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For Educating The Adult Blind

Creator: n/a
Date: November 30, 1904
Publication: Boston Evening Transcript
Source: Perkins School for the Blind

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Helen Keller's eloquent plea for the adult blind, last evening, will not fall on deaf ears. Miss Keller's views regarding the three classes of blind who need help are quite sound, and it is surprising that heretofore the State, in helping these unfortunate members of society, has practically overlooked that great class of the blind who become so through accident or disease in adult life, the able-bodied, adult blind, who are willing to work and anxious to earn a livelihood, but for whom no adequate provision has been made in existing institutions and who therefore frequently become public charges because they lack the means and ways of getting started in trades and industries. It has been amply demonstrated, that the adult blind of almost every class are able to earn their living if given a chance, and it is to obtain this chance for them that the new movement for the blind, headed by Rev. Edward Cummings and the Women's Educational and Industrial Union, has been organized and has entered upon its work so earnestly.


The suggestions which this new Boston benevolent organization has made for helping the adult blind are eminently practical and sensible. It is proposed that the state should establish an agency for the employment of the blind. Let the Perkins Institution and other schools educate the blind its useful employments, and the agency then bring the trained blind in touch with the employers. There must be something more than an institution where the blind are educated to read and write and study, books. There must be industrial schools capable of teaching useful occupations to those who are able to work. This costs money, and the State must furnish it, as it is obviously to the interest of the State to make its able-bodied citizens self-supporting. It is estimated that the value of an intelligent, able-bodied man to the community is worth many times more than it will cost to make him intelligent and self-sustaining. If popular education is a means of increasing our material wealth and keeping people out of prisons and almshouses, it ought as much the more to be applied to those afflicted with blindness and thus forced to be dependent through no fault of their own. This is not a matter of interest to the blind alone. It concerns every citizen of a community proud of its enlightened benevolence.