Vision-Aid collaboration with Perkins
The Vision-Aid leadership team had a productive meeting with the leadership team at Perkins School for the Blind, Boston. The meeting was to discuss ways to collaborate and work togehter in India.
Perkins is an iconic institution which serves approximately 200 students on campus and many children with special needs through training. It offers services via regional public school systems. Perkins International impacts the lives of thousands of disabled children in 67 countries. Perkins Solutions, offers innovative assistive technology products and training to the visually impaired.
The meeting was held at Perkins School for the Blind, Watertown, MA. It was attended by members of Vision-Aid and Perkins. Representing Perkins International/Perkins India were:
- Dave Power- President/CEO Perkins School for the Blind
- Katherine (Katie) Holland- Executive Director, Perkins International
- Kristen Layton- Director, Perkins India
- Paige Klotzman- Program Coordinator, Perkins India
- Dipa Bhattacharya- Senior Development Specialist, Perkins Trust
Vision-Aid's team included:
- Puran Dang, Chairman
- Ram Raju, Founder & Executive Director
- Syed Ali Rizvi, President
After the initial introductions, both Perkins and Vision-Aid shared their details about their work. Vision-Aid provided details about its background, centers in India and the Vision-Aid Low Vision Resource Center Model. Perkins was informed of Vision-Aids recently signed MOU with Shroff Charitable Eye Hospitals in New Delhi. Co-incidentally Perkins are also in discussion with them and might have a signed agreement with SCEH in the next few months. Both Vision-Aid and Perkins are therefore well placed to offer timely help and collaboration in this important project.
Perkins currently has an office in Mumbai and a full-time staff in New Delhi that works in the field. Perkins advised Vision-Aid on their various projects in India including IDI which focuses on identification and early intervention for children with multiple disabilities and Visually Impaired (MDVI). Perkins aims to define a protocol, identify and design a stable process for doing a census of MDVI (Multiple Disabilities and Visually Impaired) children. These are children who are not in any "system". These children,who are very young and often found to be not going to any school, have not been approached by any caregiver/NGO. If they are not reached out now, these kids may never attend school and their quality of life will suffer. Perkins focus for this intervention is in Uttar Pradesh and specifically Lucknow. Vision-Aid through its resources in UP and in India will help Perkins with their IDI project. SCEH have their regional centers in Mathura and Gurgaon, near New Delhi. With this identification, the children with MDVI will be provided with the necessary assessments and interventions at SCEH.
The next set of meetings with Perkins are scheduled to be held around September. Their staff will be going to India in late october/november and will visit Vision-Aid's resource centers at various locations. Vision-Aid will also help Perkins with their work in UP for data collection through Vision-Aid's network of contacts and volunteers in the area.