Perkins is a world-renowned center of excellence for the education of children with disabilities, including children who are blind, deafblind, or who have multiple disabilities. Each year, its students shatter barriers and perceptions about what people with disabilities can accomplish. Its rich history began in 1829 as the first school for the blind in the U.S., and it counts Helen Keller and her teacher Anne Sullivan among its most famous students. In 1989, Perkins established a global program to advance the education of children with disabilities worldwide.
The primary focus of Perkins International is to build capacity at local, regional, and national levels to develop independent, sustainable education services. In more than 65 countries, Perkins International works through local institutions to collaborate with schools, parents, universities, governments, and international agencies to improve educational opportunities, refine university curricula, and transform disability policies.
Perkins also directly reaches tens of thousands of children in more than 170 countries by distributing and maintaining subsidized Perkins Braillers®, the pen and paper for people who are blind, and is well known for its work teaching Braille literacy and training teachers and other educators to effectively work with students with disabilities. Through these approaches, Perkins helps children with disabilities achieve their greatest potential.