Ohio Institution for the Education of the Blind

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Columbus Blind School.jpg
Exterior view of the main building at the Columbus Blind School on Main Street in Columbus, Ohio, 1931. Construction of this building was completed in 1874 and it was used as the Blind School until 1953.

In 1837, the Ohio government established the Ohio Institution for the Education of the Blind. This institution was the predecessor of the Ohio State School for the Blind. It was the first public school for the blind in the United States. The school opened its doors in 1839, and it was located in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Any blind children residing in Ohio could attend the institution. Eleven students enrolled at the Ohio Institution for the Education of the Blind this first year. The school initially had a maximum capacity of sixty students, but upon moving to a new building in 1874, more than three hundred students could attend at one time. Between 1839 and 1901, 2,058 students enrolled at the Ohio Institution for the Education of the Blind, with 339 attending in 1901 alone.

In the early 1900s, the Ohio Institution for the Education of the Blind became known as the Ohio State School for the Blind, and the Ohio Department of Education assumed control of the school. In 1953, the school moved ten miles north of its original location to its present home. In 2005, 126 students enrolled in the Ohio State School for the Blind. Students as young as three and as old as twenty-one years of age attended the school. Students could receive their entire education, kindergarten through high school, at the institution. In addition, the Ohio State School for the Blind offered vocational training for its students.

See Also