Happy Birthday, Perkins, the School of Miracles

“On This Day in 1829, the New England Asylum for the Blind was incorporated in Boston. Begun with six students, within six years, the institution had ten times that number. For the first time, blind and deafblind American children could attend a school that would teach them reading, writing, and mathematics. Students were taught to use their sense of touch to compensate for their lack of sight. Re-named the Perkins Institute for the Blind, in honor of an early benefactor, the school grew steadily through the nineteenth century until it became the world-renowned institution it is today. The school’s most famous graduate is Helen Keller, who arrived there with her teacher Annie Sullivan in 1888.” for the rest of this article from MassMoments, go here

I’m proud my spouse Jan Seymour-Ford serves Perkins School as research librarian presiding over the largest collection of nonmedical literature in the English language touching on blindness, deafblindness and the related.

I’ve witnessed how the good folk at Perkins continue the tradition started one hundred, eighty three years ago with grace and attention and energy.

As their motto goes, all they see is possibility…

The only thing I dislike about the Miracle Worker is how it suggests Annie Sullivan invented the way into spoken language for the deafblind Hellen Keller. While Sullivan deserves much credit for perseverance and skill in application, she learned what to do while a student at Perkins…

After that, yes, miracle worker.

From a school of miracles.



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