Millions of children who are visually impaired around the world do not have access to the specialized education they need.
Perkins International is committed to changing that number through the Educational Leadership Program (ELP), which trains teachers and advocates from across the globe who are positioned to improve the lives of children with visual impairments and multiple disabilities, including deafblindness.
The ELP is just one of the ways that Perkins is part of the United Nations’ global push to provide access to quality education for all children around the world by 2030, including those who are among the most vulnerable.
Perkins is driven by the belief that every child, given the right instruction and support, can learn and grow. When the ELP participants — known as “ELPs” on campus — graduate from the program, they extend the reach of the Perkins mission, and the world becomes closer to universal education equality and inclusion.
Get to know the ELP by the numbers, and learn more about Perkins’ world-altering program.
ELP by the numbers:
Approximate combined total miles — as the crow flies — that the 13 members of the ELP Class of 2019 traveled to come train at Perkins.
Number of home countries represented by this year’s class of ELPs. They are from Argentina, China, Ghana, Honduras, India, Israel, Malawi, Russia, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda and Vietnam.
Hours per week each ELP will spend in the cottages with residential students, eating breakfast together or doing homework or social activities in the evenings. It is just one part of the hands-on emphasis of the program.
Months of training completed when each ELP participant uses the scalable practices learned at Perkins to develop an idea to improve the lives of children in their home countries. ELPs present and acquire seed funding for their projects during the annual Perkins “Shark Tank” event.
Number of graduates of the ELP — and counting. Many of the ELPs stay connected to Perkins experts, and each other, through Perkins International’s award-winning online ELP Community, where they can celebrate their successes and support each other through challenges.
Number of words in the sentence Marianne Riggio, director of the Educational Leadership Program and International Campus Related Training, writes on the whiteboard at the beginning of every year with a new class of ELPs: Dream Big. “I don’t want them to be just caught up in where they are,” says Riggio. “There are solutions to things that they thought were barriers.”