How to attend a short course

  1. Notify your funding source prior to submitting an inquiry (if applicable). (i.e. state commission for the blind, school district, etc.)
    If you are unsure about or unable to procure funding, scholarship funds may be available and a form will be sent upon request.
  2. Submit an inquiry by clicking the “Apply now” button (above) and select all programs of interest: An inquiry can be completed by a student, a family member, or another member of their team (only one inquiry required).
    PLEASE NOTE: An inquiry does not guarantee you a spot into the program.
  3. Required forms will be automatically sent to the primary contact upon completion of the inquiry.
    PLEASE NOTE: Each program may require different forms to be completed prior to start date.
  4. If you are a NEW applicant, you will need to complete our Outreach general questionnaire and should expect to hear from a member of our team.
  5. ALL applicants will be notified of acceptances at least 2 weeks prior to the start of an Outreach program.
    PLEASE NOTE: We accept individuals of all ages to apply for each program, and based on the most appropriate cohort (age, interest, etc.), final acceptances are made. The outcome of a program inquiry will result in either an acceptance, waitlist, or non-acceptance.


Education. Opportunity. Fun.

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!

Our Short Courses

What we offer

Space Camp. Cooking 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.

Something for everyone

No matter your interests or time constraints, we’ve got the Short Course for you.

Two males and one female cooking in a kitchen together

Weekend programs

Starting Friday evenings and concluding Sunday afternoons, our weekend programs include opportunities relating to marine exploration, self-defense, cooking, music production and more!

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Weeklong & school vacation programs

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.

Extended summer programs

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.

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Which course is right for you?

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.”

Our Team

Meet the skilled individuals behind Perkins’ Outreach Programs.

  • Headshot of Courtney Wescott

    Courtney Wescott

    Associate Director of Outreach Short Courses
    Meet Courtney
  • Delia Guo

    Coordinator of Outreach Short Courses
    Meet Delia
  • Headshot of Rebecca Briatico

    Rebecca Briatico

    Coordinator of Outreach Programs
  • avatar

    Vincent Pagano

    Administrative Assistant

Outreach stories

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Check out all available courses

Find the right course for your child.

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Interested in learning more about Community Programs?

See how we work to support families of infants and toddlers, older students and school districts.

A visually impaired boy stirring food in a pot on the kitchen stove as he smiles.

Check out the latest news and resources from Outreach

We’ve got stories and resources to help you make the right decision about the right course for you.

Frequently Asked questions

Need more information? Check out our FAQs

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.

Sign up for an Outreach Short Course today!

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!