 30s. When the Braille code switched to UEB in 2014, she went back for instruction in UEB, learning to read tactile braille and write well.
Tonya lived in rural Kentucky for while and was able to see specialists that told her she has an extremely rare form of Retinitis Pegmentosa, without pigment. Knowing she will likely lose her sight and not having a time-frame for when, she lives life to the fullest, spending time with family, her husband, and friends. She also enjoys all sorts of fiber crafts like knitting, and crocheting and enjoys teaching others.
Besides a CBT, Tonya holds a Bachelor’s degree in General Sciences and minors in music and sociology. She is a member of the National Braille Association and the Kentucky Council of the Blind. She lives in Indiana with her husband Ben, and twin sons, Sam and Jake.