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PROVISION FOR THE EDUCATION OF THE BLIND BY STATES

Source: "THE BLIND; THEIR CONDITION AND THE WORK BEING DONE FOR THEM IN THE UNITED STATES", 1919
submitted by Tina Easley


In the several preceding chapters we have considered the provisions which have in general been made for the education of blind children in the United States, including the organization of institutions, the arrangements for pupils sent to schools in other States, the plan of the day school, and the measures designed for higher education. In the present chapter we shall examine the provisions in the several States individually, determining to what extent and in what manner instruction has been undertaken in each.

Alabama.
A school for the deaf was established at Talladega in 1858, into which in 1867 the blind were allowed to enter. In 1888 a separate institution, the Alabama School for the Blind, was set up. In 1891 the Alabama School for the Negro Deaf and Blind was created. All these schools are controlled by a single board of trustees of thirteen members, including the Governor and the State superintendent of public instruction.
The joint school was called the Alabama Institution for the Education of the Deaf, Dumb and Blind, and the Alabama Institution for the Deaf, Dumb and Blind. The school for the Blind was called the Academy for the Blind till 1900. In 1870 a school was started at Mobile, which lasted a few years.



Arizona.
Blind children have since 1891 been sent to schools in neighboring States, the State board of education being authorized to contract for their education.
In connection with several of the homes for very young blind children, as well as in a few of the homes for adults, a certain amount of instruction is afforded.


Arkansas.
A private school was opened at Arkadelphia in 1860, which in 1868 was removed to Little Rock and taken over by the State. The Arkansas School for the Blind is in the hands of the State board of control for charitable institutions.
In 1879 the name of the school was changed from the Arkansas Institute for the Education of the Blind. In 1893 it came under its present control, before which time it was governed by a special board of trustees.


California. The California School for the Deaf and Blind was established in San Francisco in 1860, which in 1866 was removed to Berkeley. It is controlled by a board of six directors, with supervision by the State board of charities and corrections. There is a day school in Los Angeles, opened in 1916, and conducted by the city. Provision is made for higher education.

The school was first called the California Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf, Dumb and Blind; in 1861, the Institution for the Education and Care of the Indigent Deaf, Dumb and Blind; in 1867, the Institution for the Education of the Deaf, Dumb and Blind; in 1905, the Institute for the Deaf and the Blind; and in 1913, the School for the Deaf and the Blind. The State board of control has charge of the financial affairs of the school. In 1915 provision was made for the eventual separation of the blind from the deaf.



Colorado
The school was called the Colorado Institute for the Education of the Mute and Blind till 1800, when it became the Institution for the Education of the Deaf and the Blind. It received its present name in 1805.

A school for the deaf was opened at Colorado Springs in 1874, in which in 1883 a department for the blind was created. The Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind is governed by a board of five trustees, and is visited by the State departments of charities and education.
A department for the blind may be created at the State University when there are as many as five applicants.
The school while in private hands received aid from the State practically from its start.


Connecticut
In 1832 the State began sending blind children to the Perkins Institution in Massachusetts, a policy that has continued to the present, though only advanced pupils are now so provided for. In 1888 a private school for young blind children was established at Hartford, to which since 1893 the State has made appropriations. It is a part of the Connecticut Institute for the Blind, which includes also a nursery department and an industrial department, all under a board of twenty-one trustees. A special board of education for the blind has charge of the instruction of blind children.


Delaware
Blind children are sent to schools in Pennsylvania and Maryland, this policy having been begun in 1835. The State commission for the blind has charge of their education.


District of Columbia
On the establishment of a school for the deaf in Washington in 1857, a department was created for the blind. In 1865 this department was closed, and since that time blind children have been sent to Maryland for education, under the direction of the commissioners of the District, after application to the president of the Columbia Institution for the Deaf.


Florida
The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind was opened at St. Augustine in 1885. It is in the hands of the State board of control of educational institutions, with general supervision by the State department of education.
The school was called the Institute for the Blind, Deaf and Dumb till 1903, when it became the School for the Blind, Deaf and Dumb. The present name was given in 1909. In 1895 a department for colored pupils was opened. The first trustees of the institution consisted of the State board of education; in 1903 it was placed under a special board; and in 1905 it came under the present plan.


Georgia
On the opening of the State school for the deaf at Cave Spring in 1846, some blind children were placed in it for instruction. The Georgia Academy for the Blind was established at Macon in 1851. It is governed by a board of seven trustees.


Idaho
Before the creation of an institution in the State, blind children were sent to schools in other States. The Idaho State School for the Deaf and the Blind was established at Boise in 1906, being removed to Gooding in 1910. It is directed by the State department of education.


Illinois
A private school was opened at Jacksonville in 1848, which was taken over by the State the following year. The Illinois School for the Blind is controlled by the department of public welfare, the department of education also having powers of inspection. In Chicago there are classes for blind children in connection with the public schools, begun in 1900, and operating under a State law.


Indiana
The Indiana School for the Blind was established at Indianapolis in 1847, before which time some pupils were sent to the schools in Kentucky and Ohio.1 It is directed by a board of four trustees, with supervision by the State departments of education and charities. Provision is made for higher education.


Iowa
A private school was opened at Keokuk in 1852, which the following year was taken over by the State and moved to Iowa City, being removed in 1862 to Vinton. The Iowa College for the Blind is controlled by the State board of education.


Kansas
A private school was started in Kansas City in 1864, which was taken over by the State in 1867. The State School for the Blind is governed by the State board of administration of educational institutions. Provision is made for higher education.


Kentucky
In 1842 a private school was opened in Louisville, which the following year was adopted by the State. The Kentucky School for the Blind is in the hands of a board of five visitors, and is related to the State department of education.


Louisiana
The State school for the deaf was established at Baton Rouge in 1852, in which in 1856 a department for. the blind was created. In 1871 a separate institution for the blind was set up, to be reunited with that for the deaf in 1888, and finally made a separate school in 1898.2 The Louisiana State School for the Blind is in the hands of a board of seven trustees, including the Governor and the State superintendent of public instruction, with supervision by the State board of charities and corrections. A day school was opened in New Orleans in 1917, under the direction of the city.


Maine
In 1834 the State began sending its blind children to the school in Massachusetts, a policy pursued to the present. The State board of education is in charge of their instruction, with the approval of the Governor and council.


Maryland
In 1837 the State began sending its blind children to the school in Pennsylvania for education. In 1853 an institution was established in Baltimore under private auspices. In 1912 it was removed to Overlea, a suburb of Baltimore. It is now known as the Maryland School for the Blind, with its government in a board of eighteen directors, and is practically a State institution. In 1872 the Maryland School for the Colored Blind and Deaf was created, now also located at Overlea, which is controlled by representatives of the State school for the deaf and of that for the blind. Both of these institutions are visited by the board of State aid and charities. In 1886 the name of the school was changed from the Maryland Institution for the Blind.


Massachusetts
A school under private auspices was opened in Boston in 1832. In the same year the State began to make appropriations for its pupils, which policy was continued till 1918. In 1913 the school was removed to Watertown, a suburb of Boston. It is now known as the Perkins Institution and Massachusetts School for the Blind. It is directed by a board of twelve managers, and is visited by the State departments of education and charities.The school was called the New England Asylum for the Blind till 1833, and the New England Institution for the Education of the Blind till 1839, when it became the Perkins Institution and Massachusetts Asylum for the Blind, being so named for an early benefactor. It received its present title in 1876. There is also an advisory committee of visitors for the school. The Governor of the State has appointed pupils to the school, on the request of the parent, and with the approval of the department of education. In 1918 appropriations of the State ceased, by reason of the adoption of an amendment to the Constitution forbidding State aid to private institutions. Up to this time four of the trustees were appointed by the Governor.


Michigan
A joint school for the deaf and the blind was opened at Flint in 1854, though the blind did not enter till 1865. In 1880 the Michigan School for the Blind was established at Lansing. It is governed by a board of control of three members, with supervision by the State departments of education and charities. There is a day school in Detroit, opened in 1912, and conducted by the city.The school was called the Michigan Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind until 1870, when it became the Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind. It received its present name in 1880. Until 1857 the institution for the deaf and the blind and the asylum for the insane were under a single board of directors. In 1891 a joint board was created for the schools for the deaf and for the blind, which continued for a time.


Minnesota
A joint school for the deaf and the blind was opened at Faribault in 1863. In 1866 a separate institution, the Minnesota School for the Blind, was created. It is directed by the State board of control. Day schools are authorized. Provision is made for higher education.Until 1880 the school was called the Minnesota Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb and Blind; until 1887, the Institution for the Deaf, Dumb and Blind; and until 1902, the Institute for Defectives. In 1879 feeble-minded children were admitted into the school, and in 1881 a department for them was created, which continued till 1902. Up to 1917 the school for the blind, with the school for the deaf, was under a board of trustees, including the Governor and the State superintendent of public instruction. It is also visited by a board of visitors of public institutions.


Mississippi
The Mississippi Institute for the Blind was established at Jackson in 1848. It is governed by a board of five trustees. Until 1870 the school was called the Mississippi Asylum for the Blind. No provision is made for the education of colored children. For several years after the Civil War blind children were sent to the school in Louisiana.


Missouri
The Missouri School for the Blind was established in St. Louis in 1851, a private school having been begun the year before. It is under a board of five managers, and is visited by the State board of charities and corrections.8 Provision is made for higher education. In 1876 the name was changed from the Missouri Asylum for the Blind to the Missouri Institution for the Blind. The present name was given in 1881.


Montana
Before the establishment of a school, blind children were sent to other States for education. In 1893 the Montana School for the Deaf and the Blind was opened at Boulder. It is under the State board of education, with a local executive board of three members, and is visited by the State board of charities and reform.The name of the school was changed in 1901 from the Montana Deaf, Dumb and Blind Asylum. Since 1909 there has been a department for the feeble-minded in connection with the school. The Governor, Secretary of State, and Attorney General formerly constituted the commissioners for the school.


Nebraska
Before the founding of a school, pupils were sent to schools in other States. The Nebraska School for the Blind was established at Nebraska City in 1875. It is governed by the board of commissioners of State institutions, with visitation by the board of charities and correction.In 1913 the name was changed from the Nebraska Institute for the Blind. Until 1913 the school for the blind and that for the deaf were under a joint board, with inspection by the State board of public lands and buildings.


Nevada
Since 1869 blind children have been sent to the schools in adjoining States, the State department of education contracting for them.


New Hampshire
In 1832 the State commenced to send its blind children to the school in Massachusetts, which policy is still continued. The Governor and council have control of their education, with supervision by the State board of charities and correction.


New Jersey
In 1836 the State commenced to send its blind children to the schools in New York and Pennsylvania, which policy is still pursued. Their education is in charge of the State department of charities and corrections, under the immediate direction of a special board for the blind. Day schools are in operation, under a State law, in Newark and Jersey City, the former opened in 1910, and the latter in 1911. Provision is made for higher education. In 1875 the establishment of a State school was proposed. Report of Commissioners on Proposals for Sites and Plans for Buildings for the Deaf and Dumb, the Blind, and the Feebleminded in the State of New Jersey, 1875.


New Mexico
The New Mexico Institute for. the Blind was opened at Santa Fe in 1903, and in 1909 removed to Alamogordo. It is directed by a board of six trustees, including the Governor.


New York
The New York Institute for the Education of the Blind was opened in New York City in 1832 as a private corporation. In 1834 the State began to make per capita appropriations to it, which policy is continued to the present. It is governed by a board of twenty managers. A second school, the New York State School for the Blind, was opened at Batavia in 1868. It is strictly a State institution, and is controlled by a board of seven managers. Both schools are visited by the State departments of education and charities. Day school centers are in operation in New York City, opened in 1909, there being a State law for them. Provision is made for higher education. In 1912 the name was changed from the New York Institution for the Blind. In 1895 the name of the school was changed from the New York State Institution for the Blind. It was proposed to start the school at Binghamton. The New York Institute receives pupils living in near-by counties; the New York State School, from the remainder of the State. Both are members of the University of the State of New York.


North Carolina
A joint school for the blind and the deaf was established at Raleigh in 1845, though the blind did not enter till 1851. In 1893 the white deaf were removed, leaving the blind, with a department for the colored blind and deaf. The institution is now known as the State School for the Blind and the Deaf, and is directed by a board of eleven directors, with supervision by the State departments of education and charities. In 1905 the name of the school was changed from the North Carolina Institution for the Education of the Deaf, Dumb and Blind. In 1869 colored deaf and blind children were admitted, and in 1872 a department was created for them. Laws, 1877-1873.


North Dakota
The North Dakota School for the Blind was opened at Bathgate in 1908, before which time blind children were sent to the schools in South Dakota and Minnesota. It is directed by the State board of control. A school was planned in 1895. In 1911 the name of the school was changed from the North Dakota Asylum for the Blind. Until 1911 the school was under a special board of trustees. When pupils were sent to schools in other States, the Governor had charge of them.


Ohio
The Ohio State School for the Blind was established at Columbus in 1837. It is governed by the State board of administration, with inspection by the board of charities. Day schools are in operation, under a State law. in Cincinnati, opened in 1905; in Cleveland, opened in 1909; and in Toledo, opened in 1915. Provision is made for higher education In 1910 the name of the school was changed from the Ohio Institution for the Education of the Blind. Until 1911 the school was in the hands of a special board of trustees. From 1852 to 1856 a single board directed the schools for the deaf and for the blind and the asylum for the insane.


Oklahoma
A private school was opened at Fort Gibson in 1897, to which public aid was granted. In 1907 it was taken over by the State, being removed to Wagoner, in 1908 back to Fort Gibson, and in 1913 established at Muskogee. The Oklahoma School for the Blind is governed by the State board of education. In 1909 the Industrial Institute for the Deaf, the Blind, and Orphans of the Colored Race was created at Taft. It is directed by a board of five trustees, including the State superintendent of public instruction and the Auditor. Both schools are visited by the State departments of charities and education. The first school was known as the Lura A. Lowrey School, and later as the International School for the Blind. At the beginning the Governor was authorized to contract for the education of the blind, this after a time being placed with the regents of the State university.


Oregon
The Oregon State School for the Blind was established at Salem in 1873. It is directed by the State board of control. Until 1907 the school had the name of the Oregon Institute for the Blind. Until 1913 it was in the hands of special trustees, usually consisting of State officers, or of the State board of education.


Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Institution for the Instruction of the Blind was established in Philadelphia in 1833. It is a private corporation under a board of twenty-four managers, including the Governor as patron. It has received per capita appropriations from the beginning. The Western Pennsylvania Institution was opened in Pittsburgh in 1890. It is also a private corporation, with a board of nine directors. It is similarly aided by the State. Both these schools are visited by the State departments of charities and education. Day schools are authorized.


Rhode Island
Since 1845 blind children have been sent to the school in Massachusetts. The Governor of the State now makes the appointments, with cooperation with the State board of education.


South Carolina
In 1834 provision was made for the education of some blind children at the school in Massachusetts. In 1849 a private school for the deaf was started at Cedar Springs, in which in 1855 the blind were allowed to enter, and which in 1857 was taken over by the State. It is now known as the South Carolina Institution for the Education of the Deaf and the Blind, and is under a board of five commissioners, including the State superintendent of education. Provision is made for higher education. In 1894 the name of the school was changed from the South Carolina Institution for the Education of the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind. A department for colored children was created in 1883.


South Dakota
Before the opening of a State institution, blind children were sent to other States for education. The South Dakota School for the Blind was established at Gary in 1899. It is under the direction of the State board of control. In 1903 the name of the school was changed from the South Dakota Blind Asylum. There is also a visiting committee for the school, appointed by the Governor.


Tennessee
A private school was opened at Nashville in 1843, which was taken over by the State two years later. The Tennessee School for the Blind is in the hands of the State board of control.Until 1871 the school was called the Tennessee Institution for the Blind. A department was created for colored children in 1881. Until 1915 the school was under a special board of trustees.


Texas
The Texas School for the Blind was founded in 1856 at Austin. The Deaf, Dumb and Blind Institution for Colored Youths was established in 1887 in the same city. These schools are each under a board of six trustees. A day school was opened in Houston in 1917, conducted by the city. The school was called the Texas Asylum for the Blind till 1905, when it became the Institution for the Blind. It received its present title in 1915. The school was for a time affiliated with the State university. In 1915 a special board of trustees was created,consisting of the Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, and Attorney-General.


Utah
A school for the deaf was opened at Salt Lake City in 1884, in which in 1896, on its removal to Ogden, a department was created for the blind. The school is now a joint one, known as the Utah School for the Deaf and the Blind, and is controlled by a board of six trustees, including the Attorney-General. Until 1907 the name was the Utah State School for the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind.


Vermont
In 1833 the State began sending its blind children to the school in Massachusetts, which policy was continued till 1912. In this year a joint school, the Austine Institution for the Deaf and Blind, under private auspices, but with State assistance, was established at Brattleboro. In 1917 the department for the blind was discontinued. The sum of $50,000 was bequeathed for the "Austine Sanitarium," which was incorporated in 1904 as a "ho spital for the temporary treatment of strangers and local invalids peculiarly situated." In 1908 the legisla ture allowed the name to be changed, and the money to be applied to the establishment of the school.


Virginia
The Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind was established at Staunton in 1839. It is governed by a board of six trustees, including the State superintendent of public instruction. The Virginia State School for Colored Deaf and Blind Children was created at Newport News in 1910, and is controlled by a board of five visitors. Both these schools are visited by the State board of charities and corrections. In 1898 the name of the school was changed from the Virginia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind.


Washington
Prior to the opening of a school in the State, blind children were sent to Oregon for education. In 1886 a joint institution for the deaf and the blind was established at Vancouver. In 1913 a separate school, the Washington State School for the Blind, was created. It is directed by the State board of control. Day schools are authorized.


West Virginia
Before the creation of a school in the State, blind children were sent to Virginia and Ohio for education. In 1870 the West Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind was established at Romney. It is under the State board of regents, which has charge of educational institutions.In 1887 the name of the school was changed from the West Virginia Institution for the Deaf, Dumb and Blind. Until 1909 control was vested in a special board. Colored children are sent to Maryland for education.


Wisconsin
The Wisconsin School for the Blind was established at Janesville in 1849. It is directed by the State board of control. Day schools are in operation, under a State law, in Milwaukee, begun in 1907, and in Racine, begun in 1900. Provision is made for higher education.


Wyoming
Since 1886 blind children have been sent to the schools in neighboring States for education, the State board of charities and reform having them in charge.When there are as many as twelve applicants, a State school for the deaf and the blind is to be established at Cheyenne under a board of three trustees, such having been provided for in 1897. A building was erected for the purposes of a school, but was set aside for other uses.


The American Possessions
Outside of the United States proper only limited provision has been made for the education of the blind. In the Philippine Islands a joint school for the deaf and the blind was opened at Manilla in 1909, which is conducted by the city. In Alaska the blind have been looked after to some extent by missionaries. In Porto Rico, the Hawaiian Islands, and the Panama Canal Zone the instruction of the blind has not been undertaken.

CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS FOR SCHOOLS FOR THE BLIND
Extent Of Provisions

In all the States of the Union the education of the blind has been effectually accomplished by statutory action on the part of the legislatures. But in certain ones, to render this a formal and permanent duty, there have been incorporated in the organic law provisions requiring such bodies to give due heed to the matter. Attention of this kind has been demonstrated not to be necessary in actual practice for the support and continuance of the schools for the instruction of the blind; while by some students of constitutional law the view is held that the organic law should confine itself only to fundamental principles of government, leaving the working out of details, as they arise, to the chosen representatives of the people. Yet, however it be considered, the inclusion in express terms of the regard by the state for the education of the blind is quite commendable, and bespeaks a praiseworthy solicitude for their welfare.

These constitutional provisions relating to the blind are found in twenty-eight States: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina. South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia. The provisions are more direct in some States than in others, and vary from a specific command to a mere incidental reference. In most instances they refer both to the care and to the education of the blind, though they are evidently intended to mean mainly the latter.

The first State to make reference in its Constitution to the education of the blind was New York in 1846. Michigan, however, in 1850 was the first State to provide directly for their education as a requirement on the part of the legislature. It was followed in 1851 by Indiana and Ohio. Of the forty-two States adopting Constitutions, new or revised, since 1846, twenty-eight have made reference of some kind to the blind, while fourteen have failed to do so. Of the twenty-two States adopting Constitutions since 1889, eighteen have made such provision. It thus appears that the more recent a Constitution, the more likely it is to have a provision respecting the blind. For a number of the States without such a reference, it is to be observed that their Constitutions date far back in our National history, and were adopted before attention was called to the needs of this class. Hence in general it is not to be concluded from the mere presence of constitutional mention that certain States are more regardful of the educational welfare of the blind than are others.

 




 


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