Perkins International

Every day millions of children with visual impairment around the world are denied the education they need to unlock their full potential. Perkins International works to break the isolation and neglect these children face, transforming their futures through the power of learning.

We are global leaders in the education of children with visual impairment and multiple disabilities, including deafblindness. Our mission is to ensure that all underserved children and young adults with visual impairment receive a high-quality education that enriches their lives and prepares them for an active role in their families, schools and communities.

The Global Challenge

Icon of the globe

More than 46 million children and young adults around the world have a visual impairment

icon that says "50%"

Roughly half of this population has an additional disability

icon of ten people in front of a school, one of which is highlighted orange

Fewer than one in 10 children with visual impairment goes to school

 

Four strategies help us transform blindness education around the world.

Perkins International uses a proven model for the sustainable improvement and expansion of education programs for children and young adults with visual impairment.

Developed by our expert staff of special educators, our model is the product of decades of experience working inside classrooms, orphanages and small villages in some of the poorest countries in the world.

A teacher with 2 students smiling

Building local partnerships.

We work with hundreds of local partners: schools, orphanages, daycare facilities, teacher training programs, government agencies, family advocacy groups and more. Powered by our expert training and strategic support, our partners help us transform the educational landscape in their regions. The end result is sustainable improvements to blindness education around the world.

A room full of teachers from other countries.

Teaching the teachers.

It takes a complex set of skills to teach children with visual impairment. In many regions, educators often lack the training required to do the job. That’s why we’re committed to increasing the supply of qualified teachers of the visually impaired – and have been training teachers around the world since 1921.

A mother and daughter smiling

Empowering families.

It’s vital that the families of children with visual impairment have the support they need and a voice that can be heard. We equip families with the resources necessary to become effective caregivers and advocates. This helps ensure that the children we serve also have a reliable support network outside the classroom.

Students lined up and waiting. One girl looks outward.

Advocating for change.

Advocacy helps us build a foundation of understanding, acceptance and support for individuals with disabilities. From community outreach efforts with our partners, to working with government officials to enact laws that promote access, inclusion and high-quality education programs, we’re doing our part to build a better world for people with visual impairment.

Where We Work

Learn more about our worldwide partner network.

Latin America
& the Caribbean


Europe
& Eurasia

Africa

Middle East
& North Africa


Asia &
the Pacific
Latin America Latin America
Marianne Riggio of Perkins International receives the Anne Sullivan Macy Medal for her service to the deafblind community. Pictured left to right: Perkins International Executive Director Michael Delaney; Riggio; and Perkins President and CEO Dave Power.
December 6

Marianne Riggio receives Perkins’ prestigious Anne Sullivan Macy Medal for service to deafblind community.

Asma Shilpi watches a child play with a drum on the campus of Perkins School for the Blind.
November 17

Asma Shilpi wants to use her Perkins training to support families in Bangladesh with children who are multiply disabled.

Educational Leadership Program participant Thi Thu Thanh Pham of Vietnam holds a fan made by students who are blind.
November 15

Festive annual event gives Educational Leadership Program participants a chance to share their cultures.