Library Collections: Document: Full Text

Instruction Of The Adult Blind

Creator: n/a
Date: July 1900
Publication: The Charities Review
Source: Perkins School for the Blind

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In compliance with a legislative resolution of 1899, a report has been submitted to the present general court of Massachusetts by the state board of education, on the possibility and desirability of providing instruction for adult blind persons at their homes. The report, after recording suggestions of various experts in the subject who have been consulted, concludes that such slight intellectual opportunities as are now open to adult blind in the state should be increased by home instruction. Practically nothing is done for the relatively large number of persons who have become blind after the school years are passed. The proposition to organize a state printing establishment for a weekly newspaper for the blind is not commended. There are several such periodicals already in existence. It is recommended that the state make a small appropriation enabling the Perkins institution and Massachusetts school for the blind to send out competent blind persons for the instruction of the adult blind in their homes. Such teachers should search out the blind in their homes, and tell them what it is possible and desirable for them to do in the way of learning to read and write. No single system should be insisted upon, but whatever one seems best adapted to the acuteness of touch of the individual learner. These teachers should bring suitable literature to the attention of the blind, and make it easy for them to utilize the resources that exist in providing books for the blind. It is thought that the teachers, who perhaps themselves have been trained in one or more industrial occupations, may give more or less complete instruction in this direction, or at least pave the way for other persons competent to do so. It should be their work also to know something about the precautions necessary to head off possible blindness. Much of this, especially in the case of infants, is preventable. It is felt that anything which tends to stimulate the intellectual activity of the adult blind and prevent them from falling into a hopeless apathy will be of direct economic benefit to the community, serving to keep many of this class from giving up hope in life and ultimately falling back on the community for pauper support. It is noticeable that the adult blind are generally unwilling to make any aggressive effort to better their condition. The work of the proposed teachers would be not only to afford opportunities for learning, but to stimulate the desire for it.