A classroom of toddlers and their teachers in Argentina.

How does Perkins reach over 1 million children in a year?

Through our Model Program Approach, Perkins meets children with disabilities where they are — classrooms, homes, care centers — and we don’t do it alone. Perkins partners with:

  • Governments 
  • Schools 
  • Teachers
  • Families 
  • Community organizations

The key to the Model Program Approach is providing expert guidance, coaching, and mentoring, to teachers and parents on the special skills they need to help children learn.

Our Model Program Approach in 3 steps

We support our partners to drive systemic change through practical support at both programmatic and policy levels.

Before starting the 3 steps of the Model Program Approach, partners must commit to enhancing quality education for children with disabilities by establishing an agreement with Ministries of Education, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and schools.

Step 1: School selection and assessment

  • Together with our partner(s), select schools for participation through Perkins’ selection criteria.
  • Evaluate each school using Perkins Quality Indicators — a benchmarking tool for best practices in quality learning for children with disabilities.
  • A baseline evaluation is conducted in the first year, along with yearly follow-up evaluations

Step 2: Action plan

  • Together with school partners, analyze results of the Perkins Quality Indicators evaluation and make data-informed decisions to prioritize areas for program growth.
  • Based on priority areas, establish a one-year action plan toward improvement.

Step 3: Capacity building

  • Perkins provides yearly intensive training, mentoring and coaching in priority areas to school leadership, teachers, families, and government officials.

A ripple effect

Over time, Model Programs emerge as physical and virtual teaching sites, expanding the adoption of best practices in new settings, and ultimately reaching more and more children. 

Tigran is a boy wearing a dark blue sweater with patterns. He sits in between his teacher (on his right) and his mother (on his left). They engage in a school lesson.


Together with the Republic Support Center of Armenia we are transforming institutions into daycare centers and mentoring education leaders on ways to build a system that works for all children.

A mother holds her daughter on her lap and both are laughing.


Across Latin America, and in Brazil, Perkins works at a local level to empower parents of children with disabilities to advocate for their children’s rights. 

A boy reaches out to playfully touch his classmates's head while their parents sit behind them.


In Indonesia, we have helped school and community programs better understand the needs of children with disabilities. 

Building a world where every child belongs—together.

As Model Programs evolve, Perkins’ support evolves as well, to guide collaboration with government agencies and improve national standards. Most importantly, our approach means that every day, children go from isolated to included.