Perkins School for the Blind

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PERKINS SPOTLIGHT

Christopher McLaughlin
Perkins Deafblind Student

Photo. Christopher McLaughlin holding a tray of flowers

By the time he leaves Perkins’ Deafblind Program, Christopher McLaughlin will have a resume rivaling many college graduates.

His work experience already includes tending to plants at Mount Auburn Greenhouse, caring for small animals at the Museum of Science, and packaging food at Russo’s and Sons.

At his many jobs on and off Perkins’ campus McLaughlin has made friends, acquired new skills, and greatly improved his communication abilities.

Learn more.


IMPORTANT DATES

Vision 5K
June 7, 2009

Photo. Two runners, one blindfolded, participate in Vision 5K

Join world-class runners and weekend walkers at the annual Vision 5K event, funding programs and services that enhance the quality of life for thousands of children and adults who are blind or visually impaired. Learn more or register.

Drawing of a rolled diploma

Graduation
June 12, 2009
Dwight Hall

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


FEATURED PRODUCT

Drawing With Your Perkins Brailler

Book Cover. 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.

$24.95. Order online today. [Available in large print or braille]

To see additional product offerings, please visit Perkins Products.


OTHER RESOURCES

Information Clearinghouse on Blindness & Visual Impairment

Logo. Perkins Information Clearinghouse

In making the transition from the school years to adult life, students who are blind or visually impaired need information and advice specific to their needs. These online resources are useful to individuals who are blind or visually impaired, who are planning for employment. Learn more.

INSIDE STORY

Skills that Work... Learning Responsibility

Photo. Two students leading a tour at the Franklin Park Zoo

Perkins Students leading a tour at the Franklin Park Zoo

For many teenagers having a summer job is a rite of passage. Experiences in the “real world” often teach students valuable lessons in responsibility and money management.

Employment, however, is not just about getting a paycheck for weekend spending money. The workplace is also a vehicle to develop social skills, self esteem, and independence.

At Perkins prevocational training and vocational planning are integral components of every student’s education. From doing chores in their cottages to working and volunteering for local employers in the community, students are preparing for life after graduation.

“The more experiences kids have helping themselves and helping others through community service or work, the greater their feeling of self-worth, confidence and vocational competence,” says Transition Coordinator Denise Fitzgerald.

Learn more about employment.


TAKE ACTION

The Need for Deafblindess Education Funding

Spread across the United States are 10,000 children living with the unique and isolating disability known as deafblindness. This number has more than doubled since the mid 1980s and yet federal funding for this population has been level for 20 years.

Massachusetts Senators John F. Kerry and Edward M. Kennedy have joined Perkins and other organizations in a national effort to advocate for increased federal funding for deafblindness programs in the FY2010 budget. The much needed boost would help provide teacher training, technical assistance, and other vital support services.

Visit our website to send a thank you to Senators Kerry and Kennedy for their advocacy. (Non-Massachusetts residents: find out how you can help children who are deafblind receive the services they need and deserve).


Perkins International

Where in the World is Perkins?

Photo. Student chopping vegetables in ThailandWith the support of Perkins International, Thailand’s Northern School for the Blind is increasing the independence of young adults with visual impairments and other disabilities.

Jenjira Tha, 22, is one of six young women who participated in the school’s community home program. Jenjira is totally blind and has a learning disability but through the program learned independent daily living skills including cooking, cleaning, orientation and mobility, shopping, and laundry.

Students in the program live together and go to school, receiving vocational training such as making beaded key rings or practicing traditional Thai massage. The students learn to save the money earned in these activities with the goal of building a fund to start their own businesses in the future.

Using the skills she learned in the program, Jenjira opened a small laundry shop in her home supported by seed money from Perkins International. As the program grows, more young adults like Jenjira will be empowered to achieve their greatest levels of independence.


NEWS

Natalie Merchant Performs at Perkins Possibilities Gala

Link to Video of Natalie Merchant Gala PerformanceThanks to our generous supporters, we raised a record breaking amount this year for programs, services and technology making an immediate impact on our students. We appreciate the individuals and organizations who donated goods and services, keeping costs to a minimum. Co-chairs Corinne Grousbeck and Jon Luther (of Dunkin’ Brands) welcomed almost 600 guests to campus. The soulful surprise performance by Natalie Merchant - backed by Perkins soloists and the Secondary Student Chorus, will long live in guest’s memories. Watch the videos online.

Just Released: Tom Sullivan Webcast

Based on his book Adventures in Darkness, Alumnus Tom Sullivan's keynote address from a Perkins conference is now available online. Tom recounts his youth using humor and song to illustrate his determination. Watch it online.

Celebrate a momentous occasion!

Photo. Perkins students cheering at 2008 graduation

Honor a graduate, teacher or special person with a gift to Perkins!

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