Michael Collins of Perkins Named to Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field

For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Marilyn Rea Beyer
October 17, 2014                                                                       marilynrea.beyer@Perkins.org
617-972-7478 (o) or 617-513-5569 (c)

Louisville, Kentucky - The late Michael T. Collins will be inducted today into the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field in Louisville, Kentucky.

Michael T. CollinsCollins, who passed away in 2008, led education programs for children who are deafblind at Perkins School for the Blind for 30 years, including the supervision of Perkins’ renowned Deafblind Program. Most notably, he launched Hilton/Perkins International to expand deafblind education. Under his leadership, the program grew from serving a few hundred students to reaching tens of thousands of children, families and educators in 67 countries. He traveled the world championing education and government policies to improve opportunities for children who are deafblind and blind with additional disabilities.

“Mike Collins represented what is best about humankind,” says Dave Power, CEO & President of Perkins. “He saw a need and went about the difficult and quiet work of solving it for three decades. By making a positive difference in the lives of children who are deafblind in the developing world, he enriched the lives of all of us. This is a fitting honor and remembrance.”

In addition to his work with Perkins, Collins also led Deafblind International, served on the board of the International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment and founded the National Coalition on Deafblindness. He received the distinguished Perkins' Annie Sullivan Award, Deafblind International’s Lifetime Achievement Award and their Distinguished Service Award. Collins studied theology at St. John's Seminary in Boston and earned a master’s degree in Special Education from Boston College.

Collins will be most vividly remembered for the way he touched the lives of individual children. "His love for children with multiple disabilities and his deep understanding of their needs was evident when he visited programs and dangled children on his knee." Nandini Rawal, project director of the Blind People's Association in Gujarat, India.

The Hall of Fame is dedicated to preserving the tradition of excellence manifested by specific individuals through the history of outstanding services provided to people who are blind or visually impaired in North America. It is housed at the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) in Louisville, Kentucky, but belongs to all. Read more about Mike Collins in Perkins Perspectives magazine.

Perkins
reaches nearly a million people each year in 67 countries providing education, services and products to help people who are blind or deafblind build more productive and meaningful lives. Founded in 1829 as the first U.S. school for the blind, Perkins advances its mission through its various divisions: School for the Blind, International, Library, eLearning, and Products. Learn more at www.Perkins.org.

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