History of Deaf-Blind Education Bibliography

by DB-LINK on May 1, 2011
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This is a partial list of materials on this topic available from the NCDB Catalog Database.  If you have additional questions, please contact us via email:

Updated 2011


American Association of the Deaf-Blind: A National Consumer Advocacy Organization --Bohrman, Jeffrey S. HKNC-TAC NEWS, vol. 7, no. 1, Spring 1994, p. 3. (1994) Description and history of the American Association of the Deaf-Blind, including information about their convention and how to join. Membership is open to those who are deaf-blind and other interested people.


The beginning of education and mangement of the deaf-blind in Western Europe --De Baere, Piet. (1986) Booklet offered on the occasion of the European Conference on the Education and Mangement of the Deaf-Blind, Bruges, Beligum, history, Europe, Temmermans, Anne (1816-1859)


The Canadian Deaf-Blind and Rubella Association past, present and future --Munroe, Stan. Canadian Deaf-Blind and Rubella Association. PROCEEDINGS OF THE THIRD CANADIAN CONFERENCE ON DEAF-BLINDNESS, Winnipeg, 1990. (1991) Provides information and history about the deaf-blind in Canada and the Canadian Deaf-Blind and Rubella Association.


Children of the silent night : the story of the education of deaf-blind children here and abroad --Farrell, Gabriel. Watertown: Perkins School for the Blind. (November 1956) Perkins Publication no.18, Perkins School for the Blind


The development and growth of educational services for deaf-blind children in the United States from 1968 to 1978 --Dantona, Robert. New York: New York University University Microfilms. (1984) Doctoral Dissertation, UMI No. 85-05456

From 1825 to 1968, little progress was made in the development and growth of educational services for deaf-blind children in the United States. The first successful effort to educate a deaf-blind child in this country took place at Perkins School for the Blind in 1837. However, it was not until 1932 that the first Department for Deaf-Blind children, designed especially to meet the educational needs of such children with combined sensory losses, was established at Perkins School for the Blind. Seven other specialized Departments for Deaf-Blind Children were established from 1937 to 1957 and their combined efforts provided educational services for 74 deaf-blind children in 1957.

By 1968 fewer than 100 deaf-blind children were being educated in those eight Departments and an estimated 500 children of school age were unserved educationally. From 1963 to 1965 a rubella epidemic struck the United States resulting in an estimated 2,500 children with combined vision and hearing losses and nearly 30,000 other infants with varying degrees of handicapping conditions. The concern about the impending educational crisis these children would face when they became school age caused a chain of events to unfold which would change this Nation's policy concerning the education of deaf-blind and other severely handicapped children. This study will describe those events which gave rise to the development of Federal legislation to provide Centers and services for deaf-blind children; the role of the Federal government and the Bureau of Education for the Handicapped in implementing this legislation and a National program effort to serve these children; and the development of educational services for deaf-blind children by the Centers from 1969 to 1978.


The development of deaf-blind services in Denmark: part II --Clarke, Rodney. TALKING SENSE, 32, Spring 1986, pp.25-26. (1986) Denmark


Educating Saskatchewan's Deaf-Blind Children : A Prairie Perspective --Anderson, John L.; Murn, Jennifer K. B.C. JOURNAL OF SPECIAL EDUCATION, vol. 9, #1, pp. 169-173. (1985) This article describes the push for the establishment of a local program to educate deaf-blind children in Saskatchewan. A study of facilities recommended the program be established in Saskatoon at the Saskatchewan School for the Deaf. The successful development of the program is discussed and the future planning necessary are highlighted.


Education of the deaf-blind in the United States, 1837-1952 --Cloud, Theresa Ann. Washington, D.C: Gallaudet College. (1953) unpublished master's thesis


Education of the Deaf-Blind in the United States of America 1837-1967 --Waterhouse, Edward J. State of the Art---Perspectives on Serving Deaf-Blind Children. Edgar L. Lowell and Carole C. Rouin (Eds.) ([1976]) This is a brief history of the educational policies and practices governing the education of the deaf-blind in the United States. Included are biographical details for Laura Bridgman, Julia Brace, Helen Keller, and Helen Schultz, among others.


Educational Services, Programs for Children Who Are Deaf-Blind --Malloy, Peggy. COUNTERPOINT, Fall 2004, pp. 4-5. (2004) Counterpoint is the newspaper for NASDSE, the National Association of State Directors of Special Education. Through a series of interviews with leaders in the field of deaf-blind education, this article, in a Counterpoint special issue on low incidence disabilities, describes the population and characteristics of children who are deaf-blind, the history of deaf-blind education in the United States, current educational services, and technical assistance and dissemination projects. It includes comments by Joe McNulty, Mike Collins, and Kat Stremel about the state of educational programs and services for deaf-blind children.


History and Change in the Education of Children Who Are Deaf-Blind Since the Rubella Epidemic of the 1960s : Influence of Methods Developed in the Netherlands --van Dijk, J.; Nelson, Catherine. DEAF-BLIND PERSPECTIVES, vol.5, #2, Winter 1997-98, pp.1-5. (1997) The approach to education of individuals who are deaf-blind has changed significantly since the rubella epidemic occurred in the United States and Western Europe in the early 1960s. This article examines how methods developed in the Netherlands influenced later theories and practices, and how those theories have evolved and changed over time. Through the collaboration and sharing of knowledge of many countries, successful methodologies have increased rapidly since the time of the Rubella outbreak. This knowledge has successfully been disseminated to many educators around the world. Some of the new theories discussed include: "feeling of competence"; attachment theory; conversation techniques; using objects of reference in communication; using calendars to enhance conversations; play; and social relationships. The roles of sign language in deaf-blind education; parents in the decision-making process; and inclusion, are areas where there is still a need for continued evaluation. Available on the web:


History of centers and services for deaf-blind children --Dantona, Robert. STATE OF THE ART, Lowell and Rouin, (Eds.) (1977) A description of the history of Regional Centers for Deaf-Blind Children.


History of Deaf-Blind Education --Collins, M. T. JOURNAL OF VISUAL IMPAIRMENT AND BLINDNESS, May-June 1995, pp. 210-212. (1995) Succinct chronolgy of the education practices, chiefly in the United States, as they relate to children who are deaf-blind.


Implications of Demographic Data for Planning of Services for Deaf-Blind Children and Adults --Dantona, Robert. ([1984]) Dantona describes the efforts of the Federal Government to meet the needs of the deaf-blind population by establishing centers of deaf-blind children and by developing adult rehabilitation services. Suggestions for needed future action as suggested by the "Needs Assessment of Services to Deaf-Blind Individuals" are outlined also.


The Imprisoned Guest : Samuel Howe and Laura Bridgman, the Original Deaf-Blind Girl --Gitter, Elisabeth. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. (2001) This is a biography of Laura Bridgman, a woman who was born in 1829 and lost both her sight and hearing due to scarlet fever at the age of two. Her parents were encouraged to send her to Perkins School for the Blind by Samuel Howe, the director of the school at that time. She was extraordinarily bright and learned quickly. Because of her successful education she was quite famous for a period of time during the mid-19th century. This book is as much about Samuel Howe as it is about Laura Bridgman. It addresses their complex relationship in the context of the rapid social and educational changes that were occurring in the United States at that time.


Interim statement on the new National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults and its operation by the Industrial Home for the Blind in cooperation with the U.S. Social and Rehabilitation Service --Peter J. Salmon, LL D. --National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults. Brooklyn, NY: National Center. (June 28, 1969)


Perkins Institution and its deaf-blind pupils 1837-1933 --Fish, Anna Gardner. Watertown, MA: Perkins Institution for the Blind. (June 1934) Perkins Publications, Perkins Institution Publications No.11,


Rehabilitation Services for Adults Who Are Deaf-Blind : Growth and Commitment --Schroeder, Frederic K. AMERICAN REHABILITATION, vol. 21, Summer 1995, pp.1, 22. (1995) The history of efforts to further employment for individuals who are deaf-blind, the status of rehabilitation services today, and challenges for such services in the future are discussed. The National Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1967 created the National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults. Today's Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults (HKNC) is chartered to provide individualized programming to people who are deaf-blind, training and technical assistance to service providers and family members of people who are deaf-blind, and to develop new methodologies for working with people who are deaf-blind. To this end, it operates a model rehabilitation program at its New York headquarters and an affiliate network throughout the country.


Trends in Deaf-Blind Education --Malloy, Peggy. COUNTERPOINT, Fall 2004, pp. 5-7. (2004) Deaf-blindness is a low-incidence disability with a rich history of educational practices. This article highlights some trends, projects, and initiatives in the following areas: early childhood services, research, literature, interveners, assessment, outcome-based evaluation, cochlear implants, and transition.


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