|An Educational Leadership Program alum with her student who is deafblind in Bulgaria.|
Perkins International has worked in Europe and Eurasia since 1993. Our partners are at the forefront of reshaping education for children with disabilities in the region and there are countless examples of collaborative projects.
In 2011, as a result of services provided by Perkins International and our partners:
- 3,851 children benefited from educational opportunities they otherwise would not have been able to access
- 696 professionals received training to better serve children who are blind, deafblind, or blind with additional disabilities
- 28 organizations worked with parents and empowered them to become advocates for their children’s rights
- 562 Perkins Braillers®, the pen and paper for a person who is blind, were distributed throughout the region
Learn more about our work with examples of recent achievements and find out how you can be part of the transformation. Together, we can turn possibilities into realities and empower more people with disabilities throughout Europe and Eurasia to realize their full potential.
Unilever Joins Forces with Perkins and Local Partners in Russia
The Challenge: Within Russia, there are more than 70,000 children who are blind with additional disabilities and/or deafblind. A large number of these children are without access to qualified teachers or social health care providers. Many are staying at home with virtually no social stimulation, unable to communicate with their families or others in the community.
|Students who are blind join hands during circle time at a partner school in Russia.|
The Intervention: Supported by Unilever funding, Perkins is partnering with local organizations in Russia to help these children by opening their worlds through education, both at school and through their families.
The Method: Over the course of a 3-year project that began in 2010, Perkins will establish teams of national experts who will train 200 teachers, rehabilitation specialists, parents and university staff so they may proceed to train others in the under-served regions of Russia. These expert trainers will become local resources sharing their knowledge and expertise with colleagues from various centers, schools, and universities. These colleagues will then be able to establish classrooms, resource centers and consultation models for children across the region.
The Result: Approximately 1,000 children will receive educational and rehabilitation services as a result of this project. The impact of empowering local education professionals and helping families understand how to communicate with their children who have disabilities will be profound and exponential. Since a significant majority of teachers trained by our partners may stay in the field of multiple disability education for decades, the lives of many thousands more children and their families throughout Russia will improve as a result of this project.
Armenia Taskforce Improves Nationwide Services for Children with Multiple Disabilities
The Challenge: Until recently, children who are blind with additional disabilities in Armenia were not included in education programs and were not identified as a population with special needs. As a result, these children did not go to school or receive any support services. Over the past few years, Armenia started to develop programs to provide educational opportunities to these children. Still, increased public awareness is crucial to making programs widespread and accessible.
|A teacher in Armenia helps a student who is deafblind to communicate using a button switch.|
The Intervention: In October 2011, Perkins International supported the first National Awareness Seminar for children who are deafblind or blind with additional disabilities. It was hosted by the Ministry of Labor and Social Issues and attended by the Ministry of Education as well as 100 key participants from across the country. As a result of this seminar, a National Taskforce was established that will, over the next 3 to 5 years, look toward the nation-wide development of services for children who are blind, deafblind, or blind with additional disabilities. This will include the creation of a National Resource Center.
The Method: The Taskforce will be a small group of key individuals from the Ministry of Labor, Social Programs, Education and Perkins International. This group will meet periodically to outline steps needed to build more educational opportunities for these complex children. At the same time, Perkins International will continue to provide seminars at partner programs and the major pedagogical university.
The Result: The National Resource Center established by this Taskforce will be a place where families can be connected to much needed support for their children who are deafblind or blind with additional disabilities. The Center will provide assessments and educational recommendations through seminars and outreach-based consultations, bringing hope and possibility to the hardest to reach populations.
For more information about Perkins International's work in Europe and Eurasia contact Dennis Lolli at firstname.lastname@example.org .