Perkins School for the Blind

Perkins Insight Issue VIII


Inside Story
Take Action
Perkins International
Important Dates
Perkins Spotlight
Featured Product
Other Resources


Discover Conference for Parents of School-Aged Children
Saturday, October 18
Perkins Campus

Logo. Discover Conference

Discover valuable information on topics related to development and education of children.

Presented by: Perkins, the National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments, the New England Center Deafblind Project.

Visit us online to see What's New at Perkins!


Samantha Lylis,  Secondary Student 

Brendan Flynn, Outreach Program Participant

 Photo. Brendan Flynn

Eleven-year-old Brendan Flynn talks excitedly about the first time he tried rock climbing and the time he learned how to snowshoe.

Samantha Lylis, 18, gets animated talking about yoga, cheerleading, running track and just about anything that involves being active.

In addition to enthusiasm for sports, Flynn and Lylis have something else in common - they are both visually impaired and refuse to let that slow them down.

Learn more about both these students.


LevelStar Icon

Photo. LevelStar Icon(TM)

The Icon can be in your hand like a PDA, or, when plugged-in to the Docking Station, it can be on your lap or desk as a notetaker. It's also great for working out: it features a stopwatch and an MP3 player, where you can store thousands of songs, categorized by artist, title, album, or genre.

Learn more at AT, a Division of Perkins Products.

To see additional product offerings, please visit Perkins Products.


Information Clearinghouse on Blindness & Visual Impairment

Logo. Perkins Information Clearinghouse

Physical Education is an important part of school curriculum. Find out more information about  accessibility, inclusion, sports & fitness, equipment and much more.

Visit our website to find links to online resources for students, parents, families, and professionals.



Building Self-Esteem and Independence Through Adaptive Physical Education

Photo. Golf instructor teaching a student to puttMany adults remember grade school recess as a simpler time when fun involved playing kickball or jumping rope with friends.

All physical activity from the playground on to high school athletics plays an important role in shaping the education and development of students, helping them to build self-confidence, develop social skills, and learn about health and wellness.

So how do you make athletics a given for students with visual impairments or other physical disabilities?

“We focus on what they can do and what they like to do,” says Matt LaCortiglia, Perkins Adapted Physical Education Coordinator. “The core behind the model is to build self-confidence.”

At Perkins, students participate in a range of athletics including track and field, swimming, baseball, and recreational activities like horseback riding, kayaking, and bowling.

Click here to learn more about adaptive physical education at Perkins.


United States Needs Accessible Paper Currency

Imagine you had to rely on other people sometimes strangers to tell you the dominations of the bills in your wallet.

For millions of Americans who are visually impaired, there is no way to tell between a $5, $10, or $20 bill without asking someone who is sighted.

In May, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled the Treasury Department is discriminating against the blind community by refusing to issue paper money with distinguishing tactile features such as bills of different sizes a step that has already been taken in 179 other countries.

More than 70 percent of people who are visually impaired in the United States are unemployed or underemployed. Denying them meaningful access to paper currency only exacerbates this alarming trend.

Congress is holding a hearing TODAY on this issue. Click here to send a letter to lawmakers and voice your support for accessible paper currency!

Perkins International

Where in the World is Perkins?

Photo. Young girl practicing yoga.Namita Jacob remembers a time when one of her students rocked back and forth during school, unable to sit still and focus. Today the student sits quietly in lotus pose when they start to feel unsettled.

Since 1991, Jacob has been working with children who are deafblind and multiply disabled in India. She is particularly interested in the benefits of yoga for her students.

“Good yoga is when you’re largely aware of yourself,” says Jacob.

While much teaching of students who are deafblind and multiply impaired concentrates on, familiarizing them with the outside world, Jacob says yoga is a time for these students to focus on themselves.

“Most of our kids … the thing they’re most aware of is themselves,” Jacob said. “We don’t always spend a lot of time acknowledging that’s not a bad place to be.” Learn more.


Perkins Launches New Webcast on Mealtime Skills

We are pleased to launch the latest in a series of educational webcasts, "Mealtime Skills" by Sue Shannon, an occupational therapist at Perkins. Her presentation describes some of the challenges faced by students who are blind in learning mealtime skills and provides video demonstrations of effective strategies for teaching the skills of pouring, serving, utensil use and cutting.

You can also view additional on demand webcasts on our website and sign up for insider benefits. Learn more.

Webcasts are made possible with support from The Gibney Family Foundation.

Perkins Enjoys a Private Tour of Fenway Park

Photo. Lower School Students with Wally the Green Monster at Fenway ParkFor members of Red Sox Nation, terms like "Green Monster" and "Pesky's Pole" instantly conjure up images of their beloved Fenway Park. While these famous landmarks are perfectly clear to someone who can see them, the terms are abstract concepts to fans who are blind. To help give these iconic symbols meaning, 32 students from Perkins' Secondary and Lower School Programs as well as six participants from Perkins' Outreach Services to Elders were treated to a private tour of Fenway Park this spring. Learn more.

Make a Difference Today
Support Perkins with a Gift!

Email IconTo make sure that our emails continue to reach you, please take a moment to add this message's "from" address ( to your email address book.

Perkins offers eNewsletters on a variety of topics, including special notices about on-campus technology trainings and demos, new product announcements, and reading lists and other information from the Braille & Talking Book Library. Sign up today!

Visit your subscription management page to unsubscribe from receiving email, change your email preferences, or update your personal profile.

Tell your friends to sign up with us too.

Perkins School
for the Blind
175 North Beacon Street
Watertown, Massachusetts 02472
Phone 617-924-3434
Email Us