For more information contact the Volunteer Program at 617-972-7224 or Volunteers@Perkins.org.
Who can volunteer at Perkins?
Almost anyone, age 16 or older, dedicated to making a difference in the lives of others can volunteer at Perkins. Perkins accepts volunteers from a variety of backgrounds and experience including students, people from the business community, stay-at-home moms and retirees. People who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise disabled also volunteer at Perkins.
What types of people does Perkins serve?
Perkins provides services and programs to individuals who are visually impaired, blind, deafblind, or with multiple disabilities. Clients live throughout New England and range in age from infants to elders.
Do volunteers need to have prior experience working with the people with disabilities?
No. Volunteers are given training specific to the volunteer opportunities. To ensure volunteers are comfortable with their assignment, Perkins asks that they perform a duty a minimum of two or three times before making a long-term commitment.
What types of volunteer positions are available?
There are a variety of ways volunteers are involved at Perkins. Volunteers can serve as classroom aides to students, record talking books for Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library, or provide Perkins staff with administrative and clerical support. To receive detailed information relating to Perkins' volunteer opportunities, please contact Mike Cataruzolo, Supervisor of Volunteer Services at 617-972-7224 or email Volunteers@Perkins.org.
What types of volunteers does Perkins need most?
Perkins' need for volunteers varies throughout the year, depending on the activities or programs being offered by the school. For example, at the start of the school year, Perkins' Infant/Toddler program always has a large need for volunteers. Other staff members assess their needs and request volunteers a few weeks or months after school has started. We also have on-call volunteer opportunities, which would involve a one-time commitment, and summer programs, which may involve a shorter-term commitment.
Does Perkins require a time commitment from its volunteers?
Yes. Although Perkins makes every effort to work with a volunteer's schedule, volunteers are asked to work a minimum of two hours per week for at least six months depending on the volunteer opportunity.
How does someone apply to be a volunteer?
You can now download an application (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader) and fax the completed form to 617-972-7363. To otherwise request an application, contact the Volunteer Program at 617-972-7224 or Volunteers@Perkins.org and provide your name and address. A packet of information, including an application form, will be mailed to you. Once the application is completed, mail it to the volunteer office and you will be contacted.
Do all of the volunteer opportunities involve working with children who are blind or visually impaired?
No. Please refer to possible volunteer opportunities.
Are volunteers subject to background checks?
Yes, to ensure the safety of our students and clients, Perkins conducts a background check on all of its volunteers. The CORI process is then repeated every 3 years. Volunteers are not responsible for any costs or fees associated with the background check.
Do volunteers select their own assignments?
Volunteers are offered placements in programs to meet the needs of the students, clients and the school that best match the volunteers' skills and abilities and the interests expressed on their applications and in their interviews.
How many volunteers does Perkins have?
Approximately 500 people volunteer at Perkins every year. They help out at special events and provide ongoing support for Perkins' services and programs including Infant/Toddler, Lower School, Secondary, Deafblind, Outreach, Community Living, and the Braille and Talking Book Library.
Who runs the Volunteer Program?
Mike Cataruzolo is the Certified Volunteer Administrator. Read Mike's bio.