Perkins School for the Blind

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Photo. Student using a Next Generation Perkins Brailler


Timothy Vernon, Perkins Braille & Talking Book Library Essay Winner

Photo. Timothy Vernon

Timothy Vernon was three years old when he started learning braille.

While his classmates began to recognize printed letters in the alphabet, Vernon followed along with his fingers feeling the raised dots representing his A B C’s.

Twenty-two years later, Vernon uses braille every day to access the same information as his coworkers, friends, and family members who are sighted.

Learn more.


January is Braille Literacy Month

Drawing of Louis Braille

Envision the Future Transition Conference
March 14, 2009

Come to our annual conference on transition planning for students who are visually impaired, blind or deafblind, including those with additional disabilities, from the Northeast states.

Cosponsored by the National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (NAPVI), the New England Consortium of Deafblind Projects (NEC).

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


Perkins Products introduces the new Seika Braille Display

Photo. Seika Braille Display plugged into a laptop

This 40-cell refreshable braille display is significantly lower in price than any other display on the market. In addition, it comes with a generous two-year warranty. The screen reader software interface works in tandem with the most popular screen readers available. It is lightweight, compact, portable, and connects to any USB port. It is available in the U.S. exclusively through AT/Perkins Products. Learn more on our website or download a product fact sheet.

To see additional product offerings, please visit Perkins Products.


Information Clearinghouse on Blindness & Visual Impairment

Logo. Perkins Information Clearinghouse

The Literacy and Braille section offers an introduction to the forms of literacy for children who are blind and visually impaired, ranging from tactile symbols and calendar boxes to print and braille. Learn more.


Literacy Changes Lives

Photo. Teacher watching as a student uses a braillerEven in this age of fast-paced technology, the printed word remains an irreplaceable information sharing vehicle in our society. For people who are blind or visually impaired, braille provides an invaluable communication tool — unlocking the written word and opening a world of possibilities.

January is Braille Literacy Month and January 4, 2009 marked the 200th birth anniversary of the braille code’s inventor.

Louis Braille, born in France in 1809, was only 15 when he developed the reading system of raised dots we know today as braille.

Braille’s contribution endures — as relevant today as it was nearly two centuries ago. Braille is a pencil and paper for people who are blind, offering a level of independence that cannot be matched relying on computerized reading and writing devices alone.

Learn more about how braille literacy continues to change lives and find stories and resources on our website.


Support Braille Education

Photo. Hands reading braille Imagine if only one out of every eight school-age children knew how to read.

This startling statistic is a reality for children who are blind in the United States. Braille is like paper and pencil to individuals who are blind. But today we have only a third of the braille readers in our schools as we did just a generation ago.

As more children who are blind attend public schools, the high costs of training and hiring braille-qualified teachers and purchasing braille books has led to declining braille literacy rates. Audio books and talking computers are excellent tools but they cannot replace the independence gained by braille literacy.

Please help us ensure that every child who needs to learn braille has the opportunity by writing to your Commissioner of Education. Learn more.

Perkins International

Where in the World is Perkins?

Photo. Boy holding a cane in Africa. Kilimanjaro Blind Trust Log

The Kilimanjaro Blind Trust began with an incredible mission when 27 climbers — eight of them blind — set out to reach the summit of Mt. Kiliminjaro.

Before and after the 7-day expedition, climbers visited schools in the region and became inspired to develop a trust that would improve the lives and opportunities of children who are blind in East Africa.

The Kiliminjaro Blind Trust supports programs operated by Perkins that teach braille literacy, distribute and repair Perkins Braillers®, and train teachers to work with students who are blind in Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya.

To date, nearly 600 Perkins Braillers® have been repaired, allowing more children to learn to read and write independently.

Learn more on our website.


Coming in Early 2009: Drawing with Your Perkins Brailler

Written by Perkins Braille & Talking Book Library Director Kim Charlson, this book contains step-by-step directions for creating 36 different drawings including basic shapes, various animals, and pictures with holiday and transportation themes.

Perkins Sponsors Special "Arthur" Episodes

To celebrate Louis Braille’s contribution to literacy and independence for those who are blind or visually impaired and in honor of Braille's 200th birthday and Braille Literacy Month, Perkins is sponsoring episodes of the popular children's show “Arthur” on WGBH-TV.

The episodes feature Marina, Prunella’s friend who is blind. Watching these episodes in classrooms, after-school programs, or at home, may give young viewers a chance to talk about differences and, more importantly, similarities among all people.

Photo. Young boy reading a braille book.MAKE A DIFFERENCE TODAY!

Today we have only a third of the braille readers in our schools as we did just a generation ago. Declining braille literacy rates mean less opportunity for individuals who are blind to live and work independently.

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