About Perkins School for the Blind

Aerial view of the Perkins campus.

Aerial view of the Perkins campus on the Charles River in Watertown, Mass.

At Perkins, we provide unparalleled educational services to children and young adults with blindness, deafblindness and multiple disabilities. We also share our expertise and collaborate with global changemakers in the fields of education, business, medicine and policy. This work informs our purpose to prepare our students for the world and the world for our students.

We are ever evolving. In addition to educating children on our historic campus in Watertown, Massachusetts, we are constantly creating and delivering new programs that address the most pressing challenges to our population. This agility enables us to maximize our impact on campus, across the U.S. and around the world.

As a nonprofit, we are funded in no small part by generous support from those who share our driving belief that all children can learn. Perkins is built on that belief and with continued support, it informs everything we do.

Our Core Values

While the world has changed since Perkins’ founding, our fundamental beliefs have remained constant. Our Core Values guide and inspire our work every day.

  • Excellence in Education
    We pursue excellence and innovation to enable all students to reach their full potential.
  • Tradition
    We look to our legacy to inform our future.
  • Empowerment
    We work to ensure that every person has the opportunity to make their voice heard.
  • Integrity
    We behave in a way that is honest and principled.
  • Accessibility
    We strive to be a model of accessibility in our actions and attitudes, fostering and advocating for an environment of inclusion.

Mission

The Perkins mission is to prepare children and young adults who are blind with the education, confidence and skills they need to realize their potential.

Areas of Focus

Perkins consists of four distinct lines of business that collaborate on local, national and global levels that work together every day to change what it means to be blind.

  • Perkins School for the Blind
    Perkins School for the Blind teaches children on campus and supports students and teachers in public schools across the U.S., focusing on academic, social and self-advocacy skill building. Every year, Perkins educates approximately 200 students on campus and supports 1,200 more in community programs, including in the Infant-Toddler Program, through educational partnerships with public schools and outreach programs. We also emphasize transition services to prepare young adults with vision loss for life after school.
  • Perkins International
    Perkins International works to reach the most vulnerable children in some of the poorest places in the world. There are millions of children with visual impairment and multiple disabilities (MDVI) around the world who don’t receive the quality education they deserve. Perkins International works to put these children in school, equip educators with specialized skills they need to teach them and connect families with vital governmental and medical resources. We are expanding our work in certain countries – such as India, which has as many as 1 million children with visual impairment and additional disabilities – where we seek to improve screening and assessment, early intervention programs, school-age education and family support services.
  • Perkins Solutions
    Perkins Solutions deploys technology to overcome longstanding and emerging accessibility barriers. Since the 1950s, we’ve manufactured and distributed the world’s most popular, most dependable braille typewriter. In keeping with our tradition of staying ahead of technology to ensure people who are blind or visually impaired have what they need to realize their full potential, we now offer digital accessibility consulting through Perkins Access. These services assist clients in ensuring digital experiences are usable by everyone, and that the online world is fully open to everyone.
  • Perkins Library
    The Perkins Library has provided accessible reading material to people with visual impairment and other disabilities since 1837. Since then, we’ve significantly expanded our offerings to serve more people with more nuanced needs. Today, we distribute more than half a million accessible books, magazines, newspapers, DVDs and more, at no cost to the estimated 28,000 patrons we serve annually. We’ve also led the charge in distributing assistive technologies like refreshable braille displays while providing a website that enables people to download accessible reading material.