Online Exhibits

Schools for the blind throughout history. 

The first school for the blind was founded in France in 1784 by Valentin Hauy. Civic leaders opened the first three schools for the blind in America in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia in 1832. The first state supported school was founded in Ohio in 1837, followed by Virginia in 1839, and Kentucky in 1842. By 1875, thirty schools for blind children had been established in the U.S. The early schools were residential schools. Students lived on campus and were closely supervised by the school staff. Day classes for visually impaired children did not appear in public schools until the early 1900s. Throughout the twentieth century, educational trends directed blind children away from segregated residential programs into local schools.

Closeup view of exhibit panel on the early schools