Portrait of Katie Holland and Dave Power

"We want to develop innovative, accessible education that delivers a world where every child can learn and thrive."

  • Every child can learn. But while one in four people have a disability, the world is built to accommodate people of typical abilities.1 The result? Most education and health systems struggle to make learning accessible for children with disabilities.
  • Founded in 1829, Perkins School for the Blind (Perkins) is working to build a more inclusive world. Perkins is best known for developing the techniques that unlocked the learning of six-year-old Helen Keller – the world-famous author, disability rights advocate, political activist and lecturer.
  • Innovation is in the organization's DNA. Perkins was the first school for the blind in the United States. In 1951, Perkins invented the "Perkins Brailler": a world-changing innovation still used globally. Today, Perkins develops and teaches practical techniques to help children with disabilities communicate, learn, and belong.
  • Perkins aims to expand its impact from 79 sites in 13 countries to 240 sites in 18 countries by 2030.
  • Katie Holland, Executive Director at Perkins, leads programs in 12 countries to build sustainable local capacity to help children with disabilities learn and thrive. In a career dedicated to international programs for marginalized children, Katie has held executive management and leadership positions in UNICEF, Women Deliver, and the Amani Children’s Foundation.
  • Katie is a member of the global advisory council of Praava Health in Bangladesh; a co-lead of the Boston chapter of the Harvard Kennedy School Women’s Network; and an alumna and trustee of Salem College – the first women’s college in the USA.
  • Dave Power, President and CEO of Perkins, oversees the organization's operations. These include its programs; Perkins Solutions, which produces and services braille machinery worldwide and helps organizations design accessible digital experiences; the Perkins Library; and the Perkins CVI (Cortical/Cerebral Visual Impairment) Center, which tackles the fastest-growing cause of blindness today.
  • Dave has guided organizations including Sun Microsystems, RSA Security and Fidelity Ventures as an executive, board member and advisor. He holds an MBA from Stanford University and now teaches "Design Thinking" at Harvard Extension School and is the recipient of the Joanne Fussa Distinguished Teaching Award. Dave is also the author of “The Curve Ahead: Discovering the Path to Unlimited Growth.” Perkins' mission is deeply personal to Dave. His son David, who was deafblind, graduated from Perkins in 2009.

Perkins School works towards these UN Sustainable Development Goals:

How can we bring quality education to all?

Other Global Visionaries you might find interesting:

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