Outreach Short Courses
Outreach offers fun, educational and accessible extracurricular opportunities and activities to public school students who are blind or visually impaired across the U.S.
Open to students with visual impairments ages 7-22, our Outreach Short Courses are designed to educate and promote self discovery. We want participants to not only learn new skills, but to identify new areas of interest that they want to become skilled in. And through it all, we want them to have fun!
Space Camp. Harry Potter Weekend. Summer employment opportunities. Our Short Courses are sure to have something for everyone. Whether on campus, in a virtual hangout, or out in the community, participating students enjoy a safe place to build independence. They get the chance to socialize with peers in their age range, both with and without disabilities. They are put in position to develop self-awareness and self-advocacy skills. And they get to be themselves, as they explore and learn more about preexisting passions or discover entirely new interests for the very first time. We provide them with the opportunity. In Outreach, students lead the way.
No matter your interests or time constraints, we’ve got the Short Course for you.
Starting Friday evenings and concluding Sunday afternoons, our weekend programs include opportunities relating to marine exploration, self-defense, cooking, music production and more!
Our weeklong programs include a job skills course during February break, a sports camp during April break and a weeklong elementary program in the summer. Additionally, each fall we attend space camp in Alabama and then in winter the New England Blind & Visually Impaired Ski Festival in Maine.
Our 3-Week program is geared toward students ages 13-22 and provides students with intensive skills training, and social and recreational opportunities. Our 5-Week program is for students ages 16-22 and provides them with apartment living experience and an internship experience on campus or in the greater Boston area.
We have so much to offer throughout the year. Find out which course you or your child would most benefit from!
Johana & Ernesto Rodriguez Parents
“Our child began attending Outreach programs in 2017 at 7 years old. He has learned to be independent for one week and interact with children with similar disabilities; this has helped him to grow emotionally. We would definitely recommend the Outreach Programs to all the families and students with visual impairments. They’re full of activities and new experiences in a safe environment. It encourages children to be more independent and make new friends, friends with similar visual disabilities.”
One in 4 people in the United States has a disability—but how is disability even defined? Perkins is here to explain the 4 types of disability and provide a list of helpful examples.
Find the right course for your child.
See how we work to support families of infants and toddlers, older students and school districts.
We’ve got stories and resources to help you make the right decision about the right course for you.
Once your initial inquiry has been received, you will be sent an application. This will help us determine who will be accepted. PLEASE NOTE: Completing an application does not guarantee your child’s placement in a program. You will receive communication from Outreach staff regarding an official acceptance, should your child be accepted into a program. For weekend and school vacation short courses, acceptances are made at least two weeks prior to the program.
It is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to reach out to their respective funding source prior to attending an Outreach program. Funding for Perkins programs is often available through the state commission for the blind. However, they require that you contact them prior to signing your child up for a program. You can also occasionally find funding through your school district, Lion’s Club charities, church groups or other organizations willing to contribute. If you are unable to secure funding, contact us about full and partial scholarship opportunities for Outreach.
One of our main goals is to encourage and support new peer relationships, which is often challenging with parents present. We are available to talk about your child’s participation and you will receive a report documenting your child’s participation.
Yes. However, your child will be very busy during the day. The best time to call is in the evening prior to bedtime. Your child will have access to a phone to call home if needed. Outreach is not responsible for lost cell phones or expenses incurred.
Outreach supplies all sheets, pillows and towels for your child’s stay on campus. Students are welcome to bring their own pillows or blankets if it helps them feel more comfortable.
We work with families of students who are reluctant to spend the night and come up with a plan to address the issue. We want to make your child’s experience a success and hope that they will continue to participate in the Outreach programs.
Whether you want to join us for a weekend, week or extended program, we can’t wait to work with you and start your child on a path to education and self discovery!