How Perkins’ model programs in Latin America are strengthening educational communities

Perkins' article on their model programs and schools was featured in the DBI Review, detailing the four years of work in Latin America.

A teacher is in front of a young student holding a red keychain and a calendar in a classroom.

At Perkins School for the Blind, we are building a world where every child can learn. Perkins is proud to have been recognized for our work with Model Programs in the latest DBI Review, in April 2023. The DBI Review is a journal published twice a year by the global organization Deafblind International.

Through our Model Program Approach, we meet children where they are, currently working with governments and stakeholders in 20 countries. By partnering with communities, training teachers and empowering families, our work seeks to strengthen local capacity to build an inclusive education environment where all children and youth belong.

A boy who is blind sits at a table with his teacher and reaches out to touch various hanging objects, which include different types of hairbrushes.

In Latin America, we have worked for 30 plus years in collaboration with governments and civil society organizations to elevate educational opportunities for children and youth having vision loss, multiple disabilities and/or who are deafblind. 

3 takeaways from Perkins’ model programs and schools

In 2019, we deployed Perkins’ “Model School Approach,” a scalable strategy that transforms education opportunities, access, and systems in nine schools across Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina. We supported these schools in a model of change that included self-evaluation, revision of practices, and implementation of proven practices for children with disabilities.

Four years after the beginning of the project, with several pieces of evidence gathered and research that aimed to record the process of change, Gloria Rodríguez-Gil, Director for Perkins in Latin America, and Maria A. Vázquez, Researcher for Latin America, looked into the results and reflections of this experience.

A young boy sits at a desk and waters a small plant while his teacher observes.

In the April 2023 DBI Review publication, “Model School: Quality and Leadership in Education of the Individuals with Having Vision Loss, Multiple Disabilities, and the Individuals who are Deafblind,” the authors share the following lessons learned:

The authors define a “Model School” as a place of constant search for improvement, a leader in self-assessment and innovation, committed to the revision of practices based on each individual demand. It is a school with social awareness as they see themselves as a school of reference and support, a training site, a model for other schools.

Read the full Perkins’ article published in the 69th edition of the DBI Review in April 2023. 

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