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Organization DBA --
Former Names Perkins Institution and Massachusetts School for the Blind (1955)
Perkins Institution and Massachusetts Asylum for the Blind (1877)
New England Institution for the Education of the Blind (1839)
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years Yes

Summary

Mission StatementMORE »

The Perkins School for the Blind mission is to prepare children and young adults who are blind, deafblind or visually impaired, including those who have additional disabilities, with the education, confidence and skills they need to realize their potential.

Mission Statement

The Perkins School for the Blind mission is to prepare children and young adults who are blind, deafblind or visually impaired, including those who have additional disabilities, with the education, confidence and skills they need to realize their potential.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2015 to June 30, 2016
Projected Income $69,745,745.00
Projected Expense $67,608,742.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • 1. Educational Programs
  • 2. Community Programs
  • 3. Training & Educational Resources
  • 4. Perkins Library
  • 5. Perkins International

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

The Perkins School for the Blind mission is to prepare children and young adults who are blind, deafblind or visually impaired, including those who have additional disabilities, with the education, confidence and skills they need to realize their potential.

Background Statement

Founded in 1829, Perkins is a world-renowned center of excellence in the education of people who are blind, deafblind, or visually impaired with multiple disabilities. Throughout our 187-year history, Perkins has been an innovator in education for the blind, acting as a pioneer both in the U.S. and abroad. Perkins’ “firsts” include:

  • First school for people who are blind chartered in the United States (1829)
  • First school in the world to formally educate a person who is deafblind (Laura Bridgman, 1837)
  • First kindergarten for children who are blind (1887)
  • First to introduce education for families of babies who are blind in Massachusetts (1945)
  • First training program in Africa for teachers of students who are deafblind (2007)
  • First mechanical braillewriter with instantaneous audio and visual feedback (2012)

Laura Bridgman’s success as a deafblind student at Perkins in the 1830s interested many notables, including Charles Dickens who described his visit to Perkins in American Notes. Alexander Graham Bell knew of Perkins and through his connection, Perkins graduate Anne Sullivan was sent to work with Helen Keller. When Anne Sullivan taught Helen Keller how to communicate, it unlocked her potential to become a world leader. The inspirational story of their lives and work continue to motivate people around the world.

Today Perkins' programs include education at the pre-school, elementary and secondary levels, outreach to public school students and adults, infant and toddler early intervention, support to parents, teacher training, services for elders and a library that distributes Braille and talking books. Though Perkins’ on campus programs receive 80% of their funding from local school districts, the bulk of our work in the community and internationally depends donations from individuals and institutions. Thanks to dedicated staff and generous donors, last year Perkins was able to directly impact the lives of more than 160,000 people in 67 countries worldwide.


Impact Statement

Since 1829, Perkins has been committed to helping children and young adults who are blind. The following are some of our notable achievements in fiscal year 2015:

  • 30 local companies and nonprofits met with qualified job seekers at the fifth annual Job Fair for Individuals with Visual Impairments.
  • 71 libraries received consulting services from Perkins Solutions to make their programs more accessible to people with low vision and other disabilities.
  • 99 school districts worked with Perkins' itinerant teachers to support students in public schools who are blind.
  • 128 public school students participated in Perkins Outreach Short Courses to learn essential life skills.
  • 35,614 students with visual impairments around the world received direct services from Perkins International.

While the world has changed since Perkins’ founding, our fundamental beliefs have remained constant. Our Core Values guide and inspire our work every day.

Excellence in Education
We pursue excellence and innovation to enable all students to reach their full potential.

Tradition
We look to our legacy to inform our future.

Empowerment
We work to ensure that every person has the opportunity to make their voice heard.

Integrity
We behave in a way that is honest and principled.

Accessibility
We strive to be a model of accessibility in our actions and attitudes, fostering and advocating for an environment of inclusion.


Needs Statement

Perkins' needs correlate with, but are not limited to, the goals listed in our 2010-2015 Strategic Plan:

Preparing Students
Provide students on campus, in public schools and abroad with the means to live their lives as independently as possible. Perkins is only the beginning of the journey for our students and our challenge is to provide them with the tools, first-hand experiences and confidence to achieve their personal and professional goals.

Reaching New Populations
While we impact the lives of more than one million individuals around the globe annually, we have yet to connect with many more people who could benefit from our services. In this economic climate, the needs of people left without assistance may grow. We pledge to increase our efforts to reach individuals in need and provide them with the services that will change their lives for the better.

Expanding Internationally
More than 4.5 million children who are blind and living in developing countries do not attend school. While Perkins already supports operations in 67 countries, we will strive to expand our reach to bring possibility to more children who are visually impaired with additional disabilities, including those who are blind and deafblind.

Building Partnerships
Perkins' founders fully understood the vital need for education and services for individuals who are blind. Today we are still working to meet this challenge, but we cannot meet it alone. To succeed, we must engage more individuals, families, experts, educators, advocates, foundations and corporations around the world and work collaboratively toward our mission.


CEO Statement

At Perkins, we're searching for new ways to make the world a better place for people who are blind and deafblind.

More than 4.5 million children around the world are not in school, simply because they are blind. In the United States, 75 percent of people who are blind are unemployed. We want to change this status quo by preparing students through academics and vocational training, by training educators, and by sharing our know-how with organizations that serve the blind community around the globe. This is the shared mission of our five divisions: Perkins School for the Blind, Perkins Solutions, Perkins Library, Perkins International and Perkins eLearning.

We are currently focused on three important initiatives: transition to adult living, literacy through braille, and innovation.

Our educational goal is to prepare students for a successful transition to life beyond the classroom. From independent living skills to vocational readiness, transition to adult living is a part of everything we do at our School, and is the foundation of the educational approaches we share with educators, professionals and families in the 67 countries we serve. We want to help individuals who are blind to become productive and engaged citizens.

We believe literacy through braille is a critical life skill—even in a world of audio books, voice recognition and other communication technologies. Among blind adults who are employed, 85 percent rely on braille. Unfortunately, only 10 percent of today’s students who are blind learn braille. We want to make braille easier to teach and learn, and to make literacy through braille a priority among schools and parents.

Innovation is key to our success—from assistive technology to online education to creative approaches to teaching. Our insights begin with the individuals we serve, in the classroom and around the world. By taking a fresh, human-centered approach to the challenges of the blind community, and by adopting new technologies, we want to offer better products and services and reach a larger population.

These initiatives are all part of the legacy of innovation that defines our organization. Perkins has served as a catalyst for change and progress since our founding 187 years ago. I invite you to visit Perkins and learn more about what we’re doing. Join us as we unleash the power of possibility, here and around the world.


Board Chair Statement

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Geographic Area Served

GREATER BOSTON REGION, MA
STATEWIDE
NATIONAL
INTERNATIONAL
GREATER BOSTON REGION, MA
City of Boston- Citywide (Indiv. neighborhoods also listed)
City of Boston- Allston/ Brighton
City of Boston- Back Bay
City of Boston- Beacon Hill/ West End
City of Boston- Charlestown
City of Boston- Chinatown/ Leather District
City of Boston- North Dorchester
City of Boston- South Dorchester
City of Boston- Downtown
City of Boston- East Boston
City of Boston- Fenway/ Kenmore
City of Boston- Hyde Park
City of Boston- Jamaica Plain
City of Boston- Mattapan
City of Boston- Mission Hill
City of Boston- North End
City of Boston- Roslindale
City of Boston- Roxbury
City of Boston- South Boston
City of Boston- South End/Bay Village
City of Boston- Harbor Islands
City of Boston- West Roxbury
BERKSHIRE REGION, MA
CAPE &ISLANDS REGION, MA
CENTRAL REGION, MA
METROWEST REGION, MA
NORTHEAST REGION, MA
PIONEER VALLEY REGION, MA
SOUTHEAST REGION, MA
STATEWIDE
NATIONAL
INTERNATIONAL
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Organization Categories

  1. Education - Special Education
  2. -
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

Under Development

Programs

1. Educational Programs

Students with blindness and visual impairment see the world differently. We see a world of teachable moments. Serving students ages 3 to 22, each of our on-campus programs are committed to helping students who are blind, visually impaired or deafblind develop and trust their unique perspective in life and forge their own definition of success.

Early Learning Center
Our family-centered program meshes elements of play and early learning to provide students with the skills and socialization that will prepare them for educational experiences down the road. Our Preschool Program, for ages 3 to 4, and our Transitional Kindergarten, for ages 5 to 6, strive to increase each child's level of independence and focus on communication, orientation and mobility, as well as other physical and developmental needs.

Lower School
Our Lower School Program integrates classroom learning with community experiences to teach and excite children about the world, its possibilities and their place within it. Designed for students ages 6 to 14, this program immerses students in classroom learning, combined with lessons in daily living skills, communication and travel, with a goal of greater awareness and independence.

Secondary Program
Our Secondary Program offers students of all abilities an academic journey that challenges and excites them, as well as the social encounters, independent living and vocational readiness skills that promote their successful transition to adulthood. Designed for high school students ages 14 through 22, our program offers individual and group instruction with the goals of developing organizational, reasoning, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Deafblind Program
Committed to exploring the endless ways that students who are deafblind can connect with the world around them, our Deafblind Program incorporates a Total Communication environment—where any and every means of communication that works best for each student is encouraged. We offer comprehensive educational services to students ages 3 to 22 who are deafblind or deaf with additional disabilities, taking a developmental approach to language, communication and curriculum.

Budget  $36,950,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Special Education
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) College Aged (18-26 years) People/Families with of People with Disabilities
Program Short-Term Success 

In fiscal year 2015, Perkins on campus programs served 207 students ages 3 to 22 who are blind, visually impaired or deafblind, including those with additional disabilities.

Program Long-Term Success 

Over 95% of graduates enter the adult service community, by participating in living and work options, including work, volunteer, leisure and recreational activities.

Program Success Monitored By 

Once a student is admitted into one of our on-campus programs, an Individual Education Plan (IEP) is developed by an interdisciplinary team including members of the student's family. Annual goals in an IEP describe what the student will focus on and help guide instruction in the upcoming school year. Effective goals are specific, measurable and easily broken down into manageable steps to track progress throughout the year. As students progress, their educational program changes to accommodate their age and ability level.

Program success can be measured by individual student achievement on standardized tests and assessments, as well as progress towards goals and earning a graduation diploma or certificate of accomplishment.

Examples of Program Success 

Fundamental to Perkins' mission are the individual achievements made by our students every day. These range from the young teenager who just completed a weekend living skills program and tells her mother she will make her own breakfast, bringing tears of joy to her mother’s eyes; to the student who sings the national anthem at a Red Sox game; from students completing MCAS requirements; to the family who sees possibility for their infant who was born blind with additional disabilities. The sum of these achievements is what drives our mission. 


2. Community Programs

We know the classroom is just one place to learn. Our Community Programs bring a spectrum of services to students, families and education professionals throughout New England, wherever the need occurs, to ensure that every child who is blind or visually impaired can benefit from his or her optimum learning environment.

Infant-Toddler Program
Our Infant-Toddler Program offers the educational services and family support that are vital to every child with visual impairments or deafblindness during the earliest years of development. Our work takes place on our campus, at home and in the community where we assess the special needs of each child and create individualized programs that address his or her challenges, and encourage his or her strengths.

Educational Partnerships
Educational Partnerships brings the knowledge, experience and skills of Perkins staff to wherever the need is—at school, at home, in training centers or in the community. Our continuum of direct and consultative services supports students ages 3 to 22 who are blind, deafblind or visually impaired, as well as families, caregivers and professionals.

Itinerant Services and Consultation
Teachers of students who are visually impaired (TVIs) and deafblind specialists work one-on-one with students in the classroom, day care or home environment. Perkins experts may also support mainstream classroom teachers by preparing and adapting learning materials with students in the classroom and community.

Evaluation and Assessments
Perkins teachers and therapists offer consultation and support to parents, educators, school districts and medical professionals regarding a student's sensory disability, and that disability's effect on learning. We also provide professional evaluations of current programs and services in school systems, and conduct workshops, seminars and other professional development courses.

Outreach Short Courses
Our Outreach Short Courses offer public school students who are blind or visually impaired the opportunity to focus on Expanded Core Curriculum areas that can be difficult to address within a school day, such as personal care, health and wellness, independent living and social skills.

Transition Services
Our Transition Services provide the experts and one-on-one support that students and their families need to prepare for life in the real world. From career awareness, vocational experience and resume building, to household management, recreational planning and self-confidence, we customize our integrated range of services to support students at every point of the transition process.

The New England Eye Low Vision Clinic at Perkins
Our clinic is one of the region's few facilities that serves patients of all ages with multiple disabilities and provides primary and consultative eye care for infants, children and adults who have visual, physical and/or cognitive disabilities.

Budget  $5,700,000.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Children & Youth Services
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) College Aged (18-26 years) People/Families with of People with Disabilities
Program Short-Term Success  In fiscal year 2015: 569 infants, children and adults received services from our Low Vision Clinic and discovered ways to maximize their visual functioning; itinerant teachers worked with 345 students across New England who are visually impaired to ensure they received the same educational opportunities as their sighted peers; 128 students participated in life-skills classes through our Outreach Short Courses—gaining the experience they need to become confident, self-sufficient adults; 478 blind or deafblind infants and toddlers received services from our Infant-Toddler Program, ensuring they will get the best possible start in life.
Program Long-Term Success 

Perkins Outreach Services hears from former participants at key points in their lives such as graduation, weddings, children and new jobs. Some participants have even come back to volunteer or work on programs.

Program Success Monitored By 

Reports and surveys are sent out after each Outreach Services program is completed. Feedback from families, state agencies, teachers of the visually impaired and other school/agency personnel helps us to monitor effectiveness and to develop new programs.

Examples of Program Success 

In the past few years of attending Perkins Outreach Services programs, Lindsey has been gradually gaining independence, developing confidence in her own abilities, and forming important friendships.

Lindsey, a Framingham public school student, has participated in weekend programs and the weeklong Elementary Summer Programs on Perkins campus. Outreach offers instruction she does not get in school, where there are only a couple of other students who are visually impaired.

 “I don’t take music at my school and there’s no money class at school,” Lindsey explains, adding that the programs also give her more opportunities to practice orientation and mobility.


3. Training & Educational Resources

Perkins offers thousands of educators and professionals continued learning through multiple venues. Staff conduct in-person trainings across New England and New York via the Perkins Training Center and reach many more through publications, online trainings, webcasts and webinars on PerkinseLearning.org. Professionals can also access resources through topic-specific websites (Paths to Literacy, Paths to Transition and Accessible Science) and Perkins Scout: An Informational Clearinghouse on Blindness and Visual Impairment.

While all of these resources are available to families, Perkins also offers family-focused information and resources through WonderBaby.org

The Samuel P. Hayes Research Library and Archives and Perkins History Museum offer access to both current and historical information, on site and online for the general public, researchers and historians.

Budget  $1,820,625.00
Category  Education, General/Other Teacher & Faculty
Population Served Adults People/Families with of People with Disabilities
Program Short-Term Success  In fiscal year 2015, the Perkins Training Center served 7,433 professionals through in-person and online trainings and workshops. That same year, 3,961 individuals were served through the Samuel P. Hayes Research Library.
Program Long-Term Success 

Perkins has been providing training and professional development to professionals since the school first accepted students in 1832. Thousands of teachers have done study visits and participated in workshops and classes offered by Perkins staff. The Perkins Training Center has trained 5,000-6,000 professionals every year for the past decade. Professionals and families outside of New England and New York access content and classes online through several sites created and maintained by Perkins.

Program Success Monitored By 

Each year TERP develops SMART goals that support Perkins Strategic Plan. Progress toward meeting established benchmarks are reported quarterly. Staff conduct annual surveys with specific audience segments to solicit feedback and get suggestions for new topics and formats. Staff also solicit feedback and evaluations from professionals who participate in face-to-face as well as online training. New offerings are peer reviewed as a regular part of the development process.

Examples of Program Success 

TERP is constantly adding new content to Perkins online collection. In January 2013, Perkins eLearning launched its first online workshop. These four to eight week interactive courses include group projects and discussion forums where educators from around the world can share their experiences and get advice from fellow professionals. Within the past year, nearly 100 professionals from the U.S., Canada, St. Lucia and Egypt have participated in these intensive online courses.

In April 2012, Perkins launched a new website in collaboration with the Texas School for the Blind. PathstoLiteracy.org offers resources, activities, and forums on a wide variety of topics related to literacy for students who are blind, deaf-blind, and visually impaired, including those with additional disabilities. Topics range from developing pre-reading skills in very young children to teaching tactile graphics. 150 professionals signed up to open accounts on the site in the first month.


4. Perkins Library

The Perkins Library provides "talking books", (which are special audio books), talking book machines, large print books, digital audio materials, braille books, downloadable audiobooks, described videos and the Newsline service (telephone and online-based access to newspapers and magazines) for people who are blind or visually impaired or have a physical or reading disability.

The Perkins Library has been providing specialized library services since 1835. It became a founding member of the Library of Congress / National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped network in 1931. Readership statistics indicate that 60% of the Library’s current users are legally blind, 20% are visually impaired, 5% have physical disabilities, 9% are reading disabled and 6% represent institutions serving eligible borrowers.

The library currently serves over 28,000 individuals with print disabilities in Massachusetts and New England with an annual circulation of more than 500,000 recorded books and magazines and 16,000 braille books available in over 60 languages. Library patrons range in age from seven months to 109 years.

Budget  $2,988,624.00
Category  Education, General/Other Library
Population Served People/Families with of People with Disabilities
Program Short-Term Success  In fiscal year 2015, 28,990 children and adults enjoyed audio, braille books and publications delivered right to their homes free of charge by the Perkins Library.


Program Long-Term Success 

Since 1835, the Perkins Library has provided specialized library services for individuals who are blind or visually impaired or have a physical or reading disability.

Over the years the library has increased its holdings to include more than 100,000 recorded books and magazines and 20,000 braille books. The library serves over 27,000 patrons in Massachusetts and New England annually, fulfilling 92% of title searches and 98% of reference requests.

Program Success Monitored By 

As one of two state funded libraries serving people with disabilities in Massachusetts, the Perkins Library submits monthly reports to the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. Programmatic success is also measured against the American Library Association Standards for Braille & Talking Book Libraries, The Perkins Library 2008-2012 Long Range Strategic Plan, and annually set management goals.

Examples of Program Success 

The Perkins Library was named 2008 Network Library of the Year. Presented annually by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), this prestigious honor recognizes a library that demonstrates exceptional innovation in providing services, maintains a record of patron satisfaction, and exceeds the American Library Association's Revised Standards and Guidelines of Service for the Library of Congress Network of Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped


5. Perkins International

Perkins International empowers people with disabilities around the world to achieve their greatest potential and to recognize their innate dignity as valuable members of their communities. Specializing in reaching those who are blind, deafblind or blind with additional disabilities, Perkins transforms lives through promoting access to meaningful educational and vocational opportunities, advocating for strengthened policies, distributing assistive devices and technology, and building the expertise of local partners in 67 countries.

The underlying premise of our work is the empowerment of local agencies for lasting impact. We partner with individuals including teachers, parents, school administrators, university faculty, professionals and advocates. By cultivating partnerships at multiple levels of society we are able to extend programs for children and families into multiple regions, maximize the reach of training opportunities, and leverage resources for expansion.

Budget  $5,600,000.00
Category  International, Foreign Affairs & National Security, General/Other International Education Assistance
Population Served People/Families with of People with Disabilities Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) College Aged (18-26 years)
Program Short-Term Success 

In fiscal year 2015, Perkins International provided life-changing educational services to 89,574 children, parents and teachers.

Program Long-Term Success 

When Perkins International began in 1989, only nine developing countries had any kind of program for children who were deafblind or blind with additional disabilities. Today, we work with partners in over 67 countries. Over the last 20 plus years, we have worked with approximately 240,000 children, family members, teachers, and professionals. We also reach tens of thousands additional children each year by distributing and maintaining Perkins Braillers®, the pen and paper for people who are blind, in 170 countries.

Worldwide there are approximately 150 million children with disabilities. Many of these children are denied access to education based solely upon having a disability. Perkins International continues to create lasting change for these children and their families by helping local partners to establish and run innovative, sustainable programs to suit their unique social, cultural and political contexts.

Program Success Monitored By 

Perkins measures the success of its programs based on their quality and long term sustainability. Perkins has developed a set of quality indicators for programs serving people who are blind with additional disabilities. These indicators measure both short term and long term success. This tool is used by implementing partners for the purposes of self-reflection and internal planning, and also by Perkins staff as an evaluation tool. Perkins uses these indicators to assess the capacity of its partners in order to continually provide proper levels of technical assistance and support. Many implementing partners submit regular reports using Perkins’ online monitoring and evaluation system, CTK. Perkins then uses CTK to track progress and generate regular reports to donors. Perkins also uses surveys and rating scales during seminars and workshops to assess and track participants’ entry level knowledge and identify topics that may require more in-depth presentation.

Examples of Program Success 

Alex was born deaf and blind in a remote, mountainous village in Guatemala. An orphan by the age of four, Alex ended up in a group home with no way of interacting with the world or communicating his basic needs. In 1998, after attending a Perkins International seminar for parents, Alex’s adopted family started the country’s first program for children with multiple disabilities named Fundacion Alex (FUNDAL). Over the years, Perkins International continued to provide technical assistance, training and support; four educators from the program received scholarships to Perkins’ Educational Leadership Program.

Today FUNDAL has multiple sites in urban and rural Guatemala, serving families of all economic levels. A new four-year FUNDAL/Perkins International Latin America project is promoting FUNDAL as a model program for other countries in Central America. The project will benefit 120 professionals and 100 parents, improving education for 200 children with multiple disabilities.


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Management


CEO/Executive Director Mr. W. David Power
CEO Term Start May 2014
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience

Dave Power has guided growing organizations as an operating executive, board member and advisor for over 25 years.

His diverse background includes roles as CEO, general manager and marketing executive at successful growth companies, including Sun Microsystems, RSA Security, Novera Software and Mercator Software. He also led investments in emerging technology companies at Fidelity Ventures.

Dave launched Power Strategy to help mid-sized organizations with strategy, innovation and growth. He has taught strategic management and design thinking at Harvard Extension School where he received the Joanne Fussa Distinguished Teaching Award in 2014. He is the author of "The Curve Ahead: Discovering the Path to Unlimited Growth," and has spoken to international business audiences on innovation and growth.

Perkins' mission and story is close to his heart. His son David, who is deafblind, graduated from Perkins in 2009. Dave has served on Perkins' Board of Trustees since 2003 and was instrumental in developing Perkins' eLearning initiative, offering cutting-edge resources and teaching strategies to educators around the globe. Today, as CEO and President, Dave oversees the five divisions of Perkins: Perkins School for the Blind, Perkins Products, Perkins Library, Perkins International and Perkins eLearning.

Dave received BSCE and MS degrees from Tufts University, and an MBA from Stanford Business School where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar.

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Mr. Steven Rothstein Jan 2003 Apr 2014

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Ed Bosso Superintendent and Executive Director of Educational Programs Ed Bosso joined Perkins School for the Blind in March 2016. As superintendent, he oversees all of Perkins' educational services, including programs on Perkins' Watertown campus and in public schools. Bosso has more than 30 years of experience in special education, including leadership positions as principal of the Delaware School for the Deaf, director of Statewide Programs for Deaf and Deaf Blind Students, and assistant superintendent of human resources for the Christina School District in Wilmington, Delaware. Prior to Perkins, he served as vice president of Gallaudet's National Deaf Education Center. Bosso earned a master's degree in educational administration/supervision from California State University, Northridge and a Bachelor of Science in special education from Bloomsburg University.
Lisa Calise Chief Financial Officer

Lisa Calise joined Perkins in September 2010. Previously, she was chief financial officer for the City of Boston, where she began her career in the mid-1990s. Prior to coming to Boston, Calise worked as a budget examiner at the White House Office of Management and Budget in Washington, D.C. She earned a master’s degree in public management from the University of Maryland, and a B.A. in economics from Boston College.

Kim Charlson Director of Perkins Library

Kim Charlson was appointed director in 2001 following 16 years as Perkins' Service Management Librarian and Assistant Director. She has distinguished herself as a recognized national and international expert on library and information services for people with disabilities, literacy through braille, adaptive technology in libraries and information access.

Charlson serves on a number of committees for the Library of Congress’ National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped and has contributed to numerous publications on braille and library services. In 2013, she was unanimously elected as the first woman president of the American Council of the Blind. Charlson has a master’s in library science from the University of North Texas.

Mike Delaney Executive Director of Perkins International Michael Delaney joined Perkins International in January 2016. As Executive Director, he oversees Perkins International’s efforts to ensure that every child who is blind around the world has access to a quality education. Delaney has more than three decades of experience working in international development and relief. Prior to Perkins, he served as Oxfam America’s Humanitarian Division director. Delaney earned his master’s degree in economics from the State University of New York in Buffalo, New York, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Niagara University.
Kate Margolese Chief Marketing Officer

Kate Margolese oversees Perkins’ overall marketing strategy, working to build awareness of the Perkins mission and educational philosophy domestically and internationally while ensuring that Perkins programs, products and services are attuned to the needs of the students, families, educators and school districts they serve. Before arriving at Perkins in 2015, Margolese led marketing efforts at technology companies including Sun Microsystems and Nets Inc. Prior to that, she was a consultant at McKinsey and Company, where she focused primarily on strategic direction for technology companies. Margolese earned an MBA from Harvard University and has a B.S. in engineering from the University of Michigan.

Patrick McCall Educational Director Patrick McCall oversees all educational programs in Perkins’ Early Learning Center, Lower School and Secondary Program. McCall began his Perkins career as a teaching assistant and went on to become a clinical social worker before being named Assistant Education Director in 2006. He holds a master’s degree in education from American International College and a master’s degree in social work from Boston College. He has a B.S. in industrial technology from the University of Lowell and has taken additional courses in special education law at Northeastern University. McCall is certified through the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as a Special Education Administrator and a Social Work/Adjustment Counselor. He is also certified as a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker through the Massachusetts Board of Allied Health.
Betsy McGinnity M.Ed. Director of Training & Educational Resources Program

Betsy McGinnity oversees the operations of the Training & Educational Resources Program, which brings together Perkins' information, training and educational resource functions to increase the impact these services have on the lives of people with blindness. McGinnity spent several years working as a teacher of students with deafblindness and severe disabilities in public and state schools before starting her career at Perkins in 1980 as coordinator of vocational services in the Deafblind Program. She received her M.Ed in special education at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Bill Oates Vice President of Perkins Solutions

Bill Oates joined Perkins Solutions in 2015 to enhance and grow the division’s line of literacy and assistive products as well as its accessibility consulting services. Oates previously served as the chief information officer for both the commonwealth of Massachusetts and the city of Boston, where he worked to improve systems and drive innovation. He also spent more than 20 years in the private sector, as senior vice president/CIO for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and as a tech services executive for the Boston-based Sheraton Corporation. Oates holds a JD and a Master of Laws (LL.M) in global technology law from Suffolk University Law School.

Kathy Sheehan Executive Director of the Perkins Trust

Kathy Sheehan joined Perkins in 2009 to advance Perkins' mission and support its local, regional, national and international programs through philanthropy. She previously worked at Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston as chief advancement officer, where she led development efforts for their groundbreaking $108 million Comprehensive Campaign. She also held positions at Harvard University and Wellesley College. Sheehan serves on the board for the Massachusetts Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She is a graduate of Smith College and earned a Master of Divinity at Boston University.

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
Distinguished Leadership Award Mass Technology Leadership Council 2014
Sloan-C Effective Practice Award Online Learning Consortium 2014
Best Use of Social Media for Nonprofits PR Daily 2013
Workforce Diversity Initiative Award Boston Business Journal 2012
Network Library of the Year National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped 2008

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
Prevent Blindness America --
World Blind Union --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance --
Charity Navigator --
National Association of Independent Schools --
New England Association of Schools and Colleges --

Collaborations

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CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 549
Number of Part Time Staff 131
Number of Volunteers 300
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 49
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 30
Caucasian: 543
Hispanic/Latino: 50
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 8
Other (if specified): Two or More Races
Gender Female: 215
Male: 465
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Management Succession Plan --
Business Continuity of Operations Plan --
Organization Policies And Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy --
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions

Directors and Officers Policy

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Governance


Board Chair Ms. Corinne Grousbeck
Board Chair Company Affiliation Gemvara, Inc.
Board Chair Term Nov 2014 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Stephanie C. Andrews Community Volunteer Voting
Kevin Bright Emerson College Voting
Katherine Chapman Olly Shoes Voting
Frederic M. Clifford Clifford Associates Voting
Corinne Grousbeck Community Volunteer Voting
Tom Hehir Harvard Graduate School of Education Voting
Raymond W. Hepper ISO New England, Inc. Voting
William Hughes Business Strategy Group, Inc. Voting
Rachel Kaprielian U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Voting
Randy E. Kinard Fiduciary Trust Company Voting
Philip L. Ladd Dwight Rudd Co. Voting
Hunt Lambert Harvard University Division of Continuing Education Voting
Elena Matlack Community Volunteer Voting
Vaithehi Muttulingam Siharum Advisors Voting
Greg J. Pappas Berkshire Partners LLC Voting
Paul Perrault Brookline Bank Voting
Paul A. Raia Alzheimer’s Association Voting
Richard F. Reilly KPMG Voting
Steven A. Ringer Brigham and Women's Hospital Voting
Michael Schnitman Mackenzie Investments Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mr. Raymond W. Hepper ISO New England Inc. Voting
Mr. Paul Perrault Brookline Bank Voting
Dr. Paul A. Raia Alzheimer's Association Voting

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 19
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 1
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 6
Male: 14
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions --
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Audit
  • Capital Campaign
  • Finance
  • Investment
  • Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction
  • Technology
  • Trusteeship

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Foundation Comments

--

Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Revenue $67,772,526 $117,321,712 $92,745,282
Total Expenses $72,615,485 $75,990,543 $70,638,898

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$2,363,894 $3,910,544 $3,193,858
Government Contributions $6,880,640 $5,315,060 $5,038,326
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $6,880,640 $5,315,060 $5,038,326
Individual Contributions $8,295,935 $17,842,106 $9,421,462
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $41,463,167 $47,017,767 $43,567,124
Investment Income, Net of Losses $7,655,016 $42,113,829 $28,416,472
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other $1,113,874 $1,122,406 $3,108,040

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Program Expense $58,805,901 $62,982,836 $58,656,293
Administration Expense $9,645,854 $8,802,957 $8,015,902
Fundraising Expense $4,163,730 $4,204,750 $3,966,703
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.93 1.54 1.31
Program Expense/Total Expenses 81% 83% 83%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 24% 16% 22%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Assets $377,178,335 $381,970,654 $354,217,779
Current Assets $19,110,881 $18,974,575 $22,191,416
Long-Term Liabilities $29,569,760 $30,165,403 $32,231,931
Current Liabilities $8,106,622 $7,460,339 $18,972,105
Total Net Assets $339,501,953 $344,344,912 $303,013,743

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
1st (Source and Amount) Government $2,989,529.00
Government $4,343,921.00
Government $2,026,891.21
2nd (Source and Amount) Family Foundation $850,000.00
Family Foundation $2,000,000.00
Family Foundation $2,000,000.00
3rd (Source and Amount) Foundation $803,805.00
Individual $564,599.00
Foundation $1,000,000.00

Financial Planning

Endowment Value $255,825,482.00
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund No
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose Touch Our World was a comprehensive campaign that focused on program, endowment and capital initiatives that will support and realize our 2010-2015 Strategic Plan. Our strategic plan focuses on the following four essential areas to improve the lives of tens of thousands of people who are blind, deafblind, or blind with additional disabilities: maintaining our excellence on campus, reaching new populations in our communities, expanding internationally and building partnerships.
Campaign Goal $130,000,000.00
Capital Campaign Dates July 2006 - June 2013
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount $136,500,000.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 2.36 2.54 1.17

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 8% 8% 9%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Concerning the Spending Policy, Perkins does not have an official policy on this matter, but The Board of Trustees establishes, at its discretion, a guideline which is currently 5% for the operating budget. In accordance with this guideline, the average for the past five years has been 4.03%.
 

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graph above is per the organization's audited financials.

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

Perkins School for the Blind is a progressive, multifaceted organization committed to improving the lives of people who are visually impaired. Since our founding in 1829, we have been a national and international leader and resource providing state-of-the-art education and services to infants, toddlers, children, youth and young adults who are blind, deafblind or visually impaired, including those with additional disabilities, their families and the professionals who serve them.

More than 4.5 million children around the world are not in school simply because they are blind. In the United States, 75 percent of people who are blind are unemployed. In the near term, our goal is to help change this status quo by preparing students through academics and vocational training, by training educators, and by sharing our know-how with organizations that serve the blind community around the globe.

Our ultimate goal is to provide children and young adults who are blind with the education, tools and skills they need to realize their potential. We strive for a world in which every person who is blind has the skills, opportunity and confidence to discover and fulfill his or her own potential.


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

As stated above, our ultimate goal is to provide children and young adults who are blind with the education, tools and skills they need to realize their potential. To this end, we are currently focused on three important initiatives: transition to adult living, literacy and innovation.

From independent living skills to vocational readiness, transition to adult living is a part of everything we do at Perkins School for the Blind, and is the foundation of the educational approaches we share with educators, professionals and families in the 67 countries we serve. We want to help individuals who are blind, deafblind or visually impaired become productive and engaged citizens. To this end, we customize education programs for every student according to their needs and abilities, seize every opportunity to prepare students for life beyond the classroom, and blend appropriate assistive technology into students' daily living and learning habits—teaching them how to compensate for vision loss and function in a world designed for those with sight.

We think of literacy as being able to read and write. For people who are blind or visually impaired, that concept has historically been synonymous with braille. But when you consider today’s rapid advances in technology, that definition inevitably falls short. That’s why we’ve committed to taking a fresh look at what literacy really means to people with disabilities today. We’re taking our questions to people living every day with blindness and visual impairment, to observe their needs first-hand and better understand how we can help. While braille will undoubtedly remain a vital tool in the portfolio of literacy solutions people use, we know that new research and data will help us build a deeper understanding of literacy in the digital age—and inspire our solutions for tomorrow.

Innovation is key to our success—from assistive technology to online education to creative approaches to teaching. It’s our responsibility to stay connected with societal shifts and in touch with the rapid pace of changing technology. We want to better understand the needs of people today, and embrace the most promising ideas as we take steps to develop global, innovative solutions for tomorrow. Our insights begin with the individuals we serve, in the classroom and around the world. We’re also convening proven innovators from public and private sectors to ignite the discussion. By taking a fresh, human-centered approach to the challenges of the blind community, and by adopting new technologies, we will offer better products and services and reach a larger population.


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

Our experience, expertise and commitment to serving people who are visually impaired are demonstrated through the work of Perkins School for the Blind’s five distinct lines of business that collaborate on local, national and global levels and work together every day to change what it means to be blind. Though their services may be specialized, each line of business is grounded in five key focus areas: education, accessibility engagement, community and empowerment.

As the heart of the organization, Perkins School for the Blind serves approximately 200 students on campus and also operates as the headquarters for our Community Services programs, including itinerant services, independence courses for public school students, evaluations and assessments for communities, and training for professionals.

Perkins International works to develop sustainable capacity in 67 countries through local, on-the-ground partnerships, and provides resources, training and advocacy to improve the lives of the 4.5 million children around the world without access to education due to blindness.

Perkins Solutions provides innovative assistive technology products and accessibility consulting services for businesses and non-profits in order to increase access to independence, literacy and employment for people with visual impairment and other disabilities. They develop and distribute accessible technology in 170 countries and also offer a full spectrum of services including assessments to help customers identify their technology needs, and training to ensure the users’ full benefit.

Perkins eLearning leverages our reputation as a teacher of teachers by offering high-quality webcasts and webinars on a variety of topics. Perkins eLearning also provides professional development and graduate level credits to educators through online workshops.

Perkins Library, which circulates more than 530,000 items in braille, audio, electronic and large print formats to about 28,000 patrons in the U.S. The Library has served patrons since 1835 and is one of the oldest accessibility services in the country.

Our work with the community also includes the Perkins-Business Partnership—an alliance between Perkins School for the Blind and some of New England’s best-known businesses and nonprofits. Officially launched in June 2014, the partnership is examining all aspects of the employment challenge. That starts with identifying jobs that best fit the unique skill-set of people who are blind and examining ways to break through the barriers that prevent qualified candidates from getting hired. It includes reaching out to employers and encouraging them to include people with disabilities in their diversity strategy and making them aware of the large pool of qualified candidates who are blind.


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

Fundamental to our mission are the individual achievements made by our students every day. Once a student is admitted into one of our on-campus programs, an Individual Education Plan (IEP) is developed by an interdisciplinary team including members of the student's family. Annual goals in an IEP describe what the student will focus on and help guide instruction in the upcoming school year. Effective goals are specific, measurable and easily broken down into manageable steps to track progress throughout the year. As our students progress, their educational program changes to accommodate their age and ability level. Program success can be measured by individual student achievement on standardized tests and assessments, as well as progress towards goals and earning a graduation diploma or certificate of accomplishment. The newly-created role of Director of Graduate Services will further allow us to track our students’ progress after leaving Perkins.

Perkins Outreach Short Courses, part of our Community Services programs, hears from former participants at key points in their lives such as graduation, weddings, children and new jobs. Reports and surveys are sent out after each Outreach Short Course is completed. Feedback from families, state agencies, teachers of the visually impaired and other school/agency personnel helps us to monitor effectiveness and develop new programs.

As one of two state funded libraries serving people with disabilities in Massachusetts, the Perkins Library submits monthly reports to the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. Programmatic success is also measured against the American Library Association Standards for Braille & Talking Book Libraries and annually set management goals.

Each year our Training and Educational Resources program, in conjunction with Perkins eLearning, develops SMART goals that support our Strategic Plan. Progress toward meeting established benchmarks are reported quarterly. Our staff members conduct annual surveys with specific audience segments to solicit feedback and get suggestions for new topics and formats. Staff members also solicit feedback and evaluations from professionals who participate in face-to-face as well as online training. New offerings are peer reviewed as a regular part of the development process and attendance is monitored to gage success.

Perkins International measures the success of its programs based on their quality and long term sustainability. Our Regional Coordinators have developed a set of quality indicators for programs serving people who are blind with additional disabilities. These indicators measure both short term and long term success. This tool is used by implementing partners for the purposes of self-reflection and internal planning, and also by our staff as an evaluation tool. We use these indicators to assess the capacity of our partners in order to continually provide proper levels of technical assistance and support.

5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

Possibility. We have built our reputation on this guiding principle since 1829 when we opened our doors as the nation’s first chartered school for the blind, setting the stage for the inspirational stories of Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller. Since then we have continued to grow and innovate, adding programs for individuals of all ages and abilities and adapting and expanding technology available to those who are blind, deafblind or visually impaired, including those with additional disabilities. We have found new ways to inspire, teach and spread excitement about what is possible, and we have continued to seek out those in need around the globe. For over 180 years, dedicated educators, therapists and staff have worked tirelessly to give every student the tools necessary to become contributing, involved members of their communities regardless of their disability. Thanks to their efforts and the support of countless generous donors, today Perkins School for the Blind impacts the lives of more than a million individuals in 67 countries.

It’s not enough to be the oldest chartered school for the blind in the U.S. Our challenge is to stay relevant. We are always looking for new ways to get students out of the classroom and into the “real world” to put the skills they’re learning to the test. That’s why we have embarked on a real world curriculum of our own. The coursework requires research and reflection on some of the biggest challenges facing those we serve. Transition is the first, most pressing issue. Literacy is another. Transitioning to the real world means communicating with those around you. What do our students need to know? How can we prepare them? To find out, we are interviewing young adults who are fluent in today’s digital mediums to understand how they process information in their daily routine, whether at home, work or school. This kind of knowledge will benefit not only students in the U.S., but thousands of children with multiple disabilities and visual impairment around the globe who are learning to read, write and communicate, thanks to our international partners.

At the heart of all this is innovation. Tackling real-world challenges takes a willingness to revisit, reimagine and reinvent. That’s why we are convening proven innovators from public and private sectors to ignite the discussion. We want to better understand the needs of people today, and embrace the most promising ideas as we take steps to develop global, innovative solutions for tomorrow.