Perkins History

Anne Sullivan fingerspells into the hand of a young Helen Keller, who stands next to her
January 10, 2017
For more than 180 years, Perkins has been pioneering ways for people with deafblindness to communicate with others.
A statue of a woman and two children
December 2, 2016
She died 44 years ago, but students in Thailand still gather every year to commemorate the life of Genevieve Caulfield.
Helen Keller talking with 3 kids.
November 28, 2016
Helen Keller’s remarkable legacy of generosity and advocacy can inspire us all.
A class photo of the first-graders who wrote to Dave Power, with their teacher
November 22, 2016
Nearly 50 years after her death, the story of Perkins’ most famous student fascinates a new generation of youngsters.
Hands positioning pegs on an old-fashioned arithmetic slate
November 4, 2016
Mathematics has always been taught at Perkins, but the tools and techniques have evolved over the past century.
An open book with embossed letters and braille characters
August 16, 2016
The book that revolutionized the world by introducing braille is a highlight of the Perkins Archive collection.
A man sews a striped mattress
August 10, 2016
Perkins’ research librarian rediscovers six alumni who went on to serve in the Massachusetts State Legislature.
A young Theresa Chan Poh Lin tactile signs with Helen Keller on a couch
July 8, 2016
Former Perkins student Theresa Chan Poh Lin, who was deafblind, left an unforgettable impression on everyone who met her.
A young boy sits at a desk with a Perkins Brailler. One hand is on the keys and the other hand reaches over to read the last line of braille on the page.
June 30, 2016
From embossed type to downloadable digital books, Perkins has a long history of supporting literacy for people with blindness.
Helen Keller pressing her face against the side of small Boston bull terrier named Phiz.
June 24, 2016
From scrappy Scotties to dignified Great Danes to a famous Akita, dogs always brought joy to Helen Keller.

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