News Article: "FSC grad honored by Perkins School for the Blind"



News Article: "FSC grad honored by Perkins School for the Blind"

Catalog Entry

Timothy Vernon, a graduate from Fitchburg State College,  was honored by Perkins for his essay “Braille: A special gift" in their writing contest. They held a ceremony for Timothy at the Massachusett State House. Timothy, 25 at the time, was one of three students who received an 100 dollars award from Perkins. The essay was written on how braille made an impact of Timothy's entire life. Vernon was blind since birth so learning to use braille put him on a “even playing field” as everyone else. He also made the dean's list each semester at Fitchburg State, where he received a degree in communications.

Tim was three years old when he started to read braille. “I think braille allows for independence,” Vernon says. In the essay he writes how braille positively impacted his life. Later at Fitchburg State University, he mastered braille codes for mathematical and scientific notation.

The Perkins the School for the Blind is located in Watertown, Massachusetts and was founded in 1829. The Perkins School made their own braille considering it's only kids who are blind that attend the school. The man who created this was French educator Louis Braille, who was born in 1809. The system to this day is uncharged and is used worldwide. Braille, blind in both eyes due to an accident that happened when he was younger, began to master his disability at a
young age. He ended up mastering most of his education, as he got a scholarship to a French school called the Royal Institute For The Blind Youth. He started to develop a code that could allow blind people to read and write quickly and efficiently. The first time he shared his inventions it was with his peers at the school in 1824. In his adulthood, Braille was a professor at an institution as a musician, but in his spare time he still worked to advance the braille system.

The first school to ever use braille was the Institution Nationale des Jeunes Aveugles in 1824, which is located in Paris France. Braille is a raised letter system. It includes raised dots that create the alphabet. It also contains equivalents for punctuation marks and provides symbols to show letter groupings. To read braille you move your fingers left to right along each line, it normally involves both hands. Average reading speeds are 125 words per minute but 200 words per minute is possible. Before Louis Braille there was a man named Charles Barbier he created a unique system called night writing. It was originally known to help soldiers communicate at night in the dark. The reason he made this version of code was because he saw too many soldiers use lamps at night and get shot or killed. He thought he could create a better system.


"History of Braille." Braille Works, 

Perkins School for the Blind. 

"Timothy Vernon : Braille & Talking Book Library Essay Contest Winner." Zoominfo, 

Artifact Owner

Fitchburg State University Disability Services

Artifact Condition

The section of the newspaper is old, but in very good condition. It has no rips or blemishes.

Artifact Material


Catalog Entry Author(s)

Madelyn Campano, Student, Fitchburg State University


Colleen Couture, Student, Fitchburg State University



“News Article: "FSC grad honored by Perkins School for the Blind",” Cultural Heritage through Image, accessed November 27, 2022,

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