Perkins School for the Blind

Perkins School for the Blind Follow

Preparing children and young adults who are blind with the education, tools and skills they need to realize their potential.

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During summer media class at #PerkinsSchool, teachers Jeff Migliozzi and Bruce Blakeslee use iconic #movies like “Psycho” or “The Graduate” to teach students about the intricacies of visual storytelling. The goal is to help students ask the right questions when they’re watching a movie and fill in the gaps that even an audio-described version – which focuses on scenery, costumes and action – might not cover. They use movies to explain non-verbal social interactions and gestures – like a wink or a shrug – as well as explore how different camera angles and the order of scenes convey certain ideas to the audience. Blakeslee, who is sighted, describes the settings, action and types of shots used. Migliozzi, who is #blind, translates those visual concepts for the students. Film “is a major medium and it informs people’s opinions. Even if you can’t on your own experience this art form, you should understand how it works and why it’s significant.” #blindness
Born on this day in 1829, Morrison Heady was known as the "Blind Bard of Kentucky." After losing his sight by age 16, he lost his hearing when he fell off a horse as an adult. He is well known for his storytelling, advocacy, and role in the creation of the @aphfortheblind. He invented a "Talking Glove" that had letters printed on it so that people could communicate by touching the letters to spell words. He corresponded with #PerkinsSchool student Laura Bridgman and director Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe. #PerkinsArchives #DisabilityHistory #Deafblind [Image description: an old sketch of Morrison Heady.]
An all-star cast of teacher trainers from 16 countries assembled this week on the #PerkinsSchool campus. Their mission was ambitious: to help end the global shortage of qualified special educators through Perkins International Academy training courses. Launched last month at the #UnitedNations, Perkins International Academy aims to equip 1 million #teachers by 2030 with the knowledge and skills they need to effectively teach students with multiple disabilities and #deafblindness. To reach that goal, #PerkinsInternational is building a global team of certified teacher trainers. On Friday, 21 trainers received their certifications at the conclusion of a week-long training institute. #blindness #education #globalgoals #TeachersAmaze [Image description: a group of teachers work together at a table with two laptops]
A four-day #camp introduced #PerkinsSchool for the #Blind students to the importance of the natural #ecosystem and scientific processes through #soundscape #ecology. “Soundscape ecology is an emerging field in #science that looks at the environment through the lens of sound,” said #Purdue University graduate student MaryAm Ghadiri. Students got hands-on experience around campus, finding locations to place the Song Meter, a device that can be programmed to record ambient sounds. One afternoon, the students did a sound scavenger hunt, recording snippets of people talking, laughing and walking with canes; natural sounds like birds chirping or water running; and man-made sounds from cars or appliances. Soundscape ecology is an ideal field for students who are visually impaired, said teacher Jeff Migliozzi. “It’s not a science field adapted for the blind – it’s a science field suited for the blind.” [Image description: a student and a teacher, both wearing headphones, hold a microphone with a fluffy cover.]
When Mai Ahmed Ameen Elkoduse talks about her students, her eyes light up and she breaks into a brilliant smile. She bubbles with enthusiasm and pride. “See,” she says, scrolling to an image on her cellphone of a happy 13-year-old girl wearing a medal. The girl – a student at the Nida Society in Cairo, #Egypt, where Elkoduse works as a special educator – is #deafblind and struggles with behavior issues. “I wanted her to just sit and relax,” Elkoduse says. The girl liked to color and craft, so they created an art piece, stamping colorful designs onto paper. “It took a lot of time, but she loved to learn.” Elkoduse is using her Perkins International training to improve deafblind education in Egypt. “There is little awareness in my country for deafblindness,” she said. “Many children stay at home because there are few places to help them. But these children have a right to learn, go to school, work, communicate with their families and friends – to live a good life.” #TeachersAmaze
For the past three months, #literacy instructor Alex Tavares has been piloting a breakthrough #braille teaching device at #PerkinsSchool for the #Blind. The Read Read features a collection of credit card-sized movable tiles, each emblazoned with a tactile letter of the alphabet and its corresponding braille code. When a student runs a finger across the braille dots, the device speaks the letter out loud. When the tiles are arranged to form words, the device will sound them out phonetically. Perkins teacher Kate Crohan said the device is a game-changer for early braille learners. “This can change the course of history for kids who are blind,” she said.
[Image description: The Read Read device on a wooden table.]
Are you thinking about #college? It’s the next step you’ve been waiting for – the chance to make new friends, pursue your studies and live on your own. It’s a chance to break free and discover who you are. College is also a challenging place to be if you’re #blind or #visuallyimpaired. The opportunities are there, but you have to be prepared to find them. College Success @ Perkins can help! Our program  is designed to help you get the most out of college. We’ll prepare you for everything you’re about to experience. You'll take college classes at local universities, visit local companies & shadow employees, and  learn how to search for #internships and jobs -- all while exploring the beautiful city of #Boston! Stay tuned for our upcoming fall events and program news!
[Image description: A group of young adults, some sighted, one carrying a white cane, ride the subway together.]
We’re ready to end the global shortage of qualified special educators. On June 13 at the @unitednations , we launched Perkins International Academy – an ambitious new effort to train 1 million teachers around the world by 2030. The new training program is designed to equip teachers in developing nations with the knowledge and skills they need to effectively teach children with multiple disabilities and deafblindness, who are among the world’s most vulnerable and least likely to receive an #education. #TeachersAmaze
[Image description: Rosanne K. Silberman at the UN panel with text overlay, "It all comes back to teacher training. There is a real shortage of teacher training programs across the world."]
Art teacher Ana Gabriela Reato of Córdoba, #Argentina, knows that all children can learn – and thrive. She teaches at Escuela Julián Baquero, which provides rehabilitation services to students and adults who are #blind or #lowvision. Are you a teacher changing lives? Has a teacher changed your life? Share your story! #TeachersAmaze. [Image description: Portrait of Ana Gabriela Reato in front of student art with text overlay, "The most rewarding part of my job is when a student exceeds expectations. There is always more to achieve."]
#Education is a human right. We recently hosted an expert panel at the @unitednations  to explore solutions for increasing the global supply of qualified special educators. “It is a myth that individuals with disabilities cannot learn,” said panelist Maricar Marquez, who is #deafblind. “We can overcome this by sharing positive stories of our successes.” #TeachersAmaze
Happy Birthday, Thomas Stringer! Here he is with his teacher, Miss Brown, who is fingerspelling into his hand. #HelenKeller raised funds for Tommy to attend #Perkins. When Tommy arrived at Perkins in 1891, he was extremely feeble from having spent his first five years mostly confined to a bed. Tommy later became an extremely active child interested in mathematics, construction, and other labors. He spent many summers on a farm in Wrentham, Massachusetts where, among other activities, he built railings and plucked chickens.  #PerkinsArchives #PerkinsSchool
Happy #SocialMediaDay! Do people who are #blind use social media? Of course! Teens and young adults who are blind have different #socialmedia preferences, depending on whether they want to keep in touch with friends, follow breaking news stories or just enjoy funny cat videos. Perkins alum Ashley explains, "For a totally blind person like myself, #Twitter works in conjunction with speech synthesis software that reads tweets aloud. I can then respond to a tweet by typing, or I can use dictation software to type it for me." Happy tweeting!