Having given the history and types of Perkins braillers, I’d like to conclude this series with information about resellers and repair specialists.
To view a list of the resellers on the Perkins website is to realize the extent to which this dynamically growing facility has conducted international outreach. The countries where Braille users, and those who buy other Perkins products, will find resellers include: six countries in Africa, eight countries in Asia, plus the United Arab Emirates, eighteen in Europe, two in North America, and two in South America (I was surprised to find no resellers in Australia or New Zealand).
In addition to increasing the availability of the school’s products, which include access technology and low vision aids, reselling also provides work for agencies and individuals in developing countries whose livelihoods are greatly aided.
Regarding income generated, Perkins’ website has no information about resellers’ earning potential either in this country or abroad.
Just as reselling brings extra revenue, so, too, does Brailler repair. To become a certified repair specialist, Perkins offers introductory and advanced workshops at their Watertown, Massachusetts facility. In the Introductory workshop, participants learn how to clean and oil all of the Braillers that Perkins sells. Essentially, beginners become familiarized with basic maintenance procedures. In the advanced workshop, attendees learn how to dismantle Braillers, how to troubleshoot, and how to reassemble the machines.
As with resellers, repair specialists work in the United States, South Africa, and several other countries. Also as with resellers, Perkins’ website cites no earning figures for repair specialists in the U.S. or internationally.
A final note about Perkins’ repair certification curriculum is that learning is enhanced by online videos.
To conclude, Perkins is world renowned as premier school to educate persons who are blind, vision-impaired or deaf/blind. Through repairing and reselling its broad range of products, Perkins provides meaningful work to persons worldwide; and never to be minimized is the role Perkins continues to play in encouraging and advocating for greater Braille literacy.
Do any of you work as certified repair specialists or resellers? I’d love to hear not only what the training was like, but also what it was like to find work and how frequently work becomes available.