The Issue: Children with Visual Impairments in Need of Life-Skills Lessons
Cooking on a stove, color coordinating clothes, using medicine containers, walking to the bus stop. These are all everyday tasks that most people take for granted. But for people who are visually impaired or blind, these can be frustrating—if not dangerous—challenges.
Children who are blind or visually impaired have few chances to practice these life skills in public schools, making it more difficult for them to achieve the independence they need to succeed in college and later in life. Perkins School for the Blind teaches kids these vital life skills in a comfortable, supportive environment where they can interact with peers who face similar challenges.
The Campaign: Teaching Basic Skills to Students with Visual Impairments
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by Perkins School for the Blind to help children who are blind or visually impaired gain the skills they need to live independently as adults. For every $1,000 raised, Perkins School for the Blind can provide a scholarship for one visually impaired student to attend a weekend course. All donations up to $1,000 will be matched by an anonymous donor.
The weekend course teaches students how to complete basic tasks such as cooking for themselves, managing money, and planning for college life and careers. They learn these skills alongside groups of their peers so they can build teamwork skills and forge lifelong friendships.
Perkins School for the Blind
During the school year, Lindsey is just like any other 11-year-old Framingham public-school student—except that she is blind. Though Lindsey tries to get the most out of her education, there are some necessary skills her mainstream school can't teach her. That's where Perkins School for the Blind steps in.
In addition to its regular school curriculum, Perkins runs summer and weekend outreach programs for students and community members to learn skills such as reading braille, mobility, and home management. Lindsey regularly attends the summer sessions where she and her friends learn how to shop for ingredients and make a sandwich, play musical instruments, and participate in water sports. Following these sessions, a faculty member noted that Lindsey has become "very motivated to be independent, and she takes pride in the fact that she can do things on her own." That is Perkins School for the Blind's goal for all of its students: to gain the skills and confidence to live their lives without struggle.