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Shaping the future: Perkins International Academy evolves towards inclusive education

In the pursuit of inclusive education, teacher professional development takes center stage. Teachers' beliefs, capabilities, and expectations play a pivotal role in students' learning experiences.

In a classroom, a round table with a teacher and four students engaging in activities. On the table, there are various school materials such as notebooks, pencil cases, pens, and water bottles. In the background, other students are sitting at desks, facing the chalkboard.

Improving inclusive professional development

For over a century, Perkins has been at the forefront, training teachers to enhance the quality of services for students with visual impairment, deafblindness, and multiple disabilities around the world.

Nevertheless, we are aware that children and youth with multiple disabilities continue to be excluded from the education system for various reasons. Exclusion from the system goes beyond mere non-attendance; frequently, students may be present in school but are not experiencing equal and equitable learning conditions.

Two woman wearing gray sweaters are photographed side ways. They are seating next to each other holding a tablet. They are both looking down to the tablet. In teh background is possible to see a room with some people seating and standing up.

The Perkins team for Latin America & the Caribbean (LAC) actively addresses this challenge. Dr. Karina Medina, a Perkins Representative for Argentina, and the LAC regional team, conducted a thorough examination of Perkins International Academy’s “Education for Students with Multiple Disabilities and Sensory Disabilities” courses.

This initiative aims to reshape training methodologies to better align with inclusive paradigms, ensuring that educators are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to create truly inclusive learning environments for all students.

This comprehensive analysis encompasses various critical aspects, ranging from embracing diversity and ensuring curricular accessibility to incorporating technology and support resources, fostering inclusive classrooms, and promoting collaboration. Language and discourse are also undergoing a transformation to align with the present and future realities of inclusive education.

Vicky feels the music

Vicky lives in the province of La Pampa, Argentina, and serves as a powerful illustration of this impact. As a student with multiple disabilities attending the inclusive school Tte. Gral. Eduardo Racedo, Vicky actively participates in her music class, thanks to the dedicated efforts of her teacher, inclusion support teacher, and classmates.

Drawing insights from Perkins’ training and coaching, these educators have implemented individualized communication strategies to fully engage Vicky in her music class. Together, they have demonstrated creativity by tapping the floor to the rhythm of the music, allowing Vicky to sense the beat, granting her access to the speakers so she can feel the music, and ensuring she is safely guided back to her seat by a classmate when needed. With the positive support from her classmates and the expertise acquired by the teachers through Perkins’s training, Vicky is now empowered to unlock learning.

Close collaboration between the Perkins program in Argentina and the school administration ensures that children like Vicky are fully included in an educational environment that provides quality education and opportunities.

In a classroom, Vicky is seated at a desk touching an object. Around her, there are three of her classmates interacting with her, as well as two teachers. The wall is full of colorful drawings. On the desk, there is a pink water bottle and a banana peel.

Education is a human right

For Perkins, the pursuit of educational justice lies in recognizing education as a fundamental human right and striving to create a world where every child belongs. Our commitment to inclusive education is unwavering, as we believe that every child can and deserves the opportunity to learn.

By investing in the continual refinement of our Perkins International Academy training curriculum, Perkins aims to empower teachers to serve as catalysts for positive change, equipping them with the beliefs, capabilities, and strategies needed to foster equitable learning environments.

Let’s continue the journey together towards a more inclusive and vibrant educational landscape!

Your support helps children with disabilities find their place in the world.

Inclusion is not a place— it’s a process, a mindset. Together, we can help the 240 million children with disabilities around the world access their rights and define their own success.

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