ODN Item of the Week: Ohio State School for the Blind

It’s back to school time, so this week, let’s learn about the history of the Ohio State School for the Blind.

Established by the State of Ohio in 1837, the Ohio Institution for the Education of the Blind was founded in order to educate any blind students living in the state, and was the first public school for the blind in the United States. It was located at the corner of East Main Street and Parsons Avenue in Columbus.

Ohio State School for the Blind,
Courtesy Ohio History Connection

Between 1837 and 1901, the school’s enrollment grew from 11 students to over 300. Around this time, their name was changed to what we know it as today – the Ohio State School for the Blind, and its operations were taken over by the Ohio Department of Education. Fifty years later, the school moved from their downtown location to a campus just north of High Street and Morse Road.

Still serving the blind and visually impaired students of today, OSSB has expanded their curriculum to include job training programs and more. As their mission states: “The Ohio State School for the Blind, a publicly funded educational facility, is dedicated to the intellectual, social, physical, and emotional growth of all students with visual impairments. Our mission is to work cooperatively with students, families, and the community to provide an effective, enjoyable educational experience through specialized, curriculum, equipment, materials, and individualized, disability-specific instruction to develop our students’ unique potential.”

You can view more photographs from the history of the school on DPLA, and learn more about the school itself at their own site.