Every fall a select group of educators from across the globe is invited to Perkins School for the Blind’s historic campus to take part in the Educational Leadership Program (ELP). Every spring they emerge ready to make a difference.
The ELP offers advanced training to teachers of the visually impaired and other professionals from developing nations. Program participants are immersed in expert instruction and hands-on learning experiences, both inside and outside the classroom. They attend lectures, conferences and workshops, and visit public and private schools. They observe and teach in Perkins’ classrooms and assist residential students with daily activities.
The result is transformational. Graduates depart for their home countries, eager to share their new knowledge and enact major improvements to services for children and young adults all over the world who are visually impaired, deafblind or blind with multiple disabilities.
This practice of teaching teachers goes back to 1920, when Perkins School for the Blind established the Teacher Training Program for educators of the blind. Today, the ELP continues that tradition of sharing advanced training, educational strategies and real-life experience with teachers and professionals from organizations around the globe.
There is no better place to learn best practices in the education of children who are blind with additional disabilities than on Perkins School for the Blind’s 38-acre campus in Watertown, Massachusetts. Program participants attend lectures in Perkins' historic buildings, observe and teach in our classrooms, and assist students in their residences for a unique training experience that provides a comprehensive understanding of education and services for students who are blind with additional disabilities, including those who are deafblind.
Curriculum for all ELP participants include academic courses led by Perkins’ experts and other noted professionals in the field, as well as hands-on learning in classrooms and living quarters, where theory is put into practice.
A global network
Equipped with world-class training, graduates of the ELP go on to become leaders and agents of positive change in their home countries – expanding and enhancing educational opportunities for children with visual impairment wherever they work.
The ultimate goal of the ELP is to prepare teams of well-trained leaders in the field, and to build a network of model education and teacher training programs for the visually impaired that serve as a foundation for the further development of sustainable services.
ELP graduates are valuable partners in this effort. Today there are more than 250 ELP graduates working around the world to ensure that every child with visual impairment receives a quality education.