It takes 715 individual components and dozens of steps along the production line to assemble a Classic Perkins Brailler – the world’s most widely-used braille typewriter.
From start to finish, this complex process unfolds inside the Brailler unit of WORTH Trust, a charitable organization in Katpadi, India that trains, employs, educates and provides services for people with disabilities. Perkins has partnered with WORTH Trust since 1996.
On May 6, Brailler unit workers celebrated a milestone 19 years in the making when they completed the assembly of their 100,000th Perkins Brailler. To honor this accomplishment, Perkins plans to donate that historic Brailler to WORTH Trust as a keepsake.
“We’re very proud of WORTH Trust,” said Dan Roy, director of operations at Perkins Solutions. “They’ve performed well for us over the years and have helped Perkins Solutions get to where it is today. In all we’ve built 380,000 Braillers since the launch of the Classic Perkins Brailler back in 1951, and out of that total WORTH Trust has built over a quarter of them. That’s an amazing accomplishment. Without their expertise we couldn’t have done that.”
WORTH Trust recently marked its 50th anniversary and is one of India’s most respected organizations working to improve the lives of people with disabilities. WORTH stands for Workshop for Rehabilitation and Training of the Handicapped.
The organization employs roughly 300 people with disabilities, including many who are blind and visual impaired. In addition to its roughly 40-worker Brailler unit, WORTH Trust manufactures mobility aids like white canes, walkers, crutches and wheelchairs.
Since becoming Perkins’ Brailler assembly partner, WORTH Trust has assembled all types of Perkins Braillers – including the Next Generation® and SMART® Braillers. Most of the components of the Perkins Brailler are designed, engineered and manufactured on the campus of Perkins School for the Blind in the United States and shipped to India for assembly.
“They’ve got a team that knows our products inside-out,” said Laura Matz, director of marketing and sales at Perkins Solutions. “Some of their workers have been assembling Braillers for as long as 15 years. They’ve really been a committed partner.”
“I would say they know Brailler assembly better than anyone,” added Roy. “For nearly 20 years, they’ve built up that competency. They have the expertise.”
In addition to Brailler assembly, WORTH Trust serves as the primary distributor of Perkins Braillers in India, selling around 1,000 machines each year. The organization also ships Perkins Braillers directly to customers in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.