Perkins School for the Blind

Perkins Insight Issue IX: Toddler playing with a educational toy


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Ivan Bobnar, Perkins Infant/Toddler & Early Learning Center Programs

Photo. Ivan Bobnar

By the time Ivan was two months old his parents sensed something was wrong. The beautiful baby boy seemed unable to focus his eyes on objects.

Amber and Esoos Bobnar brought their son to a stream of doctors and specialists in and around the Big Island of Hawaii where the family lived. Several months later it was confirmed Ivan had a rare eye disease called LCA.

The diagnosis marked the beginning of the Bobnars cross-country quest to find services for their son.

Learn more.


Taste of Perkins
Tuesday, October 7

Student sculpture of veggies, turkey leg and potatoes on a plate

Join us for an evening of blind food and wine tastings, an exciting prize drawing, a silent auction, and a chance to view and have your picture taken with the 2008 NBA Championship Trophy!

Admission tickets are $35 per person & each "Chance to Win" drawing ticket is $25. Learn more or buy tickets.

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

Sale graphic.


Get 10% off publications when you order online and enter discount code: INSIGHT
Shop now.


Competencies for Paraprofessionals Working with Learners who are Deafblind in Early Intervention and Educational Settings

Book Cover. Competencies for Paraprofessionals

This publication addresses the knowledge and skills that a paraprofessional must have in order to assist in implementing quality programs and in enhancing the quality of life for learners who are deafblind within early intervention and educational settings. Learn more.

To see additional product offerings, please visit Perkins Products.


Information Clearinghouse on Blindness & Visual Impairment

Logo. Perkins Information Clearinghouse

Early programs for babies and children who are blind are critical in their development. From ideas for activities for young children to information on mobility devices, these resources can help both educators and family members fully optimize the early formative years for blind children. Learn more.


Empowering parents... helping children take their first steps

Photo. Preschool student using a hula hoop with her teacherFor all new parents, raising an infant brings both unexpected challenges and indescribable joys. When parents learn their baby is visually impaired, they are immediately faced with a myriad of emotions and pressing questions.

Perkins’ Infant/Toddler Program helps parents of children with visual impairments find a support network and learn to focus on what their child can do, rather than on what others might view as limitations. “Part of the goal of our program is to have the parents become advocates for their children,” says Tom Miller, supervisor of Perkins’ Educational Partnerships Program.

Recognizing the crucial need for specialized services in the first years of life, the Infant/Toddler Program provides early intervention services for children from birth to age three, as well as support for their families.

Visit our website for more information on early intervention.

Perkins PandaVisit us online to download an early literacy presentation by Tom Miller, Perkins Educational Partnerships Supervisor (PowerPoint or plain text)
or learn more about the Perkins Panda Early Literacy Kit


Vote "NO" on Question 1 in Massachusetts

Scale of JusticeWhen we invest in our children’s education and empower them with the resources to succeed, anything is possible.

On Tuesday, November 4, in Massachusetts, a ballot question has the potential to seriously compromise every child’s right to a quality education and result in drastic funding cutbacks for libraries and other critical services. Question 1 proposes to cut the state budget by $12 billion - or 40 percent - of the overall budget by ending personal income tax.

If approved, the measure would have devastating consequences on educational opportunities for our children and other services we provide to babies, students, and older citizens throughout the Commonwealth.

Learn more and tell a friend why supporting our children means saying “NO” to Question 1.


Learn more and download this advocacy tool for parents and professions: Monograph No. 1 - Natural Environments Service and Advocacy for Children who are Visually Impaired or Deafblind outlines the implications of the natural environments debate on early intervention services.

Perkins International

Where in the World is Perkins?

Father holding his babyChina is home to the world’s second largest population of people who are blind, or an estimated 6.6 million people.

There are at least 100,000 children in China who are deafblind or visually impaired with additional disabilities. Less than five percent of these children attend school.

Susie Guangjun, a teacher at the Chongqing School for the Blind, is one of several dedicated professionals working to change those statistics.

“We need more opportunities for our children,” says Guangjun, one of 12 educators from around the world participating in Perkins’ 2008-2009 Educational Leadership Program.

Through the program, teachers of students with multiple disabilities study at Perkins for one year before returning home to share their training with their communities.

Visit us online to learn more about Perkins' initiatives in China.


Perkins Chosen as Official Charity of 2009 B.A.A. Boston Marathon®

Runners at the Boston MarathonEach year over 25,000 runners participate in the world’s oldest marathon, The Boston Marathon. Perkins is pleased to announce that we have been chosen as an official charity for the 2009 B.A.A. Boston Marathon. We're currently recruiting runners for the Perkins team. Interested individuals can visit us online for more information and to download an application. The deadline for submitting an application is Friday, October 31, 2008.

Perkins Participates in Conference on Early Intervention in Budapest

Held in August, this conference brought together early intervention programs from several European countries, offering an important opportunity to exchange opinions, ideas, and new developments in the field. Perkins International sponsored 13 professionals from six different countries to attend this groundbreaking event. Participants shared good practice, theoretical sources, approaches and philosophies. The goal of the conference was to establish a European network on early intervention for families of children with a visual impairment.

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