Perkins School for the Blind Earns United Nations Economic and Social Council Special Consultative Status

Flags from every country outside the UN building
November 7, 2018

WATERTOWN, MA – Perkins School for the Blind, the first school for the blind in the U.S. and the international leader in blindness education, has earned United Nations Economic and Social Council Special Consultative Status (ECOSOC).  

This enables Perkins executives to attend meetings at the UN, submit written statements and oral presentations, consult with ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies, and use UN facilities for conferences or meetings in New York, Geneva, and Vienna.

The United Nations Economic and Social Council is at the heart of the United Nations system to advance the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental.  It is the central platform for fostering debate and innovative thinking, forging consensus on ways forward, and coordinating efforts to achieve internationally agreed goals.  It is also responsible for the follow-up to major UN conferences and summits. The UN Charter established ECOSOC in 1945 as one of the six main organizations of the United Nations.

“Education is a human right – a simple credo that guides our work at Perkins. Everyone has the right to reap the life-changing benefits of education, including the six million children and young adults around the world who are visually impaired with additional disabilities,” said Perkins President and CEO Dave Power.  “This special UN status gives Perkins a platform to engage governments and people at a high global level to address these issues.”

In 2016, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities specifically identified individuals with multiple disabilities and deafblindness among those more at risk of exclusion from high-quality, inclusive education services.

Perkins is a global leader in the education of children with visual impairment and multiple disabilities, including deafblindness. Its mission is to ensure that all underserved children and young adults with visual impairment receive a high-quality education that enriches their lives and prepares them for an active role in their families, schools, and communities.


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Perkins School for the Blind

Since 1829, Perkins School for the Blind has been a leader in preparing students for the world and the world for our students. Today, Perkins’ works globally to foster accessibility with the goal that every person can learn to be as independent as possible and fulfill their unique potential. Learn more at


Media Contact:

Lauren Ahern