Backpacking SMART Brailler Event introduces families across the country to an interactive, intuitive way to learn braille.
about perkins perspectives
The world would be a very different place without the perspective of Helen Keller, one of Perkins’ first students who was deafblind, who went on to challenge and dramatically change society’s perception of individuals who have disabilities. We believe that everyone has a perspective worth sharing, and remain committed to encouraging the ideas, dialogue and fresh perspectives that allow the seeds of possibility to grow.
message from the editor
The editor with Kathy Sheehan (right), executive director, Perkins Trust, while in Mumbai
I love to explore new places, and I've been fortunate to travel overseas a number of times. One of the things I am often struck by is how different things are, and yet how much the same people are, wherever it is in the world you go. That sentiment was never more true to me than when I went to Mumbai this spring with a group of Perkins staff and supporters, all of whom travelled this great distance to meet our partners in that region and to see how our support has impacted children, parents and teachers on the other side of the globe.
India is like no other place I have ever been. It is a big country with the largest population in the world, and subsequently the highest incidence of blindness. The density of the population can be felt just by walking through the streets which are filled with people and cars and animals. It is very loud; at least it was in Mumbai. And there are beautiful colors everywhere you look, but when you focus in, you notice that despite the beauty of the hues, you may be looking at slums or at other markers of poverty.
What we quickly realized when we arrived at the Helen Keller Institute for the Deaf and Deafblind is despite the differences in time (India is 10.5 hours ahead of Boston), locale and culture—the people we met were so very much like those at Perkins. The school has 200 students, a teacher training program, a transition program, committed teachers, loving parents and a president, like ours, who is inspirational. I feel fortunate to have met and talked with Beroz N. Vacha, the school's 88-year-old founder, who shared with me the story of how Dr. Edward Waterhouse, then-director of Perkins, helped her form the school in the 1970s.
Beroz told me that she believes, as we do at Perkins, that every child can and should be educated. And she shared with me her secret to success: "When I meet someone and it seems they may not say yes, I tell them to go away and imagine the possibilities and to come back to me when they can."
We at Perkins are quite familiar with that kind of unwavering belief in possibility which affirms how similar we are after all.
Mike Del Rosso
A trip to India underscored the critical need for Perkins' global initiative. But it also shed light on how close to home Perkins' international mission truly is.
National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program brings distance communications technology—and the training to use it—to users' doorsteps