The Perkins Student

At Perkins School for the Blind, our goal is to prepare every student for a successful transition to tomorrow. Our day and residential programs offer specialized education for children ages 3 to 22 with blindness, visual impairment and deafblindness, including those with additional disabilities. Our students generally fall into the following five categories: 


Students ages 3-6 who are learning foundational skills to prepare them for academic or functional academic learning. Pre-academic students represent a wide range of educational capabilities.


Students ages 5-22 who are within two academic grade levels of their age and have the potential to pass state tests, attend college or obtain competitive employment. Students have the potential to live independently with appropriate support, take academic classes and receive training in braille, assistive technology, orientation & mobility and independent living.

Functional Academic

Students ages 5-22 who are accessing education below their grade level and may not achieve a standard high school diploma. Students have the potential to benefit from individualized instruction and real-life experiences and receive training in functional language, budgeting and money concepts, social interaction, assistive technology, vocational skills and independent living.

Life Skills

Students who have complex needs coupled with significant sensory impairments as well as other disabilities that make it difficult for them to learn in a traditional school setting. Students may be nonverbal or have limited verbal skills and benefit from training in fundamental communication, attention to instruction, self-regulation of behavior and community integration.


Students ages 3-22 who are deafblind or deaf with additional disabilities. Students have the potential to benefit from age appropriate curriculum in a total communication learning environment that includes the use of sign and spoken language, written language, braille, pictures, objects, symbols, gestures and alternative or augmentative communication systems. Under the leadership of Educational Director Martha Majors, the educational team at Perkins has also worked with children and families with CHARGE syndrome for more than 25 years. Many members of the Deafblind educational team are lifetime members of the CHARGE foundation and attend and present at its annual conference. 

For a more personal look at our wonderful students, take a look at some of these profiles: 

Where do our students go after graduation?

Higher education

Many of our academic students matriculate to 2- and 4-year colleges, including the following:

  • Berklee College of Music
  • Bridgewater State College
  • Bristol Community College
  • Gordon College
  • Johnston State College
  • Lesley University Threshold Program
  • Landmark College

Competitive employment and work training programs

Perkins graduates have also been accepted into a number of highly-competitive job training programs, including:

  • Business Enterprise Program
  • Winston Salem Industries for the Blind
  • Vermont Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Community-based programs

Perkins works closely with families whose children will transition to community-based programs after Perkins.