Working toward our vision
Perkins India sees an India where every child with multiple disabilities and vision impairment gets an early start to learning and has a clear path to a fulfilling future.
Perkins India works intensely with individual children and families to bring each child through critical stages of development and learning while establishing a seamless system of identification, referral and educational services within those communities. This replicable system brings sustainable and lasting support for the most vulnerable children toward achieving a quality education.
Working with partners, we establish systems of support that set children on a path to education and empower their families to support their learning.
In communities, schools and hospitals, we screen children and young adults for vision impairment and other disabilities so their learning needs can be addressed as soon as possible.
We train educators, medical professionals, frontline community workers and community-based rehabilitation workers to screen children for disabilities and assess their learning needs, so they can provide appropriate intervention and educational support for children.
In areas where existing services are scarce, we develop new educational programs to meet the needs of children. This includes supporting local schools to include children with multiple disabilities and starting programs in communities that are accessible for families.
Working with our partners, we set up intervention centers to help children develop the skills to access learning and prepare for learning opportunities.
We take a holistic approach to supporting families, ensuring that each family is equipped with what they need to support their child’s learning journey. This includes everything from accessing government support services to obtaining assistive devices for their child. We also guide families in exciting and practical ways to encourage their child’s learning while at home.
By raising awareness and showing communities that children with disabilities can learn, we’re seeing a radical shift in attitudes towards disability – opening more and more opportunities for inclusion in years to come.
Perkins India seeks to identify children who have multiple disabilities and vision impairment (MDVI). Children with MDVI have a vision impairment and at least one other disability, which could be cognitive, developmental, and hearing- or mobility-related. These children might communicate in ways that are different from other people or they might not understand their surroundings in the same way someone with typical vision does – but all of them can learn.
Identification of children with MDVI is completed through screening programs at eye and civil hospitals, in schools, at screening camps and door-to-door visits in rural communities. For every child encountered, we screen them for vision impairment and other disabilities, and make a preliminary assessment of what services the child may need so we can set them on a path to learning.
Intervention for children with multiple disabilities and vision impairment is all about overcoming initial barriers to learning and inclusion. Key first steps include ensuring the child has a government-issued medical disability certificate, granting the child and their family access to government services for individuals with disabilities. Next, families are assisted in obtaining assistive aids and devices, such as a wheelchair or glasses, for children who can benefit from the devices to best access a learning environment.
Intervention services, such as therapeutic intervention, are critical at this stage so the child can develop basic skills and concepts to participate in educational opportunities. The compounding effect of multiple disabilities requires special adaptations of environment and teaching interventions so children are able to learn about the world around them.
After the basic intervention needs of a child are met, children are ready to learn! Perkins India ensures that each child we’ve identified has access to a learning environment. This might be at an early intervention center, the local Anganwadi, through home-based instruction or inclusion in government schools and other community programs.
Perkins India establishes new programs or improves existing schools and programs.
Children in India are learning for the first time thanks to our partners and donors. Together we can reach even more children!