Perkins School for the Blind

A teacher guides a group of blind students with canes in a grocery store teaching them independent skills.

We educate the whole child.

Academics are not enough to prepare your child for an independent, engaged, happy future. Our experts also teach the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC), a disability-specific set of skills that focuses on independence, vocational training, social engagement and more, to prepare your student for his or her fullest life possible.

A teacher holding a student's hand. The student is in a wheelchair. Both are smiling.

We’re here for you.

Our continuum of services addresses every need, ability and age – as early as infancy – where and when you need us. We offer day and residential programs on our campus, and direct and consultative services in public schools. We also have parent groups, online learning, activities and ideas for you, your child and his or her teacher.

A student on a Perkins Smart Brailler with an itinerant teacher.

We support education professionals and school districts, too.

We know it’s challenging for public schools to adequately address every ECC skill area during the school day. Our experts can fill in the gaps and provide as many or as few services as you need. Teachers and teachers of students with visual impairment (TVIs) can also earn professional development points, college credits and explore best practices through our eLearning program.

How do I know what my child needs?

Pinpointing your child’s exact needs and abilities is difficult – they’re always changing, after all. At Perkins School for the Blind, we have years of experience educating children who are blind, deafblind or have multiple disabilities. We are happy to discuss and evaluate your child’s individual situation and provide you with an honest assessment and recommendations to help you work with your school district to identify the most beneficial path for your child to reach his or her full potential.

What’s better for my child’s success: specialized support at his public school or a private day or residential program?

That depends on your child’s needs and goals. Our vision experts can support your child and his teacher in the public school classroom to adapt lessons and promote his success. For students who may benefit from more intensive support, our day program combines academics with Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC), turning every moment of every day into a learning experience. In many cases, the most valuable learning time for students at Perkins takes place during after-school interactions with other children and staff. As a resident at Perkins, your child will receive the best possible care from our dedicated staff, while maximizing the ECC skills that will help him or her prepare for independence in the future. Perkins staff can answer any questions or concerns you may have in this area – your child’s well-being is our top priority.

Will my child have friends?

Yes! At Perkins School for the Blind, social interaction skills are taught to all students as part of the Expanded Core Curriculum. Learning how to communicate with peers and faculty, being respectful and enjoying a social environment with other students during activities and sports is a priority throughout the school day.

What is the tuition? How is it covered?

Tuition is set according to the Operational Services Division of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and is paid by your child’s public school district. Perkins also accepts private pay admissions. We invite you to learn more about the admissions process.

How can Perkins support my child at her public school?

Our vision experts contract with your school district to provide disability-specific learning in the classroom. That includes adapting academic lessons into an accessible format, and providing ECC instruction in independence skills, such as navigation, that are not included in a typical public school day. You and your child’s IEP team will decide the best approach.

I’m satisfied with my child’s public school education, but he needs help with social and independent living skills. Does Perkins offer any supplemental learning?

Our Short Courses, held during weekends and school vacations, are an opportunity for your child to make new friends, meet community role models who are blind and successful, and focus on skills not included in a typical school day.

What about families?

We believe educating the whole child means supporting the family, too. Meet other families living with blindness and deafblindness at our parent groups, and expand your knowledge about blindness education, transition to adulthood and more at our conferences. We also offer online ideas and activities for your child’s development. Learn more about services for families »

Infant-Toddler (ages 0-3)

Admissions

The Infant-Toddler Program provides early intervention services for babies, as well as support for their families through a combination of home teaching and on-campus learning. 

Infant-Toddler Program

Public School (ages 3-22)

A teacher helping a student with colors and shapes in a public school.

Our specialized educators provide direct and consultative services throughout New England to help your child access the curriculum and address the independence and social skills sighted children learn incidentally.

Public School Services 

Day & Residential (ages 3-22)

Secondary Program

Our accessible campus in Watertown, Mass., offers individualized academic and functional learning to support every child’s physical and developmental needs.

Day & Residential Programs

Admissions

A teacher sits with her student at a table in a classroom

How can Perkins help prepare your student for success as an adult? Learn more about our flexible enrollment and customized education programs.

Admissions

Diagnostic Evaluations

A student is performing a diagnostic evaluation on a computer with the help of an instructor.

Formally evaluating each student's strengths and needs allows teachers and parents to develop individualized education programs that provide appropriate learning experiences for the student.

Diagnostic Evaluations