Schools For the Blind and Deaf

By Emilee Patterson

Perkins School For the Blind

This was the first school for the blind founded in Watertown, Massachusetts by both John Fisher and Samuel Gridley Howe in 1832. It not only caters to the needs of the blind but the needs of those with other disabilities. It started in a small home in Boston but was eventually so successful that it moved to a bigger building in Watertown. Its name comes from the Vice Principle of the school, Thomas Perkins, who allowed his home to be turned into a school and eventually sold his home to buy a larger building for the attending students. One of its first students was Laura Bridgman who was both blind and deaf. At a very young age she got a severe case of scarlet fever that rendered her this way for the rest of her life. She was the first deaf blind person to learn how to communicate with others. Helen Keller also went to Perkins but about fifty years after Laura, but people are more familiar with Helen Keller.

American School For the Deaf

The first state supported school for the deaf was founded in Hartford, Connecticut in 1817. It was founded by both Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Laurent Clerk. The school was originally called the Connecticut Asylum For the Deaf and Dumb Persons but changed when dumb took on a negative connotation. Gallaudet was a graduate from Yale University and established this school to teach deaf people to communicate. They were taught to read lips, sign, read and write. The American School for the Deaf has the oldest book on sign language in the United States. It is a small school with about 4000 graduates and is still around to this day.

Before Helen Keller -- A Short Tribute to Laura Bridgman


This period in time was the first time that people who were deaf, blind or both deaf and blind were given a chance. The schools that were founded in this time are still around today. They inspired others schools to open for the same cause. With the patience of the teachers and students many more people in this world have learned to communicate. A bledding in which people take advantage of today.