Skip to main content

Full text of "Report of the International Conference on the Blind and Exhibition of the Arts and Industries of the Blind Held at The Church House, Westminster June 18th to 24th 1914"

See other formats

S!ilf4 iifl I'ntl^tfelilUlIl^llK'li^ 

1,1,1 "'l',,l|lfli'tK' 
fi' r>- '1,1 1 

1 ...liiiiil 

1 ' ,'i ' iipipiyi 

IWBi^fei' ■ '1 ■■■ ' ';v,'' ii'tt 






International Conference 
on the Blind 



June i8th to 24TH (inclusive) 





Throughout this book an asterisk * after a name 

iDdicate8 blindness. 



Committees , . ' . 

Obituary .... 

Eegulations of the Conference 

Programme of the Conference 

Foreign Governments Officially Represented 

List of Delegates : 

Foreign and Colonial 

British . . . . 

List of Members : 

Foreign and Colonial 

British ...... 

Exhibition, Summary of Exhibits 

Organ Recitals ..... 

The Optophone ..... 

The Stenophile-Bivort .... 

Special Service, St. John the Evangelist, Westminster 

Opening of Conference . 

Opening of Exhibition . 

Telegrams of Greetings , 

Paper : " The Work of the Unions of Societies for the Blind 
in England and Wales." By H. J. Wilson 

Paper : " How to Improve the Attitude of the Public 
towards the Employment of the Blind," and " Legis 
lation (Past and Impending) on Behalf of the Blind.' 
By Sir Robert Ellis Cunliffe .... 

Conversazione at the Clothworkers' Hall ... 
Report of the Conference Committee 
Report of the Libraries Committee .... 











Report of the Employment Committee . . . .139 

Report of the Pianoforte Tuning Committee . . .143 

Report of the Braille Music Notation Committee . .145 

Paper : " How to Deal with the Incompetent Blind." By 

W. H. Illingworth 148 

Paper : " Pianoforte Tuning, an Occupation for the Blind, 
and how to make it one of the most successful.'' 
By P. E. Layton * 174 

Concert at the ^olian Hall 203 

Paper : " Quelques reflections sur le Braille et ses Modifica- 
tions." By G. Perouse ..... 205 
Translation ........ 200 

Paper : " The Work of the Sydney Industrial Blind Institu- 
tion." By Stanley Hedger ..... 223 

Paper : " Queensland Institution for the Blind." By Isaac 

Dickson ... .... 243 

Paper : " South Australian Royal Institution for the Blind." 

By Isaac Dickson ...... 245 

Nominations for the Conference Committee . . . 246 

Garden Party at Royal Normal College .... 252 

Dinner at Hotel Cecil ....... 252 

Paper : " The Elementary Education of the Blind." By 

Lady Campbell ....... 256 

Visit to Institutions . . . . . . .312 

Paper : " Some Suggestions on Massage by the Blind." 

By F. R. Marriott * 314 

Paper : " Scouting, as an Aid for the Blind to Healthy 
Independence and Good Citizenship." By Captain 
Peirson-Webber * . ...... 327 

Paper : " Work for the Blind in Uruguay." By Senora T. 

Santos de Bosch ....... 333 

Paper : " Work for the Blind in Syria." By Chas. Walker 337 

Paper : " Salesmanship." By P. A. Best . . . 345 




Paper : " Work for the Blind in Brazil." By Colonel J. 

da Silva Mello 351 

Paper : " Blindness in Adixlt Life." By Miles Priestley . 357 

Election of Conference Committee : 

Mr. Stone's Resolution ...... 398 

Mr. Passmore's Resolution ..... 399 

Paper : " Work for the Blind in Russia." By J. Kolou- 

bovsky 403 

Paper : " Work for the Blind in Denmark." By A. F. 

Wiberg 418 

Paper : " Work for the Blind in India." By A. K. Shah . 433 

The Play : " A Wise Eccentricity," .... 444 

Lantern Address : "A School for Blind Boys, Foochow, 

China." By Mrs. George Wilkinson . . . 445 

Paper : " Tendencies in Work for the Blind in Amei-ica in 

the Twentieth Century." By 0. H. Burritt . . 450 

Paper : " Sight Saving and 'Light through Work ' for the 

Blind." By Miss Winifred Holt . . . .466 

Argentine Government : Invitation to hold nest Conference 

in Buenos Ayres ....... 487 

New Conference Committee ...... 488 

Paper : " Problems of the Education of High Myopes and 
of the Partially Sighted." By Mr. Bishop Harman, 
F.R.C.S. . , 491 

. Paper : " The Education and After-care of the Blind-Deaf." 

By W. M. Stone 521 

Paper : " Esperanto and the Blind." By W. Percy Merrick * 551 

Closing Address by the Bishop of London . . . 567 

Telegram to the King ....... 570 

Presentation to Miss Beatrice Taylor . . . .572 

River Excursion ........ 572 

List of Donations, Subscriptions, etc. .... 573 

Statement of Income and Expenditure .... 578 


Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

Lyrasis IVIembers and Sloan Foundation 


Adams, A. J., 561 
Albrecht, Mrs., 343, 440 

Bainbrigge, Miss, 393 

Bally, E., 58, 169, 170, 545 

Barker, Councillor, 416, 430, 489 

Barker, J. S., 304, 331 

Barnes, F. G., 544 

Beachcroft, Sir M., 51, 59, 61, 62, 

124, 356. 378, 384, 392, 394, 397, 

398, 400, 401 
Bell, Miss, 310, 485 
BeU, Mr.. 380 
Best, P. A., 345 
Boord, Miss, 344, 441 
Borghese, Prince, 56 
Bosch, Signora, 58, 333 
Brown, G. C, 305, 330, 331 
Bryden, F., 82, 390, 486 
Burgojaie, A. H., 252 
Burns, Dr.. 130 
Burritt, 0. H., 217, 301, 302, 450, 


Campbell, Lady, 255, 256, 311 
Campbell, C. F. F., 168, 188, 485, 

Campbell, Guy M., 130, 190, 305, 

331, 356, 548 
Cantlie, Dr., 320 
Cockbain, Miss, 382 
Cocks, Rev., 194, 195, 249, 399 
Congrains, Dr., 57 
Cunliffe, Sir E., 91, 92, 123 

Dickson, I., 243, 387 

Dixson, W. H., 119, 123, 131, 222, 

249, 341, 389, 440, 489, 569 
Douglas Hamilton, Miss, 349, 483 

Everett, Mrs., 515 

Fowler, E. H., 214 
Fry, Miss, 441 

Gadsby, G. H., 331 

Garaway, Miss, 195, 293 
Giffin,, 221, 562, 566 
Gilbert, Miss, 394 
Gray. P.. 304 
Green, E., 192, 325 
Gribben, J. C, 396, 482 
Grimwood, Miss, 548 

Hanbury, ,J,,202 

Harman, B., 491 

Harris, C. W., 90, 398 

Harris, S. F.. 133 

Ha worth, J. L., 187 

Heckrath, Miss, 189 

Hedger, S., 86, 223, 251, 392 

Hey wood. Miss, 341 

Hill, General, 194 

Hill, St. Clare, Rev., 132, 133, 191, 

399, 511 
Holehouse, Rev., 430 
Holmes, Miss, 310 
Holt, Miss, 58, 466, 476, 477, 486 
Howard, Miss, 219 

Illingworth, W. H., 147, 201, 202, 
295, 312, 389, 517 

Johnson, Stuart, 59 
Jonker, M., 323 

Keily, P. T., 399 

Keir, J., 296, 389 

Kelly, W. J., 197, 251, 393 

Kinnaird, Lord, 204, 220 

Ivnutsford, Lord, 63, 86, 87, 88, 90, 

91 123 
Kolo'ubovsky, J., 57, 216, 402. 403 
Kieanier, J. A. M., 189, 190 

Latimer, H. R., 220, 295 

Lattey, F., 431 

Layton, P. E., 54, 173, 174, 186, 193 

Little wood, E. E. W., 386 

Lloyd, Rev., 123, 343 

London, Bishop of, 567, 571 

Lucas-Tooth, Sir R. L., 54 

Index of Speakers 

Lundberg, A. J., 57, 220, 570 
Lyall, Miss, 395 

MacDonald, C, 378 

MacKechnie, W., 325 

Mackenzie, Mrs., 120 

Mahaut, A., 55 

Manvers, Earl, 125, 134 

Marriott, F. R., 313, 314, 326 

Mathie, W., 515 

Meiklejon, Miss, 167 

Mello, Col., 351, 543 

Merrick, P. W., 219, 514, 551, 567 

Middlesex, Archdeacon of, 519, 548 

Miller, P., 89, 198, 250, 298, 429,430 

Moon, Miss, 247, 478 

Moon, Mr., 443 

Moore, Miss, 566 

Mudie, H. B., 558, 567 

Nakamura, K., 56 

Oke, H. G., 219, 298, 543 
OMalley, Sir E., 121 

Parkington, Sir J., 56 

Passmore, L. W., 84, 399 

Pearson, C. A., 88, 89, 215, 307, 383, 

Peirson- Webber, F. P., 326, 327, 332 
Percy, Lord A., 542 
Petty, Miss, 198, 306, 482 
Philiimore, W., 562 
Phipps, Mrs. W., 254, 311 
Pine, H. W. P., 114, 145, 170 
Plummer, Alderman, 130 
Ponce, I. G., 55, 548 
Preece, H. C, 85, 131, 133, 300, 301, 

484, 489, 565 
Priestley, M., 357, 397 
Purse, Ben, 90, 144, 323, 395 

Ramsay, J., 133 
Ritchie, M., 299, 541 

Rockliffe, Dr., 87, 89, 90, 324, 381, 

415, 428, 513 
RothweU, Miss, 308 
Royston, H. S., 121, 516 

Shah, A. K., 56, 342, 433, 443 

Shearer, Rev., 431 

Siddall, A., 122, 385, 416, 428 

Southwark, Lord, 171, 187, 190, 194 

Stacy, Miss, 564 

Staiiisbv, H., 202, 248, 250, 301, 

398, 399, 402, 443, 546 
Stevens, C. W., 391, 392 
Stevens, S. E., 199 
Stone, W. M.. 128, 134, 221, 302. 

520, 521, 549 
Sutherby, G. W., 199 

Tate, W. H., 87, 133, 169, 200, 203, 
248, 251, 331, 398, 400, 416, 442, 

Taylor, H. M., 213 

Tennant, J., 321, 395 

Thurman, W. H., 164, 202, 384 

Toth, Dr., 55 

Townson, J., 442 

^'alcntia, Lord, 463, 476, 480 

Wade, W. R., 91, 166, 297, 298, 482 

Walker, Chas., 337 

Walker, Dr. N., 511 

Walker, G. I., 132 

Warrilow, H. C, 221 

Weller, J., 415, 431 

Wiberg, A., 55, 418, 430, 432 

Wilkinson, Mrs., 216, 442, 445 

Wilson, H. J., 50, 62, 65, 66, 134, 
147, 195, 202, 247, 312, 313, 320, 
323, 332, 336, 356, 398, 399, 400, 
402, 415, 417, 440, 480, 487, 488, 
550, 570 

Wright, Miss, 394 

Yen, C, 565 


LONDON, 1914. 



Dicc=iprcsiJ)ent3 : 

His Grace the AEcnBiSHOP or 

His Grace the Archbishop of 

His Eminence the Cardinal Arch- 
bishop Bourne. 
The Most Hon. the Marquess of 

His Grace the Duke of Norfolk. 
His Grace the Duke of Grafton. 
His Grace the Duke of Bedford. 
His Grace the Duke of Argyll. 
His Grace the Duke of Rut- 
The Most Hon. the Marquess of 

The Right Hon. the Earl of 

The Right Hon. the Earl of 

The Right Hon. the Earl of 

The Right Hon. Earl Manvers. 
The Right Hon. Earl Howe. 
The Right Hon. the Earl 

The Right Hon. the Earl 

The Right Hon. the Earl 

Lord Algernon Percy. 
The Right Hon. the Viscount 

The Right Hon. the Viscount 





The Right Hon. the Viscount 


The Right Hon. the Viscount 

The Right Hon. the Viscount 

The Right Hon. and Right Rev. 

THE Lord Bishop of London. 
The Right Rev. the Lord Bishop 

OF Durham. 
The Right Rev. the Lord Bishop 

of Chester. 
The Right Rev. the Lord Bishop 

of St. Asaph. 
The Right Rev. the Lord Bishop 

OF Bangor. 
The Right Rev. the Lord Bishop 

OF Liverpool. 
The Right Rev. the Lord Bishop 

OF Oxford. 
The Right Rev. the Lord Bishop 

OF Birmingham. 
The Right Rev. the Lord Bishop 

OF Worcester. 
The Ven. the Archdeacon op 

The Right Rev. the Moderator 

OF THE Church of Scotland. 
The Very Rev. the Chief Rabbi. 
The President of the Wesleyan 

Methodist Conference. 
The President of the Prijotive 

Methodist Conference. 
The President of the United 

Methodist Church. 


International Conference on the Blind 


The Right Hon. 

The Right Hon. 


The Right Hon. 
The Right Hon. 
The Right Hon. 
The Right Hon. 
The Right Ho 

Lord Howaed de 
, Lord Belhaven 

Lord Barnard. 

Lord Kinnaird. 

Lord Norton. 
Lord Lamington. 
N. Lord Alden- 


The Right Hon. Lord Glanusk. 
The Right Hon. Lord Deramore. 
The Right Hon. Lord Shuttle- 
The Right Hon. Lord Armstrong. 
The Right Hon. Lord South- 


The Right Hon. J. A. Pease, M.P. 
The Right Hon. the Lord Mayor 

or London. 
The Lord Lieutenant of the 

County of Carnarvon. 

The Lord Lieutenant of the 

County of Montgomery. 
The Lord Lieutenant of the 
. County of Surrey. 
The Lord Lieutenant of the 

North Riding of Yorkshire. 
The Chairman of the London 

County Council. 
The Master of the Wobshipful 

Company of Clothworkers. 
Sir Joseph Savory, Bart. 
Sir G. Anderson-Critchett. 

Bart.. C.V.O. 
Sir J. Bow EN Bowen- Jones, Bart. 
Lieut. -General Sir A. E. Cod- 


Major-General J. Fielden 
Brocklehurst, C.B., C.V.O. 

The Rev. Bernard Vaughan, S.J. 

Dr. C. S. Loch, Secretary^ of the 
Charity Organisation Society. 

His Excellency Paul Cambon, G. C.V.O., Ambassador of France. 
His Excellency Count Alex. C. Benckendorff, G. C.V.O., Ambassador 

OF Russia. 

His Excellency Count Albert Mensdorff-Pouilly-Dieteichstein, 

Ambassador of Austria-Hungary. 

His Highness Tewfik Pasha, Ambassador of Turkey. 

Senor Don Alfonso Merry del Val y Zulueta, Ambassador op Spain. 

His Excellency the Hon. H. W. Page, Ambassador of the United 

States of America. 

Coutcrencc Coimnittee. 

Miss E. W. AUSTIN, National Lending Library for the Blind, 

125, Queen's Road, Bayswater, London, W. 
Miss BEATRICE TAYLOR, 39, Sylvan Road, Upper Norwood, 

H. L. BALFOUR, 13, Elmwood Road, Croydon. 
GUY^ M. CAMPBELL, Royal Normal CoUege for the Blind, 

Upper Norwood, S.E. 
WALTER H. DIXSON,* 13, Crick Road, Oxford. 
P. M. EVANS, Clothworkers' Hall, Mincing Lane, London, E.C. 
Rev. St. CLARE HILL, Royal School for the Blind, Leatherhead, 

W. H. ILLINGWORTH, Henshaw's BUnd Asylum, Old Trafford, 

Man hester. 
STUART JOHNSON, 4, Eaton Place, London. W. 
J. H. MINES,* 6b, Cathedral Mansions, Huskinson Street, 

A. B. NORWOOD, Y^orkshiie School for the Bhnd, The King's 

Manor, Y'^ork. 


Conference Qommittcc—contuumi. 

H. W. P. PINE, Eoyal Midland Institution for the Blind, 

MILES PEIESTLE Y, Royal Institution for the BUnd, North 

Parade, Bradford. 
Dr. a. W. G. ranger,* Langbourn Chambers, 17, Fenchurch 

Street, London, E.G. 
A.- SIDDALL,* 5, Cronkeyshaw Road, Rochdale, Lanes. 
H. STAINSBY, National Institute for the BUnd, 206, Great 

Portland Street, London, W. 
W. M. STONE, Royal Asylum and School for the BUnd, West 

CraigmiUar, Edinburgh. 
H. C. WARRILOW,* 10, Staverton Road, Oxford. 
HENRY J. WILSON, Gardner's Trust for the BUnd, 53, Victoria 

Street, Westminster. 

Chairman: Henry J. Wilson. 
Hon. Secretary : Henrt Stainsby. 
Assistant Secretary : Alfred Absell. 

Offices : 

c/o National Institute for the Blind, 

206, Great Portland Street, London, W. 

BMattocm an& BmevgencB Sub=Committee. 

Miss Austin. W. H. Illingworth. 

Miss Beatrice Taylor. H. W. P. Pine. 

Rev. St. Clare Hill. A. Siddall.* 

Guy M. Campbell. H. Stainsby. 

H. J. Wilson {Chairman). 

3ftinance Committee. 

Miss Harris Browne. W. T. Prideaux. 

Miss Beatrice Taylor. Henry Stainsby (ex-officio). 

R. L. Franks. John Tennant. 

Stuart Johnson. Henry J. Wilson [ex-officio). 

P. M. Evans [Chairman). 

:ejbtbit(on Committee. 

Rev. p. T. Bainbrigge. Howard E. Mullins. 

Miss C. Bennett. A. B. Norwood. 

Lady Campbell. Miss R. Petty. 

Miss P. B. Charnock. H. W. P. Pine. 

Mrs. Goodhart. M. Priestley. 

Rev. St. Clare Hill. H. Stainsby [ex-officio). 

W. H. Illingworth. Miss B. Taylor. 

B. p. Jones. H. J. Wagg. 

Miss J. Merivale. H. J. Wilson [ex-officio). 
Stuart Johnson [Chairman). 

3 B 2 

International Conference on the Blind 

•fcospitalits Committee. 

Miss Armitage. Mks. Le Mesukier. 

Miss Harris Browne. Miss R. Petty. 

Miss Charnock. Stuart Johnson. 

Mrs. Goodhart. Henry Stainsby [ex-officio). 

Miss King-Church. John Tennant. 

Miss B. King-Church. H. J. Wagg. 

Miss Merivale. H. J. Wilson {ex-officio). 
Miss Beatrice Taylor {Chairman). 

"Ebvcvtising anD S^nvitations Committee. 

J. E. May. H. J. Wilson {ex-officio). 

Henry Stainsby {ex-officio). 

Guy M. Campbell {Chairman). 

/IRusic ant> JEntertainments Committee. 

Guy M. Campbell. W. H. Tate. 

Rev. St. Clare Hill. H. C. Warrilow.* 

Herbert Hodge. Percy Way.* 

Dr. E. F. Horner. H. J. Wilson {ex-officio). 

H. E. Platt.* W. Wolstenholme.* 

H. Stainsby {ex-officio). 

H. L. Balfour {Chairman). 

IKegulations Committee. 

Guy M. Campbell. A. Siddall.* 

Rev. St. Clare Hill. H. Stainsby {ex-officio). 

Henry J. Wilson {Chairman). 



With the deepest regret the Committee have to 
record that : — 

His Grace the DUKE OF ARGYLL, P.C, KG., 
K.T., G.C.M.G., G.C.V.O., LL.D,, D.Sc., D.L., passed 
away on May 2nd at East Cowe'?, Isle of Wight. 

H.R.H. the Princess Louise had graciously con- 
sented to open the Conference and Exhibition, 
but owing to the lamented death of His Grace 
she was unable to do so. 

Mr. W. Read Bloomfield, a valued member of the 
Board of the Jubilee Institute for the Blind, Auckland, 
N.Z., with his wife and onlj^ child was on his way to 
London to attend the Conference as the Delegate of 
his Institution. All three lost their lives in the 
terrible accident to the "Empress of Ireland," which 
sank after collision in the St. Lawrence River on 
May 28th. 

Sir Francis J. Campbell, LL.D., F.R.G.S., F.S.A.. 
Principal of the Royal Normal College for the Blind, 
Upper Norwood, passed peacefully away on June 30th 
at the age of 82, deeply mourned by his many friends 
and all interested in the welfare of the Blind. He 
was an elected member of the 1914 Conference Com- 
mittee, but resigned on account of his failing health. 

International Conference on the Blind 



The term " delegate "' shall mean a person appointed, by an 
institution or society for the blind to represent sucli institution or 
society. A delegate shall be a member of Conference, and have 
power to vote on business questions, such as the election of 
Committees, etc. Institutions or societies that subscribe one 
guinea to the funds of the Conference shall have the right to 
appoint two such delegates ; institutions or societies that subscribe 
two guineas, or more, to the funds of the Conference shall have the 
right to appoint six such delegates. 

A " member " shall be a person who subscribes not less than 5s. 
to the funds of the Conference. Members shall be entitled to take 
part in the discussions, but shall not have the power to vote on 
business questions. 

1. That no person be admitted to the Conference without a card 
of invitation, with his or her name written upon it, or other 
evidence of having been invited. All cards will be numbered, and 
the cards of delegates and members shall be untransferable. 

2. That no person other than a recognised member of Con- 
ference shall be entitled to take part in the discussions except by 
permission of the Chairman. 

3. Visitors may be admitted to the gallery of the hall by ticket, 
but shall not be entitled to take part in the proceedings. 

4. That when two papers are to be contributed at one session 
compilers of papers shall be limited to twenty minutes ; when 
one paper only is to be contributed at a session compilers will be 
allowed thirty minutes. 

5. That each paper, as soon as read, be followed by a discussion ; 
the opener of such discussion shall be allowed ten minutes, and 
other speakers five minutes each, but these periods may be reduced 
or extended in special cases, at the discretion of the Chairman. 

Note. — The Hon. Secretary's bell will give warning two 
minutes before the allotted time for papers or speeches 
expires, and will sound again at its expiration. 

6. That any member of the Conference desirous of speaking on 
any subject in a session shall, during the meeting, send his card 
(giving his description, or connection with the cause of the blind) 
to the Chairman, and await his call. 

7. That all questions in regard to limiting or extending the 
length of the speeches, and the selection of speakers whose cards 
have been sent up, shall be in the discretion of the Chairman, whose 
decision shall be final. Special faciUties shall be given to bhnd 

8. That speakers shall address the Chairman, and confine 
themselves strictly to the subject under discussion. 

9. That no member be permitted to speak twice in the same 
discussion except to a point of explanation, or if called upon by 
the Chairman. 


Regulations of the Conference 

10. That no resolution shall be moved at any meeting of the 
Conference except by consent of, and by arrangement with, the 
General Committee. 

11. That the official language of the Conference be Enghsh. 
Members wishing to address the Conference in any other language 
may do so if they are accompanied by a competent interpreter, or 
have previously arranged with the Committee for one to be present. 

12. Members desiring to ask questions only, without making a 
speech, shall send the questions, in writing, duly signed, to the 
Chairman, and they will be answered, if possible, before the end of 
that particular session. 

13. Sectional gatherings will not be officially recognised, but 
the findings of informal discussions shall be remitted to the 1914 
Conference Committee, who shall decide whether they shall be 
incorporated in the Official Report. 

A Committee of nine has been appointed to assist the Chairman 
at meetings, and f-uch Committee shall arrange that at every 
session of the Conference at least three of its members will be 
always present. 

International Conference on the Blind 


Wednesday, 17th June. 

7 P.M. — Special Service at the Cliureh of St. John the EvangeUst, 
Smith Square, Westminster. Organist, Mr. W. Wolsten- 
HOLME,* Mus. Bac. (Oxon.). Clergyman, Rev. C. E, 
BoLAM,* Rector, St. Mary Magdalene, Lincohi. Choir of 
bUnd singers, or choristers trained by blind choirmasters. 

Thursday, 18th June. 

First Session of the Conference, 11.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

11.30 A.M. — Opening of the Conference and Exhibition. 
Owing to the recent lamented death of His Grace the Duke 
of Argyll, Her Royal Highness the Princess Louise was 
unable to open the Conference and Exhibition. This 
ceremony was, therefore, kindly performed by Sir Melvill 
and Lady Beachcroft. 
" God Save the King." Prayer. Chairman's Address and 
Welcome to Foreign Delegates. Replies. 

Second Session of the Conference, 2 p.m. to o p.m. 
Chairman : The Right Hon. the Viscount Knutsford. 

2 p.m.—" The Work of the Unions of Societies for the 
Blind in England and Wales : Their History and 
Possible Developments," by Mr. Henry J. Wilson, 
Secretary, Gardner's Trust for the Blind, London, and 
Chairman of the Conference Committee. 

Opener of the discussion, Mr. J. Frew Bryden, 
Superintendent, Mission to the Outdoor Blind for 
Glasgow and West of Scotland. 
" How to Improve the Attitude of the Public towards 

the Employment of the Blind," and 
"Legislation (Past and Impending) on Behalf of the 
Blind," by Sir Robert Ellis Cunliffe, Solicitor to the 
Board of Trade, Chairman, West London Workshops for 
the Blind. 

Opener of the discussion, Mr. H. W. P. Pine, F.C.T.B., 
Secretary of the Royal Midland Institution for the 
Bhnd, Nottingham. 

9 P.M. — Reception, by kind invitation of the Worshipful 
Company of Clothworkers, at Clothworkers' Hall, Mincing 
Lane, E.C. The music during the evening will be provided 
by artistes and select choir from the Royal Normal College 
for the Bhnd. Admission by invitation only. 

Programme of the Conference 

Friday, 19th June. 

Third Session of the Conference, 10 a.m to 1 

Chairman : Tlie Right Hon. Earl Manvers, President, 
Royal Midland Institution for the Blind, Nottingham. 

10 A.M. — Presentation of the Reports of the various Com- 
mittees appointed at the last Conference. 
11.30 a.m. — "How TO Deal With the Incompetent Blind," 
by Mr. W. H. Illingworth, Superintendent, Henshaw's 
BUnd Asylum, Manchester. 

Opener of the discussion, Mr. W. H. Thurman, Super- 
intendent, Birmingham Royal Institution for the 

Fourth Session of the Conference, 2 j>.m. to 5 li.m. 

Chairman : Lord Southwark, Chairman, Royal School for 
the Blind, Leatherhead. 

2 P.M. — " Pianoforte Tuning, an Occupation for the Blind, 


Mr. Philip E. Layton * (Montreal). 
8 P.M. — Grand Evening Concert by blind musicians at the 
^Eolian Hall, New Bond Street. The programme will 
inchide several works by blind composers. 

Saturday, 20th June. 

Fifth Session of the Conference, 10 a.m. to 1 jj.jh. 

Chairman : The Right Hon. Lord Kinnaird, Chairinan, 
Gardner's Trust for the Blind. 

10 A.M. — France. " Braille and its Modifications," by 
M. Perouze, representing the Association Valentin Haiiy, 

11.30 A.M. — Australia. '" Work for the Blind in Australia," 
by Mr. Stanley Hedger, Industrial Blind Association, 
Sydney, and Mr. Isaac Dickson, delegate from the 
Queensland BHnd, Deaf and Dumb Institution, Brisbane, 
and the Royal Blind Asylum, N. Adelaide. 

12 noon. — Latest date for nominating members of next Con- 
ference Committee. 

3.30 P.M. — Garden Party at the Royal Normal College for the 
Blind, Upper Norwood, by kind invitation of the Chairman 
and Executive Committee of the College. Sir Harry 
Samuel, M.P., and Lady Samuel will receive. 

8.15 P.M. — Dinner to Foreign Delegates, at the Hotel Cecil, 
Strand, W.C. Chairman, Alan Hughes Burgoyne, Esq., 


International Conference on the Blind 

Sunday, 21st June. 

By courtesy of the authorities l)liiid clergy aud organists will 
take part in the services at various places of worship, as follows : — 

Chcrch of England. 

Westminster Abbev 

7.0 p.m. 
.S.O p.m. 

St. Paxil's Cathedral .".15 p.m. 

All Hallows, Barking 

St. George's, Borough 
St. Mark's, Deptforfl (k.) 

St. Stephen's, Walbrook 
St. Jatnes, Caniberwell 
Christ Church, Tnrnham t4reen 
St. Kicholas Cole Abbey- 
Holy Trinity, Sloane Street ... 
All Saints, Xorfolk Square ... 
Christ Church, Albany Street 
Christ Church, Somers Town 
St. Anne'.s, Highgate Rise 
Holy Trinity, Marylebone 
St. Thomas, Camden Town ... 
St. liarnaba.s, Kentish Town ... ChiUTh, Teildlngton ... 

Rev. Car on E. L. Ciedge 
Rev. H. J. K. Marston 

Kev. T. B. Dowde.swell. 
Rev. G. C. Pope ... 
Rev. C. E. Bolam 
Rev. G. F. Whittleton . 
Rev. W. E. Lloyd 
Rev. H. Llewellvn 

Mr. Preece (Lay Reader) 

Rev. Marsh 

Rev. X. F. MoNeile 

- (K 

Rev. H. A. Roberts 

Victor Spanner, Mus. Bac, 

L.R..\.M., F.R.C.(>. 

W. Wolsteuholnie, 

Mus. Bac. 
II. C. Warrilow, i..r..\.m., 


H. S. Oke, A.R.A.M. 
W. Norris, 

F. W. Priest, f.r.c.o. 
Leonard Smith. 

H. Whittaker, a.r.c.o. 
Victor Spanner. 
W. Wol.stenholme. 
Percy Way, f.r.c.o. 

A. F. Mayes. 

B. Roberts. 

H. Berridge, f.r.c.o. 
,) Bernard King, a.r.c.o. 
(J. W. Hilditch, a.r.c.o. 
E. R. Mence, a.r.c.o. 

Nonconform I.ST. 

City Temple (Di-. Campbell) . 

Regent's Park Chapel (Dr. Meyerl 

Westminster Chapel 

Clapham Congregational 
Aberdeen Road, Croydon 
Lansdowne Free Church 
St. Mark's Pres., Greenwich ... 
St. George's Pres., Croydon ... 

St. Andrew's Pres., L'pper Nor- 
St. James Pres., Wood Green 
Wesleyan, tapper Norwood ... 
Westbourne Park Chapel 

(Dr. Clift'ord) 
West London Ethical (m.) 

Hev. P. Lear A. .1. Thompson, i.r.a.m., 

(k.) Solo, E. Littlewood. 

— A. C. Sterricker. 

— W. S. Taylor, f.r.c.o. 
Rev. D. Griffiths Denniss Haller, f.r.c.o. 

— A. E. Lander, a.r.c.o. 

— Miss G. Blenkearn, a.r.c.o. 

— A. H. Harris, a.r.c.o. 

— Horace Watling, l.r.a.m., 

F R.C.O. 

— Miss E. Lucas, l.r.a.m., 
f.r.c o. 

— Jas. Crowley, f.r.c.o. 

— A. Fra.ser, i.r.a.m., f.r.c.o. 
Rev. Page P. T. Keily, a.r.c.o. 

Mr. AV. If. Dixson 

H. Morgan. 

The Eoyal Botanic Society of London has kindly consented to 
admit members and delegates to the Royal Botanical Gardens, 
Regent's Park, free of charge, on production of their Conference 

A limited number of ticket-s for the Zoological Gardens is 
available. Apply to Miss B. Taylor, Chairman of the Hospitahty 
Committee. Admission on Sundays is by ticket only. 


Programme of the Conference 

Monday, 22ndl June. 

SLvth Session of the Conference, 10 a.7n. to 1 p.m. 

Chainnan : Mrs. Wilton Phipps, Chairman, L.C.C. Special 
Schools Sub-Committee. 

10 A.M. — " The Elementary Education of the Blind," by 
Lady Campbell, Royal Normal College for the Blind. 
Oj^ener of the discussion. Miss Caraway, Lady 
Superintendent, L.C.C. School for the Blind, Linden 
Lodge, S.W. 

Afternoon. — -Visits to : 

Association for Promoting the General Welfare of the Blind, 
Tottenham Court Road, W.C. 

Barclay Workshop for the Blind, Edgware Road, W. 

The National Institute for the Blind, Great Portland Street, 

National Lending Library for the Blind (Incorporated), 
Queen's Road, Bayswater, W. 

L.C.C. School for Myopes. 

London Society for Teaching the Blind, Swiss Cottage. Tea 
and coffee kindly offered by the Committee. 

Seventh Session of the Conference, 7 j?.m. to 10 j>.m. 

Chairman : H. J. AVilson, Esq., Chairman of Conference 

7 P.M. — " Some Suggestions on Massage by the Blind." 

Mr. F. R. Marriott * (Harrow). 

7.30 P.M. — " Scouting as an Aid for the Blind to Healthy 
Independence and Good Citizenship." Captain F. P. 
Peirson Webber* (Stratford-on-Avon). 

8 P.M. — " Salesmanship." Mr. P. A. Best, Managing Director, 

Messrs. Selfridge & Co., Ltd. 

8.30 P.M. — ■• Work for the Blind in Uruguay." Seuora 
T. Santos de Bosch, Delegate of the Government of 

9 P.M. — " Work for the Blind in Syria." Mr. Charles 

Walker, Secretary of the British Syrian Mission. 

9.30 P.M. — Brazil. "Work for the Blind in Brazil," by 
Colonel J. DA SiLVA Mello, Director of the Benjamin 
Constant Institution, Rio de Janiero, and Delegate of the 
Brazilian Government. 


International Conference on the Blind 

Tuesday, 23rd June. 

Eighth Session of the Conference, 10 a.m. to 1 'p.m. 

Chairman : Tlie Master of the Worshipful Company of 
Clotliworkers, Sir Richakd Melvill Beachckoft. 

10 A.M. — " Blindness in Adult Life " ; (a) the totally-bhnd ; 
(i!>) the partially-bUnd. by Mr. M. Priestley, Manager and 
Secretary, Royal Institution for the Blind, Bradford. 
Opener of the discussion, Mr. Colin Macdonald 
Election of Conference Committee. 

Ninth Session of the Conference, 2 ii.m. to 6 ]).m. 

2 P.M. — Russia. " Work for the Blind in Russia," by 
M. J. KoLOUBOVSKY, Delegate of the Imperial Government, 
St. Petersburg. 
Denmark. " Work for the Blind in Denmark," by 
M. A. F. WiBERG (Copenhagen), Delegate of the Govern- 
ment of Denmark. 
India. "Work for the Blind in India," by Mr. A. K. 
Shah, Headmaster, School for the Blind, Calcutta. 

At tlie Central Hall, Westminster, S.W. 

8 P.M. — Play, entitled " A Wise Eccentricity," composed by 

Mr. SiDDALL,* acted mainly by blind performers. 

9 P.M. — China. Lantern Lecture by Mrs. Wilkinson, School for 

the Blind, Foo Chow. 
" Work for the Blind in America in the Twentieth 
Century." Lantern Lecture by Mr. C. F. F. Campbell, 
Founder and Editor of Outlook for the Blind (Columlnis, 
Oliio) ; and Mr. Olin H. Burritt, Prijicipal of the 
Pennsylvania Institution for the Blind. 

Note. — As there was no time for Mr. Campbell to show 
more than a small proportion of the very interesting 
slides he had brought with him, it was arranged to 
continvie this lecture on the following Tuesday evening 
in the hall of the Royal Society of Arts, John Street, 

Wednesday, 24th June. 

Tenth Session of the Conference, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Chairman : The Right Hon. the Viscount Valentia, C.B., 
M.V.O., M.P. for the City of Oxford. 

10 A.M. — United States. " Sight-saving and Light through 

Work for the Blind," by Miss Winifred Holt, 
Secretary, New York Association for the Blind, New York. 
Opener of discussion, Mr. O. H. Burritt, Pennsylvania 
Institution for the Blind. 


Programme of the Conference 

11.30 A.M. — " The Problems of the Education of the High 
Myopes and the Partially-Sighted," by Mr. N. Bishop 
Harman, F.K.C.S., London. 

Opener of the discussion. Dr. A. Nimmo Walker, 

Eleventh Session of the Conference, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. 

Chairman : The Right Hon. and Right Rev. the Lord Bishop 
OF London. 

(Pending the arrival of his Lordship the chair was very kindly 
taken by the Venerable the Archdeacon of Middlesex.) 

2 p.m. — " The Education and After-Care of the Blind- 
Deaf," by Mr. W. M. Stone, Headmaster, Royal Blind 
Asylum and School, Edinburgh. 

Opener of the discussion, Mr. J. M. Ritchie, Henshaw's 
Bhnd Asylum, Manchester. 
3.30 p.m. — " Esperanto for the Blind," by Mr. W. Percy 

Opener of the discussion, Mr. H. Bolingbroke Mudie, 
President British Esperanto Association. 
Closing Address by the Chairman. 


International Conference on the Blind 










Dr. Eduardo Amoretti. Buenos 

MoNS. Stock]vians. Ghent. 
Colonel Jesuino da Silva Mello. 

Rio de Janeiro. 

Dr. Doxeff. Sofia, 

Mr. Yatson C. Yen. London. 

Senor Don Ignacio Gutierrez- 
Ponce. London. 

Mr. a. Wiberg. Copenhagen. 

MoNS. ArturoL. Fiallo. London. 

Mr. David Bow]\l\n. London. 

Dr. Stephen Toth. Budapest. 

Prince Livio Borghese. London. 

Senor Licienciado Bartolome 
Carbajal y Rosas. London. 

Sir J. Roper Parkington. 

Dr. E. L. Congrains. London. 

MoNS. Jacob Koloubovsky. St. 

MoNS. Leonid Georgievich Belli- 

ARivnNOV. St. Petersburg. 

Director Jacob -Alrik Lund- 
berg. Stockholm. 
MoNS. EuGEN Bally. Lausanne. 
Senora Teresa Santos de Bosch. 
Dr. L. G. Chacin Itriago. London. 


List of Delegates 



An asterisk before a name denotes Blindness. 

Amoretti, Dr. Eduardo, Delegate of the Government of the Argentine 

♦Austin, Edward, F.R.C.O., Music Master, School of the Montreal 

Association for the Blind, Monti'eal, Canada. 
Bally, Eugen, Membre et Delegue du Comite Central de I'Union Suisse 

pour les Aveugles. President of the Blindenanstalt Koniz, Bern. 

President, " Le Foyer," Institution Suisse pour les Aveugles faibles 

d' Esprit, Chailly-Lausanne, Switzerland. 
Belliarminov, Leonid Georgeievich, Councillor of State, and Professor 

of the Mihtary Academy of Medicine, St. Petersburg. Delegate of 

the Russian Government. 
BoRGHESE, Prince Livio. Councillor of the Italian Embassy, London. 

Delegate of the ItaKan Government. 
Bosch, Sefiora Teresa Santos de. Delegate of the Government of Uruguay. 
Bowman, David, 11, Queen Victoria Street, London. Delegate of the 

Government of Guatemala. 
BuRRiTT, OUn H., Superintendent of the Pennsvlvania Institution for the 

Blind, Philadelphia, U.S.A. 

Campbell, Mrs. C. F. F. Business Manager, " Outlook for the Blind,'" 

Columbus, Ohio. 
Campbell, Charles F. F., Executive Secretary of the Ohio Commission of 

the Blind. Founder and Editor of the " Outlook for the Blind," 

911. Franklin Avenue, Columbus, Ohio, etc., etc. 
CoNGRAiNS, Dr. E. L., 18, Hornsey Rise Gardens, London, N. Delegate 

of the Government of Peru. 
CoNSTANCON, Maiirice, Director of the " Asile Des Aveugles," Avenue de 

France, Lausanne, Switzerland. Member of Central Committee of 

the " Union Suisse pour les Aveugles." 
CoTESWORTH, Miss Lilian, 45, Westminster Mansions, Great Smith Street, 

Westminster, S.W. Delegate of the New York Association for the 

Blind, New York. 

Dickson, Isaac, Superintendent, Queensland Bhnd, Deaf and Dumb 
Institution, Cornwall Street, South Brisbane, also acting as Delegate 
of the Royal Institution for the BMnd, Brougham Place, North 
Adelaide, Australia. 

DoNEFF, Dr., Director of the BUnd Institute, Sofia. Delegate of the 
Government of Bulgaria. 

Evans, Miss de Grasse, 25, Chester Street, Belgravia, London, S.W. 
Delegate of the New York Association for the Blind, New York. 

Felberman, Louis, President, Hungarian Society, 9, Regent Street, W. 
FiALLO, Arturo L., 21, Mincing Lane, E.C. Delegate of the Government 

of the Dominican Republic. 
FoRBSS-FiSHER, Mrs. William, 67, Grosvenor Street, London, W. Delegate 

of the New York Association for the Blind, New York. 
Fowler, Mrs. E. H., Delegate of the LTniform Type Committee (LT.8.A.). 


International Conference on the Blind 

*rowLEK, Elwyu H., Secretary of Uniform Type Committee (U.S.A.). Head 
of the Tuning Department, Perkins Institution and IMassaehusetts 
School for the Blind, Watertown, Mass., U.S.A. 
GiFFiN, Miss Etta Joslyn, Director, National Library for the Blind, 

Washington, D.C., U.S.A. 
GiNEVEE, Mrs. G. Arthui-, 5, Castle Mount Terrace, Dover. Hungarian 

Society, 9, Regent Street, London. 
GiNEVER, C. Arthur, 5, Castle Mount Terrace, Dover. Hungarian Society, 

9, Regent Street, London. 
Gkay, Patrick, Principal of School of the Montreal Association for the 
Blind, 6,500, Shcrbrook Street West, Notre Dame de Grace, Montreal, 
Gtjilleumot, Senor Jose, Delegate of " La Casa Pro%ancial de Caridad " 

Blind Printing Works, Calle de Montalegre, Barcelona. 
GuTiEREEZ-PoNCE, Dou Iguacio, 42, Holland Road, Kensmgton, W. 

Delegate of the Government of Colombia. 
Hedger, Stanley, Manager's Assistant and Librarian, Sydney Lidustrial 

Blmd Institution, William Street, Sydney, N.S.W. 
Herodek, Charles, Vice-President, National Hungarian, National Insti- 
tution for the Blind, Budapest. 
Holt, Miss Winifred, Founder and Hon. Secretary, New York Association 
for the Bhnd. Delegate of the Board of Education of the City of New 
York and the Brooklyn Bureau of Charities. 
*HowABD, Miss L. Pearl, Investigating Agent, Uniform Type Committee 

*Keller, Miss Helen, Chairman, Board of Councillors, National Library 

for the Blind, Washington, D.C., U.S.A. 
KoLOUBOVSKY, Monsieur Jacob, State Councillor. Delegate of the 
Imperial Government and Director of the Empress Marie Alexandrovna 
Institute for the Blind, St. Petersburg. 
Latimer, Mrs. H. R., Delegate of Uniform Type Committee (U.S.A.). 
*Latimer, H. Randolph, Construction Agent of the Uniform Type Com- 
mittee (U.S.A.). Head Teacher of Maryland School for the BUnd. 
Layton, Mrs. P. E., Hon. Secretary, Montreal Association for the Blind, 

550, St. Catherine Street West, Montreal, Canada. 
*Layton, Philip E., Founder and Hon. Treasurer, Montreal Association for 
the Bhnd, 550, Catherine Street West. Montreal, Canada. 
Lucas-Tooth, Sir Robert L., Bart., Patron, Sydney Industrial BUnd 

Institution, Wilham Street, Sydnej', N.S.W. 
*Lt™dberg, Jakob-Alrik, Delegate of the Swedish Government. Member 
of Board of the Institute of the Youthful BUnd, Stockholm. President, 
Swedish Federation of the Blind. 
Luther, Fraiilem Gertrud, President and Manageress, Blessigschen 

Blinden Anstalt, Wiborg, St. Petersburg. 
*Mahaut, Albert, Music Master, Institution Nationale des jeunes Aveugles, 
56, Boulevard des Invalides, Paris. 
Mello, Colonel Jesuino da Silva, Director of the Benjamin Constant 
Institute for the Blind, Rio de Janiero. Delegate of the BraziUan 
MiGEL Mr., Chairman Finance Committee, Uniform Type Committee 

Parkington, Sir J. R., Montenegrin Consul-General m London. Delegate 
of the Montenegrm Government. 

Rand, Miss Lotta S., 3, Park Street, Boston, Mass. Superintendent of the 
Training and Employment for Women, Massachusetts Commission for 
the Blind. 


List of Delegates 

Rathbone, Miss M. L., Assistant Livestigating Agent, Uniform Type 

Committee (U.S.A.). 
Rider, Mrs. Gertrude T., Assistant in charge of the Reading Room for the 

Blind, and Delegate of the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 

Member, American Library Association Committee on Work for the 

•Rosas, Seiior Licenciado Bartolome Carbajal y, Mexican Minister in 

London. Delegate of the C4overnment of Mexico. 

ScHANNEN, Peter, Kolozsvir Branch of the National Hungarian Institu- 

t on for the BUnd: Director, des Landes-Bhnden Lastitutes, 

Sera, Prof., National Hungarian Institution for the BUnd, Budapest. 
Sinclair, Miss May, Albemarle Club, Dover Street, London, W. Delegate 

of the New York Association for the Blind, New York. 
Stockmans, M., General Superior of the Brothers of Charity of Ghent. 

Delegate of the Belgian Government. 

Thevenin, Mademoiselle Jacquehne, PIombieres-lez-Dijon, Cote cFOr, 
France. Delegate of the Association Valentin Haiiy, 9, Rue Duroc, 
*Thulin, G. A., SaUerhog, Satisjoboden, Sweden. Secretary, de blmdas 
forening, 12, Majorsgatan, Stockholm. 

ViTAR, Rezso, Manager of the Hungarian Landes-Vereines der 
Blindenfdrsorge and Director of the Budapester Central Blinden- 
Beschaftigungsanstalt, Hermina Str. 7, Budapest. 

, WiBERG, F. A., Delegate of the Government of Denmark. Director, Royal 

Institute of the Young Blind, Copenhagen. 
Winter, Monsieur, Principal of the Institution Nationale des jeunes 

Aveugles, Boulevard des Invalides, Paris. 

Yen, Yatson C, Third Secretary of the Chinese Legation in London. 
Delegate of the Government of the Repubhc of China. 

Zaiontschewsky, Madaue, L'Institut des Aveugles de Kieff, Russia. 


Aglionby, Rev. F. K., D.D., Christ Church Vicarage, Westminster, S.W. 

Chairman, Home Teaching Society for the BUnd, 25, Victoria Street, 

Westmmster, S.W. 
Anderson, Miss G. G., Clopton Cottage, Bury St. Edmunds. Eastern 

Counties Union of Societies for the BUnd. Hon. Treasurer, West 

Suffolk Blind Aid Association. 
Andrews, Arthur, J.P., St. Janes', Ryde, I.O.W. Isle of Wight Society 

for the Benefit of the Indigent BUnd, Hazelwood, Ryde. 
Archer, C. W., Chairman, Incorporated Association for Promoting the 

General Welfare of the BUnd, 2.58, Tottenham Court Road, W. 
Armstrong, Mrs., 27, Cecil Road, Boscombe, Hants. Bournemouth and 

District BUnd Aid Society. Local Hon. Secretary, National Institute 

for the Blind. 
Armstrong, W. R., Richmond National Institution for the Blind, 41, 

Upper Sackville Street, Dublin. 
Astin, John, Manchester and SaLford BUnd Aid Society. 
Auckland, Lady Edith, " Eyes to the BUnd," 17, Callow Street, Chelsea. 
Austin, Miss E. W., Secretary and Librarian, Incorporated National 

Lending Library for the BUnd, 125, Queen's Road, Bayswater, 

London, W. 

C.B. 17 c 

International Conference on the Blind 

Bainbrigge, Miss Edith, 11, St. George's Court, Gloucester Road, S.W. 

Vice-President, Home Teaching Society for the Blind, 25, Victoria 

Street, Westminster, S.W. 
Bainbrigge, The Rev. Philip T., Chairman, Workshops for the Blind of 

Kent, 49, London Street, Greenwich, S.E. Member, Exhibition 

Sub-Committee. 1914 Conference. 
*Balchin, Miss, Assistant Teacher, Royal Glasgow Asylum for the BUnd, 

100, Castle Street, Glasgow. 
Ball, Arthur, Chairman of After Care Committee, London Society for 

Teaching the Bhnd, Swiss Cottage. 
Barker, Councillor George, Member, Board of Management and Chairman, 

House Committee, Henshaw's Blind Asylum, Old Trafford, Man- 
Beachcroft, Sir Richard Melvill, Master of the Worshipful Company of 

Clothworkers, Clothworkers" Hall, Mincing Lane, E.C. 
Beavan, Miss Cecil A., Hon. Secretary, Bath Home Teaching of the Blind 

Society, Bath. 
Beavan, Miss Gwenelen, Member, Committee, Bath Home Teaching of 

the Blind Society, Bath. Member, Committee, Western Counties 

*Bell, Miss Lily, Teacher, Royal Normal College for the Blind, LTpper 

Norwood, S.E. 
Bennett, Miss C., (j3^, Denison House, Vauxhall Bridge Road, S.W. 

Organising Secretary, Metropolitan Union. 
Bernhabd, Mrs. W., 12, Selborne Grove. Manningham, Bradford, Yorks. 

Member of Committee, Royal Institution for the Blind, Biadford. 
Bertiion, Cajit. Willoughby J., Kingshohne, Battledown, Cheltenham. 

Hon. Treasurer and Manager. Cheltenham and (Gloucestershire Society 

for the Blind, 51. Winchconibe Street, Cheltenham. 
*Bl.\ckwell, Miss Lilian, Gun Green Farm, Hawkhurst, Kent. Union of 

Blind Ladies, London. 
Blake, Miss C, Superintendent, Barclay Workshop for Blind Women, 

233, Edgware Road, London, W. 
*Bloomfield, C. T., Indigent BUnd Visiting Societv, 8, Red Lion Square, 

Bloxam, Miss Louisa T., The Court Yard, Eltham, Kent. Publisher, 

" The Weekly Summary for the Blind." 
♦BoLAM, Rev. Cecil Edward, F.R.Hist.S., St. Mary Magdalene's Rectory, 

Lincoln. Eastern Counties LTnion. Hon. Secretary, Lincolnshire 

Blind Association. 
Bolton, Miss M. P., East London Workshops for the Bhnd, 33, High 

Street, Plaistow, E. 
Booth, John, Chairman, Homes for the Blind for Preston and North and 

North-East Lancashire, Fulwood, Preston. 
Booth, Mrs., Member, Committee, Homes for the Bhnd for Preston and 

North and North-East Lancashire, Fulwood, Preston. 
*BowN, John, North Eldon Street, Barnsley. Barnsley Association for 

Visiting the Blind. 
Brickwood, Sir John, Hampshire and Isle of Wight School and Home for 

Blind, St. Edwards' Road, Southsea. 
Brown, G. C, M.A. (Lond.), Headmaster, College for the Higher Education 

of the Bhnd, Whittington, Worcester. 
Browne, Miss Harris, 12, Alexandra Court, 171, Queen's Gate, S.W. 

Member Council Metropohtan Union, and Hon. Representative for 

S. Kensington. Member Hospitahty Committee, International 

Conference, 1914. 
Bryden, J. Frew, Superintendent, Mission to the Outdoor Blind for 

Glasgow and AVest of Scotland, 201, Buchanan Street, Glasgow. 


List of Delegates 

Bryden, Miss, 12, Montrose Gardens, Milngavie. Mission to the Outdoor 

Blind for Glasgow and the West of Scotland, 201, Buchanan Street, 

BxTCHANAN, George, Manager, Workshops for the Bhnd, New Radcliffe 

Street, Oldham. 
Burnett, Miss Mary Gordon, The Reading Blind Aid Society, Pattingham, 

Reading. , 

Burns. Rev. Thomas, D.D., F.O.T.B., Chairman, Board of Directors, 

Royal Bhnd Asylum and School, West Craigmillar. Edinburgh. 
B YGOTT, Mrs. Helen A., 76, Risbygate Street, Bury St. Edmunds. Eastern 

Counties Union. Hon. Secretary, West Suffolk Bhnd Aid Association. 
Byrt, W. H., Member Committee, Royal School of Industry for the Bhnd, 


Cairns, Christopher, 38, Howe Street, Edinburgh. Society for Promoting 
Reading among the Adult Blind. Missionary Teacher of the Edin- 
burgh and South of Scotland Home Teacloing Society. 

Campbell, Lady Francis, F.C.T.B., Hon. Lady Superintendent of the 
Royal Normal College, 1875 — 1912. Member, Executive Committee 
of the Metroi3olitan Union. Member, Executive Committee, College 
of Teachers of the Blind. Representative for BUnd Teachers on 
Registration Council, etc. 

Campbell, Guy M., F.R.G.S., Principal, Royal Normal College for the 
Blind. Hon. Secretary, Metropolitan Union. Hon. Co-Secretary 
of the Union of Unions. Member of Council of College of Teachers of 
tlie Bhnd. Member, Conference Committee, and Chairman of 
Advertisements Committee, International Conference, 1914, etc., etc. 

Campbell, Mrs. Guy, Lady Superintendent, Royal Normal College for the 
Blind, Upper Norwood, S.E. 

Campion, The Hon. Mrs., Danny, Hassocks, Sussex. Chairman, Barclay 
Home for Blind and Partially Bhnd Girls, Wellington Road, Brighton. 

Cabdew, Lieut. -Colonel George Masters, 12, Victoria Terrace, Exeter. 
President, West of England Institution for the Blind, Exeter. 
*Carr, Alfred, Royal Normal College for the Blind, Upper Norwood, S.E. 
Manager, The London and Provincial Tea Company, Ltd., 5, Minories, 
London, E.C. 

Cato, T. Butler, 20, Stanley Crescent, Notting Hill, W. Member Com- 
mittee, West London Workshops for the Blind, Notting Hill Gate, W. 

Chambers, Alderman R. B., B.A., J.P., Oaklands, Dutiield Road, Derby. 
Member of Committee, Royal Midland Institution for the Blind, 

Chambers, Miss, Barton Cottage, Hoylake, Cheshire. Member of the 
Committee, Liverpool Home Teaching Society, Cornwallis Street, 

Chandler, Pretor W., Chairman of the Industrial Committee, London 
Society for Teaching the Blind, Swiss Cottage. 

Charnock, Miss, 25, Pembroke Road, Kensington, W. Member Com- 
mittee, Metropohtan Union and Hon. Representative for N. Kensing- 
ton.- Member Hospitahty Committee, International Conference, 1914. 

Cherry, Miss M. G., The Lodge, Darley Dale, Matlock. Derbyshire 
Association for the Care of the Bhnd. 

CL.4.RKSON, Rev. J. E., Catholic Bhnd Asyhim, Brunswick Road, Liverpool. 

Clough, Miss M., The Shroggs, Steeton, Near Keighley, Yorks. Keighley 
Institution for the Blind. 

Cobham, The Right Hon. the Viscount, Hagley Hall, Stourbridge. Member 
Committee, Gardner's Trust for the Blind. Chairman, College for 
the Higher Education of the Bhnd, Worcester. President, Worcester- 
shire County Association for the Care of the Blind. 

19 c 2 

International Conference on the Blind 

CocKBAix, JVIiss, Pen Rhjai, Heaton, Bradford, Yorks. Member of 

Committee, Roj^al Institution for the Blind, Bradford. 
Cocks, Rev. Edward George, St. George's Vicarage, East Stonehouse, 

Plymouth. Chairman, Devonport -and Western Counties Institution 

for the Welfare of the BKnd, 6, Aubjni Street, Devonport. Member 

of Committee, Western Counties Union. 
Comber, I\Iiss Margaret, Wood^ille, Liverpool Road, Chester. North- 

West Union of In.stitutions for the BUnd. 
Corcoran, Mrs., Ill, Beaufort Mansions, Chelsea, S.W. "Weekly 

■ Summary for the Bhnd." 
Cory, Miss Lilian, Shere, Surrey. " The Weekly Summary for the Bhnd." 
Cowan, A. A., Headmaster, Royal School of Industry for the BUnd. 

Craig, Miss Kate M., 27, Kirk Wyiid, Kirkcaldy. Agent and Teacher of 

the Fife and Kinross Society for Teaching the BUnd at their own 

Ckesswell, Miss, 30, Tettenhall Road, Wolverhampton. Hon. Secretarj-, 

Ladies' Committee, Wolverhampton Society for the Blind. 
Cross, F. Richardson. Chairman of General Committee, Royal School of 

Industry for the Bhnd, Bristol. 
*Crowley, James, F.R.C.O., Royal Normal College for the Blind, Upper 

Norwood, S.E. 
CuNLiFFE, Sir Robert ElUs, M.A., 34, The Grove, Boltons, S.W. Chairman, 

West London Workshops for the BUnd, Netting Hill Gate, W. 
Da VIES. Mrs. Norman, Quelhai, Carnarvon. The North Wales H.T.S. for 

the Blind. 
*D.\AVBER, Jas., Mus. Bac, 1.5. Brj'n Street, Ashton-in-Makerfield. The 

Incorporated Society of Musicians, 19, Berners Street, London, W. 
Dawson, Miss, Belfast Society for Home Mission Work among the Blind 

in Ireland, CUftonville, Belfast. 
*Denholm, Miss, As.sistant Teacher, Royal Glasgow Asyhim for the Blind, 

100, Castle Street, Glasgow. 
Derwent, H. C, 3, Farcliffe Terrace, Bradford, Yorks. Member of 

Committee, Royal Institution for the Blind, Bradford. Member of 

Committee of North of England Union. 
Dettmer, Frank George, 20, Caldorvale Road, ClajAam Park, S.W. 

Assistant Hon. Secretary, South London Association for Assisting the 

BUnd (Incorp.), 87, Bishopsgate, E.C. 
Dickinson, Charles, Secretary, Richmond National Institution for the 

BUnd, 41, Upper Sackville Street, DubUn. 
Dixon, Miss D., Summei'hill, Steeton, near Keighiey, Yorks. Keighley 

Institution for the Blind. 
*DixsoN, W. H., M.A. (Oxon.), 13, Crick Road, Oxford. Hon. Secretary, 

Old Boj''s Union of the College for the BUnd, Whittington, Worcester. 

Member of Council, College of Teachers of the BUnd. Member 

Literature Committee, National Institute for the BUnd. Member of 

Committee, International Conference, 1914, and of Oxford BUnd 

DoDSON, The Hon. Mildred, 48c?, Sloane Square. Chairman,- Barclay 

Workshop for BUnd Women, 233, Edgware Road, London, W. 
Douglas, John, 6, St. Mary's Grove, Barnes Common, S.W. Somers Town 

BUnd Aid Society. 
Douglas-Hamilton, Miss E., Hon. Secretary, " Eyes to the BUnd," 

17, Callow Street, Chelsea. 
Douglas-Hamilton, Miss L., Chairman and Hon. Treasurer, " Eyes to 

the BUnd, 17, CaUow Street, Chelsea. 
*Dowdes\vell, S., Chalford Hill, Stroud, Glos. Old Boys' Union of the 

College for the Bhnd, Whittmgton, Worcester. 


List of Delegates 

*DusTow, (Jhas. E., Manager, The Blind Tea Agency, Ltd., 5, Fen Court, 

London, E.C. 
*Edge, George, Manchester and Salford Bhnd Aid Society. Bhnd Sick 

Benefit Branch. 
Edmonds, Jolin Thomas, Carlton Villa, Brixton Road, S.W. Hon. 

Secretary, South London Association for Assisting the Blmd (Licorp.), 

87, Bishopsgate, E.C. 
EiDE, Miss, Weaving Teacher, Barclay Home for Blind and Partially Blind 

Girls, Brighton. 
Ellis, Miss, School for the Blind, Blenheim Walk, Leeds. Association of 

Teachers of the Blind. 
Emery, Miss K. "M., Maryland, Ely. Hon. Organising Secretary, Eastern 

Comities Union. 
Evans, E., Lmden Lodge, L.C.C. School, BoUngbroke Grove, Wandsworth 

Common, SW. Association of Teachers of the Blind. 
Evans, P. M., Clerk to the Worshipful Company of Clothworkers. Hon. 

Treasurer and Chairman of the Finance Committee, International 

Conference, 1914. 
Everett, Miss, 4, Maberley Road, Upper Norwood, S.E. Hon. Repre- 
sentative, Metropolitan Union for South Lambeth. Member Council, 

College of Teachers. Assistant Hon. Secretary, Sunbeam Mission 

(Bhnd Branch). 

*Fairhurst, p., 42, Ohphant Street, London, W. Member Committee, 

National League of the Blind, Club Union Buildings, Clerkenwell 

Road, E.C. 
Fatjnthorpe, Rev. J. P., M.A., Member Committee, Royal School for the 

Bhnd, Leatherhead. 
Feeny, Howard, Cathohc BUnd Asylum, Brunswick Road, Liverpool. 
Ffoitlkes, Miss Helena J., Chester Society for the Home Teachuig of the 

Blind, 53, Northgate Street, Chester. 
Ffotjlkes, Miss Jocelyn, Chester Society for the Home Teaching of the 

Blind, 53, Northgate Street, Chester. 
Field, Miss Millicent, Werneth Hall, Oldham. Superintendent of Blind 

Women's Industries. 
Fiennes, Caryl, 43, Barkston Gardens, S.W. Richmond National Insti- 
tution for the Bhnd, 41, Upper Sackville Street, Dublm. 
FlNDLAY. Lady, " Eyes to the Blind," 17, Callov/ Street, Chelsea. 
FiNLAY,Miss Ehzabeth Walker, 26, Circus Road, St. John's Wood, N.W. 

Hon. Secretarj% Union of Blind Ladies. Hon. Lady Organisei, 

National Institute for the Blind, London. 
Fleming, Lady, Dalmunizie Murtle, Aberdeenshire. Aberdeen Town and 

County Association for Teaching the Blind at their own Homes. 
FoAKES, Miss E. v., Head Mistress, Blind School, 2 and 4, Warwick Road, 

Clapton, N.E. 
*Ford, J. A., Armitage Lodge of the Church Benefit Society. Head of 

vStereotyping Department, National Institute for the Blmd, London, 

Francombe, J. T., Member Committee, Royal School of Industry for the 

Blind, Bristol. 

Gallott, Mrs., 69, Thornton Avenue, Streatham, S.W. Moon Society 
for Embossing books for the Blind, Brighton. 

Garaway, Miss M. M. R., Lady Supermtendent, L.C.C. School for the 
Blind, Linden Lodge, Wandsworth Common. Member Committee 
and Examiner, College of Teachers of the Blind. 

Gilbert, Miss M. A., Wickham Lodge, Wickham Bishops, Essex. Secre- 
tary, The Home Teaching Society for the Blind, 25, Victoria Street, 
Westminster, S.W. 


International Conference on the Blind 

Gill, Miss Fanny, Nelson, Lanes. Burnk-y Home Teaching and General 

Help Society for the Blind. 
GiLLiGAN, Mrs., Witherhurst, Grove Park, CJamberwell, S.E. London 

Association for the Bhnd, 178, Charing Cross Road, W.C. 
GiLLiGAN, W. A., Witherhurst, Grove Park, Caniberwell, S.E. London 

Association for the Blind, 178, Charmg Cross Road, W.C. 
Given-Wilson, Rev. T., M.A., St. Mary's Vicarage, Plaistow, E. East 

London Workshops for the Blind, 33, High Street, Plaistow, E. 
Gledhill, E., Headmaster, School for the Blind, Wavertree, I^iverpool. 
GooDHAET, Mrs., Willows, Inkpen, Berks. Member Committee, Metro- 
politan Union. Chairman, Berks County Blind Society. Member 

Hospitahty Committee, International Conference, 1914. 
Griffith, Miss Bessie, Bodlondeb, Port Madoc, Wales. North Wales 

H.T.S. for the Blind. 
Grimwood, Miss Ethel, Braille Club, 60, Wilbury Road, Hove, Sussex, and 

Editor of the " Braille Packet." 
*Green, Ernest, 7, Torrens Street, Stockwell. S.W. Blind Social Aid 

Society and Literary Union, 5, The Minories, London. 
Green, Mrs. G., Palace House, Burnlej-. Burnley Home Teaching and 

General Help Society for the Blind. 
Gregory, J. E., Secretary of the National League of the Blind, Club Union 

Buildings, Clerkenwell Road, E.C. 
GuNLAY, R. W., Grantham House, Acock Green, Birmingham. Old Boys' 

Union, College for the Blind, Worcester. 

Hall, Joseph, Grosvenor House, Swansea. Hon. Secretary, Swansea and 

South Wales Institution for the Blind, Swansea. Hon. Secretary, 

The South Wales and Monmouthshire Laiion. 
Hamilton, W. F., Indigent Blind Visiting Society, 8, Red Lion Square, 

Hamle Y, Edward C, 9, Penywem Road, Earl's Court, London, W. Chair- 
man, Incorporated National Lending Librarj^ for the Bhnd, Queen's 

Road, Bayswater. 
Hardy, Rev. C. F., Chaplain and >Superintendent, The Roj'al School of 

Industry for the Blind, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol. 
Harris, C. W., 7, King Street, Abcigavenny, Mon., Delegate of the 

Newport and Monmouthshire Bhnd Aid Society. Teacher of Adult 

Bhnd under Monmouthshire County Council. 
Harris, Rev. S. F., Cotleigh Rectory, near Honiton. Hon. Secretary, 

Western Counties Union. 
Haworth, Mrs., Steinway House, Accrington. Accrmgton and District 

Institution for the Blind and Prevention of Bhndncss. 
*Ha\vorth, John Luther, Stemway House, Accrington. Accrington and 

District Institution for the Blind and Prevention, of Blindness. 
Heath, Miss G., Hare Dene, Albury Heath, Guildford. " The Weekly 

Summary for the Blind." 
Heckrath, Miss Geraldine, 36, Stradella Road, Heme Hill, S.E. The 

Union of Blind Ladies, London. 
Helm, Mrs. Rennie, Padiham. Burnley Home Teaching and General Help 

Society for the Blind. 
Henderson, Captain (R.N.), Hon. Secretary, Hampshire and Isle of Wight 

School and Home for the Blind, St. Edward's Road, Southsea. 
Henderson, Miss Eva, Carleton, Mossley Hill, Liverpool. Treasurer, 

Home Teaching Society, Cornwalhs Street, Liverijool. 
Hewitt, James H., Manager, Association for Employment of Industrious 

Blind, Royal Avenue, Belfast. 
Hewitt, Mrs., Association for Employment of Industrious Blind, Royal 

Avenue, Belfast. 


List of Delegates 

Hevwood, Miss I. M., St. John's House, Beverley, Yorks. Manchester 
and, Salford BUnd Aid Society. Hon. Secretary, North of England 
Union of Agencies. 

HiGHAM, Miss Agnes, The Croft, Accrington. Member of Committee, 
Accrington and District Institution for the Blind and the Prevention 
of Blindness. Member of Committee of the North of England Union, 

Hill, Miss Amy, 5g, Hyde Park Mansions, W. Member Committee, Home 
Teaching Society for the Blind, 25, Victoria Street, Westminster, S.W. 

Hill, Captain F. T. C, Member Committee, Royal School for the Blind, 

Hill, John A., 5, Selborne Villas, Manningham, Bradford, Yorks. Member 
of the Committee of the Royal Institution for the Blind, Bradford. 

Hill, Major-General J. E. D., Treasurer and Deputy Chairman, Royal 
School for the Blind. Leatherhead. 

Hill, The Rev. St. Clare, M.A.. F.C.T.B., J.P., Trustee and Hon. Secretary, 
Society for Granting Annuities to the Poor Adult Blind. Principal 
and chaplain. Royal School for the BUnd, Leatherhead. Trustee and 
Hon. Secretar}% South London Institute for the Blind. Member of 
Committee and Chairman of Examiners, College of Teachers. Secre- 
tary, Blind Emi^loyment Factory. Member Conference Committee, 
1914, National Committee for the Employment of the Blind, and 
Special Committee to consider the Blind Aid Bill. 

Hill, Mr., Manager. Home and Workshops for the Blind, Carlisle. 

HoBART, — , Mapleswell, near Barnsley, Yorks. Visitor, Barnsley 
Association for Visiting and Teaching the Blind. 

HoBSON, T. F., 107, Broadhurst Gardens, Hampstead, N.W. London 
County Council. 

Hodges, G. H., Hon. Secretary, Cardiff Institute for the Blind, Cardiff. 

Hodges, Miss Annie E., Cardiff Institute for the Blind. 

HoNAN, M., Catholic Blind Asylum, Brunswick Road, Liverpool. 

Howard, Heaton C, L.R.C.P. (Lond.), M.R.C.S. Member Committee, 
Royal School for the Blind, Leatherhead. 

Illingworth, W. H., F.C.T.B., Superintendent, Henshaw's Blind Asylum, 
Old Trafl'ord, Manchester. Member Committee, International Con- 
ference, 1914, etc. 

Ingham, Right Rev. Bishop, D.D., Hampshire and Isle of Wight School 
and Home for the Bliujd, St. Edward's Road, Southsea. 

Inglis, Mrs., Hon. Treasurer, Home Teaching Society for the Blind for 

Colchester and neighbourhood, St. Mary's, Colchester. 
*Inskip, Miss, Music Teacher, Royal Glasgow Asylum for the Blind, 100, 

Castle Street, Glasgow. 
*Ireland, Miss Agnes L.. Norfield, Buckhaven. Fife and Kinross Society 
for Teaching the Blind at their own Homes. 

Irving, James, Missionary Teacher, Mission to the Outdoor Bhnd for 
Glasgow and the West of Scotland, 201, Buchanan Street, Glasgow. 

Isaacson, A., Fernlea, Grassendale Park, Liverpool. President and 
Chairman, School for the Blind, Hardman Street, Liverpool. 

Jackson, H. G. L. G., 94, Grove Park, Camberwell, S.E. London Associa- 
tion for the Blind, 178, Charing Cross Road, W.C. 
Jeffrey, D. A. R., Secretary, Cardiff Institute for the Blind, Cardiff. 
* Jenkins, Rev. R., Talaton Rectory, Ottery St. Mary, Devon. Member 

Committee, West of England Institution for the Blind, Exeter. 
*Jerrett, — , 4, Little Clarendon Street, Oxford. Visitor and Teacher, 
Oxford Society for the Blind. 
JoBSON, Stewart, Chairman of Education Committee, London Society for 
Teaching the Blind, Swiss Cottage. 


International Conference on the Blind 

Johnson, Mrs., 6b, Cathedral Mansions, Liverpool. Hon. Secretary, 
Ladies' Committee, School for Blind Children, Wavertree, Liverpool. 

Johnson, Stuart, 4, Eaton Place, London, S.W. Worshipful Company of 
Clothworkers. Member Committee and Chairman of Exhibition 
Sub-Committee, International Conference, 1914. Chairman, Blmd 
Man's Friend Charity, and of Society for granting Annuities to the 
Poor Adult Blind. ' Hon. Treasurer, Union of Unions. Member 
Committee, Royal School for Indigent Blind, Leatherhead- Member 
of Council and Committee, College of Teachers of the Blind, etc. 

Jolly, Lieut. -Colonel T. R. (V.D.), Fulwood, Preston. Hon. Treasurer, 
North of England Union, St. John's House, Beverley, Yorks. Chair- 
man, Lancashire County Committee. Secretary, Homes for the Bhnd 
for Preston and North-East Lancashire. 

Jones, Mrs. Bran dram, 49, Drayton Gardens, S.W. Incorporated National 
Lending Library for the Blind, 125, Queen's Road, Baj^swater, W. 

Jones, Mrs. E., Osborne, Aughton, Ormskirk. Burnley Home Teacliing 
and General Help Society for the Blind. 

Joseph, Edward A., 10, Frognal Lane, Hampstead, N.W. Institution for 
the Relief of the Indigent Blind of the Jewish Persuasion, 8, Duke 
Street, Aldgate, London, E. 

*Keily, P. T., A.R.C.O., West Street, Alford, Lincoln. Association of Self- 

Supporting Blind. 
*Keie, .John, F.E.I.S.. 74, Blenheim Place, Aberdeen, Chairman of the 

School Board of Burgh of Aberdeen. 
Keith, Stanley, Member Committee, Royal School for the Blind, Leather- 
*Kelly, W. J., 19, Angel Road, Hammersmith, W. Bhnd Social Aid 

Society and Literary Union, 5, Minories, London, E.C. 
Kemp, Miss Lydia P., Old Falingc, Rochdale. Hon. Secretary, Rochdale 

and District Society for the Bhnd, Lower Gates, Rochdale. 
King-Chtjbch, Miss B.. Ciive Lodge, Albury, near Guildford. Union of 

Unions of Societies for the Blind in England and Wales. 
King-Church, Miss N., Olive Lodge, Albuiy, nt-ar Guildford. "The 

Weekly Summary for the Blind." 
KiNNAiRD, The Right Hon. the Lord, 10, St. James's Scjuare, London, 

S.W. Chairman, Gardner's Trust for the Blind. J'resident, Indigent 

Blind Visiting Society, etc. 
KiNSEY-MoEGAN, C, Hon. Secretary, Newpoit and Monmouthsliiie Blind 

Aid Society. 
Knapp, John, M.A., J.P., C.C, Linford Hall, Wolveiton, Bucks. Bucking- 
hamshire Association for the Blind. 
Knapp, Mrs., Lmford Hall, Wolverton, Bucks. Hon. Secretary, Bucks. 

Association for the Ehnd. 
Knill, Wm. Cutcliffe, A.C.A., 20, Bedford Circus, Exeter. Secretary, 

West of England Institution for the Blind, Exeter. 
KoETTGEN, Miss, Member of Committee, London Society for Teaching the 

Bhnd, Swiss Cottage. 
*Kreamer, J. A. M., Cable Street, E. Blind Social Aid ^ociety and 

Literary Union, 5, The Minories, London, E.C. 

Lafrenz, Miss, " Eyes to the Blind," 17, Callow Street, Chelsea, S.W. 
*Lattey, Frank, Alyngby, Stourchffe Avenue, Bournemouth. Hon. 

Secretary, Bournemouth and District Blind Aid Society. 
*Lawrenc'e, W. F., Cowesfield House, ' Salisbury. Member Committee, 
Gardner's Trust for the Blind. 
Lazarus, Frank J., 5, Craven Hill, Hyde Park, London, W. Institution 
for the Relief of the Indigent Bhnd of the Jewish Per.suasion, 8, Duke 
Street, Aldgate, London, E. 


List of Delegates 

LecomBebJ W. G., Member Board of Management and Chairman of Trade 

Committee, Henshaw's Blind Asylum, Old TrafEord, Manchester. 
Lee, Mrs., Hartwell House, Aylesbui-y. Buckinghamshire Association for 

*Leeson, Herbert, 64, St. George's Road, Coventry. Coventry and District 

Home Teaching Society for the Bhnd. 
Leeson, Mrs., 64, St. George's Road, Coventry. Coventry and District 

Home Teaching Society. 
Le Meslteier, Mrs., Milton Lodge, Kintbury, Berks. Member Council, 

Metropolitan Union. Hon. Secretary, Berks. County Blind Society. 

Member Hospitality Committee, International Conference, 1914. 
*LiTTLEWOOD, E. E. W., 14, Upper Park Road, New Southgate, N. Associa- 
tion of the Self-Supporting Bhnd. 
*Lloyd, Rev. W. E., M.A. (Oxon.), 37, Queen's Park Road, Brighton. Old 

Boys' LTnion of the College for the Blind, Whittington, Worcester. 
LocKYEE, Colonel, Incorporated Association for Promoting the General 

Welfare of the Blind, 258, Tottenham Court Road, W. 
Lyall, Miss I. S., Superintendent, Aberdeen Town and County Association 

for Teacliing the Bhnd at their own Homes, Aberdeen. 
Lymbery, Miss E., 190, Peckham Rye, S.E. London Association for the 

Bhnd, 178, Charing Cross Road, W.C. 
Lyster, Mrs.. Incorp. Association for Promoting the General Welfare 

of the Bhnd, 258, Tottenham Court Road, W. 
*Macaulay, Chas. C, Armitage Lodge of the Church Benefit Society. 

National Institute for the Blind, Great Portland Street, W. 
Macdonald, Mrs. C, 59, Magdalen Green, Dundee. Dundee Institution 

for the Blind. 
Macdonald, Cohn, Manager, Dundee Institution for the Bhnd. 
*MacKechnie, William, National Institution for Massage by the Bhnd, 

188, Marylebone Road, W. 
McKenzie, Archibald, Governor, Aberdeen Asylum for the Blind, Aber- 
Mackenzie, Mrs. Murdo, Laurig, Canon bie Road, Forest Hill, London, S.E. 

Northern Counties Institute for the Bhnd, Inverness. 
McLeod, Sir Reginald, K.C.B.,' Vinters, Maidstone. Trustee, Home 

Teaching Society for the Bhnd, 25, Victoria Street, Westminster, S.W. 
MacNicol, Mrs.. Hon. Secretary, National Institution for Massage bv the 

Bhnd, 188, Marylebone Road, W. 
Maltman, Andrew Jamieson, 23, Castle Street. Dundee. Superintendent 

of the Dimdee and Lochee Mission to the Out-door Blind. 
Martin, Thomas H., A.C.I.S., Secretary and Superintendent, London 

Society for Teaching the Bhnd, Swiss Cottage. 
Mathie, Wilham, Missionary Teacher. Mission to the Out-door Blind for 

Glasgow and the West of Scotland. 201, Buchanan Street, Glasgow. 
Mavrogordato, Miss, 6, Palmeira Court, Hove. Chairman, Industrial 

Committee, Barclay Home for Bhnd and Partially Blind Girls, 

*Mayes, a. F., 83, Oxford Road, High Wycombe, Bucks. The Association 

of Self-Supporting Blind. 
*Mayiiew, Percy T., Armitage Lodge of the Church Benefit Society. 

Music Stereotyper, National Institute for the Blind, 206, Great 

Portland Street, W. 
McCoRQUODALE, Hugh, Royal Glasgow Asylum, Castle Street, Glasgow. 
Meiklejon, Mrs., Principal, Hastings and St. Leonards School for Bhnd 

Mentally Deficient Children, 48 and 49, Kenilworth Road. St. 

Leonards -on-Sea. 
♦Meiklejon, Miss, Head Mistress, Hastings and St. Leonards School for 

Bhnd Mentally Deficient Children. 


International Conference on the Blind 

Melbose, James, J.P., Clifton Croft, York. Hon. Treasvirer, Yorkshire 
School for the Blind, The King's Manor, York. 

Mekivale, Miss Judith, 4, Park To^^ii. Oxford. Central Secretary, 
Midland Counties Union. Member Hospitality Committee, Inter- 
national Conference, 1914. 
*Meerick, W. Percy, Elvetham, Shepperton, Middlesex. British Esperanto 
Association. Member Executive Council, Technical and Book 
Committee, etc.. National Institute for the Bhnd, Great Portland 
Street, London, W. 

Meston, William, Manager, Aberdeen Asylum for the Blind, Aberdeen. 

Metcalfe, Captain, Vice-Chairman of Western Counties Union. Delegate 
of Union of Unions. 

Mills, The Rev. Barton, Deputy Chairman, Incorporated Association for 
Promoting the General Welfare of the Blind, 2~^H, Tottenham Court 
Road. W. 
*Mines, J. H.. 6/). Cathedral Mansions. Liverpool. Member Committee, 
School for the Blind, Hardman Street. Liverpool, and School for Blind 
Children, Wavertree, Liverpool Meml>er Conference Committee, 

MoNCRiEFF, Thomas R., Crane Court, Fleet Street, E.C. Somers Town 
Blind Aid Society. 

Monk, Colonel, " Eyes to the Blind," 17. Callow Street. Chelsea. 

Moon, Edward R. P., 6, Onslow Gardens, London, S.W. Member Com- 
mittee, Gardner's Trust for the Blind. 

Moon, Miss, 104, Queen's Road, Biighton. Managing Trustee, Hon. 
Secretary, and Treasurer of the " Moon Society for Embossing Books 
for the Blind.'' Hon. Treasurer and Secretary, Blind Relief and 
Visiting Society for Brighton and District. Hon. Secretary, Moon 
Pension Fund for the Neces.sitous Blind of Sussex. Member Executive 
Council Metropolitan Union. 

Moore, Miss Emma M., 3, Eglantine Place, Belfast. Secretary of Belfast 
Society for Home Mission Work among Blind in Ireland, Cliftonville, 

Moore, Miss E., Maltby, Cowper Road, Worthing, Sussex. Hon. District 
Representative, Worthing Society for Befriending the Blind. 

MoRPHBY, Thos. William, Hazelwood, Ryde. Hon. Secretarj-, Isle of 
Wight Soci'. ty for the Benefit of the Indigent Blind. 
*MoRRisoN, Miss Edith, 9, Prospero Road. Upper Holloway, N. The Union 
of Bhnd Ladies. London. 

Moss, Mrs.. 72, Willifield Way, Hendon, Middlesex. "Fellowship of the 

Bhnd and Seeing." 
*MoYES, T. B.. A.R.C.O.. 9, Riselcy Place, Stirhng. A.ssociation of the Self- 
Supporting Blind. 

MuDiE, H. Bolingbroke. 77, Kensington Gardens Square, W. President, 
British Esperanto Association, Incorp.. 133, High Holbom, W.C. 

MuLLEY. Fred. J., Chief Clerk, The BUnd Tea Agency, Ltd., 5, Fen Court, 
London, E.C. 

Mtji.lins, Howard, Secretary, Incorporated Association for Promoting the 
General Welfare of the Bhnd, 258, Tottenham Court Road, W. 

Mtxnby, Frederick James, F.C.T.B., 3, Blake Street, York. Hon. Secre- 
tary, Yorkshire School for the Bhnd, The King's Manor, York. 
Chairman of the North of England Union of Agencies for the Bhnd. 

Murdoch, Thos., Vice-President, Dundee Institution for the Bhnd. 

Nelson, Miss Edith, 4, Ladbroke Gardens, W. London As.sociation for 

the Blind, 178, Charing Cross Road, W.C. 
Ness, Charles W., 38, Howe Street, Edinburgh. Superintendent of the 

Edinburgh and South-East of Scotland Home Teaching Society. 


List of Delegates 

NiEDERHAUSEN, H. Voii, Member Committee, North of England Union, 
St. John's House. Beverley, Yorks., and Superintendent and Librarian 
of the Northern Counties Society. 
Norwood, Albert Burton, M.A., Principal, Yorkshire School for the Bhnd, 
The King's Manor, York. Member of 1914 Conference Committee. 
Member of Executive Committee of the North of England Union. 
Member of the National Employment Committee. Member of the 
Executive C-ommittee, College of Teachers of the Blind. 

*Offord, — , Blind Teacher, Colchester Home Teaching Society for the 
Bhnd, St. Mary's, Colchester. 

*Oke, Herbert G., A.R.A.M., Ashcroft, All Saint's Avenue, Margate. Hon. 
Secretary, Music Advisory Committee, Incorporated National Lending 
Library for the Bhnd, Queen's Road, Bayswater. 
O'Malley. Sir Edward, Dejmty Chairman, Incorporated Association for 
Promoting the General Welfare of the Blind. 258, Tottenham Court 
Road, W." 

*Pas.smore, Leonard W., Park Lodge, Southficlds, London, S.W. Incor- 
porated National Lending Library for the Blind, Bayswater. 

*Pearson, a. p., B.A. (Lond. ), Royal Normal College for the Bhnd, Upper 
Norwood, S.E. Member Committee and Delegate of the College of 
Teachers of the Blind. 

*Pearson, C. Arthur, Hon. Treasurer, National Institute for the Blind, 

*PETR.'iON- Webber, Captain F. P., Ettington, Stratford-on-Avon. Associa- 
tion of the Self -Supporting Blind. 
Percy, Lord Algernon, Guy's Cliff, Warwick. 

*Petford, Miss Ethel, 8, Priory Gardens, Shepherd's Hill, Highgate, N. 
Certificated Masseuse. LTnion of Blind Ladies. London. 
Petty, Miss R. F., 3, Vernon Chambers, Southampton Row, W.C. Union 
of Unions. Assistant Superintendent of Day Centres for the Blind 
under the London County Councd. Member Hospitality Committee, 
1914 Conference. 
Pine, H. W. P., F.C^.T.B., Secretary and Superintendent, Royal Midland 
Institution for the Blind, Nottingham. Member of 1914 Conference 
Committee. Member of Committee and Examiner of the Royal 
College of Teachers of the Blind. Hon. Secretary of the National 
Employment Committee.. Hon. Secretary, Committee on the Tech- 
nical Education and Employment of the Blind Bill. Member 
Committee, Midland Union, etc., etc. 
PiNN, J. Arthur, Superintendent, West of Enalaud Institution for the 

Bhnd, Exet' r. 
Plummer, Alderman, Henry. J. P., Vice -Chairman, Henshaw's Blind 
Asylum, Old Trafford, Manchester. 

*Preece, Henry C, Armitage Lodge of the Church Benefit Societj^. 
Travelhng Secretary, National Institute for the Blind, 206, Great 
Portland Street, W." 
Priestley, Miles, Manager and Secretary, Royal Institution for the 
Blind, Bradford, Yorks. Member of 1914 Conference Committee. 
Member of Executive Committee of the North of England Union. 
Member of the National Employment Committee. 

*PiiRSE, Ben., President of the National League of the Bhnd, Club Union 
Buildings, Clei'kenwell Road, E.C. 
Putnam, Mrs., Ivydene, Aylesbury. Buckinghamshire Association for the 

Putnam, Mrs., Darlington, Member Committee, North of England LTnion, 
St. John's House, Beverley, Yorks. 

*Ramsay , John, 5, Cirencester Street, Sunderland. The Durham County 
Royal Institute for the Blind, 23-24, Vihiers Street, Sunderland. 


International Conference on the Blind 

*Rangek, a. W. G., M.A., D.C.L., F.C.T.B., 17, Fenchurch Street, B.C. 

Chairman, National Institute for the Blind. Hon. Secretary, College 

for the Higher Education of the Blind, Worcester, etc., etc. 
Redford, Mrs. Councillor, Member Board of Management, Henshaw's 

Blind Afsylum, Old Trafford, Manchester. 
Richmond, Douglas C, C.B., 64, Cornwall Gardens, London, S.W. Member 

Committee, Gardner's Trust for the Blind. 
RiCHSTOND, R., Ill, Scotlands Road, Nelson. Burnley Home Teaching 

and General Help Society for the Blind. 
Ritchie, Miss Munro, 09, Dyke Road, Brighton. Moon Society for 

Embossmg Books for the Blind. 
Robertson, P. Tindal, The Albany, London, W. Member Executive 

Committee, The Incorporated National Lending Library for the Blind, 

Queen's Road, Bayswater. 
RoBERT.soN, W , F.E.I.S., House Governor, Roj'al Victoria School for the 

Blmd, Newcastle-on-Tyne. 
*RoBiNSON, Arthur, 3, Sheridan Road, Belvedere, Kent. Bhnd Social Aid 

Societj^ and Literary Union, 5, The Mnories, London, E.C. 
RocKLiFFE, William Craven, M. A., M.B. (Cantab. ), M.R.C.S. (London), etc., 

17, Charlotte Street, Hull, Yorks. Hon. Treasurer and Sccretar}-, 

Hull Blmd Institution. 
Rosed ALE, Rev. H. G., D.D., 7, Gloucester Street, Victoria, S.W. London 

Association for the Bhnd, 178, Charmg Cross Road, W.C. 
Rowan, Miss Alice R., Hon. Secretary, Ladies Auxiliary of the ^Mission to 

the Out-door Blmd, 197, Buchanan Street, Glasgow. 
RoYLE, Alderman John, J. P., Chairman, Henshaw's Blind Asylum, Old 

Trafford, Manchester. 
*RoYSTON, Herbert S., 48, Hungerford Road, London, N. Hon. Treasurer, 

Blintl Social Aicl Societv and Lit era rj^ L^nion, 5, Minories, London, 


Sadgrove, Miss M. E., Organising Secretary, North of England taiion, 

St. John's House, Beverley, Yorks. 
Satow, The Right Hon. Sir Ernest, G.C.M G., Beaumont, Ottery St. Mary, 

Devon. Vice-President, West of England Institution for the Blind, 

Scott, Miss Eva R., Shere, Surrey. Editor, " The Weekly Summary for 

the Blind." 
*Shaw, a. N., B.A. (Fawcett Scholar, Oxford), East Mount Road, Y^ork. 

Assistant Music Master, Y^orkshire School for the Blind, The King's 

Manor, York. 
Shaw, Hugh W., Hon. Secretary, Workshoi^s for the Blind of Kent, 

49, London Street, Greenwich, S.E. 
Shearer, Miss, The Manse, Dyke Road, Brighton. Moon Society for 

Embossing Books for the Bhnd. 
Shearer, The Rev. Hugh, The Manse, Dyke Road, Brighton. A Trustee 

of the Moon Society for Embossing Books for the Blind. 
SiCHEL, Mrs., 23, Montpelier Crescent, Brighton. Member of Committee, 

Barclay Home for Blind and Partially BUnd Girls, Brighton. 
""SiDDALL, Albert, 5, Cronkeyshaw Road, Rochdale. V'isitor and Teacher, 

Rochdale and District Society for the Blind. Member 1914 Conference 

Skeels, Miss F. E. Serocold, Bowden Lodge, Leamington. Hon. Secre- 
tary, Fellowship of the Blind and Seeing. 
Slaughter, Miss C, 19, Wijichestcr Road, Wortlmig. Hon. Treasurer, 

Worthing Society for Befriending the Blind. 
Smith, Mrs. T., Haverbrack, Burnley Hon. Secretary, Burnley Home 

Teaching and General Help Society for the Bhnd. • 


List of Delegates 

Smith, R. 0., Secretary, Armitage Lodge of the Church Benefit Society. 

Manager of Pubhshing Department, National Institute for Bhnd, 

206, Great Portland Street, W. 
Smithers. F O., Chairman, London Society for Teaching the Bhnd. Swiss 

Cottage, N.W. 
*Snow, Ernest A., Trent House, Oxford Road, Gunnersbury, W. Bhnd 

Social Aid Society and Literary Union, 5, The Minories, E.C. 
Snow, Sebastian C, Weir Cliff, Exvvick, near Exeter. Hon. Treasurer, 

West of England Institution for the Blind, Exeter. 
Snowball, Miss, Matron, Barclay Home for Blind and Partially Bhnd 

Girls, Brighton. 
Stage, Mrs. George, Heathfield, Parkside, Cambridge. Hon. Secretary, 

Cambridge Society for the Blind. Delegate of the Eastern Counties 

Union of Societies for the Blind. 
Stainsby, Henry, F.C.T.B., Secretary--General, National Institute for the 

Blind. Hon. Secretary, International Conference on the Blind, 1914. 

Hon. Registrar, College of Teachers of the Blind. Member of Com- 
mittee, School for the Blind, Swiss Cottage, Birmingham Royal 

Institution for the Blind, Federation Board of Workshops for the 

Bhnd, London, etc., etc. 
Stallard, Miss Junius, 25, Park Street, Park Lane, W. The National 

Bhnd Relief Society. 
Stare Y, Mrs. Hepburn, 51, Belsizc Avenue, N.W. Hon. Secretary, 

Somers Town Blind Aid Society. 
Stead, Mrs. Vere, 42, Torquay Road, Newton Abbot. Organising Secre- 
tary, Western Counties Union. 
Stevens, C. W., General Manager, Workshops for the Bhnd, Park Street, 

Stevens, S. E., Superintendent, School for the Blind, Hardman Street, 

Steward, Henry A., Member Committee, Royal School for the Blind, 

Stoddart, Thos., vSuperintendent, Royal Glasgow Asylum for the Bhnd, 

100, Castle Street, Glasgow. 
Stone, W. M., F.E.I. S., Headmaster, Royal Blind Asylum and School, 

West Craigmillar, Edinburgh. Member 1914 Conference Committee. 

Member Board of Examiners, College of Teachers. 
Strangways, A. C. P., 12, Electric Avenue, Westchff-on-Sea. Hon. 

Secretary of the Association of the Self-Supporting Blind. 
SuTHER BY, George William, Manager and Secretary, Hull Blind Listitution. 

Tansey, Mrs., Pontefract and District Bhnd Visitmg Society, Wakeheld. 
*Tansey, Rev. Albert, Whitley Bridge, Yorks. Pontefract and District 
Blind Visiting Society, Wakefield. 

Tate, W. H., J. P., 24, Hanover Square, Bradford, Yorks Member of 
the Committee of the Royal Institution for the Bhnd, Bradford. 
Member Music Committee, 1914 Conference. 
*Taylor, H. M., M.A., F.R.S., J.P., F.C.T.B., Chairman, Technical and 
Book Committee, National Institute for the Blind. Founder and 
Hon. Secretary, Embossed Scientific Books Fund. 

Taylor, Miss Beatrice, 39, Sylvan Road, Upper Norwood, S.E. Hon. 
Co-Secretary, Union of Unions. Hon. Secretary and Treasurer, 
Sunbeam Mission Branch for the Bhnd. Member of Executive 
Committee, Metropolitan Union. Member General Committee, 
Midland Union. Member Committee and Chairman, Hospitality 
Committee, International Conference, 1914. Member Council of 
College of Teachers of the Blind, etc., etc. 

Taylor, W. E., Catholic Blind Asylum, Brunswick Road, Liverpool. 


International Conference on the Blind 

Tennant, John, 19, The Boltons, S.W. Chairman, Indigent Blind 
Visiting Society, 8, Red Lion Square, W.C., and National Institution 
for Massage by the Blind. 188, Marylebone Road, W. 

Thomson, W. F. H., B.A., J.R, Nimthorpe, York. Member of Committee, 
Yorkshire School for the Blind, The King's Manor, York. 

Thtjrman, W. H., Superintendent and Secretary, The Birmingham Roj^al 
Institution for the BUnd, Edgbaston, Birmingham. 

TiLNEY, Miss, 8, Ashbern Gardens, South Kensington. The Home 
Teaching Society for the Bhnd, 25, Victoria Street, Westminster, S.W. 

ToovEY, Miss, The Elms, Thame, Oxon. The Buckinghamshire Associa- 
tion for the Blind. 

TowNSON, James, J. P., Wraydene, Accrington. Hon. Secretary of the 
Accrington and District Institution for the Blind and Prevention of 
BUndness. Member of the Committee of the North of England 
*TowsE, Captain E. B. B., V.C., Vice-Chairman, National Institute for the 
Bhnd. Member Committee, Association for the Welfare of the Blind 
London. Member Council, College of Teachers of the Blind. 
*Tracy, J. H., Tower House, Beccles. Old Boys' Union of the College for 
the Blind, Whittington, Worcester. 

TuNNiCLiFFE, J. E., 12, Stanley CJardens, Notting Hill, W. Member 
Committee, W^est London Workshops for the BUnd, Notting Hill 
Gate, W. 
*TuRNER, H., 34, Daverall Street, Londcm, S.E. Treasurer, National 
League of the Bhnd, Club LTnion Buildings, Clerkenwell Road, E.G. 

Tyer, W. E., 5, Brunswick Gardens. Kensington. W. Hon. Treasurer, 
West London Workshops for the Bhnd, Notting Hill Gate, W. 

Tyler, Mrs. Albert, Queniborough Lodge, Syston, Leicester. The 
Association for Promoting the General Welfare of the Bhnd, Leicester. 

Tyler, Albert. Queniborough Lodge, Syston, Leicester. The Association 
for Promoting the Welfare of the BUnd, Leicester. 

Varty-Smith, Miss Amy, Nandana, Penrith. Hon. Secretary, Home and 
Workshops for the BUnd, Lf)nsdale Street, Carlisle. Hon. Secretary, 
Penrith BUnd Society, also The Blind Stocking (Juild. 

ViCKERS, C. H., No. 7, The Ropewalk, Nottingham. Member of Com- 
mittee, Royal Midland Institution for the BUnd, Nottingham. 

*Wax)E, W. R., M.A., DubUn. DubUn Secretary, National Institute for 

the Blind, London. 
Wagg, Henry J., 11, Gloucester Square, London, W. Hon. Secretary, 

Barclay Home for BUnd and Partiallj- BUnd Girls, Brighton. 

Treasurer, Barclay Workshop for BUnd Women, Edgware Road, 

London, W. 
Walker, Miss, Head Teacher, Roval Glasgow Asylum for the BUnd, 

100, Castle Street, Glasgow. 
*Walker, G. Iron, 44, West bury Street, Sunderland. The Durham 

County Royal Institute for the BUnd, 23-24, Vilhers Street, Sunder- 
Wallis, T. a., Indigent BUnd Visiting Society, 8, Red Lion Square, W.C. 
Walmsley, Mrs., Chester Society for the Home Teaching of the BUnd, 

53, Northgate Street, Chester. 
Walter.s, Mrs. WilUam, Penlan, Swansea. Swansea and South Wales 

Institution for the BUnd, Swansea. 
Warren, John C, M.A., F.C.T.B., Weekday Cross, Nottingham. Hon. 

Secretary, Royal Midland Institution for the Blind, Nottingham. 
*Warrilow, Herbert C, F.R.C.O., 10, Staverton Road, Oxford. Member 

1914 Conference Committee. Member Committee, Oxford Society for 

the BUnd. 


List of Delegates 

Watkins, Mrs., Ridgmont, High Wycombe. Hon. iSecretary, Mid-Bucks 
Division of the Buckinghamshire Association for the Bhnd. 

Whitbread, Lady, The Orchard, Ufford, near Woodbridge, Suffolk. 
Union of Unions of Societies for the Bhnd in England and Wales. 

Whitbread, Miss A., The Orchard, Ufford, Suffolk. Eastern Counties 
Union. Hon. Secretary, East Suffolk Bhnd Aid Association. 

Whitehouse, Mrs., 3, Parkdale, Wolverhampton. Member Committee, 
Midland Counties Union, and Wolverhampton Society for the Blind. 
*Whitnall, Miss Martha, 82, Coleman Road, Camberwell, S.E. The Union 
of Bhnd Ladies, London. Certificated Teacher, Smith Training 
College, Norwood. 

WiLLAN, M., Hon. Secretary, Homes for the Blind for Preston and North- 

East Lancashire, Fulwood, Preston. 
*WiLLiAMS, S. N., Armitage Lodge of the Church Benefit Society, 206, Great 
Portland Street, London, W. 

Wilson, George, Linton Lodge, Clifton, York. Member of Committee, 
Yorkshire School for the Blind, The King's Manor, York. 

Wilson, Henry J., F.C.T.B., 12, Cheyne Court, Chelsea, S.W. Secretary 
of Gardner's Trust for the Blind. Chairman of the College of Teachers 
of the Blind. Chairman of the Union of Unions, the Metropolitan 
Union, the Committee of the International Conferences on the Blind, 
1905, 1908, 1911 and 1914. the Special Committee to consider the 
Bhnd Aid Bill, the Workshops for the Bhnd of London Federation 
Board, the Federation of Libraries for the Blind and of the National 
Committee for the Employment of the Blind. Member of the Depart- 
mental Committee appointed by the President of the Local Govern- 
ment Board to consider the present condition of the Blind, etc., etc. 

Wilson, Miss Janet, 20, West High Street, Forfar. Missionary and 

Superintendent of the Forfarshire Mission to the Blind. 
*Wolstenholme, W., Mus. Bac. (Oxon.), 11, Hilgrove Road, Hampstead, 
N.W. Old Boys' Union of the College for the Bhnd, Whittington, 
Worcester. Member Consultative Music Committee, National 
Institute for the Blind. Joint Editor " Braille Musical Magazine." 

Wood, Mrs. Frances S., 32, Bank Street, Accrington. Secretary of the 
Accrington and District Institution for the Bhnd and Prevention of 

Wood, J. H., Woodville, Ince Avenue, Great Crosby, Lanes. Hon. 
Secretary and Treasurer, School for the Blind, Hardman Street, 

WooLLATT, F. A., National Blmd Relief Society, Chelsea. Director, The 
Bhnd Tea Agency, Ltd., 5, Fen Court, London, E.C. 

WooLLATT, F. Leshe, Director, The Bhnd Tea Agency, Ltd., 5, Fen Court, 
London, E.C. 

Wright, Miss Edith, Devereux House, Great Malvern. Organising 
Secretary, pro tem.. Midland Union, formerly Organismg Secretary, 
North of England Lhiion. Founder Wakefield Workshops for the 


International Conference on the Blind 



Albrecht, Mrs. George, 3, Moltke Strasse, Biunswick, Ctermanj'. 

IVIissionary of the American Evangelical Lutheran Mission, Renta- 

chintala, India. Organiser and Manager, School for the BUnd among 

the Telugusand. 
Albrecht, Mss EUsabeth, 3, Moltke Strasse, Brunswick, Germany. 
Alden, Mrs. CVnthia Westover, M.Litt., 96, Fifth Avenue, New York 

City. Founder of International Sunshine Blind Baby Homes. 
AuREP-NoRDix, Mrs. Elizabeth Directrice of the Drouning Sofias Stiff- 

terse, Venersborg, Sweden. 
Bosch, Dr. Isabelino, Trafalgar Buildings, Charing Cross, S.W. 
CoNSTANCON, Mile. IsabeUe, Avenue de France, Lausanne, Switzerland. 

Ek, Gustaf, Teacher, Royal Institution for the Blind, Tomteboda, Stock- 
holm, Sweden. 

ExEL, Mr ('.. M. Plantage Middenlaan, Amsterdam. Director, Institution 
for Bhnd Workmen and Asylum for Blind ^\'omen. 

HoLMBERG, Miss Gcrtrud, Manageress of Kindergarten School, Roj/al 
Institution for the Blind, Tomteboda, Stockholm. Member Com- 
mittee of Blind As.sociation's Exhibition, Malmo and Landau, 1914. 

Holmes, W. G. Editor of the " Matilda Ziegler Magazine," New York. 

JoHANNSON, Miss Ellen, Teacher, Royal Institution for the Blind, 

Tomteboda, Stockholm, Sweden. 
Jerrord, Miss, cjo Mile, de Tuite. 
*JoNKER, M., 28, Glengar}' Road, East Dulwich, S E. Editor of '-Lu.x in 
Tenebris," Amsterdam. 
Kennedy, Mrs. Lsabel, Secretarj^ Pennsylvania Home Teaching Society 
• and Free Circulating Library for the Bhnd, 617, Witherspoon Building, 
Philadelphia, U.S.A., and Secretarj^ Blind Rehef Fund, Philadelphia. 
LovELL, Miss, Austrian Post Ofifice, Jerusalem., Mr. A J., 63, Vaidcr Daj-nstraat Rottsrdam. 
Maktuscelli, Dominico. President Instituto Principe di Napoli pe! 

Giovani ciechi d'ambo i sessi, Naples. 
Mendoza, Seilor Jose Perez, Buenos Aj-res. 
*Meyer, Jacob C, Harald Haarfagersgt 31, Bergen, Norway. 

*Nakamura, Kyotaro, Waji Mura, Hamana Gun, Shizuwoka Ken., Japan 
(address in England, cjo Mrs. Yoshimoto, 18, Warnborough Road, 
Oxford). Member Japanese Blind Society, former Principal, Blind 
School, Formosa. 
Nygren, Johan, Teacher, Royal Institution for the Blind, Tomteboda, 
Stockhohn, Sweden. 

Oer, Andrew Wm., M.D., 71, Wickham Terrace, Brisbane. Member 
Queensland Braille Writing Association, Brisbane, Austraha. 

RosSANDER, Mrs. Wcndela, Stockholm. 

Russell, Miss Jane A., 147, South Huntingdon Avenue, Boston, Mass., 

U.S.A. Graduate Nurse, Superintendent of Boston Nursery for Blind 



List of Members 

Shah, Arun Kumar, 22, Lower Circular Road, Ballygunge, Calcutta. 
Headmaster, Calcutta Blind School. Member Association of Teachers 
of the Blind, London. Secretary, Blind Aid Society, Calcutta. 

Thordeman, Miss Brita, Teacher, Royal Institution for the Blind, Tomte- 

boda, Stockliolm, Sweden. 
TuiTE, Mile, de, 13, Rue Samonzet, Pau, France. 

Wilkinson, Mrs. George, cjo Church Missionary Society, Salisbury Square, 
E.C. Princijial, Blind Boys' School, Foo Chow, S. China. 


Absell, Alfred, 206, Great Portland Street, W. Assistant Secretary, 

International Conference, 1914. 
Adams, Alfred Jolm, PlynUmmon Terrace, Hastings. 
Adams, William Albert, Teacher, Royal School for the Blind, Leatherhead, 

Allen, Miss Agnes M., Matron, School for the Bhnd, Wavertree, Liverpool. 
Allen, Miss Fanny E., The Old Rectory, Scotton, Gainsborough, Lmcs. 

Late Manager and Corrector, Miss Hornby's Braille Depot, Liverpool 
Amcotts, Mrs. Cracroft, Kettlethorpe HaU, Newark. Member Committee, 

Lincolnshire Bhnd Association. 
Aemitage Miss, The Manor House, Marylebone Road, W. Member 

Executive Council, National Institute for the Blind, Great Portland 

Street. W. 
Ashley, Miss Ellen, 7, London Road, St. Leonards-on-Sea. Local Hon. 

Secretaiy, National Institute for the Blind. 
Austin, F., Assistant Secretary, Royal School for the Blind, Leatherhead, 

Surrey. Hon. Clerk to the Society for Granting Annuities to the Poor 

Adult Blind. 

Bailey, Miss Agnes, 6, Bodorgan Road, Bournemouth. 

Bainbeigge, Mrs. PhiHp, 12, Kingly Street, Regent Street, London, W. 

Bainbrigge, Miss, 11, St. George's Court, Gloucester Road, S.W. 

Bainbrigge, Miss L., St. George's Court, Gloucester Road, S.W. 

Bakee, Miss Mary E., Lmdens, Marlborough Road, St. Albans. Hon. 
District Representative, Metropolitan Union for the Blmd. 
*Balls, Miss M. L., Assistant Mistress, L.C.C. Myopic School, Harvist Road, 
Hornsey Road, London, N. 

Baekee, Miss Bertha H., 12, Shenley Road, Camberwell, S.E. L.C.C. 
School for High Myopia, Fountain Road, Tootmg, S.E. 

Barker, John Stephenson, Headmaster, East Anghan Schools, Gorleston- 
*Bartlett, Miss A., Powis Street Bhnd Centre, Woolwich. 

Bartle, Claude Hambledon, 263, Brixton Road, S.W. Assistant Secre- 
tary, Blind Ai'tizans Aid Society. 

Beasley, Miss Mary Edith, 41, Amhurst Road, Ealing. Hon. Organising 
Secretary, After-Care Association for Bhnd, Deaf, and Crippled 
Children, 91, Parliament Chambers, Great Smith Street, Westminster, 
*Bliss, W., 64, Spenser Road, Heme HiU, S.E. Teacher and Librarian for 
the Home Teaching Society for the Bhnd, 25, Victoria Street, West- 
minster, S.W. 

BoLAM, Mrs. C. E., St. Mary Magdalene's Rectory, Lmcoln. Member 
Committee, Lincohishire Bhnd Association, 

BooRD, Miss H. E., F.B.E.A., 8, Stanley Gardens, London, W. 
*BouvERiE, A., 123, Abbot's Road, Poplar, E. Teacher and Librarian for 
the Home Teachuig Society for the Bhnd, 25, Victoria Street, West- 
minster, S.W. 

C.B. 33 D 

International Conference on the Blind 

BowN, Mrs., North Eldon Street, Bamsley. 
BoYLAND, Miss F., Barlby Road Blind School, W. 
*Bbactigam, Miss Florence, 29, Marney Road, Clapham Common, North 

Side, S.W. Member of Committee ol Association of Teachers for 

Blind and of Union of BUnd Ladies. 
Bridgeman, The Hon. Mrs., 13, Mansfield Street, W. Vice-President, 

South Devon Home Teaching Society for the Blind. 
Brdjces, Miss Ethel A., Belvedere Club, 6, Cambridge Road, Hove. 
Beown, Miss Violet M., 23, Reynolds Close, Hampstead Way, London, 

N.W. Transc7-iber and Sub-Corrector, Licorporated National Lending 

Library for the BUnd, Bayswater. Member Braille Correspondence 

Club, Broadstairs. 
Browne, Miss M. E. Harris, 12, Alexandra Court, 171, Queen's Gate, 

Browne, Miss Winifred C. M., 85, Erpingham Road, Putney, S.W. 
Bryan, Miss Sara, 13, Highbury New Park, N. L.C.C. Brecknock School 

for the Blind, Camden Towai, N.W. 
Buchanan, Mrs. Geo., Workshops for the BUnd, New RadcUffe Street, 

Bull, Arthur, Bernard's, Cottenham, Cambs. 
BuRGOYNE, Alan H., M.P., 25, Linden Gardens, W. Member Committee, 

West London Workshops for the Blind, Vestris House, Nottmg Hill 

Gate, W. 
Burnett, Miss Mary Gordon, 92, London Road, Reading. Member of 

Council and Representative of MetropoUtan Union for the Blmd. 
Butler, Miss J. E., 529, Upper Holloway Road. L.C.C. Brecknock School 

for the BUnd, Camden Town. 

♦Campbell, Sir Francis. Late Principal, Royal Normal College for the BUnd, 

Upper Norwood, S.E. 
Cantlie, James, M.B., Surgeon, 140, Harley Street, London, W. 
Carbis, Samuel James, 72, Prince Street, Dalton-in-Fumess. 
Carter, A. W., Principal's Clerk, Royal School for the BUnd, Leatherhead, 

Cato, Mrs. T. Butler, 8, Stanley Crescent, W. Member Committee, West 

London Workshops for the BUnd, Nottmg HiU Gate, W. 
Cayley, Miss, Garden House, Cambridge. 

CHALLAND.S, IVIiss Jessic E., Fern Villa, Rons Road, Newmarket. 
Chippendale, Miss Isabella, 48, Harpur Street, Bedford. Voluntary 

BraiUe Copyist for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. 
Chitty, Miss J. E., 72, Onslow Gardens, London, S.W. Voluntary BraiUe 

Writer and Corrector for the National Lending Library for the BUnd. 
Coffin, A. C, B.A., Director of Education, Bradford. 
Conway, Alderman Michael, 177, Gladstone Street, Bradford. Member 

City of Bradford Education Committee. 
CooDE, Miss H. G., 45, North Gate, Regent's Park, N.W. 
Cooper, A. S., The Bungalow, Caversham, Reading. 
Cooper, T. T., 24, Redlands Road, Reading. 

Cox, Miss A. B., Head Mistress, Carlton Street Bhnd School, Bradford. 
Cunliffe, Lady ElUs, 34, The Grove, Boltons, S.W. Member of the 

Committee, West London Workshops for Blind, Nottmg HiU Gate, 


Dart, Miss E., 28, Aigburth Drive, Liverpool. 

Dart, Mrs., 28, Aigburth Drive, LiveriTOol. Hon. Secretarj% Liverpool 

Home Teaching Society. 
Davidson, W. D., Rubislaw Terrace, Aberdeen. Governor, Aberdeen 

Asylum for the Blind. 
Davidson, W.,'s Blind Asylum, Old Trafford, Manchester. 


List of Members 

Da VIES, Miss Leonora, 50, College Road, Bangor. Visiting Teacher and 

Industrial Superintendent, North Wales Home Teaching Society for 

the Blind. 
*Delph, Miss Harriet, Teacher, L.C.C. School for the BUnd, Morning Lane, 

Hackney, N.E. 
Dettmer, W. J., Teacher, Royal School for the Blind, Leatherhead, Surrey. 
DixsoN, Mrs. Ruth, 13, Crick Road, Oxford. 
DoDD, Miss Edith H., 12, Great Norwood Street, Cheltenham. Copyist 

for National Lending Library. 
DowDESWELL, Mrs. Annie E., Chalford Hill, Stroud. 
*DowDESWELL, Rcv. T. B., Treeton Rectory, Rotherham, Yorks. 

Eden, Mrs., 94, Marlborough Mansions, W. Hampstead, N.W. 

Edmonds, Mrs. H., Carlton Villa, Brixton Road, S.W. Member Com- 
mittee, South London Association for Assistmg the Blind (Iii- 

Eggington, Denys, The Chase, Redlands Road, Reading. 

Ellis, Miss K., Assistant Mistress, Royal Midland Institute for the Blind, 

Ellis, Miss K. M., Head Mistress, School for the Blind, Blenheim Walk, 

Emery, Mrs. G. F., Wormley Lodge, Broxbourne, Herts. District 
Representative, Metropolitan Union. 

Evans, Henry, 16, Manderville Street, Liverpool. 

Everett, Mrs. A. E., Head Mistress, L.C.C. Myopic School, Harvist Road, 
London, N. 

Fairclouoh, R, Schoolmaster, Royal Midland Institution for the BUnd, 

Fellows, Miss Annie, Gipsyside, Wokingham, Berks. 
Fellows, Mrs. H. M., 76, Southtown, Great Yarmouth. Hon. Secretary, 

Home Teaching Society. 
Fennell, Miss Emily E., 33, Westgate, Wakefield. Hon. Secretary, 

Wakefield Home Teaching Society for the Bhnd. 
Fowler, John, Collector, Royal School for the Lidigent Blind, 1 and 2, 

St. George's Circus, S.E. 
Frost, Miss Catharine, M.A. (Dub.), 1, Bateman Street, Cambridge. 

Member Committee, Cambridge Society for the Bhnd. 
Fry, Miss Cora Ellen, C.M.S. Hostel, 65, Highbury Hill. Missionary, 

Palamcottah, South India. 
Fulton, John, 26, Upper Philhmore Gardens, Kensington, W. Member 

Committee, West London Workshops for the BUnd, Vestris House, 

Netting Hill Gate, W. 

Gadsby, G. H., London Society for Teaching the BUnd, Swiss Cottage. 

Gait, Mrs. E. A., The Croft, Park Hill, EaUng, W. 

Gardner, G. W., London Society for Teaching the BUnd, Swiss Cottage. 
♦Gardner, Rev. J. Lawrence, St. Adrian's Neuk, Gullane, East Lothian. 

Gardner, WiUiam John, 3, Nelson Road, SaUsbury, Wilts. Hon. Secre- 
tary, Salisbury and District Committee for the BUnd. 

Garlick, Miss Frances A., Teacher, L.C.C. School for the BUnd, Morning 
Lane, Hackney, N. 

Gell, Miss B. Marion, Smedley's Hydro, Matlock. 

Gilford, Hastings, 205, King's Road, Reading. 
*GiRDW00D, Miss Catherine, Head Teacher, Hants and Isle of Wight School 
and Home for the BUnd, St. Mary's Hall, Southsea. 

Good body, Mrs. Francis W., 6, Chandos Street, Cavendish Square, London, 
W. Member of Committee, Somers Town BUnd Aid Society. Member 
of Council of Incorporated Association for Promoting General Welfare 
of the BUnd. 

85 D 2 

International Conference on the Blind 

GoRELL, The Lady, 14, Kensington Park Gardens, W. 

Gokell-Baenes, The Hon. Aura, 14, Kensington Park Gardens, W. 

Member Sunbeam IVIission (BUnd Branch). 
Gribben, John Cameron, 16, McKerrel Street, Paisley. Teacher of the 

Griffith, Miss A. E , 11, Oxford Square, Hyde Park, W. 
*Griffiths, Rev. David, 29, Highfield Road, Colwjai Bay, N. Wales. 

Member Committee, North Wales Home Teaciung Society for the 

*Grimmett, Mrs., Powis Street Bhnd Centre, Woolwich. 
Grimsdale, Harold, F.R.C.S., M.B.Sc. (Cantab.), 3, Harley Place, London, 

N.W. Ophthahnic Surgeon to the Royal Normal CoUege for the BUnd, 

Upper Norwood, S.E. 
Guy, Councillor John A., EUersthorpe, EccleshiU, Bradford. Member City 

of Bradford Education Committee. 
*GuYOT, Mrs., The Abbey, Evesham. Member Technical and Book 

Committee, National Institute for the Blind, London. 
GuYOT, Rev. C, B.A., The Abbey, Evesham. 

Hale, Thomas, 116, Marsh Street, Barrow-in-Funiess. Home Teacher of 

the Bhnd. 
*Haller, George Dennis, F.R.C.O., 47, Tunnard Street, Boston, Lines. 
Hamilton, Miss Henrietta J., 1, Earlstoke Villas, Lansdowne Road, South 

Lambeth. Member Sunbeam Mission (Bhnd Branch). 
Hammick, Sir St. Vincent A., Treneer, Torquay. Hon. Secretary, Torquay 

and South Devon Home Teaching Society for the Blind. 
Hanbtjry, W. G. Libertas, Cross Road, Brighton. 
Hannant, Miss L. H., dc, Havelock Road, Brighton. 
Hardy, Mrs. Harold, 50, Great Cumberland Place, W. Member Auxihary 

Union, National Institute for the BUnd, London. 
Harison, Mrs. Janet, Park House, Kew. Joint-Editor " Santa Lucia." 
Harrison, Jolm WilUam, 48, Upper Brook Street, Manchester, Manu- 
facturer Harrison's Patent Knitting Machines. 
Hawes, Mr. J., London Society for Teaching the Blind, Swiss Cottage, 

Hawkins, Miss C. A., Shop Manageress, Royal Institution for the Blind, 

*Heberden, Miss A. B., Ehnfield House, Exeter. 
Heberden, Miss E. B., Ehnfield House, Exeter. 
Hill, Mrs. de Vere, Balmoral Lodge, Effra Road, London, S.W. 
Hill, E. de Vere, Balmoral Lodge, Effra Road, S.W. Director, Blind 

Artizans Society. Hon. Organising Secretary, South London Institute 

for the BUnd. Director, Home of Rest and Care for Female BUnd. 
Hiscott, Miss A. M., Head Mistress, Royal Midland Institution for the 

BUnd, Nottingham. 
HoDGKiN, Miss Ehz. Howard, Park House, Kew. Joint-Editor " Santa 

Hogg, Miss Violet, 32, Bisham Gardens, Highgate, N. 
HoLBERTON, ]\Iiss E. M. P., The Nook, Sevenoaks, Kent. 
HoLDEN, Miss L., 28, Chesham Street, Bradford. Assistant Teacher, 

School for the BUnd, Bradford. 
HoLEHOUSE, Rev. Thos., 38, Cairnie Street, Arbroath, Forfarshire. 

Formerly Teacher, Henshaw's BUnd Asylum, Manchester, 
Holmes, Miss M., 32, York Road, West Norwood, S.E. Head Mistress, 

L.C.C. School for the BUnd, Boundary Lane, CamberweU, S.E. 
Hood, Miss I., 21, St. Peter's Road, St. Leonards-on-Sea. Hon. Secretary 

and Founder, The Convalescent and HoUday Home for the Blind, 

St. Leonards-on-Sea. 


List of Members 

Illingworth, J. Stewart, Henshaw's Blind Asylum, Old, Trafford, Man- 

Illingworth, Mrs. H. J., Henshaw's Blind Asylum, Old Trafford, 

Ingram, Miss Maud, The Priory, Wimbledon Common, S.W. Secretary, 
After-Care Association for BUnd, Deaf, and Crippled Children, 91, 
ParUament Chambers, Great Smith Street, Westminster, S.W. 

Jacob, Miss Francoise Louise, 31, Pahneira Mansions, Hove, Sussex. 

James, Mrs. Isabella, 15, Swallowfield Road, Charlton, Kent. 

Jenkins, Mrs. Elise, Talaton Rectory, Ottery St. Mary, Devon. Member 

Committee, West of England Institution for the Bhnd, Exeter. 
* Johns, Miss E. A., 211, Eversleigh Road, Lavender Hill, S.W. 
Jones, J., 18, Harvey Street, Newtown-, Carhsle. Teacher for the Carhsle 

Home Teaching Society. 
Joseph, S. M., 250, Elgin Avenue, Maida Vale, W. 

Kent, Miss L., Hon. Secretary, Blind Knitters' Lidustry, After-Care 
Association for Blind, Deaf, and Crippled Children, 91, Parliament 
Chambers, Great Smith Street, Westmmster, S.W. 

Kino-Chtjrch, Miss M. Evelyn, Chve Lodge, Albury, Guildford. 

KoNiG, Mrs. F. A., Tyringham, Newport Pagnell, Bucks. Hon. Libraria.n, 
Orne Braille Library for the Use of the Blind in Bucks. 

Law, Mrs. Duncan G., Hawkesworth Hall, Guiseley, near Leeds. Member 

Committee, Royal Institution for the Bhnd, Bradford. 
Law, Miss Margaret C. D., Hawkesworth Hall, Guiseley, near Leeds. 

Member of City of Bradford Education Committee. 
Lempriere, Wilham, Christ's Hospital, 60, Aldersgate Street, E.C. 

Deputy Clerk to Christ's Hospital and Hetherington's Charity, and 

Member Executive Council, Metropohtan Union. 
Levick, Miss Emily, The Inglenook, Wadhurst, Sussex. Management 

Committee, Shilhngton Blind School, Battersea. 
Limb, Miss M., Typewriting Teacher, Royal Midland Institution for the 

Blind, Nottingham. 
Lindsay, Miss Jean Gait, II, Fenton Street, Alloa. 
Lindsay, Miss NelUe Cunningham, Rosebank, Whins Road, Alloa. 
Llewellyn, Miss B., Gilfach Goch, Glam. 
♦Llewellyn, Rev. George, Gilfach Goch, Glam. 
Lloyd, Mrs. W. M., Lensfield, Woodridings Avenue, Hatch End, M'sex. 
LoDWiCK, William, 16, Briar Street, Kirkland, Liverpool. 

Marland, Miss Florence Edith, Head Mistress, School for the Blind, 

Makshall, Rev. G. K. S., 13, Lambeth Hill, London, E.C. Rector, 
St. Nicholas Cole Abbey. 

Martin, Mrs. T. H., London Society for Teaching the Bhnd, Swiss Cottage. 

Matta, Miss V. M., Knitting Manageress, Royal Institution for the Bhnd, 
Bradford, Yorks. 

Matthews, Miss S. A. B., 48, Sisters Avenue, Clapham Common, S.W. 
Head Mistress, L.C.C. School for the Bhnd, Shilhngton Street, Batter- 
*McCartey, T., 76, Roding Road, Clapton, N.E. Teacher and Librarian 
for the Home Teaching Society, 25, Victoria Street, Westminster, S.W. 

McCoMAS, Rev. Chas. E. A., M.A., LL.B., Queen Anne's Mansions, West- 
minster. Member Committee, Home Teacliing Society, London. 

McMuRTRiE, Miss Agnes Katharine, 26, Inverleith Row, Edinburgh. 

McMurtrie, Miss J. M. Dorothea, 26, Inverleith Row, Edinburgh. 
*Miller, Peter, 55, Walton Street, Anlaby Road, Hull, Yorks. Hon. 
Secretary, St. Andrew's Brotherhood and Home Mission for the Bhnd. 


International Conference on the Blind 

MoLiNE, Miss Mary Izabel, The Rectory, Cottenham, Cambridge, Writer 
for the C.M.S. Braille Magazine. 

Morris, Miss Margaret, Assistant Teacher, School for the Blind, Wavertree, 

MoRRLSH, John, 46, Carson Road, Dulwich. 

Moss, Miss F. M., St. Modwen's. Sefton Park, Liverpool. Member Com- 
mittee, Workshops for the Blind and Home Teaching Society, Com- 
■wallis Street, Liverpool. 

Murray, ^Vliss Margaret Hesketh, 21, Penrith Avenue, Giffnock, Glasgow. 
Teacher of the Bhnd to the Glasgow School Board. 
*Nash, Rev. P. L. C, The Rectory, Usk, Monmouthshire. 

Nicholson, Miss A. O. B., 7, Duddingston Avenue, Liverpool. Lady 
Superintendent, Liverpool Home Teaching Society for the BUnd. 

Nicholson, Miss Elizabeth, Carleton House, Chfton, near Penrith, Cumber- 
land. Member Committee, Penrith Braille Readers' Association. 

NoRRis, Miss K., L.C.C. Blind School, Boundary Lane, Camberwell, E.G. 

Offord, .Joseph, 53, Hilldrop Road, Camden Road, N.W. 

Oke, Mrs. H. G., Ashcroft, All Saints' Avenue, Margate. 

Parker, Miss, 25, Victoria Street, Bamsley. Member of Bamsley Associa- 
tion for Visiting and Teaching the BUnd. 

Pearson, Miss A., London Society for Teaching the BUnd, Swiss Cottage. 

Percy, Lady Algernon, Guy's CUffe, Warwick. 

Phillimore, William, 66, Earlsfield Road, W^andsworth, S.W. 
*Platt, Harry Edwin, Beechfield, Wood End Road, Erdington, Birming- 
ham. Head Music Master, Royal Listitution for the BUnd, 
Birmingham. Editor " Braille Musical Magazine." 

PococK, Mrs., The Glen, Duppas Hill, Croydon. Superintendent, Croj^don 
Blind Teaching and ReacUng Society. 

Potter, Miss G. B., Kensington Infirmary, Marloes Road, London, W. 

PuGH, Mrs. A. C, 31, Palmcira Mansions, Hove, Sussex. 

Pdgh, Miss Alma Langrish, 31, Pabueira Mansions, Hove, Sussex. 

Purnell, Miss A. K., Royal School for the BUnd, Leatherhead, Surrey. 

Ridley, Miss E. M., London Society for Teaching the Blind, Swiss Cottage, 
*RiDONT, T., 35, Kellet Road, Brixton, S.W. Teacher and Librarian for 
the Home Teaching Society for the Blind, 25, Victoria Street, West- 
minster, S.W. 

Ritchie, Mrs. J. M., 79, Humphrey Street, Old Trafford, Manchester. 

Ritchie, J. M., Schoolmaster, Henshaw's Blind Asjlum, Old Trafford, 
Manchester. Secretary, Association of Teachers of the Blind. 
*Roberts, Miss A. E., Principal, Lake Tower School for the BUnd and Blind 
Deaf, Rhyl, North Wales. 

Robinson, Miss E. M., 69, Station Road, Sandiacre, near Nottingham. 
*R0BINS0N, Miss Frances Maria, The Sycamores, Pwllycrochan Avenue, 
Colwyn Baj-, North Wales. Member, National Institution for Massage 
by the BUnd. Member, Incorporated Society of Trained Masseuses. 

Roebuck, Miss May, Henshaw's Blind Asylum, Old Trafford, Manchester. 

Rogers, C. W., Tentry Heys, Queen's Park, Chester. Hon. Secretary, 
Chester Society for the Home Teaching of the BUnd. 

Rothwell, Miss M., 12, StockweU Park Walk, Brixton. Head Mistress, 
Ehn Court BUnd School. Member L.C.C. After-Care Committee, and 
of BUnd Women's Industries Committee. 

RuNGE, George, 17, Fentiman Road, Clapham Road, S.W. Member 
Committee, South London Association for Assisting the BUnd (In- 

Russell, Miss H. C, Clifton Lodge, Elder Road, West Norwood, S.E. 
BraiUe Writer. 


List of Members 

Rttssell, S. M., Dial House, Colin Deep Lane, Henclon, N.W. Formerly 
Hon. Treasurer to the late Hill Murray's Mission to the Chinese Blind, 
Peking, China. 
*RyAN, J., 22, Arlington Square, New North Road, N. Teacher and 
Librarian for the Hojue Teaching Society for the Blind, 25, Victoria 
Street, Westminster, S.W. 

Sanders, Mrs. E. J., Lexden Park, Colchester. Hon. Secretary, Home 

Teaching Society for the BUnd in Colchester and Neighbourhood. 
Sargeant, F. a.. College Road, Reading. 
ScHLUND, Miss Lottie, 34a, Sydenham Hill, S.E. Member, British 

Esperanto Association. 
*Shabpe, W., 48, Ockendon Road, Essex Road, IsUngton, N. Teacher and 

Librarian, Home Teaching Society for the Bhnd, 25, Victoria Street, 

Westminster, S.W. 
Smith, Miss Emma, Holmwood, Weston-super-Mare. Member Com- 
mittee, Western Counties Union. Hon. Local Secretary, National 

Institute for the Blind, Great Portland Street, London. 
Smith, Miss Ethel H., 6, Cleveland Mansions, Elgin Avenue, W. 

Incorporated Society of Masseuses. 
Smith, Miss N., Boundary Lane, Blind School, Camberwell, S.E. 
Smith, Miss M. D., Cashier, West London Workshops for the Blind, 

Notting Hill Gate, W. 
Smith, Mrs. Henry, West London Workshops for the BUnd, Vestris House, 

Notting Hill Gate, W. 
Smith, Henry, Manager, West London Workshops for the Blind. Vestris 

House. Nottmg Hill Gate, W. 
*SouTER, Harry C, A.R.C.O., Music Master, West of England Blind 

Institution. St. David's Hill, Exeter. 
*Spanner, H. Victor, Mus.Bac, F.R.C.O., L.R.A.M., 48, Oriel Road, North 

End, Portsmouth. 
Stacpole, Mrs. E. M., 30, Deauville Mansions, Clapham Park, S.W. 

Member of Committee, South London Association for Assisting the 

Bhnd (Incorporated). 
Stacpole, Wilham 30. Deauville Mansions, Clapham Park, S.W. Member 

Committee, South London Association for Assisting the BUnd 

"^Stacy, Miss Maud, Woodthorpe, Buckhurst Hill, Essex. 
Stacy, Miss NeUie. Woodthorpe, Buckhurst Hill, Essex. 
Stainsby, Mrs., 45, West Heath Drive, Golders Green, N.W. 
Stainsby, F. Ingle, Assistant Secretary, National Institute for the Bhnd, 

206, Great Portland Street, W. 
*Stericker, a. C, 19, Beaconsfield Place, Aberdeen. 
Stevens, Mrs. S. E., Matron, School for the BUnd, Hardman Street, 

SuTCLiFFE, Miss A. E., Matron, The Convalescent and Holiday Home fof 

the BUnd. St. Leonard's-on-Sea. 
SwiB'T, Mr., Teacher and Librarian for Surrey, Home Teaching Society, 

25, Victoria Street, S.W. 
SwiNNEKTON, Mrs. J., Llaudcvaud Vicarage, Newport, Mon. Member 

Committee, Newport and Monmouthshire Blind Aid Society. 
SwiNNERTON, Rev. J., Llaudevaud Vicarage, Newport, Mon. Hon. 

Treasurer, Newport and Monmouthshire BUnd Aid Society. Hon. 

Treasurer and Secretary, Llandevaud Country Home Change for the 

Symes, G., London Society for Teaching the Blind, Swiss Cottage. 

Tasker, Miss Clara, Teacher, Royal School for the BUnd, Leatherhead, 


International Conference on the Blind 

Taylor, Miss Emily Jane, " The Yews." Cambridge. 

Taylor Mrs. H. Coupland, The Ingle Nook, Wadhurst, Sussex. Manage- 
ment Committee. Shilhngton Street Blind School, Battersea. 

Templeton, Miss Edith M., The White Cottage, Newport, Essex. Secre- 
tary to Incorporated Society of Trained Masseuses. 

Thomas, IMiss Lihan L. M., SpeedeweU, Parkstone Road, Poole. Member 
Committee, Bournemouth and District Bhnd Aid Society. 

Thomas, Mrs. Oldfield 15, St. Petersburg Place, Bayswater HiU, London, 
W. Member of Committee, National Lending Library for the Blind. 
*Thompson, AKred John, F.R.C.O., L.R.A.M., 5, Park Terrace Pontj^pool, 

ToMKissoN, Mrs., 118, Church Road, LTpper Norwood. 

Toms, Rev. Alfred A., M.A., LL.B. (Cantab.), The Vicarage, FHxton, 

TowNSEND, Miss Isaljella, 5, Hartington Road, Brighton. 

TtJBB, Miss Sarah Kate, Elvetham. Shepperton. 

Tyer, Mrs. W. E., 5, Brunswick Gardens, Kensington, W. Member of 
Committee of West London Workshops for BUnd, Netting Hill Gate, 

Udall, Miss Ellen, Oakdale, Southborough, Kent. 

Vanse, Miss E., Sunning Lodge. Bartholomew Road, N.W. 
Verschoyle, Mrs,, 3, Hillslcigh Road, Campden Hill, W. 

Wade, Mrs. C. S. Rochfort. Belcamp Hutchinson, Raheny, Co. Dublin. 
Walden, Herbert George, Assistant Master, Royal School for the BUnd, 

Leatherhead, Surrey. 
Waldrox, The Rev. A. J., St. Matthew's Vicarage, Brixton, S.W. Chair- 
man, Blind Artizans Aid Society. 
Walford, Hugh E., Pattingham, Reading. Hon. Secretary and Treasurer, 

Reading Blind Aid Society. 
Walker, George Irons, 44, Westbury Street, Sunderland. Member 

Committee, Roj^al County Institute for the Bhnd, Sunderland. Head 

Teacher, Council Day School for the Bhnd. 
Warrilow, Mrs. H. C, 10, Stave rton Road, Oxford. 
Watney, Miss Katherine, Valence, Westerham, Kent. Late Principal, 

Church of England Zenana Mission School for Blind Girls, Too Chow, 

Watson, Mrs. Francis, Beulah, Thackley, Bradford. Member City of 

Bradford Education Committee. 
Watson, Mr. John Wilham, 84, Hollingreave Road, Burnley, Lanes. 
Wayne, Alfred, Birkdale House, Oakfield Road, Selly Park, Birmingham. 
Weinberg. Miss Gertrude A., Fembrae, Dundee. Hon. Secretary in 

Dundee. Licorporated National Lendmg Library for the Bhnd, 

Weller, John, 15, Stopford Road, Upton Manor, E. Hon. Secretary and 

Superintendent, St. Jude's Society for the Manual Training of the Blind, 

West Ham. 
West, Edward, The Glen, Winscombe, near Weston-super-Mare. 
West, Mrs. Edward, The Glen, Winscombe, near Weston-super-Mare. 
*White, William, 18, Whamchffe Gardens, Grove Road, N.W. Teacher 

and Librarian for the Home Teaching Society for the Blind, 25, Victoria 

Street, Westminster, S.W. 
Whitehouse, Miss E., Boundary Lane Blind School, Camberwell, S.E. 
Whitelaw, Miss, 30, Montagu Square, W. 
*Whttworth, Miss, 35, Portland Street, Southport. 
Wilkinson, Frederick, Director of Education, Education Offices, Nelson 

Square, Bolton. 
Williams, Miss Minnie, Thornfield, Plymouth Grove, Manchester. 


List of Members 

Williamson, Miss Annie F., 5, Shalston Villas, Surbiton. 
*WrLMOT, Arthur, Principal, Beethoven House College of Music, 24, 

Dingwall Road, Croydon, Surrey. 
Wilson, Mrs. Henry J., 12, Cheyne Court, Chelsea, S.W. Representative, 

Metropolitan Union for the Blind. 
WiNDLE Mrs. R. J., 18, Harvard Mansions, St. John's Hill, S.W. Head 

Mistress, Powis Street L.C.C. School for the Blind, Woolwich. 
Weight, Miss D. A., Teacher, Royal School for the Blind, Leatherhead, 

*Wyllie, John, 42, Mount Park Road, Ealing, W. 
Wyllie, Mrs. J., 42, Mount Park Road, Ealing, W. 

YosHiMOTO, Mrs. T., 18, Warnborough Road, Oxford. 


International Conference on the Blind 


The Exhibition was on an unprecedented scale, and never 
before has such a large and varied assortment of articles 
connected with blindness been brought together in one place. 
The exhibits filled the large upper hall of the Church House 
and overflowed into the galleries and the ground floor rooms. 
One room was entirely given up to the interesting myope 
exhibit of the London County Council, and at the last minute 
a large part of the refreshment room had to be screened 
off to accommodate the exhibit brought over by Miss 
Winifred Holt on behalf of the Ncav York Association for 
the Blind, Another room was occupied by the National 
Institute for Massage by the Blind for demonstration 
purposes, while the interesting collection of historical 
exhibits was grouped on the platform in the large hall. 
The Aerated Bread Company occupied the refreshment 
room, an arrangement that was much appreciated. 

The Exhil)ition Hall was tastefully decorated, and all the 
necessary fitting was satisfactorily carried out by Messrs. 
Bridges, of King's Lynn. A full catalogue of the exhibits, 
with plans, was on sale, but of this we can only include a 
suinmary. Photographs of the Exhibition were taken by 
Messrs, Walsham's, Doughty Street, W.C, from whom 
copies can be obtained. 


Working Exhibits. 

Class A. — Goods made by the Bhnd. 

Class B. — Machines, Apparatus, Books, etc., used by or for the Blind. 

Class C. — Historical Section. 

Foreign and Colonial Exhibits. 


Birmingham Royal Listitution , Telephony. 

Bradford Royal Institution . . Knitting and silk shawl making. 

Buckingham Association . . Spinning. 

Dictaphone Co. . . , , 

Edinburgh Royal BUnd Asylum , Mattress making. 

Few, Rev. C. E., Blackheath . . White or yellow writing on black, 

Glasgow Royal Asylum . . . Carpentering and cabinet making. 


Exhibition, Summary of Exhibits 

Greenwich : Workshop for the Blind Ship's fend-oii making. 

of Kent. 

Harrison Knitting Machine Co., Ltd. Knitting. 

Liverpool : Hardman Street School . Boot and shoe repairing. 

Leatherhead : Royal School for the Mat making, brush drawing, and 

Blind, and the Blind Employment sash-cord making. 
Factory, London. 
London : 

Barclay Workshops . . Weaving. 

Blind Employment Factory . (See Leatherhead.) 

Association for Promoting the Heavy basket making. 

Welfare of the Blind. 

Society for Teaching the BUnd, Cane and rush seating. 

Swiss Cottage. 

National Institution for Massage Massage. 

by the Bhnd. 

Royal Normal College, Norwood Typewriting, piano repairing. 

London Association for the Light basket making. 
BUnd and East London Work- 

Manchester : Henshaw's Asylum. . Lancashire mill cane, skip and other 

basket making. 

Nottingham Royal Midland Listitu- Typewriting correspondence room ; 

tion. Lord and Lady Algernon Percy's 

Morse code for the blind-deaf. 

Webber,* Captain Peirson . . Poultry farming. 


Groups of exhibits were sent in by the following. Goods made by the 
scattered blind were collected by the Unions, and the names of the 
individuals are given in the official catalogue of the Exhibition. 

Accrington and District Institution for the Bhnd. 
Berkshire County Society. 
Birmingham Royal Institution. 
Blackburn and District Workshops. 
Bolton : Thomasson Memorial School. 
Bournemouth and District Blind Aid Society. 
Bradford : Carlton Street School. 

Royal Institution. 
Brighton : Barclay Home and School. 
Bristol : Royal Asylum and Workshops. 
Buckinghamshire Association for the BUnd. 
Cheltenham Home Teaching Society. 
Chester Home Teaching Society. 
Colchester Home Teaching Society. 
DarUngton BUnd Welfare Society. 
Derbyshire Association for the Care of the Blind. 
East London Home and School. 
Eastern Counties Union. 
Exeter : West of England Institution. 
Ireland — Belfast : Cliftonville Home. 

Cork : St. Raphael's Home, Montenotte. 
DubUn : National Institute (Irish Branch). 

National Institution and Molyneux Asylum. 

Richmond National Institution.! 

St. Mary's Home, Merrion. 


International Conference on the Blind 

Leatherhead : Royal School for the Blind. 
Lincolnshire BUnd Association. 
Liverpool : Catholic Asylum. 

Hardman Street School. 
London : After-care Association. 

Association for Promoting Welfare of the BUiid. 
Barclay Workshop. 
" Eyes to the BUnd." 
Home Teaching Society. 
London Associatio^. 

London Society for Teaching the Blind, Swiss Cottage. 
■ National Institute. 
National Institution for Massage by the Bhnd. 
Royal Normal College for the BUnd, Upper Norwood. 
Stepney, Miss Armitage's BUnd Class. 
Workshop for the Blind of Kent, Greenwich. 
L. C. C. Junior Day Schools : Brecknock BUnd School. 

Barlby Road, North Kensington. 
Boundary Lane, Camberwell. 
Morning Lane, Hackney. 
ShiUington Street, Battersea, 
Powis Street, Woolwich. 
L. C. C. Myope Classes : Boundary Lane, Camberwell. 
Fountain Road, Tooting. 
Harvist Road, Holloway. 
Manchester : Henshaw's BUnd Asylum. 
Manchester and Salford BUnd Aid Society. 
MetropoUtan and Adjacent Counties Union. 
" Moon " Society. 
North of England Union. 
North Wales Home Teaching Society. 
North West Union. 

Northern Counties Society, North Shields. 
Nottingham : Royal Midland Institution. 
Oxford Society for the Bhnd. 
Peterborough Blind Society. 

Scotland : Aberdeen Town and County Association. 
Dumfries and Galloway Mission. 
Dundee and Lochee Mission. 
Edinburgh and South-East of Scotland Society. 
Fife and Kinross Society. 
Forfarshire Mission. 
Glasgow and West of Scotland Mission. 
Glasgow and West of Scotland Mission, Ladies' Auxiliary. 
StirUng Clackmannan Society. 
Sheffield Institution for the BUnd. 
Staffordshire, per Miss E. Wright. 
6tratford-on-Avon Weaving School, Shottery. 
Swansea and South Wales Institution. 
Warwickshire BUnd Association. 
Western Counties LTnion. 
Whitby Workshop for the Blind. 
Worcester College for the BUnd, 
Worcestershire, fer Miss E. Wright. 
Worthing Society for Befriending the Blind. 
Yorkshire School for the Blind, York. 


Exhibition, Summary of Exhibits 

Foreign and Colonial Exhibits. 

Australia . Sydney Industrial Blind Institution. 

Egypt . . Alexandria Blind Industrial School. 

France . . Institut Regional Profession elle d' Aveugles d' Angers. 

Orphelinat pour les Aveugles de Deols, Chateauroux. 

Les Asiles John Bost, Laforce, Dordogne. 

Association Valentin Hauy pour le Bien des Aveugles, 

L'Institution Nationale des Jeunes Aveugles, Paris. 
Germany . Leipzig : Emploj-ment Bureau for the Blind. 

Potsdam : Home for Deaf, Dumb, and Blind. 
Holland . Amsterdam : Blind School. 

Rotterdam : Institution for the Bhnd. 
India . . Industrial Home and School for the Blind, Calcutta. 

North India Industrial Home for Christian Blind, Rajpur. 

C.M.S. Schools for the Blind, Palamcottah, South India. 
Italy . . Milan : Institution for the Blind. 

Palermo : Institution for the Blind. 

Rome : Institution for the Blind, S. Alesso All' Aventino. 
Portugal . Estoril : " Branco Rodriguez " Institute for the Blind. 

Oporto : Institute for the Blind. 
Russia . Kieff Institute. 

St. Petersburg : Blessig's Institution. 

Alexander Maria School for Blind Children. 
Siberia. . Irkutsk School for the Blind. 

Spain . . Barcelona : Printinc Works for the Blind. 

Sweden . Queen Sophia's Institution for the Blind. 

Swedish Blind Association, Stockholm. 
Switzerland . Berne : Home for the Blmd. 

Lausanne : L'Asile des Aveugles. 
Syria . . British Syrian Mission. 

U.S.A. . Brookljni Bureau of Charities. 

International Sunshhie Society. 

New York Association for the Blind. 

Ohio Commission for the Bhnd. 


Northern Counties Bhnd Society (for 
Director Kunz, Mulhausen, Ger- 
many. ) 

London Association for the Bhnd 

W. R. Wade. Dubhn . 

Miss Radford .... 

Buckinghamshire Association for the 

Miss Kirkman, Ely 

Miss H. E. Cooke and Nurse Harding 

Royal Bhnd Asylum and School, 

Edinburgh and South East Scotland 
Society for Teachmg the Blind. 

Douglas Johnstone, Aberdeen . 

James Farquhar, Stonehaven 

Alexander Smith .... 

Books, maps, pictures, etc. 

Round knitting machine. 

Guide for copying Braille. 

Plasticine models. 

Braille indicators, mvented by Miss 

Raised tape measure. 
Raised scrap-album. 
Collection of books. 

Writing machines, past and present. 

Braille teaching block. 
Safety styles. 
Pencil writing board. 


International Conference on the Blind 

Robert Meldrnm . 
Miss Mary Hill, Arbroath 
National Institute for the Blind 

Ditto (for Mr. J. L, Cantelo) . 
National Lending Library for the 

Blind (Incorporated). 
The Moon Society, Brighton . 

Miss C. r. Gordon-Cumming. . 

Weekly Summary for the Blind 

Miss Laura Strickland . 
L.C.C. Myope Classes. . 

N. Bishop Harman, M.B., F.R.C.S. 

Pencil writing frame. 

Moon's alphabet, aluminium. 

Braille books, pamphlets, writing 
frames and machines, maps, dia- 
grams, cards, chess, watches, 
arithmetic trays, etc., etc. 

Original Braille frames. 

Braille Books, etc. 

Books, Christmas cards, writing 

frames, writing paper, diagrams, 

maps, Moon type-embosser, etc. 
Books and photographs showing 

Hill-Murray system of Braille for 

the Blind in China. 
Copies of the paper, rehef portraits, 

Manuscript music. 
Desks, chairs, black exercise books, 

types, etc., etc. 
Drawings, etc., illustrating eye 


Foreign and Colonial. 

Royal Institution for the BUnd, Frames, tools, system of music, etc. 


L'Institution Nationale des Jeunes Braille systems, maps, globea, 

Aveugles, Paris. writing apparatus, etc. 

Association Valentin Hauy pour le Writing apparatus, music and read- 

Bien des Aveugles, Paris. ing methods, stenography, music, 

books, etc., ptc. 

Ch. Ducoumau, 11 Rue de Siam, Musicographe. 


Milan : Institution for the Blind . Writing tablets, etc. 
Russia — 

KiefE School .... Books, tools. 

St. Petersburg : Alexandra Marie Writing apparatus, books, etc. 
School for Bhnd. 

Spain : Printing Works for the Blind, " Sor " writing apparatus, etc. 


Sweden : Swedish Blind Association Drawing and arithraetrical appara- 
tus, books, machines, apparatus 
for making rope and rugs. 

Switzerland : L'Asile des Aveugles, Books, music, apparatus. 


Exhibits were kindly lent by the following : — 

Armitage, Miss Alice S. . 
Campbell, Lady .... 

Canterbury, His Grace the Arch- 
bishop of. 
Dickinson, Sir John 
EUis, Messrs. .... 

ReUcs of the late Dr. Armitage. 
Relics of late Sir Francis Campbell 

and Laura Bridgman, etc. 
Lambeth MS. No. 931 ; letter by 

Sir Samuel Morland, 1692. 
Portrait Sir John Fielding. 
Portraits John Stanley, Mus. Bac. 


Exhibition, Summary of Exhibits 

Ellis, Miss E. Constable 

Fawcett, Mrs 

France : Institution des Jeunes 

Frere, Miss A 

Fritte, Robert 
Gardner's Trust 
Gilbert, Oanon 
Gilbert, Miss S. 
Goodhart, Mrs. 

Gordon -Gumming, Miss C. F. 

Hamilton, Hugh R. 
Hanfstaengl, I'ranz 
Harrogate Public Library 
Haworth, John L. 
Hirst, Mr. F. W. . 
Holland : 

Miss M. Heineker . 

Institution for Helpless Blind 
lUingworth, W. H. 
Inner Temple Library . 
Italy : 

Institution of Milan 

Institution of Palermo 

Hospital for Blind, Catania 
Johnson, Stuart . . . , 

Knaresborough Urban District 

Leatherhead : Royal School . 

Lempriere, Wm. .... 

Liverpool : Hardman Street School . 

London : 

Association for General Welfare 

of the Blind. 
National Institute . 
Manchester : Henshaw's Asylum 

MetcaU, J 

Metcalf, E. S 

Merivale, Miss J. . 

Moon, Miss 

Murray, Dr. David 
Northern Counties Society 

Nottingham : Royal Institution 
Rosedale, Dr. .... 

Lady's silver watch for blind. 
Portraits and rehcs of Professor 

Alphabets, books, photos, etc. 

Books, etc., illustrating Frere's 
system of writing and reading. 

Printing machine. 

Books, pictures, apparatus, etc. 

Letter by Eliz. Gilbert. 

Rehcs Eliz. Gilbert. 

"Primer for the Use of the Blind," 
Southwark, 1880. 

String alphabet and newspapers, 

Books by Colonel J. P. Hamilton. 

Pictures with bhnd subjects. 

Books and photos of John Metcalf 

Photo of premises in Accrington. 

Portrait of Alfred Hirst. 

Maps, books and pictures. 


" Life of John Metcalf," 1812. 

Portrait John Stanley. 

Books and verses. 

Women's work, compositions, etc. 

Photos, pamphlets. 

Relics Viscount Cranboume, por- 
traits, letters, shield for police, 
and the Harris collection of books, 
pictures, etc. 

John Metcalf 's walkuig stick. 

Portraits, photos, writing apparatus, 

pentagonal type, etc. 
Portraits and engravings relating to 

Christ's Hospital. 
Portraits and documents relating to 

the school from 1194: to date. 

Portrait and photos. 

Collection of types and frames. 

Old typewriters, arithmetic board, 

Portrait John MetcaK. 
John MetcaH's viohn, 1746, 
Frere's type and books from it. 
Rehcs of late Dr. Moon, books, tools 

for embossing, etc., etc. 
Blacklock's poems, 1746. 
Busts of Braille and Hauy, and Mell's 

" Encyclopaedia of BUiidness," 
Portrait and engravings. 
Pictui'es of bhnd subjects. 


International Conference on the Blind 

Russia : 

Kieff School .... 

Alexandra Marie School . 

Sabin, Frank T 

Scotland : 

Royal Asylum, Edinburgh 

Royal Asylum, Glasgow . 

University of Glasgow 

Stirling, etc., Home Teaching 
Sherbrooke, Viscountess. 
Shipley, Dr. A. E., F.R.S. 
Sweden : Swedish BUnd Association 

Switzerland : Asile des Aveugles, 

Trinity College, Cambridge. . 
United States : 

New York Natural History 

New York : International Sun- 
shuie Society. 

Wade, Wni. R 

Wagg, Henry J. . 

Westminster City Council 

Wilson, Henry J. . 

Wright, Miss E 

Yorkshire School for the BUnd 

Photos, maps, post-cards, etc. 
Books, magazines, pamphlets, etc. 

Portraits, etc.. Dr. Johnson. 
Alston books, types, etc. 
Jamiesons works. 
" Warren Hastings " in embossed 

English type, 1841. 
Photo of late Viscount. 
Milton rehcs. 
Apparatus for writing, and making 

rope and rugs, etc. 
Writing machines, books, music, 

Facsimile Milton MSS. 

Photo and text relating to work for 

the bhnd in the museum. 

Portraits of celebrated blind men. 
Engraving and Encyclopcedia Lon- 

donienii^ 1810. 
Portrait Sir John Fielding. 
Bas relief Helen Keller. 
Embossed tvpc, etc., by Sir Chas. 

Lowther, 1812. 
Jubibe addressses. lace, and auto- 

grajjh Laura Bridgman. 


Organ Recitals, the Optophone, Etc. 

During the week tlie following organ recitals were given at 
St. Stephen's, Walbrook, E.G., and St. Margaret's, Westminster, 
by courtesy of the rectors and organists of these churches : — ■ 
June 1 8th, St. Stephen's, Walbrook, Mr. H. C. Warrilow,* 

F.R.C.O., of St. Barnabas, Oxford. 
June 19th. — ^St. Stephen's, Walbrook, Mr. A. C. Sterricker,-^^ of 

the South U.F. Church, Aberdeen. 
June 20th. — -St. Margaret's, Westminster, Mr. James Crowley,* 

F.R.C.O., of St. James', Wood Green. 
June 22nd.^St. Stephen's, Walbrook, Mr. F. W. Priest,* 

F.R.C.O., of St. Patrick's, Balsall Heath, Birminohani. 
June 23rd. — St. Stephen's Walbrook, M. Albert Mahaut,* of 

the Institution Nationale des Jeunes Aveugles, Paris. 
June 24th. — St. Stephen's, Walbrook, Mr. E. C. Austin,* 

F.R.C.O., of the School for the Blind, Montreal. 


Dr. Fournier d'Albc, of the Birmingham University, very 
kindly attended on Friday and again on Tuesday in order 
to give an exhibition of his apparatus by means of Avhich, 
it is claimed, ink-print letters can be distinguished by 
sound, thus enabling blind persons to read an ordinary book 
or newspaper. The apparatus was recently exhibited 
before the Royal Society, when it aroused much interest. 


M. Bivort, of 21, Boulevard Bonne Nouvelle, Paris, paid 
a flying visit on June 22nd, to demonstrate his new Braille 
writing machine. The advantages claimed for the machine 
are that it enables a sighted person to write letters in Braille 
without having any knowledge of Braille, and also that 
great speed can be obtained on it. The Grand Prix was 
taken at the Brussels Exhibition for a verbatim report taken 
at the rate of 225 words per minute. 

c.B. 49 

Opening of Conference 

Wednesday Evening, June 17th. 

A SPECIAL service was held at the Chiireh of St. John the 
Evangehst, Smith Square, Westminster, bv kind permission 
of the Rector, the Rev. A. O. B. Wilberforce, D.D. The 
service was conducted by the Rev. C. E. Bolam,* Rector 
of St. ]\Iary Magdalen, Lincoln, and there was a large congre- 
gation present. Mr. W. Wolstenholme,* Mus. Bac. (Oxon.), 
presided at the organ, and the choir was comjjosed chiefly of 
blind singers and choristers trained by blind choirmasters. 

Thursday Morning, June 18th. 

The proceedings opened at 11.30 a.m. Avith the singing 
of the National Anthem by the choir of the Royal Normal 
College, after which a short prayer was offered by the 
Rev. W. H. Carnegie, M.A., Canon of Westminster Abbey 
and Rector of St. Margaret's, Westminster. 

Mr. Henry J. Wilson then read the folloAving letter just 
received from the Right Hon. John Burns, President of the 
Board of Trade : — 

" Board ok Trade, 

" Whitehall Gardens, 

" nth June, 1914. 
" Dear Mr. Wilson, — 

" International Conference on the Blind. 

" You know that at one time I had hoped that I should be able to take 
the chair at one of the sessions of your Conference, and I am much 
disappointed that other pubhc engagements prevent me doing so. At 
the same time I am very anxious, without, of course, pledging myself on 
matters of detail or proposed legislation, to let you and your fellow members 
of the Conference understand how entirely anything that may tend to 
alleviate or ameliorate the condition of the blind of our country has my 
complete sympathy. In particular I sincerely trust that the General Order 
which I had the privilege of promulgating when President of the Local 
Government Board, making Ophthalmia neojiatorum a notifiable disease, 
may prove to be a potent factor in reducing in the future the number of 
those who hitherto have been subject to blindness in their infancy. I feel 
convinced that one of the best ways of combating this disease is to arrest 
it as far as possible at the very earHest point at which it is liable to attack 
our young children. 

" With best wishes for the work of your Conference, 

" Yours faithfully, 

(Signed) " John Burns." 

" H. J. Wilson, Esq., Chairman, 

" International Conference on the Blind." 


opening of Conference 


Ladies and Gentlemen, — The overwhelming sorrow which 
has darkened the home of Her Royal Highness Princess 
Louise has made it impossible for her to fulfil her engagement 
to open this Conference. I feel sure that the sympathy of 
the Conference will go out to Her Royal Highness in her 
bereavement. England has lost much in the death of the 
Duke of Argyll, who, I think we may fairly say, had won 
the admiration, the respect and the affection of all classes 
in this country. I have only just come from passing through 
Westminster Abbey, as I always do when near it, and the 
one monument I happened to notice was that of the great 
Duke of Argyll, on which I read the remarkal)le inscription 
" He was an honest man." 

It is in these sad circumstances, ladies and gentlemen, 
that I have been asked to act the part of opener of the 
proceedings to-day, Avhich is really a comjiliment to one of 
the great City livery companies long associated and identified 
with the cause of the blind — I mean, of course, the Cloth- 
Avorkers' Company, of which it is my great privilege to find 
myself Master this year. It is nearly two hundred years 
since this great Company, incorporated by Henry VIII., was 
first entrusted with endowments for the benefit of the blind. 

Since that time, and particularly during the last half of 
the past century, members of the court of that company 
have contributed to the extent of no less than £100,000 
towards the fvmds applicable to the blind, and to-day the 
disbursements of the company for the purpose of pensions 
for poor blind people amount to no less than close on £8,000 
per annum. The company also administers what is called 
the Blind Man's Charity, which represents a further £3,500 
per annum. These disbursements take place without any 
diminution, not a single penny being charged for expenses 
of administration. I think the Public Trustee and the 
Charity Commissioners may regard with some feeling of 
admiration the generosity of the Clothworkers' Company in 
this respect. Last year a further sum of £4,000 was ]jlaced 
in our hands for a similar purpose, showing the confidence 
reposed in the Company, and I hardly think that the Member 
of Parliament who a few weeks ago spoke in the House of 
Conuiions, and very practically, on the great needs of the 
blind, was justified in saying that private charity in this 
country had broken down. I do not think it has. A 
century ago there were but four institutions for the blind, 
and now I do not think I should be wrong if I said there are 

51 E 2 


ning of Conference 

one hundred and fifty. It is true, however, that of late 
years the welfare of the blind has been partly obscured by 
the almost feverish activity in tlie great field of social 
improvement and social Aveifare, and that the interests of 
the blind have been allowed perhaps to slide somewhat. 
It is high time that more direct attention was given to the 
claims of those who are so deserving of our consideration. 

The awakening has undoubtedly been very greatly 
quickened by the extraordinary and wonderful energy and 
advertising genius of Mr, Pearson in advancing the great 
claim of Dr. Armitage's institute for more finids to increase 
and cheapen Braille literature. The claim was greatly 
advanced by the jx-rsonal interest shown by the King and 
Queen at their recent visit to Great Portland Street. The 
result has been to stir the public imagination — that is, of 
course, a great thing — and this great Conference is intended 
to stir the imagination of the public, I hope, still further. It 
is a Conference that has been greatly aided by tlie movement 
of Mr. Pearson and his institute. The object of the Con- 
ference to-day is to bring together from all parts of the world 
those interested in the Avelfare of the blind, so that they may 
combine in one common effort to try and solve the problems, 
or some of them, which affect our less fortimate brothers and 
sisters. The chief of these is, I think, how best the capable 
blind can be helped to become commercially and profession- 
ally employed, and, incidentally, what steps can be taken 
to induce the pubHc to employ blind people, and thus 
help them to become seif-su})i)orting. What experience 
I have tells me that it is not pity the blind want, but help 
to become self-supporting. I think these International 
Conferences are of the greatest possible use ; they bring the 
nations of the Avorid into closer touch, and serve, I think, 
to humanise the universe and cement a more general feeling 
of brotherhood and good fellow:;hip. 

In the course of the ten sessions promised to us we shall 
have papers on many subjects of interest, Mr, Wilson, the 
Chairman of the Conference Committee, and Secretary of 
Gardners noble Trust, will explain the work of the unions 
of societies for the blind, which include all the counties 
in England and Wales, and enables records to be kept of 
all the blind people in the country. Suggestions will be 
made for improving the attitude of the public towards the 
employment of the blind, Mr, Illing worth, of Manchester, 
promises a pap :r on the incompetent blind, A representa- 
tive from Paris will gixi.' a paper on Braille and its modifica- 
tions, and Lad}'- Campbell, I hope — although I am sure 



nine of Conference 


you will all regret to hear that her husband is lying in bed 
dangerously ill— will be able to give her paper on the 
elementary education of the blind. Then there will be 
delegates from Russia, Denmark, Australia, and elsewhere, 
to give a description of the work done on behalf of the blind 
in their various countries. There will be a paper by 
Mr. Percy W. Merrick on Esperanto. Short papers will be 
given on piano tuning, massage, scouting and salesmanship, 
while on Tuesday we are to have a lecture, I think I gathered, 
on the ojitophone, that wonderful new instrument devised 
to enable totally blind people to read ordinary books by 
means of the ear. I was present at the Royal Society 
conversazione the night before last, when it was shoAvn, and 
it is truly a most wonderful invention. 

Now, my friends, before declaring this Conference open, 
I desire on behalf of the Conference Committee to offer a 
most hearty welcome to all the delegates and members who 
have so generously responded to the invitation to come 
here. And especially I offer that welcome to those from 
other and distant countries. I express to them the hope 
that they may receive every hospitality here, and I think 
this will be so, for I know that Miss Beatrice Taylor has 
been devoting herself wholc-licartedly to their service. I 
hope during the intervals of the sessions they may find an 
opportunity of making better acquaintance with the capital 
of the Empire, which I think they will find has grown in 
beauty and attractiveness to such an extent as to make 
them value still more the inestimable blessing of sight. We 
have decided to follow the practice adopted at the Hague 
to arrange the countries alphabetically, and to call upon the 
representatives in that order. There are twenty-seven 
countries represented, and I hope that in my list I shall not 
have omitted any of them. If I have, I trust you will 
forgive me. As the meeting finishes at a quarter to one I 
shall ask them to confine their remarks to two or three 
minutes. The list is as follows : — 

Argentine, Australia (New South Wales and Queensland), 
Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, ■ Canada, China, Colombia, 
Denmark, the Dominican Republic, France, Guatemala, 
Hungary, India (and when we speak of 34,000 blind people 
in England and Wales, how small is this number compared 
with the vast numbers of blind persons in India), Italy, 
Japan, Mexico, Montenegro, Norway, Peru, Portugal, 
Russia, Spain, Sweden, Uruguay, United States of America 
(among the representatives being Miss Winifred Holt), and 



ening of Conference 

Now, ladies and gentlemen, I hope the representatives 
from these various countries will be able to assist us in 
considering the various problems before us. 

All I have now to do is to declare this great fourth Inter- 
national Conference open, and I trust that it may solve 
some of those problems I have referred to. 

I will give the representatives of the ^'arious countries an 
opportunity of saying a word. 


said it was a great pleasure to see so many people gathered together who 
were interested in the welfare of the blind. He was one of the first to take 
part in relieving the condition of the blind in Sydirey, and it was in tliis 
way : the father of a great friend of his had a blind mother, and while on 
ship-board going out to Australia, she was nearly drowned by a heavy sea 
coming over the vessel. Her son conceived the idea of forming an Institu- 
tion in which the Blind could support themselves, and before his death he 
left a large sum of money for the purpose. Sir Robert was one of the 
trustees, and executor of the will. It is now about thirty year's since the 
founding of the Sydney Blind Institution, and it has grown steadily in 
strength, and well fulfilled the intentions of the testator. Sir Robert then 
referred to the circular racing track invented by Mr. Hcdger, a model of 
which could be seen in the Exliibition. In conclusion, he said how much 
he appreciated the welcome given to him and the oth(>r delegates that day, 
and he would be pleased to tell them in Austraha of the large and important 
gathering then assembled. 

MR. PHILIP E. LAYTON* (Montreal). 

On behaK of the Montreal Association for the Blind, Mr. Layton thanked 
the Conference for the welcome tendered to thenr that moniing. He went 
on to say that it was with the deepest regret that he heard of the illness of 
Sir Francis Cami^bell, from whom he had learnt much, and the thought of 
whose energy had often stimulated him to fresh efforts. He congratulated 
the blind and the workers for the blind in Great Britain on the progress 
made during the last few years, but impressed upon the bhnd that they must 
do something for themselves, and not wait for their sighted friends to do 
everything for them. Harmony and co-operation were necessary in the 
work. He then spoke of the world-wide effects of Mr. Pearson's campaign, 
and said that only the other day he had received a donation of £10 10*'. from 
a lady in Paris as the duect result of Mr. Pearson's work. No doubt 
Mr. Pearson would have liked it himself (laughter), but he hoped to get a 
good many more subscriptions as the result of that gentleman's eflorts. 
He contmued : "I wiU tell you a httle story. There was an old Jew in 
Montreal, and when he woke up one morning he found that another Jew 
had started in the same kind of business on the opposite side of the street. 
This worried him very much. One night he dreamed that an angel came 
and said, ' Solomon, I will give you anything you desire, but there will be 
one stipulation.' ' Good,' said the old Jew. ' But,' said the angel, ' I will 
give your competitor two for eveiy one that I give you.' ' What ! ' said 
Solomon, ' you will give him two for every one you give to me ? ' ' Well,' 
the angel said, ' we must be charitable ; we must love our neighbours.' 
' You give me one poimd and you give him two ! You give me a thousand 
pounds and you give him two thousands ! Then, please angel, give me one 


opening of Conference 

blind eye.' (Laughter.) Mr. Chairman, you are laughing at the old Jew. 
There are thousands who, like him, think that blindness puts a man out of 
commission. This Conference is going to show that the blind can be useful 
members of society ; and to say that they cannot is false. I thank you, sir, 
for your kind reception of me." 

Senor D. I. GUTIERREZ PONCE (Colombia) 

said it was his duty, as one who feels much pleasure in the honour that has 
been done him in the invitation to attend this Conference, to tender the 
hearty congratulations of the Colombian Government on such an important 
gathering. Their aim was to give light to those whose eyes are closed in 
permanent darkness, they had come from all parts of the world to study their 
needs and welfare, and he hoped this new effort in the interests of the blind 
would be crowned with complete success. 

MR. F. WIBERG (Denmark). 

The Danish Department of Public Worship and Education has charged 
me to represent the Royal Institution for the Blind in Copenhagen at this 
Conference, and on their behalf I beg to express the sincerest wishes for the 
success of this meeting. I am very glad to visit a country that is knitted 
to Denmark by so many bonds. The Workshop for the Blind in Copenhagen 
was constituted on the model of the English workshops, but the friends 
of the blmd over there desire closer communication with England ; they 
want to leam more from England, and especially they want to reach the 
English level in the physical training of the bhnd. I express the hope that 
this Conference may knit still closer the bonds between the friends of the 
blind in both countries. 

Monsieur ALBERT MAHAUT* (France). 

I wish I could say as much as I feel it how deeply we are touched by the 
warm and hearty welcome which has been given to us. For my own part, 
I cannot say enough of the luncbiess of the English people whom I have met 
and who have helped me so charmingly. With all my heart I thank them. 
I thank them not only in my own name, but especially in the name of the 
French blind — my pupils and my friends. I represent them all here, and 
you must know how intimately they associate themselves in that grand 
effort that is to be so fruitful for the bhnd of the whole world. I make 
bold to say that from our dear France started the first beautiful beginning 
of the work for the benefit of the bhnd. But if France was the land of their 
first instructors I must acknowledge that the peoi:)le of England have taken 
up the matter in a most splendid way. When I go back to France I shall 
tell them of all the wonderful thmgs I have noticed here. I want to 
encourage them, to stimulate their energy, and I cannot do this better than 
by telUng them of the excellence of your schools and their clever blind 
brothers and sisters in this country. 

Now let me give you my best wishes for the full success of this Conference. 
Let me tell you how happy I am to co-operate myself for a little while in 
its work, and once more let me express my heartiest, my greatest thanks. 

DR. STEPHEN TOTH (Hungary). 

Li the name of the Royal Hungarian Government and my colleagues 
present, I wish to tender our greetings. At the same time may I express 



ening of Conference 

my very best thanks for the kind mvitation yon sent to onr countrj-men and 
the courteous reception you have given us. 

In our country one of our kings himself was blind, and I am glad to say 
that during his reign our country was very happy indeed, which proves 
that there is an inner life which raises the hearts of human people. 

I would like to express our best wishes for the complete success of this 
great gathering. May the cause of the bhnd be greatly advanced by our 
united efforts durmg this Conference. 

MR. A. K. SHAH (India). 

I rejoice to be present at this august assembly, and, on behalf of the 
600,000 blind peojile of India, I respond to the cordial welcome extended to 
foreign delegates in my own distinctive manner (bowing in Indian fashion). 


I was not prepared to reply to the very kind words of welcome to-daj', 
but, on behalf of my Government and the blind of Italy, I express the wish 
that this Conference may be a very great success. Our best thanks are due 
to the organisers of it, and we hope that out of the work done here a great 
deal of good will come, not only for the blind of Italy, but of the whole 
world, who are united with us in spirit, and that it will be for the best 
interests of the community. 

SIR J. R. PARKINGTON (Montenegro). 

I am very glad indeed to have had the privilege of being asked to attend 
this Conference, and I feel confident that the gathering will do an immense 
deal of good. I have the honour to represent the Montenegim Government, 
and can assure you that their Majesties the King and Queen, and the 
Government, have the greatest possible sympathy with the cause we all 
have at heart. 

In order to make the cause of the bhnd known it is necessary to advertise. 
One of the speakers said that he hoped the cause of the blind would appeal 
to those about to make their wills, then, I say, if that is your desire you 
must advertise so as to let those people know that legacies will be acceptable 
to the blind. 

I certainly think the blind should be exceedingly grateful to the Cloth- 
workers' Company and the other companies as well, for the very large 
sums they are distributing. Many peoi^Ie to-day would like to do away 
with the City Guilds, but when you come to hear what the Chairman has 
said about the huge sums given bj' the Clothworkers' Company alone, this 
of itself ought to justify their existence. 

I am glad to sslj that in the country I represent, which is a very small 
one, although there are a great many bhnd, still I think the number is 
not excessive. Of course they have the sj'mpathy of the King, for there 
is no man m this world who has greater symjoathy with the poor than Kmg 

I thank you xery much for giving me the opportunity of saymg these 
few words, and for the privilege of bemg here to-clay. 

MR. NAKAMURA (Japan). 

It is such encouragement to meet so many people m one hall who are 
devoted to the work for the blind — people from all over the world. The 


opening of Conference 

time has now come for better provision for the blind, not only in England 
but in every country throughout the civilised world. 

Every school for the blind in Japan sends kindly greetings to the members 
and delegates of this important Conference, and we are under a great 
obligation to those who have contributed to its organisation. 

DR. E. L. CONGRAINS (Peru). 

Havhig been chosen as delegate from Peru to the fourth International 
Conference on the Blind, now being inaugurated, I have the honour to 
present to you the greetings of the Government, of the Faculty of Medicine, 
and of the whole medical corps of Peru, together with their best wishes for 
the success of the Conference. 

My country shares in the admiration evoked throughout the world by 
the ardent zeal for progress of the British nation. An admirer of her 
activity, Peru follows with keen interest the magnificent progress which 
England has realised in every respect, and we regard with enthusiasm her 
labours in every branch of science, and especially in that which treats of 
the prophylaxis of blindness and the improvement of the sad lot of the bUnd. 

In this matter much has already been done, but it is jDossible and necessary 
to do more. A proof of this is seen in the very motive of our assembly, 
to which learned men have hastened from every civilised country. 

Trusting that the Conference will result in many important benefits to 
humanity, I have the honour to salute you, Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentle- 
men, in my own name, and at the same time to express my gratitude for the 
kind welcome you have accorded me. 

Monsieur JACOB KOLOUBOVSKY (Russia). 

Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, — On behalf of the Russian Imperial 
Government and of the Association of the Empress Maria Alexandrovna 
for the Welfare of the Blind, the Oculist in Ordinaiy and I, your humble 
servant, express to the Conference the most cordial wishes for successful work. 

The association, whose activity is spread throughout Russia, hstens 
attentively to the voice of every notable worker for the blind or for the 
prevention of bhndness, and is always ready to introduce into its country 
whatever may be worked out by Conference and can be apphed in Russia. 

Director JACOB- ALRIK LUNDBEKG * (Sweden). 

Having been appomtcd by the Swedish Government to represent them at 
this Conference, it is my pleasing duty to convey their most hearty greetings 
to all present. Besides this message, so fully in harmony with the feehngs 
of my blind brothers as well as my own, I have on the i>resent occasion 
another high duty to perform. I have really come here for the purpose of 
learning ; my appointment was made in the well-founded anticipation of 
there bemg a rich harvest of experience to be gathered in all the different 
fields which are to be explored during the next few days. 

No one interested in the blind can be unaware that a great movement m 
their favour is at the present time spreading all over the world. The 
decades of incessant and intelligent work on their behalf are beginning to 
tell, and it seems to us that many of the goals which ten years ago loomed 
so far ahead have now drawn much nearer, and many of us are convinced 
that in the next ten years several of these goals will have been reached and 
passed, and the boundaries of our capital expanded far beyond those now 

On lookmg back at the work already accomplished, I am filled with 
admiration for what has been done. The great bulk of this work must 



ening of Conference 

justly be credited to England. No one here present, I think, will deny 
that the originating of the present movement is due to the Ooinitry whose 
hospitahty we are now enjoying, or that the impetus to it was given on that 
remarkable day in the history of the cause of the blind when His Majesty 
King George inaugurated the new building of the National Institute for the 
Blind. The work which His Majesty did on that occasion has travelled over 
land and sea hke the electric waves of a mighty transmitter, everywhere to 
meet others tuned to the same key of compassion and helpfulness. They 
have found their way to the great islands in the South as well as to the 
North, never to be forgotten by the blind there. Before this assembly of 
representatives of the most prominent institutions for the blind in the world 
I convey the most respectful thanks from the blind in Sweden for His 
Majesty's appeal to the sighted to show i:)ractical sympathy towards the 
bhnd m their struggle for self-support and knowledge, for His Majesty's 
words are indeed applicable to all countries and all times, and I need not 
emphasise the fact that in a country bound so closely in relationship, 
intercourse and friendsliip with England as Sweden, the interest which His 
Majesty has exhibited in the bhnd has opened the eyes of many to the 
justice of our demands. 

Now as regards our own work, and our efforts to attain such better 
conditions as the bhnd deserve, it may bo stated that we are making head- 
way at a fairly satisfactory rate. I have notliing very remarkable to report 
save that the Swedish Bhnd Association, whose President I have the honour 
to be, celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary on the Gth of this month, and 
was honoured by the presence of our Eoyal Patrons the Crown Prince of 
Sweden and his consort the Crown Princess Margaret, a daughter of England. 
What an improvement m the general conditions of the blind when compared 
with those prevailing twenty-five years ago, not to speak of those which 
existed m times still more distant. 

These Conferences on the Bhnd, Mr. Chairman, will form stepping stones 
to help us to reach the objects we are aiming at. May the spirit of the 
present one, composed as it is of all that is best of uitellect, energy and 
devotion in the cause of the bhnd, penetrate the minds of all the sightless, 
mspiring them to fresh efforts towards the reahsation of their aims and the 
aspirations of our community. 

Monsieur EUGENE BALLY (Switzerland). 

Switzerland heartily joms in smcere thanks and in the good wishes 
expressed from so many more imi^ortant countries. Englishmen were the 
first to open up our Alps, but I would hke to say that it is an Englishman 
who put the foundation stone to our first bhnd asylum m Switzerland. 

Senora T. SANTOS DE BOSCH (Uruguay). 


I think I ought to say that the lady has asked me to interpret as far as 
possible. I understand from her that she wishes, on behalf of the Uruguayan 
Government, to say how glad she is to be here, and that the Government of 
Uruguay sympathises most heartily with this Conference. 

MISS WINIFRED HOLT (United States of America). 

It is a privilege to bruig to the International Convention of Workers for 
the Blind the best wishes of the President of the United States, and of his 
people. All things which stand for i:)rogress and for the conservation of 
life and happiness have the deep sympathy of the President and of all 


opening of Conference 

Americans. It is a great pleasure to come to this Convention, which is 
the result of the iniselfish labours of a devoted few to whom we all owe the 
deepest gratitude, and whom we heartily thank. 

We who are striving to increase the horizon of the blind come from many- 
distant countries to learn from one another. Our task is so many-sided, as 
it deals with peoi:)le of all ages, sorts and conditions, that we require the 
aid of the scientist, the educator, the writer, the artist, the business expert 
and advertiser — in fact, of all experts as well as of the public. The united 
wisdom of the world is not enough to give hght to those who sit in darkness. 
To succeed in this high endeavour we need to help one another with whole- 
hearted co-operation. 

America is proud to co-operate in the noble endeavour of this Congress. 
She is eager to learn diligently from all. Our ideal has been set for us by 
the blind guardians of the blind, by love and justice. They teach us, helped 
by that keen eye which no calamity can darken, to press on towards our 
goal, so that many peoples of many nations, working together in close 
brotherhood, may at last find for all Hght through work. 


Now, ladies and gentlemen, I have only to say on your behalf how 
grateful we are to those representatives of other countries for kindly saying 
a few words to us in response to the welcome that has been extended to 
them. It has been very jDleasant indeed to listen to what they had to say, 
and I only wish that Enghsh people, when in other countries, were able to 
express themselves as well as our kind friends have done here to-day. 

(The company then adjourned to the Exhibition Hall adjoining.) 

Opening of the Exhibition. 

Sir Melvill Beachcroft, — As Chairman of the Exhibition 
Committee I ask you, sir, to open this Exhibition in your 
capacity as Master of the Worshipful Company of Cloth- 
workers- — that great city company which has clone and is 
doing so much for the blind. Many of those present may 
not be aware that the Cloth workers' Company distributes a 
far larger sum in pensions to the blind than any other 
charitable body in the country. These great charitable 
trusts for blind pensions are administered by the company 
absolutely free of expense, so that every penny reaches the 
blind poor without any deduction for management expenses. 
The deep interest the com{)any takes in the welfare of the 
blind has been conspicuously shown this year by the assist- 
ance it has given me and my Committee in getting together 
this Exhibition. The indefatigable clerk of the company, 
Mr. P. M. Evans, has acted as chairman of the Finance 
Committee, and the company has been by far the largest 
donor to the fund. Another source of help has been con- 
spicuous all through, and that is Gardner's Trust for the 


Opening of the Exhibition 

Blind, without whose able representative, IMr. H. J. Wilson, 
the guide, philosopher and friend of all workers for the blind, 
whose kindness is only equalled by his great ability, this 
Conference and Exhibition must have failed. With regard 
to the Exhibition itself, I think it should be widely known 
that every considerable society for the blind in the world 
has been invited to co-operate in it, for, with the help of 
Miss Winifred Wintour, we have corresponded in eleven 
foreign languages. I think I may safely say it has the 
sympathy of all societies, institutions and other agencies 
which befriend the blind. We have here work and apparatus 
not only from English, Irish, and Scottish institutions, but 
also from schools and societies in France and Germany, 
Russia and Italy, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, the United 
States, China, India, Egypt, and many other countries. 
We have the Avork of blind children in the wonderful exhibits 
from the L.C.C.'s blind and myopia schools ; we have the 
work of the adult blind in the prime of life from workshops, 
whose number we trust Avili soon be increased either by 
State legislation or by priAate effort, and we have the work 
of the aged blind, over ten thousand of whom have been 
commvmicated with, and Avho have sent us their beautiful 
work from their OAVn homes far and near. Here you have, 
ladies and gentlemen, not the Avork of one institution but an 
Exhibition representing Avith scrupulous fairness on the part 
of the Committee the Avork of all. You Avill see the results 
of the dcAoted labours of Roman Catholic Sisters in LiA'crpool 
and Dublin side by side Avith the display from Protestant 
Belfast. You Avill see the delicate needlcAvork of the gentle 
and refined in youth and age side by side Avith the heavy 
basket Avork of the labouring man in his prime, and you AA'ill 
be able to study the delicate uerA'ous ability of the blind 
timer side by side Avith the heaA^y handicraft of the Lancashire 
ski]) maker. 

I hardly dare to commend special exhibits to j'our notice, 
but I AA'ould call your attention to the ship's fend-off makers 
from GreeuAvich, the telephony from Birmingham, the 
exhibits from the United States, the AATjnderful furniture 
from GlasgoAv, the interesting adaptation of the Morse code 
by Lady Algernon Percy, the extreme efficiency of the type- 
Avriting room arranged by the Midland Institution, Notting- 
ham, the admirable display of pianoforte repairing by the 
Royal Normal College, and the exhibit of the National 
Institute, Great Portland Street, immediately in front of 
this platform. I also desire to direct your notice to the 
remarkable AA'orkers from HenshaAA^'s Blind Asylum., Man- 



enino' of the Exhibition 


Chester, and the Royal School for the Blind, Leathcrhead, 
and also to the silk shawl makers from Bradford, together 
with the exhibits of spinning and weaving (the latter by 
the Barclay AVorkshop), the lending library at Avork, arranged 
by the National Lending Library for the Blind, and the 
really admirable craftsmen sent here by the Association 
for the General Welfare of the Blind. When we have 
vacated the platform you will be able to study the large 
and weil-arranged Historical Section which has been brought 
together by the arduous work of Miss J. B. Wcippert. We 
have tried to exhibit the Avork of all without partiality or 
favouritism. I should like to say, in conclusion, that I have 
been most ably assisted by my secretaries. Captain Guthrie 
and Mr. Fooks. Sir Melvill Beachcroft, I now ask you to 
open to the public this show of blind Avork Avhich the Cloth- 
Avorkcrs' Company has so greatly helj^ed to promote. 


Ladies and Gentlemen, — After Avhat Mr. Stuart Johnson 
has said, little remains for me to do except to declare this 
unique Exhibition open. 

I shall say nothing more about the ClothAvorker's' 
Company ; I have said enough about it in the next room, 
and if I say more you Avill think I am here merely as an 

Of course, this great Exhibition is an advertisement. 
As the Americans say, " It pays to advertise because it pays 
to ad\^crtise, and because it jmys to advertise it pays to 
adA'^ertise." But in this case the advertisement is not quite 
the same as in most cases. Mostly our advertisements are 
AA'ith a AdeAA' to making money for ourseh^es or for our 
friends. Here, I take it, the object is to try and interest 
the public in the persons Avho have produced the exhibits. 
Our one desire is to encourage the public to patronise the 
blind, to help the capable blind to become self-suj^porting, 
and I have only to say that I regard this Exhibition as 
one of the most remarkable of the many exhibitions it has 
been my priA'ilege to attend. What the blind AA^ant is, not 
to be carried to their Avork ; they Avant the Avork to be 
carried to them. And the more Ave knoAV of the blind 
the more Ave shall find that what they crave for is the 
opportunity of doing Avork. 

I Avill not occupy your time further, except to declare the 
Exhi])ition open, and to express the hope that it AA^ill fulfil 
the desires of those Avho have devoted so much energy and 
time to its preparation. 


Opening of the Exhibition 


Ladies and Gentlemen, — It gives me very much pleasure to 
propose, on behalf of all present, a very hearty vote of thanks 
to the Master of the Clothworkers' Company for kindly 
opening the Conference and also the Exhibition. 

The blind oAve much to the Clothworkers' Company for 
the pensions they grant, but on this occasion the seeing, 
as well as the blind, are deeply indebted to the company, 
not only for a substantial grant to the Conference funds, and 
for their kind invitation to the conversazione this evening, 
but also for allowing ]\Ir. Evans to be the Hon. Treasurer 
and Chairman of the Finance Committee. His services have 
been most valuable, and Ave are very greatl}^ indebted to the 
Clothworkers' Company for alloAving him to act in that 

On your behalf, therefore, I will sincerely thank Sir 
Melvill Beachcroft for what he has done. 


I shall convey your thanks to the court of my company 
at their meeting on Wednesday next. Of course, I am very 
proud to be the Master of this important company. I may 
say that I am the 433rd Master of the Clothworkers' 
Company, and I hope there may be 433 more to follow me. 

Telegrams of Greeting 

Thursday, June 18th, 1914. 


Chairman ; The Right Hon. the Viscount Knutsford. 

Telegrams conveying greetings and best wishes for the 
success of the Conference were received from Mr. Joseph 
Hall, Swansea ; The Amsterdam Blind Association ; The 
Royal Blind Asylum, North Adelaide. 

The Chairman. ^ — I am sure that you do not want a long 
speech from your Chairman. You are much too anxious, 
I know, to hear yourselves speak. (Laughter.) But I have 
been asked to preside at this opening Conference on the 
Blind, and am very glad of this opportunity of helping our 
blind fellow men and women in a humble way. It seems to 
me that above all duties in life stands first that of doing all 
we can to secure for our fellow creatures the highest enjoy- 
ment of life. It is quite intolerable, it is quite unbearable 
to think that a man can go through life and see that his 
brothers have need and yet do nothing to help them. It 
cannot be a mere coincidence of words that 2,000 years ago 
it was written '' if your brother have need and you have no 
compassion for him, how dwelleth the love of God in you." 
If sickness is a disease which cripples one of our fellow men, 
then let us do all we can to relieve him in sickness. If 
lilindness is a disease, or deafness — which so often carries 
with it dumbness — we cannot unfortunately effect a cure, 
but we can do a vast deal to prevent both. If the same 
amount of attention had been concentrated on both these 
afflictions as is the case to-day, we should not have in this 
and other countries so many blind and deaf peo])le. But 
we can do a vast deal now to ensure that those Avho are still 
deprived of these senses shall have many of the joys of life. 
God knows we can do little enough, my friends, but what 
we can do, we must. Quite lately England has been stirred 
to the very bottom of its feelings by the action of one of 
our best citizens, Mr. Pearson. He has used his own over- 


Work of the Unions 

bearing misfortune for the good of his fellow men, and has 
succeeded, as no one else has in England, in waking up the 
whole country to the necessity of giving to the blind more 
facilities for reading. I am told that the blind can read 
Braille as quickly as avc who have sight can read printed 
books. If that is so, there is a grand opportunity for many 
who do read the Braille system to read to the sick people in 
hospitals in your own countries. There are but few people 
willing to sit by sick men or Avomen and read to them. 
If any of you who are blind can do that you will be helping 
your fellow sufferers as well as amusing yourselves. 

In this country the treatment of blind people has been 
left hitherto, after the first preliminary education, almost 
entirely to voluntary effort. Some of us may be proud of 
this. We may be proud that voluntary effort has been 
able to do so much. But if we arc proud of our voluntary 
effort, then it behoves us to see that that, voluntary effort 
is not only sufficient, but also that it is enieient, and that 
people who are dependent upon volvmtary effort shall be 
properly served. And if our voluntary effort fails we must 
acknowledge it, and go to people Avho are better able to 
carry out the work. I am sure it is a platitude to say to 
all of you who knoAV so nuich better how to help blind people 
than I do, that I cannot help feeling that of all work it is 
so very hopeful to help blind people, because, strange to 
say, it is so easily done. Nature is a great compensator, 
and when Nature has deprived anyone of sight certainly 
Nature succeeds in sharpening the other senses in a remark- 
able way. We want to teach the blind that they can be 
entirely independent, and lead extremely useful lives. We 
Avant to get away altogether from the question of despair, 
and the question of pity, and to give them all that hope and 
happiness Avhich we who can see have in life. We want to go 
further, and to teach the people Avho have sight that blind 
people are useful. We want, also, if possible- — and I think 
this is very important indeed, and that Ave ought to concen- 
trate our efforts upon it^ — Ave Avant to teach the blind to 
do their Avork so that they do it better than people with 


Chairman's Speech 

sight. We want to teach people that it pays them to 
employ the blind, and that they are not doing it out of any 
sense of charity. I believe that can be done because of 
Avhat I spoke of just now, Nature's great power of compen- 
sation. The lines of Milton are well known to j^ou all, but 
they appeal to me very much when he asks — 

" Why was the sight to such a tender ball of the eye confined. 
So obvious, so easy to be quenched, 
And not, aa feeling, through all parts diffused. 
That she might look, as feeUng, through every pore ? " 

What we want is to teach the blind to see through 
every pore, and the main object of these Conferences is 
not to boast of what we have done, but to learn what we 
have not done. ("Hear, hear.") I have attended a great 
many Conferences, and each one I think has been duller 
than the last, because everybody goes up to the platform 
and says, in the language of Little Jack Horner, " See what 
a good boy am I." Nobody wants to make this Conference 
a sort of " pat on the back " for what you are doing, but 
rather to learn the experience of other people working in the 
same direction. We want to hear not only of your successes 
but of your failures, and that is obtained a great deal more 
by friendly conversations after the meetings of the Conference 
are over than from all the papers, and all the speeches of 
the Chairmen. 

We welcome all who have come from foreign countries 
for their generosity and kindness in travelling so far to attend 
this Conference. Your knowledge and your experience will 
be extremely useful to us here, and we thank you very much 
for coming. 

Now I am not going to speak any longer. The ideal 
chairman is the one who will stand up, speak up, and shut 
up. I am glad you like that. I have carried out two of 
my duties, that is, " stood up " and " spoken up," and 
now I will " shut up." I will call upon Mr. Wilson, who is 
so well known to you all, to read his paper on the " Work 
of the Unions of Societies for the Blind." 

Mr. H. J. Wilson. — I wish to say that I do not intend 

C.B, 65 F 

Chairman's Speech 

to read the constitution of the Union of Unions, nor of 
the Metropohtan Union printed at the end of my paper. 
I also propose to cut out a few paragraphs so that the reading 
may not exceed the time hmit of twenty minutes. I feel 
that as the reader of the first paper, and as the Chairman 
of the Conference Committee, I am bound to set, or try to 
set, a good example. 







Secretary of Gardner's Trust for the Blind, Chairman and Fellow of the 
CoUege of Teachers of the Blind, &c., &c. 

Introductory Remarks. 

It had better be explained at the outset that, at the 
express wish of the Conference Committee, this paper has 
been compiled to represent not only, or by any means, my 
own personal views, but those of others who are interested 
in the work of the seven Unions. I am greatly indebted to 
the many friends who have kindly replied to my questions 
on the subject, and desire here and now to tender them 
my grateful thanks. Their answers have thrown much 
illuminating light on this comprehensive question, and 
guided me in many instances where difficulties made them- 
selves felt. To Miss Beatrice Taylor also must be accorded 
sincere thanks for the provision of the large map showing 
plainly the areas of the various Unions, and for its fascinating 
reproduction in miniature on post cards. This map was 
entirely Miss Taylor's own idea, and you will all agree with 
me that the post cards are, not only most useful as well as 
picturesque, but will also be of great service in making the 
Unions more generally known. 


The formation of the Unions of Institutions, Societies, 
and Agencies for the Blind in England and Wales is the 

67 f2 

The Work of the Unions, Etc. 

natural outcome of the great and increasing interest taken 
in the bhnd, and the consequent amazing development of 
the endeavours to benefit them during recent years. The 
origin of these Unions is not very clear, but apparently 
their first inception arose from an excellent paper read by 
Mr. J. Frew Bryden at the Edinburgh Conference in 1905, 
entitled " The Outdoor Blind of Scotland." This paper 
described the Scottish system of seeking out and caring for 
the blind not connected with institutions or workshops, 
but scattered, unknown and unnoticed, over the country, 
and unable to bring their needs to the knowledge of those 
capable of assisting and advising them. The microbe, 
therefore, would seem to have come from " Caledonia, stern 
and wild," and to have found receptive soil in the fertile 
brain of Miss Isabel Hey wood, who, in 1906, proposed the 
formation of the North of England Union, consisting of 
the six northern counties, being the first Union started in 
England and Wales. It was soon perceived that the work 
of this Union was productive of such immense benefit to 
the blind that, in 1908, Sir Francis Campbell, with his 
remarkable gift of prescience in all important work for his 
fellow-sufferers, invited their principal representatives in 
other parts of the country to meet together in London to 
discuss the formation of the Unions. At that meeting the 
rest of England and Wales was mapped out into six Unions, 
and an hon. secretary was appointed to each. The Metro- 
politan and Adjacent Counties' Union and the Midland 
Counties' Union were established in 1908, and the North- 
West Union" and the South Wales Union and Monmouth- 
shire began work in 1909. The Western Counties' Union 
commenced its active operations in 1912, and the Eastern 
Counties' Union in 1913, although in both these last-named 
Unions a certain amount of organisation had taken place 
previous to the dates given. 

Thus were the Unions formed, and their objects may be 
summarised in the general statement that no blind person 
shall be left uncared for. The keynote of the Unions is 
individual effort for the individual — the endeavour to ensure 


The Work of the Unions, Etc. 

a sympathetic friend for every blind person, whether man, 
woman, or child. The objects of the Union of Institutions, 
Societies, and Agencies for the Blind in the Metropolitan 
and Adjacent Counties (Incorporated), which are similar to 
the objects of the other Unions, are printed at the end of 
this paper. 

It must always be borne in mind that the Unions are 
primarily organising bodies. They have no funds to give 
to the blind, except when special donations are made by 
friends to exceptional cases. At the same time, the value 
of these Unions is demonstrated by the increasing number 
of kind-hearted people who do befriend and assist individual 
cases, and whose interest in these cases has been awakened 
through their means. The Unions have begun an important 
and necessary work, which it may confidently be hoped 
will through years to come accomplish great good for 
thousands of blind persons who would otherwise have spent 
the remainder of their joyless lives in uncared-for solitude, 
or in bewailing their helplessness to find opportunities of 
learning some useful occupation. The net results of the 
work of the Unions will be measured, not by the holding of 
many meetings here, there and everywhere, nor by the large 
total on the register, but by the number of blind persons 
actually helped in a practical way, befriended and cheered. 


One of the most pressing difficulties is undoubtedly the 
lack of funds to organise the work properly, and to carry 
out many useful and helpful schemes. For instance, in 
many places those people who subscribe already to local 
agencies do not see the force of contributing to the wider 
scheme, which to them appears to be doing much the same 
work. Another difficulty is the distance at which many 
blind persons live from the nearest centre, and yet another, 
that experienced by many members of the committee in 
attending the meetings, both on the score of time and 


The Work of the Unions, Etc. 

Other difficulties are : — • 

(a) To find the right kind of people to take up the various 
branches of the work, such as organising local committees 
or acting as local correspondents. Those who would 
probably be willing and capable for such work are usually 
precisely the ones whose time and efforts are already fully 
employed in philanthropic work. 

(b) Apathy with regard to the formation of new societies 
for the blind, and the persuasion that the blind in the district 
are already well cared for, whereas, on inquiry, it is frequently 
found that this is far from being the case, and that much 
more could be done to improve their condition. There is 
often, also, a certain amount of apprehension to be overcome 
that the new effort will divert help from the ordinary 
charitable and parochial agencies. 

(c) To obtain employment for those who have been 
trained in some trade, especially in country districts, owing 
to the lack of workshops. Homes where blind women who 
earn small wages can be boarded are much needed, as well as 
homes where those beyond work can be cared for. 

{d) To overcome the popular disbelief in the possibility 
of excellence in work done by the blind, and the prejudice 
against employing them, however competent they may be. 

(e) The limited number of trades possible to the blind, 
and to find a market for articles made by them, especially in 
country districts. 

(/) To overcome the natural reluctance of parents to 
allow their blind children to leave them to go to school at 
a sufficiently early age. When the South Wales Union was 
first started, no less than ten children were discovered 
already Avell beyond the age at which they ought to have been 
at school. 

(g) To prevent, if possible, undue hopefulness of assistance 
amongst the blind when many inquiries as to circumstances 
are made, it being often found impossible to give the relief 

(h) To establish effective agencies and to re-energise those 
recently formed. 


The Work of the Unions, Etc. 

Benefits to the Blind. 

One of the most important, if not the most important, 
benefit to the bhncl resulting from the Unions is the 
instruction of the general pubhc, who are indifferent from 
want of knowledge, as to the possibilities open to them, and, 
as a rule, have a hazy idea that they must be either born 
musicians, or beggars in the streets, or else that " their lives 
must be more dim and atrophied than those of the very 
moles." In fact, to make the Mind public see and under- 
stand that the self-respecting blind do not want pity, but 
employment. If once it can be realised what blind persons 
can do with proper training, more hopeful interest will be 
taken in them. Many have been rescued from obscurity 
and neglect, and are now being assisted, who would never 
have been heard of but for the Unions, especially those who 
do not care to make capital of their infirmity or trade on 
the pity of the public. These persons can now apply to the 
recognised secretary of their Union for expert advice, and 
for information as to what is possible in the way of employ- 
ment, or from what sources pensions can be obtained. 
Their needs would be co)isidered by those having a j^ractical 
knowledge of. their capabilities. As instances of the good 
already done by the Unions, I give these two following 
cases : Quite unsolicited and spontaneously Mr. Lempriere, 
of Hetherington's Charity, stated that in recent years there 
had been a decided increase in applicants of a superior class, 
and this fact he attributed entirely to the work of the 
Unions in unearthing in country districts blind persons who 
had concealed their poverty, or who had never previously 
heard of the Charity. Again, Miss Beatrice Taylor, the 
Hon. Secretary of the Branch for the Blind of the Sunbeam 
Mission, which was started twelve years ago, and has had 
over 800 blind children on its books, informs me that, had 
it not been for the Unions and their respective secretaries, 
all that invaluable work must in most cases have come to 
an end, because at the age of sixteen the children leave 
school, and are thus separated from the Sunbeam worker, 
who was almost invariably a teacher in their school. Now, 


The Work of the Unions, Etc. 

on leaving school, the child's name is notified to the secretary 
of its Union, and the interested person (the Sunbeam) 
is communicated with, and still befriends the boy or girl. 

A priceless benefit to the blind, and one of which, even 
now, it must be left to future generations to gauge the full 
value, is the recent Order issued by the Local Government 
Board. Although much had been done before the advent 
of the Unions in efforts to prevent infantile ophthalmia, 
notably by the late Dr. Roth, in starting a special society 
lor that object in 1880, and by the Gardner Trust in circu- 
lating leaflets on the subject, and by several of the large 
institutions for the blind in printing information thereon in 
their annual reports, still, in my humble opinion, the Order 
making ophthalmia neonatorum compulsorily notifiable 
from April 1st last in every sanitary area in England and 
Wales, is due in a large measure to the "strong and persistent 
efforts of representatives of the various Unions in bringing 
the question, by means of special leaflets and in other ways, 
clearly, forcibly, and constantly before the medical officers 
of health in their respective areas. 

Other benefits may be grouped as follows : — 

(a) Looking up children of school age not at school, or, 
if above sixteen, not at a technical school. 

(b) Starting classes to teach some industry, teaching them 
to read, finding them employment, either at a workshoi") or 
locally, and obtaining pensions or other help for them if 
incapacitated for work by age or ill health. 

(c) Providing visitors who will go to see them from time 
to time, and thus brighten their lives by sjaiipathy and 
interest, by reading to them and lending them books, 
besides endeavouring to arouse public interest in the needs 
of the blind in the surrounding district. 

(d) Bringing the scattered blind into touch with possi- 
bilities of help by a personal friend. 

Work not Previously Done. 

If it be asked what raison d'Hre have the Unions, and 
what work are they doing which was not already in existence 


The Work of the Unions, Etc. 

before they came into being, my reply is that they have 
already justified their existence and have accomplished much 
not previously attempted, although their work as yet 
extends over a very few years. 

1. Many isolated blind persons scattered up and down 
the country have been sought out and cared for, their needs 
have been studied, and endeavours made to meet them, and 
friendly help and oversight obtained for them in their own 
immediate neighbourhood. 

2. Covering ground hitherto untouched, by the formation 
of new local associations in counties and towns, and in 
establishing a friendly, selfrsacrificing spirit between different 
institutions, which has engendered a better understanding of 
each others' views and plans, increased usefulness, more 
co-operation and general intercourse between all societies. 

3. Systematic registration of the' blind, which enables the 
secretary of one Union to notify another of the removal of 
a blind person, thus emphasising the central idea of unity. 

4. Drawing the attention of the public to the necessity of 
helping blind persons to secure training and employment, and 
to the fact that they can do good work when properly trained. 

5. Inducing local authorities to take measures for the 
amelioration of the condition of the blind and for the pre- 
vention of blindness. 

It has been demonstrated, over and over again, of what 
great benefit to the blind is the existence of central organisa- 
tions such as the seven Unions, ready to be consulted by 
the blind or their friends in any place, whether town or 
country, where expert advice can be obtained in regard to 
prevention of blindness, education, instruction in handicrafts 
and reading, provision of books and of pensions, and any 
other information required by or on behalf of the blind. 
The Unions enable the combined resources of the Unions' 
areas to be " pooled " for the advantage of the blind. 

Benefits to Institutions. 

Now let us sec whether the Unions are a benefit or a 
hindrance to existing institutions and societies for the 


The Work of the Unions, Etc. 

blind ? I maintain that they have been, and are, of much 
service already, and will prove of increasing usefulness year 
by year. For instance, they are practically acting as 
after-care committees to the institutions by befriending the 
pupils on leaving, and ensuring that their instruction shall 
not have been lost or rendered valueless through the lack of 
a chance to start in life. This has been done in many cases 
known to me, and it is surely of immense importance to get 
hold of these young persons before they lose heart, or forget 
much of the training they have received. 

The meetings of the various Unions have the inestimable 
advantage of bringing the officials and representatives of 
the institutions into personal acquaintance and touch with 
each other — an enormous asset for those who have to do 
business together. They can thus hear what other societies 
are doing, can compare notes, interchange information as 
to new methods, and hear of successes, failures, and possible 
disposal of work. Again, institutions are benefited by the 
registration of the blind, as old pupils can be traced when 
leaving one district for another. In several cases children, 
whom the local education authorities have failed to reach, 
have been found by the Unions and sent to school, both 
school and pupils benefiting thereby. Many workshops 
have received apprentices, for whom the committees of the 
Unions have secured payment, either from public authorities 
or from private benevolence. Indirectly, also, more general 
interest is aroused on the subject of the blind by the Unions, 
and knowledge is spread of the great need of institutions and 


There is a consensus of opinion that the organisation 
should be by counties, first taking up one county and 
working it thoroughly, and then passing on to another, 
adapting the methods of the Union to local conditions in 
each — special industries of some counties probably pointing 
the way to some special employment for the blind. And it 
seems desirable that each county should have its own 


The Work of the Unions, Etc. 

honorary secretary, that most, if not all, of the counties 
should be sub-divided, that each sub-division should have 
its own committee and secretary in touch with the honorary 
secretary for the county, manage its own financial affairs, 
and send delegates to the meetings, to be held twice a year, 
of the central county committee, who, in turn, shall elect 
representatives on the committee of the Union to which they 
are attached. It is perhaps necessary here to utter a word 
of warning against any lack of loyalty to the committee of 
the Union and the organising secretary appointed by them, 
as the absence of this would inevitably weaken the organisa- 
tion and retard its progress. The county secretaries should 
work harmoniously with, and keep in constant correspond- 
ence with, the Union secretary, who should at all times be 
ready to give assistance and advice when any fresh effort 
is to be started. The advantage of having county 
committees is not only that the members will probably 
attend the meetings more regularly, because the expense 
incurred will be trifling and the distance short compared 
with the attendance at meetings held in some distant 
county of the Union, but also because each county varies 
considerably both in character and manufactures. There- 
fore, county committees are more suited to manage local 
affairs, owing to their more real and practical knowledge 
of local circumstances. Every village should have its own 
visitor to look after and deal with the blind in the district, 
and, where possible, it would be an excellent arrangement 
to put the blind who are in comfortable circumstances into 
communication with those who are poor. It seems advisable 
to work the Unions according to petty sessional divisions, 
or civil parishes, and to avoid, as far as possible, ecclesiastical 
boundaries, such as diocesan or ruri-decanal. It is also of 
advantage to approach the county council education 
authorities and the medical officers who are in touch Avith 
the blind, and to invite some of them to serve on the county 
committees, as the work of organisation is greatly simplified 
by having as friends the heads of departments in county 
councils. Besides, there may be after-care committees at 


The Work of the Unions, Etc. 

work, and these will often be of great use in finding out the 
blind, as well as suitable persons to act as representatives. 
As a rule, it will be found advantageous to work from the 
county town, as the difficulties of distance and travelling 
will probably be lessened thereby. 

From what I have already said, it will be seen that the 
committees of the respective Unions are formed by the 
election of representatives from each county in that particular 

Lastly, there is the Union of Unions, which is formed by 
the election of three delegates from each of the seven Unions, 
together with the organising secretaries as ex-officio members. 
The Union of Unions meets once a year, and deals especially 
with the common difficulties with which all workers are 
confronted, and with any special question on which the 
opinion of the Union is required, so that uniformity in 
action among the Unions may be ensured. The constitution 
of the Union of Unions is printed at the end of this paper. 

There is one serious question which I feel sure the Union 
of Unions will soon have to face, and that is a sub-division 
of the Unions into smaller and more equal areas, thus 
rendering them much more easily worked. Take, for 
example, the Metropolitan and Adjacent Counties' Union, 
and realise the distance from Bournemouth, in the west, to 
Colchester, in the east, with the trifle of London in the centre, 
in itself, with its complicated social conditions, sufficient 
for one Union. I know that this over-largeness of area is 
felt severely by many secretaries, especially in the Western 
Union, extending from Land's End to Salisbury and 

Future Work. 

In the future work of the Unions the main developments 
will probably be as follows :— 

1, To complete registration, to compile trustworthy 
records, and to link up the societies in order to ensure 
greater inter-communication for helping special cases. 
Complete and reliable registration of all blind persons is 


The Work of the Unions, Etc. 

most important and essential, because such information 
will be of the greatest use if in future the Census be taken 
in the same way as it was in 19ll, when returns were asked 
for only those who were totally blind. These returns are 
worthless in estimating the number of persons who must be 
treated as blind, and in comparing with the statistics taken 
in former years. 

2. To study and promote all preventive measures for 
blindness in all forms. 

3. To continue to organise local associations until no 
blind person is left unprovided with some friendly care for 
his or her welfare, and to work cordially with the State when 
State aid comes, as we hope may soon be the case, through 
the Bill to provide for the technical education, employment 
and maintenance of the blind, to which, no doubt. Sir Ellis 
Cunliffe will refer in his paper, and to see that this State aid 
is wisely and well administered. 

4. Each Union should have its own consultative Committee 
to give advice and encouragement, to prevent overlapping 
of pensions, and to arrange, if possible, that work in one 
part of the county shall be brought to the knowledge of 
workers in another. 

5. To provide centres for employment, and to organise 
means for the disposal of work made by the blind in isolated 

6. To act as special after-care committees for pupils on 
leaving school,, and to continue to draw together all agencies 
£or the blind in order to form ozie united front. 

7. To hold meetings in different districts to maintain 
local interest in the blind, and to adapt assistance to possibly 
constantly changing conditions. 

8. To review county associations, to keep work at a high 
level, and its methods conformed to the latest improvements. 

9. To consider the question as to how far the better 
educated blind might be utilised as missionaries or home 
teachers- — at least one of such teachers would probably be 
of immense value in each county^ — and, besides that, to 
induce the public to patronise workshops for the blind. 


The Work of the Unions, Etc. 

10. To have case committees attached to each Union, 
The one connected with the MetropoHtan Union has greatly 
benefited the bhnd. During the three years and four 
months of its existence over 500 cases have been assisted 
by expert advice, by finding employment, by arranging for 
admission to technical schools, by obtaining pensions, 
temporary allowances, special donations for starting in a 
trade, and in many other ways. 

11. In fine, " not to rest until," as Lady Campbell graphi- 
cally j)uts it, " some one is responsible for the care of every 
needy blind person from the cradle to the grave." 

Concluding Remarks. 

Many people apparently wish to keep the seamy side of 
life out of sight, and selfishly to ignore it, but the disagree- 
ables must be faced without hesitation, and without the 
appeal ad misericordiam, which all blind persons with any 
sense of self-respect unhesitatingly reject. Here the Unions 
step in and offer a helping hand to all those who must live 
behind the dark curtain of blindness, and must, to a certain 
extent, be dependent on those who are blessed with sight. 
That the blind have already been greatly assisted by the 
Unions is an incontrovertible fact, even though organisation 
be still far from complete. In time the various ramifications 
and activities of the Unions will be welded together in a 
strong, coherent system, and linked up as it were by a 
golden chain — reiDresentatives and visitors to the county 
committees, these committees to their respective Unions, 
and they, in turn, to the Union of Unions, from which body, 
with its large and practical experience, will radiate sympathy 
and interest, educational help and ameliorating light to the 
blind throughout the land. It should be the aim of every 
Union to be the link which binds and connects the various 
societies and agencies, and in this way effectively to help 
everyone who comes under its care. 

Some one has finely said that the reward of service is 
always more service, and now, by the creation of the Unions, 
an increased burden summons us to more unselfish, humble, 


The Work of the Unions, Etc. 

and united effort, and, in closing, I appeal to all to assist 

the Unions to perform their beneficent work as thoroughly 

as possible — each worker being inspired to help his neighbour 

through love, and being imbued, as Carljde once said of 

genius, mth " an infinite capacity for taking pains." 

"We are not here to play, to dream, to drift. 
We have hard work to do and loads to Hft, 
Shun not the struggle — face it — 'tis God's gift." 


1. The name shall be " The Union of Unions of Societies 
for the Blind." 

2. The area of the Union of Unions shall comprise all the 
counties in England and Wales. 

3. Each Union shall be eligible to send three elected 
representatives to the meetings of the Union of Unions, as 
well as their respective Organising Secretaries, who shall be 
ex-officio members. These representatives shall form the 
Governing Body of the Union of Unions. Additional 
members may be co-opted from outside when deemed 
advisable, if approved by a two-thirds vote of the meeting 
at which their names are proposed, previous notice having 
been given on the summons for the meeting. 

4. Representatives shall not have power at any annual 
or other meetings to bind their Union at such meetings 
on any subject which has not been previously considered by 
the Union they represent, and by whom they have been 
previously instructed on that subject. 

5. The objects of the Union of Unions shall be : — 

(a) To promote co-operation among the various Unions, 

with a view to greater efficiency and fuller knowledge 
in dealing with all classes of the blind. 

(b) To consider and suggest lines of common action for 

the Unions, to advise them when consulted, and to 
take such steps as the Union of Unions may think 
fit, with a view to assisting, encouraging, and other- 
wise benefiting the blind through such Unions, and 
in other ways. 


The Work of the Unions, Etc. 

6. Each Union shall annually apjioint three of their 
members, who shall be eligible for re-election, to serve on 
the Governing Body for the ensuing year. 

7. The Governing Body shall hold an annual meeting at 
such time and place as the members decide, and, in default 
of other instructions, this meeting shall be held in London. 

8. The Chairman and Hon. Officers, who shall be eligible 
for re-election, shall be elected at the annual meeting, and 
hold office until the annual meeting subsequent to their 

9. A quorum of the Governing Body shall consist of nine 

10. Notices of meetings shall be posted fourteen clear days 
before each meeting. 

11. No alteration of, nor addition to, this Constitution 
may be made except at the annual meeting, and by a 
majority of two-thirds of the members present, confirmed 
by a similar majority at a subsequent meeting, or in writing 
by a two-thirds majority of the Governing Body. Notice 
of such alteration must appear on the notice convening the 

12. A special meeting of the Governing Body may be 
called on requisition being sent to the Chairman, signed by 
five members. 


The objects for which the Incorporated Union is established 
are : — 

(a) To acquire the property, business and undertaking of 
the existing unincorporated Union known as The Union of 
Institutions, Societies and Agencies for the Blind in the 
Metropolitan and Adjacent Counties, whose office is at 
Denison House, 296, Yauxhall Bridge Road, in the County 
of London, or such part of such property, business and 


The Work of the Unions, Etc. 

undertaking as can be legally vested, in the Union, and to 
carry on the work of the said Union, and to hold and 
administer all charitable funds now held and administered 
by it. 

(b) To promote such intercourse and co-operation among 
existing institutions, societies, and agencies for the blind in 
the nine counties of Berks, Essex, Hants, Hertford, Kent, 
London, Middlesex, Surrey, and Sussex, and individuals 
interested in the welfare of the blind, irrespective of religious 
opinions, as may lead to the organisation, co-ordination, and 
extension of work on their behalf, 

(c) To form societies in districts where none exist, to the 
end that no blind person may be left uncared for. 

(d) To register the names and addresses of all blind 
persons residing within the above-mentioned area of the 

(e) To promote the prevention of blindness by lectures 
and the distribution of leaflets and other literature, and by 
all other possible means. 

(/) To make suggestions to parents and guardians, and 
assist them and others in brightening the lives of blind 

(g) To co-operate with local education authorities and 
guardians in seeing that all blind children of school age are 
being suitably educated and trained. 

(h) To promote the after-care of blind persons over the 
age of sixteen. 

(*) To promote the employment of blind men and women. 

(j) To promote the visitation of the blind in their own 
homes and elsewhere. 

(k) To promote the care of the sick, aged, and helpless 
blind, and to obtain for deserving cases such assistance as 
may be possible. 

(l) To do all such other things as may from time to time 
be, or be considered to be, for the general welfare of the blind. 

(m) To do all such other lawful things as are incidental or 
conducive to the attainment of the above objects, or any of 

C.B. 81 G 

The Work of the Unions, Etc. 


Mr. J. Frew Brtden (Glasgow), in opening tlie discussion, 
said : I have first to thank Mr. Wilson for asking me to open the 
discussion on his valuable paper, and for connecting my name 
with the origin of the Unions of Societies for the Blind in England 
and Wales. 

In closing the paper on " The Outdoor Blind of Scotland " 
at the International Conference in Edinburgh in 1905, I said, 
" I have tried to tell how we are endeavouring to do the work 
among the blind in Scotland unconnected with institutions. 
Would it not be possible for the home teaching societies and 
others that deal with the blind outside our institutions in England 
and Wales to organise some simple union through which such 
information as to work and methods might be available as woidd 
be mutually helpful to all the societies 1 " 

Miss Heywood, of Manchester, with that combination of vision 
and organising power which characterise all her activities, at once 
saw the possibilities contained in the suggestion, and in the fol- 
lowing year I was present, through Miss Heywood's coiirtesy, 
at a most representative gathering of workers convened at Man- 
chester on her invitation, at which the pioneer Union of Societies 
and Institutions for the Northern Counties of England was formed. 

As I have again left my native heath on a peaceful campaign 
to this side of the border, I congratulate you on the progress you 
have made. Any comments or suggestions I now venture to 
offer are based not simply on personal experience but on the 
efforts and experience of pioneers who, more than fifty years 
ago, " buUded better than they knew." The name of John 
Brown, of Edinburgh, will always be gratefully remembered in 
this connection as the man who did more than any other to 
organise societies for the blind in Scotland not connected with 

There are at present ten societies in Scotland, covering the 
whole country to the remotest points. These societies have 
3,615 blind persons under their care : of that number 1,428 have 
been taught to read in Moon or Braille. There are twenty-five 
missionary teachers and superintendents attached to the societies, 
whose services are available to all the blind within their respective 
areas. Each of the ten societies has a fiee lending library of 
Moon and Braille books, containing a total of 21,800 volumes, 
besides the various magazines published. Besides the work of 
visitation and home teaching, benevolent help is given in various 
forms. Grants are given to enable suitable persons who cannot 
find entrance to institutions to carry on some form of trading, 
monthly aliments and pensions for the aged and infirm blind are 
given by some of the societies. Every effort is made to bring 
our blind people into touch with any available organisation that 
can be of service to them, and all who are suitable for such are 
put in contact with the school or institution best suited to their 
circumstances. The personal and first hand knowledge of each 
case which each society possesses through its responsible agent 
is of first importance,, and the annual Scottish Conference, which 



is a conference of tlie actual workers connected witli each society, 
enables these workers to compare notes and compile statistics 
for the whole country. 

I should like to draw attention to two features about the work 
in Scotland. The first is that Scotland was comijletely covered 
with societies for the blind not connected with institutions before 
any union was formed. Its purposes as a union are, therefore, 
completely served by an annual meeting and conference covering 
two days, at which a report embracing all the societies is presented 
by the secretary, and subjects of practical interest are considered 
and discussed. As the conference is held each year in a different 
part of Scotland, the particular district gets the benefit of the 
education of such a conference. There is no paid official and no 
annual subscription, the society in whose district the conference 
is held meeting the expenses of that year. The union never 
interferes with the area or administration of existing societies. 

The other feature is that this Union is composed of societies 
unconnected with institutions. This is not at all because of any 
want of sympathy with the work of the institutions but because 
our societies were founded to do a work which the institutions 
did not or coidd not carry on, and because our field of operations 
was a sufficiently wide one. We also believe that the institu- 
tions have a suflficient number of questions of their own which 
can be better discussed among institution experts. 

The circumstances on this side of the border and the relation- 
ship of the societies to the questions of training and employment 
are somewhat different, and the work lying before the unions 
will be coloured by these differences. 

I, therefore, leave to the representatives of societies to express 
their views in regard to their responsibilities and possible develop- 
ments. I may, however, be permitted a few suggestions with 
regard to two of the most immediate and pressing of Mr. Wdson's 
points as to possible developments. All other develoj)ments 
will naturally follow these ; the two I refer to are as follow : — 

(a) To complete registration, to compile trustworthy records, 
and to build up societies in order to secure greater intercommunica- 
tion for helping special cases. 

(?>) To continue to organise local associations until no blind 
person is left unprovided with some friendly care for his or her 
welfare, to work cordially with the State when State aid comes, 
and to see that this State aid is wisely and well administered. 

In the line of these developments I venture to make the fol- 
lowing suggestions : — ■ 

(1) There should be no district or blind person, however 
remote, but should be included within the area of a well-equipped 

(2) The formation and multiplication of small societies entirely 
worked by voluntary workers should be discouraged unless for 
tentative purposes. The want of continuity and permanence 
owing to frequent changes in office bearers and committees is 
disappointing, and an inadequate knowledge of ways in which the 
blind may be helped is often a noticeable feature in such small 

83 G 2 

The Work of the Unions, Etc. 

(3) The lieadquarters of a well -equipped society should always 
be in a large town, but in every case such society should include 
in its radius other towns and country districts, taking in a whole 
county if possible. 

(4) Every such society should have at least one duly qualified 
and paid visiting teacher, whose knowledge and services would 
be at the disposal of everj^ blind person within the area. This 
provision I consider is indispensable if satisfactory and permanent 
work is to be done by our societies. Home teaching and visita- 
tion of the adult blind would thus be available for even more 
remote districts, while in more populous places various develop- 
ments of educational and social nature would be j^ossible. 

(5) Every large area shoiild have a free lending library of 
books in Braille and Moon types, such libraries to be absolutely 
free to blind readers, however remote their residence may be. 
No central library in London or elsewhere can meet those require- 
ments. Municipal libraries cannot do so. These are necessarily 
in more populous places where many blind readers even in their 
districts cannot call for books and, of course, the municipal 
libraries cannot send them to districts beyond their own boun- 

There- are sufficient reasons for the planting of such libraries' in 
properly defined large areas and no organisation could so intelli- 
gently carry on the work of a free library for the blind than such 
a well-equipped society as I have indicated. 

We are hearing a great deal in these days of the pressing need 
of cheapening Braille books for the blind — I may say in passing 
that I have seen no reference to the equally pressing need of cheaper 
Moon books for the blind. Xo doubt to those blind persons 
who have the means and accommodation this reduction in prices 
will be welcome, but if there are, as we are told, 200,000 blind 
persons in this country who can only read Braille with their 
finger tips, a much wider outlook on the question of books for 
the blind is called for. 

I believe the blind generally will always depend on libiaries 
for the sui)ply of books, and so there is need for the multiplica- 
tion of such free libraries as I have referred to. 

Then, so far as the adult blind are concerned, readers can only 
be created by the work of such well -equipped societies as I have 
pleaded for. 

If funds are available. I would suggest such a comprehensive 
scheme as would not only include the cheapening of both Braille 
and Moon books, but would also subsidise and extend free lending- 
libraries, but in addition to this cive grants to needy societies 
to provide and extend home teaching in all parts of the country. 

Sach a scheme would be in every sense worthy of, and be in 
keeping with, an organisation bearing the comprehensive title 
of the National Institute for the Blind. 

Mr. Passmore (London). — I feel somewhat nervous following 
such old hands as Mr. Wilson and Mr. Frew Bryden, and I shall 
be very brief in my remarks. 

One feels in discussing this question somewhat at a disadvantage. 
As Mr. Wilson's paper was only put into my hands an hour ago, 



I have not had very much time to consider it, but there are three 
points I shoukl like to emphasise. 

In the first place, we all recognise the immense value of unions. 
I should like to see them made even more valuable, and, of course, 
if the unions are to be valuable, the blind must co-operate. I 
should like to see a stronger representation of the blind themselves 
on the committees of the various unions and of the Union of 
Unions. I do not know how many blind members there are 
on those committees, but I fancy there are only a few. 

I shoiUd like to see the unions taking up the employment 
question with greater vigour. The public do not properly 
understand us. They give us credit for many miracles, but 
not for being able to earn our own livings. The unions are, I 
think, the most widespread organisations in the kingdom, and 
I should like to see them take up the question with great vigour. 
I should like also to see the unions standing ready to watch 
over the blind, and to take up outside questions which no other 
society can deal with, as for instance obtaining cheaper j)asses 
on trains for guides. There is no society to deal with such a 
matter. The unions are constituted for the benefit of all the 
blind, and surely such a question might well be taken up. I 
should like to thank Mr. Wilson for his paper. 

Mr. Preece* (London). — Five minutes does not allow a speaker 
sufficient time for ornamental phrasing, so I will just tumble out 
a few ideas in the hope that Mr. Wilson will consider them after- 
wards and see if they can be put into practical application. As 
a worker for the blind I am surjirised and sorry that more reference 
is not made to the j>owers of the blind in carrying out the work 
of the unions through the provinces. I should like to know 
how many blind persons are members, and I should like Mr. 
Wilson to state how many blind workers were at the annual 
meeting of the Union of Unions held in London. Now we have 
a large part to push forward in our claims and representations, 
and 1 do hope that we shall get increased representation and 
increased employment. 

Wlien Mr. Wilson sketched out the elaborate machinery of 
the unions, no reference was made to the emijloyment of blind 
organisers. Now I think each should have a paid blind organis ng 
secretary. Mr. Pearson himself is a great blind organiser, and 
he would be the first to admit that the success of his campaign is 
due to the help and encouragement he has received from blind 
organisers. When he opened the new workshops at Bolton a 
few weeks ago there was a balance wanted of £500. Mr. Pearson 
sent three blind organisers from London and in ten days the 
money was raised. Ls not that a convincing argument why 
there should be a paid blind organising secretary connected with 
each union °? This would contribute a little more to our employ- 
ment, and would bring in suggestions and information. 

May I give you another instance of the power of a blind 
organiser f At the present time we are working in five Yorkshire 
towns. In one of these we said to a resident there, " We are 
going to try and get some money out of so and so." He was a 
member of your own aristocracy, my Lord ! We were told he 


The Work of the Unions, Etc. 

had never been known to give a penny to the blind, and that 
onr appeal would be nnsuccessfiil. We did not send a sighted 
local secretary, but we sent one of our blind organisers, and five 
minutes later he came back with a cheque for £50. Therefore, 
I do very strongly urge upon Mr. Wilson and those associated 
with him that they should use organised, paid, blind secretarial 
labour, and that an organising secretary who is blind would, I 
am sure, gi'eatly help in the solution of the practical problems 
they have to contend with. 

May I say how much we all appreciate the paper ! 

Now I feel sure that I have only to appeal to a man of Mr. 
Wilson's great experience and widespread sympathy to be certain 
that he will consider this suggestion. 1 know something of what 
he has to contend with. In two Yorkshire towns recently I 
have asked about the Northern Union, and the secretaries of 
the local societies have said, "' We do not want them here, taking 
the money away from oui' institutions." We want the attitude 
which regards the blind from a much wider point of view than that, 
and what Mr. Pearson has done should be the lines upon which 
the Unions should work. To-day we are standing before the 
gates of new opportunities, and I do hope that Mr. Wilson and his 
associates will throw wide the gates to let us through. 

The Chairman. — We will give Mr. Wilson, who is the " Aunt 
Sally " for everyone to throw stones at this afternoon, an oppor- 
tunity to reply later on, but at the moment I will call upon Mr. 
Hedger, of the Sydney Blind Institution. 

Mr. Stanley Hedger (Sydney). — On behalf of New South 
Wales I would like to say that 1 am reading a paper at the Con- 
ference dealing with home teaching, but have had to cut it down, 
and I feel I would like to tell you now something about our work. 

I would like to congratulate Mr. AVilson on his admiral)Ie 
paper. The suggestions that it contains are very well thought 
out. In Australia we have a society on the same lines. In 
New South AY ales, by the aid of Government help, we are able 
to send a blind home teacher free to any part of New South 
Whales, into the homes of any blind persons. The parents often 
hide their children away out of sight, and if the blind home teacher 
can only go to them and take the benefit of work and reading 
into theii' homes it considerably brightens them up. We are 
able also to send books free of charge. AVe have a few thousand 
volumes, and are willing to buy up all the books that are published 
in Braille and Moon type. This shows that Government help 
can do a great deal for the blind. AA"e also teach the trades 
that are useful to them in their own homes, and not only that, 
but we give them ten pounds' worth of material every year to 
help them. 

A Voice : Does the Government pay for that ? 

Mr. Hedger.- — No, public subscriptions are received and the 
Government gives an equal amount. 

Now, just to show you an example of what we are able to do, 
I have in the Exhibition a fishing box made by a blind person. 
We visited the home of a person who would not come to learn a 



trade, and at last lie .so brightened up that he made the beautiful 
exhibit which you will see in the next room. 

I am sure that our work is followed on the same lines as you 
suggest, and I give my best wishes for Government legislation to 
enable you to reach those blind persons in various parts of England 
who have not yet been reached. 

Mr. W. H. Tate (Bradford). — My Lord, will you kindly ask the 
last speaker to put into figures the amount which the public 
subscribe and the amount which the Government gives "? One 
pound per jjound does not help us very much, but if he says that 
it takes £2,000 a year to keep his institution going, and that the 
Government gives £1,000 and the public £1,000, then we shall 
understand it a little better. I shoidd also be glad if you would 
kindly ask him what is the amount which each blind worker 
receives by this system, so that we may know from him if the 
Colonies are in advance of us and can give us points. 

Mr. Hedger. — I should have to go into figures before I could 
answer those questions, but the subscriptions amount to £2,000 
a year and we also get £2,000 from the Government, as well as 
legacies. There are many other departments as well as the home 
teaching, but I could give you to-morrow the amount expended 
on the home teaching by itself. 

The Chairman (to Mr. Tate). — I think, sir, you had better see 
him in the vestry after this meeting. (Laughter). 

Mr. Hedger. — I can see him after the meeting. 

Dr. Eockliffe (Htdl).^ — I would like, in the first place, to 
congratulate Mr. Wilson on his splendid paper. I venture to 
think that the majority of those present will agree with me that 
it is a pity it was not placed in our hands earlier. In going through 
it, there are so many points dealt with that it is quite impossible 
to grasp them all in a moment. Therefore, I would like to read 
through the objects of our Blind Institution at Hull, which I 
think you will agree covers most of the ground undertaken by 
the Union. 

The Chairman.- — I must ask you, please, to criticise Mr. Wilson's 

Dr. Eockliffe. — Quite so. I will begin by saying that we do 
not belong to the Union. Secondly, I contradict Mr. Preece, if 
we are one of the two Yorkshire towns to which he refers. 

^4. Voice : No, no ! 

Dr. Eockliffe. — ^I am glad. That does away with a very 
important point. The reason that we do not belong to the Union 
is this. Some time ago there was a considerable disagreement 
between the National League and our Hull Blind Institution, 
and, as one of the leading members of the N.L.B. had been elected 
on the first committee of the Union, I candidly admit that for 
this reason we did not join. A further reason was that everything 
Mr. Wilson has mentioned in his paper we were already doing in 
Hull. Therefore, we naturally did not like a young society to 
come treading on our toes, and if there is anything we have not 


The Work of the Unions, Etc. 

done we should be glad to have it pointed out by Miss Sadgrove, 
the Union representative, who is most active in her work and 
goes about a great deal in the East Riding ; we, however, flatter 
ourselves that we are doing our work well, as no cases of neglect 
have been brought to our notice. 

I do think that we old institutions, who have been doing our 
work satisfactorily for such a long time, should not be altogether 
jumped upon because we do not belong to the Union. 

There is one other matter I would like to mention, and that is 
with regard to the National Institute for the Blind. I am rather 
touchy upon that score. We have raised a considerable sum of 
money during the last thirty years, as Mr. Wilson knows, for he 
has helped us. This is our Jubilee year, and we wanted to raise 
£7,000 for a certain purpose. On asking several friends to reserve 
some portion of their gifts for our own institution, I was told 
" that they were very sorry, but that it had all gone to the National 
Institute and they presumed we should participate." Now when 
you come to analyse the blind of Hull, only one-sixth of them can 
read, and of these half are able to buy their own books and the 
remainder have the use of our extensive library. A blind man also 
delivers the books at the doors of the readers. I think you will 
see, therefore, that the National Institute will not benefit the blind 
of Hull by cheapening blind literature. What we want is to 
augment the wages of the industrious blind, and we are aiming at 
21s. a week for married men, 15s. for single men, and 10s. for 
women. I hoi)e that the Union of Unions will show its power 
by doing such Avork. 

The Chairman. — It seems to me that Dr. Rockliffe would be 
pleased if we were all to go to Hull. I will ask Mr. Charles A. 
Pearson to say a few words, and I do not suppose there is any man 
in England whom you would rather hear. 

Mr. C. Arthuk Pearson* (London). — May I begin by saying 
that I came here without the smallest intention of saying a word ! 
But I cannot let the remarks of Dr. Rockliffe pass unnoticed, 
and I should like to begin by saying that I think it is in the 
worst possible interests of the blind that there should be bickerings 
among those who are working for their common good. So far 
as my knowledge goes, neither I nor my colleagues have attacked 
anybody who ia doing good for the blind, and we do not wish 
to be attacked. Dr. Rockliffe accuses me of unfairly detracting 
subscriptions from other institutions. He seems to claim that a 
share of the money which we were instrumental in gaining from 
people with sympathetic views at recent services should go to 
him. Did he organise the services ? What has he done ? If he 
wants the money let him go to work and get it. I have no 
patience with people who let others do the work and then expect 
to reap the benefit. 

I should like to say further with regard to what is being done 
and what may be done with the money which we are raising 
that one should begin at the beginning, and the beginning is 
education. And education means books. I consider it a lament- 
able fact that among the blind people under Dr. Rockliffe's 
charge only one-sixth are able to read ; I consider that to be a 



very grave confession on his part. Food will come when blind 
people have developed intellectually and they are in a better 
position to do the work they can do than they are at present. 
There has been too long an impression that blind people are only 
capable of what I may call the soul-destroying industries, such as 
weaving bamboo rods into baskets. A very large proportion of 
the blind are capable of much better work than that, but those 
blind people will never do such work until every possible means 
have been emj)loyed to give them the necessary education. I 
maintain, and I ask everybody with common-sense to consider 
whether what I maintain is true, that the foundation of all the 
knowledge necessary to raise blind people intellectually is educa- 
tion, and therefore books. When we have finished with the books 
we will go on with the rest. 

Dr. RocKLiFFE. — How can they read when they have no 
food ? The majority of the blind have not enough to eat. 

Mr. Pearson. — I am endeavouring to think of the blind of 
the future. 

A Voice : But we want it now. 

Mr. Pearson. — You shall have it soon, but you must begin 
at the beginning. You must permit me and other people who 
have the interests of the blind community at heart to work in 
our own way. 

A Voice : May we go on with the question at issue ? This 
discussion is extremely disagreeable. 

The Chairman. ^ — Dr. Rockliffe criticised very hotly Mr. Wilson's 
paper, and Mr. Pearson is responding, and is getting rather hot, 
and therefore, I thought, interesting. (Api^lause.) 

A Voice : May I ask your ruling on another point t Will 
there be an answer now to Mr. Pearson ! 

The Chairman. — I should think so. 

Mr. Peter Miller* (HiUl). — Will you allow me to rise to a 
point of order ? I am from Hull, and should not have been 
here if it had not been for Mr. Wilson, and I want to thank him 
now. But if you will only listen to Mr. Pearson we shall get 
something worth hearing. 

Mr. Pearson. — I feel that I owe you an apology. As I said, 
I came without the smallest intention of saying a word, but I 
do not think it any part of my duty to sit still and listen to hostile 
criticisms without replying. I think I have probably said quite 
enough, because I am aware that there is much work to be got 
through, but I do ask for a little consideration for the point — 
that we must raise the status of the blind ; we must begin at the 
beginning. When we have accomplished the end for which we 
set forth — and I do not mind telling you that in this particular 
case the end is very near at hand — let us then pass on to other 
things. The delay will not be a long one, and I think there will 
be a great deal done for the blind community in a very short 

The Work of the Unions, Etc. 

The Chairman.- — The time is so short that I must call on the 
only lady who has sent up her card — Miss Dawson. 

Dr. RocKLiFFE. — Mr. Pearson, in the first place I should like 
to apologise to you for any remark I have made that has hurt 
your feelings, and to explain that the interests of the blind have 
been dear to my heart for more than thirty years. I should be 
sorry to think that you or any other blind man should imagine 
that I am doing anything in opposition to you. I have had the 
pleasure of being hon. secretary and manager of the Institution 
for the Blind at Hull for thirty odd years, hon. surgeon to the 
Royal Infirmary for twenty-five years, I have had 80,000 patients 
through my hands, and 800 blind people to deal with on our 
institution books, so that I may claim to have had some experience. 
As I have said, this is our Jubilee year, and I had already seen 
the Bishop of Hull with regard to church collections. Every- 
thing you have lately organised would have been done by us, 
and you may, therefore, understand our feelings at losing money 
we were hoping to get to provide bread for our blind men. 

It is not owing to any neglect on our part that only one-sixth 
of our Hull blind can read. As is well known, the majority of 
the poorer blind became so in adult lite, when their fingers are 
already too brawny from manual labour to feel the small elevated 
blind type. 

Mr. Ben Purse* (London). — Is this to be regarded as a precedent 
in the conduct of debates during the Conference ! 

The Chairman. — Xo, certainly not ! Miss Dawson does not 
wish to speak. I will, therefore, call on Mr. Harris, of Newport, 
Mon., who will be the last speaker. 

Mr. C. W. Harris* (Newport, Mon.). — I think you will all 
agree with me that we have had a most interesting discussion, 
and I sincerely trust that the outcome of the paper will be of 
great benefit. 

There are just one or two points I Avould like to refer to with 
regard to the working of these unions. When you have got at 
the head of a union an individual who has been to a very great 
extent self -installed as secretary, and he takes no action whatever 
after being installed, but simply lets the work slide, what is to 
be done then "? I think I know of one of these unions of societies 
where there has been practically no meeting called on account 
of the laxity of the secretary. I would like to ask the reader 
of the paper what is best to be done in such circumstances. 

The Chairman. — I can tell you that, sir. You sack the secre- 
tary. ( L augh ter . ) 

Mr. Harris.* — Then again, sii', I fear some of the discussion 
has travelled somewhat from the work of the unions of societies 
into the work of the societies themselves. Take for instance 
where there is already a blind aid society doing the work in a 
certain district. It is not possible for the Union to step in and do 
similar kind of work to that which the individual society is already 
doing. We have, I believe, in Monmouthshire, a blind aid society 
doing a good deal of work among the adult blind, but, on the other 


Past and Impending Legislation 

hand, in other parts of the South Wales Division there is, I think, 
considerable laxity, and the union ought to be at work to a much 
greater extent than is the case now. So we sincerely trust that 
the reading of this jiaper and the discussion to which we have 
listened will stir up some of the secretaries of the unions. 

The Chairman. — It would have been rather nice to have some 
more questions raised, but I must call upon Sir Ellis Cunliffe 
now, as he has some important engagements. 

Mr. W. E. Wade* (Dublin). — May I ask a question with regard 
to Mr. Wilson's paper ! I am from Ireland and would like to 
ask Mr. Wilson if he would not extend the Union of Unions to 
Ireland ! We are very fond of the Union there, although there 
are some Home Eulers. There are 4,312 totally blind people 
in Ireland. 

Sir R. Ellis Cunliffe (London).- — ^I think, perhaps, 
before commencing to read my paper, I ought to ask you to 
take note of a disclaimer. You will see that in the hand- 
book I am put down to read this paper as Solicitor to the 
Board of Trade. I am the Solicitor to the Board of Trade, 
but I do not read the paper in my official position, nor am 
I authorised to speak on behalf of any department of the 
State. I am here to-day as having been for nearly twenty 
years chairman of one of the workshops for the blind in 
London, and will give you my own personal views and the 
personal views of others with whom I have been associated, 
but I do not care to go back to my department in the Govern- 
ment and be hauled over the coals by our President for not 
putting my position in the matter right. It is in a sense a 
great relief to anybody to be able to read a paper. On 
many occasions when facing an audience one has to remember 
so much, and it has made it considerably easier having 
written my paper to be allowed to read it. I shall not keep 
you very long. I have combined the two papers into one. 
1 do not trouble you with legislation, either past or future, 
while reading my paper. You will see it when it is printed, 
and by omitting it now I can make my paper much shorter. 





Solicitor to the Board of Trade and Chairman of the West London 
Workshops for the Bhud. 

It must, of course, be understood that this paper is not written by me in 
my official capacity, but that it simply represents my views as a 
worker among the Blind. 

I HAVE found it advisable to combine these two papers, 
scheduling the first to the second, and dealing with the 
various points in past and impending legislation on behalf of 
the blind in detail as they arise when considering their 
bearing on the subject of my second paper. 

Now I feel quite justified in prefacing this paper by using 
the old saying, " Very much water has run under London 
Bridge " since I was asked by the organisers of this Con- 
ference to write upon these two subjects, for who among us 
could a year ago have anticipated that there would have 
been so great an awakening of the conscience of the British 
public to the needs of that portion of the community that 
we meet here to-day to assist in their life's work. The 
march of events has been swift indeed and sudden beyond 
all thought and expectation ; the spade-work of years is 
beginning to bring its trees to fruition. 

As a result of this movement my line of aj^proach to these 
subjects has necessarily somewhat altered since I first had 
them under my consideration, as it can no longer be suggested 


Past and Impending Legislation 

that the British charitable pubhc are not alive to the welfare 
of the blind ; and we all rejoice that this should be so, 
because while we feel that there are many other needs of 
the blind besides that towards which the whole-hearted and 
philanthropic apjjcal of Mr. Arthur Pearson has evoked so 
large and generous a response, yet realising that that appeal 
is made for one of the amenities as distinct from the essentials 
of the battle of life, such appeals to private benevolence must 
alwaj^s be necessary, being of a nature which are likely to 
remain outside the cognisance of the State. While, there- 
fore, until we ourselves obtain, by means of the votes of the 
British public, provision for the full education and employ- 
ment of the industrious blind, we also must continue to appeal 
for assistance in our work to the benevolence of individuals, 
yet Avhen once the goal we are seeking to arrive at has been 
reached and the State has recognised what we conceive are 
its obligations to our handicapped brothers and sisters, it 
will still be left to charitable individuals to endeavour to 
provide for the blind some of the amenities of their exist- 
ence, those additions which go to make their life more 
tolerable over and above those necessities which I venture 
to suggest it is the obligation of the State to provide. 
If anyone has had the opportunity of reading the parti- 
culars of the past legislation of the United Kingdom on 
behalf of the blind scheduled to this paper, and will compare 
the existing legislation with the legislation which is contained 
in the proposed Bill now before Parliament, they will see 
where impending legislation takes the necessary step ahead 
of the legislation of the past. By degrees legislation of the 
past has reached the pitch of asserting that it is the duty of 
the State to educate blind children up to a certain age and 
of sanctioning the expenditure of public funds up to a 
certain extent on blind persons in institutions ; but beyond 
making jjrovision for the employment of pauper blind 
persons, no step towards directly providing employment for 
those of the blind who are ready and willing to work has 
hitherto been taken by the State, and it is fairly arguable 
that to educate those who are crippled for life's contest and 


Past and Impending Legislation 

the competition of the labour market, to be capable of taking 
their part in a trade or occupation, and then to stop short 
and fail to provide them with work or occupation, is render- 
ing the expenditure on such education in ver;y many cases 

It seems difficult to assert that any nation has hitherto 
completely recognised what I submit is an obligation on the 
State, i.e., to thoroughly educate and provide employment 
for its blind. While Ave must recognise that France, to its 
everlasting credit, led the way in providing in the thirteenth 
century a foundation for the support of blind persons, this 
action would appear to have been more in the nature of a 
provision for their maintenance than a provision for their 
employment. In the United States, apart from the work 
done therein for the education of the blind, there are work- 
shops for the blind subsidised by the State Government or 
the municipality, and commissions composed of able men 
have recently been appointed in sevei'al of the States to take 
charge of the affairs of the blind from infancy to old age; 
moreover, the system existing in Saxony to-day concerning 
the care of and provision for the blind after their discharge 
from the institutions for the blind in Dresden is well woi'thy 
of the consideration of our British public and their represen- 
tatives in Parliament. But I cajuiot find that complete 
recognition of what I consider is the duty of a covmtry to its 
blind fellow citizens has been yet accepted, and I trust that 
our countr}^ will be the first to lead the w^ay in this. 

Now after nearly twenty years' experience as chairman of 
a workshop for the blind, I have for some years past been of 
the opinion that it is the duty or a moral obligation of the 
State to provide that those who, through no fault of their 
owai, are handicapped in life's contest shall not only be 
thoroughly educated to become capable of being self-support- 
ing, but shall be supplied Avith the means of supporting them- 
selves when their education has been completed. To enable 
this to be brought about the time has come Avhen avc should 
cease to lay so much stress on the education of the blind as 
on the education of the British public, and on this point I 


Past and Impending Legislation 

would say that apparently our j^resent representatives in 
Parliament are in advance of the British public as a whole, 
or perhaps I should put it this way, that they have correctly 
anticipated the Avishes and views of those whom they 
represent without waiting for any formal expression to be 
given to such wishes and views. 

And now I would draw your attention to the fact that the 
Bill which has already been introduced into Parliament takes 
this great step forward, that it provides for the employment 
by the State of the blind who are able and willing to work ; 
it also extends the existing provisions as regards education ; 
but the important point is to note that it enacts the duty of 
the State to either provide workshojjs for the blind or practi- 
cally to take over or subsidise existing workshops. And I 
recommend to all those who are interested in this Conference 
to leave this session with the full determination of insisting 
in season and out of season that the provisions of this Bill 
shall become law in the nearest possible period of time. 

We are aware of and appreciate the fact that the Govern- 
ment have appointed a Committee to consider the subject 
and are rejoiced to think that much good may be expected 
from the investigations of such Committee, but it is more 
than necessary that, simultaneously with the sitting of this 
Committee, the principles laid down by the Bill shall be 
advocated and pressed home, for without suggesting that 
the Bill is incapable of amendment, I submit that it does 
give an opportunity to the Government by supporting this 
Bill to demonstrate that the country has realised that those 
who through accident, neglect, or preventable disease are 
to-day subject to this dire infirmity of blindness shall have a 
guarantee that from the moment they become so afflicted 
until the end of their lives they can feel that they are pro- 
perly and legitimately at the care of the State, and that the 
proposed Bill gives full effect to this view, by seeking to 
place on the Statute Book an Act governing and guiding the 
well-being of our blind throughout their lives of blindness. 

To do this effectively, it must be brought home to the 
conscience of the British public that it is no longer fair to 


Past and Impending Legislation 

charge the philanthropic alone with the provision of the 
employment of our sightless brothers and sisters ; and once 
it has been made clear to the British public that the efforts 
of the philanthropic public fall short in attaining this end, 
any objection to the securing of this object by some small 
rate or tax will, I submit, entirely disappear. 

It should always be remembered that the making of the 
care for the blind a charge on the State will in all probability 
lead to the further awakening of the public to the subject of 
the prevention of blindness and so lead to the diminution in 
the number of those who may in futiu'e suffer from this 

The comparatively small number of blind persons in the 
United Kingdom, though in excess of what it should be, has 
been both their strength and their weakness — their weakness 
owing to the fact that they have not been able to make their 
voice heard in the past ; their strength to-day in that any 
tax on the public for their future support caiuiot be charac- 
terised as an onerous tax, especially when Ave remember that 
by State help for the prevention and suppression of the 
disease, the reduction in numbers will make that burden less 
and less in the course of succeeding generations. 

By taking the course advocated by this paper the country 
will be able to demonstrate that it has at length learnt to 
realise its duty towards those who have become afflicted 
owing to ignorance, neglect, recklessness of conduct, or 
accident. I see around me great numbers of those who have 
taken an interest in this subject for many years past ; under 
what circumstances they have come to take such an interest 
would be a matter of interesting investigation, but I venture 
to say that all are to-day animated Avith but one desire, the 
desire to see that the subject is noA\% once and for all, 
adequately dealt Avith. The moA'emcnts in the past, as 
natural to all such mo\'ements, haA^e been those emanating 
from indiA'iduals, belated and isolated, and working, as 
indeed till recently they haA'C been Avorking, in sej^arate 
units, but fortunately the system of federation has been 
called into existence in the last feA\' years Avith, I think, very 


Past and Impending Legislation 

valuable results, and the system of federation once started 
can, I opine, lead to one ultimate goal only, and that is to 
some guiding central authority of the State which has the 
power to gather up under its aegis all the scattered and 
segregated units which to-day are dealing as best their funds 
and powers permit with the problem under discussion. 
From to-day forward let us put forth all our energies and all 
our forces to remove any not unnatural feeling of discontent 
on the part of our blind brothers and sisters by insisting that 
it is our aim and object to teach the British public that it is 
they that should feel discontented until the time has come 
when every blind joerson able and willing to work has been 
adequately educated and adequately supplied with the 
means of working. And, while touching on this phase of 
the subject, I would not have our blind brothers and sisters 
forget that if and when the State recognises what I submit 
is its moral obligation towards them, they themselves should 
not be unmindful of their obligation to recognise in their turn 
that when the State has placed them by legislative enactmen*" 
in the position of reasonable independence it is only feelingL 
of humanity and philanthropy that could have induced the 
State to take up such an attitude towards them, and to feel 
grateful accordingly. And in the same way I would appeal 
to all labour interests that, while seeking to make headway 
for those engaged in various trades and businesses of life 
with the object of securing better treatment for them, they 
should also realise that they can well afford to allow some 
little inroads into the provisions for their own betterment 
when such inroads bring some improvement to the status 
of their handicapped brothers and sisters who are engaging 
to a certain extent in comjoetition with them. 

I have referred to existing legislation and have pointed 
out that, while the duty of educating the blind has to a 
certain extent been recognised by the State, it has practically 
ended there, but now let me refer to the circumstances which 
led to the Bill now before Parliament which 1 have scheduled 
to this paper. During the last three years a sort of competi- 
tion had been going on between those representing the bulk 

c.B. 97 a 

Past and Impending Legislation 

of the various institutions for the benefit of the bhnd in the 
United Kingdom and those who claim to represent many of 
the bUnd by reason of their being members of the National 
League, the result being that for two years or so two Bills, 
aiming at very much the same objects, but differently 
constructed, were before Parliament. The lack of common 
agreement on the details of those Rills prevented any 
common basis of progress, and at a deputatioii of the 
supporters of the tsvo Bills received by a committee of the 
Trade Unions Congress in 1912 it was intimated by the 
members of that committee that until agreement was 
arrived at it would be impossible for that body to support 
the Bills in Parliament. The matter was consequently 
taken up with a view to bringing the two sets of representa- 
tives into agreement, and towards the close of 1912 the 
much-hoped-for goal was attained and an agreement arrived 
at between the representatives of the various institutions 
for the benefit of the blind and the representatives of the 
Blind League as to the j^rovisions of the Bills, making it 
possible for an agreed Bill to be presented to Parliament in 
the present session. 

The next great step in advance of public thought was 
clearly demonstrated in the debate in the House of Commons 
on March 11th last, inaugurated bj^ Mr. Wardle. That 
debate disclosed a state of things which is particularly 
to be noted, i.e., the almost unanimous agreement of the 
various sections of representatives of parties in the House 
that the time has come when State intervention on behalf of 
our blind brothers and sisters is a part of practical politics. 
Reference to the agreed Bill was made on that occasion and a 
sympathetic response by the Government ended in the 
promise of the appointment of the Committee to which I 
have referred to inquire into the subject^ — a promise which 
has since been carried into effect. Further, the extra- 
ordinary response of the public to the appeal of the National 
Institute for the Blind in their work of educating and 
ameliorating the existence of the blind by the spread of 
literature suitable to their needs has marked a great advance 


Past and Impending Legislation 

of public thought. The opening of the new premises of that 
institute by our gracious Majesties and their expressed 
sympathy with the objects of the institution have left an 
impression on the public mind which I venture to think can 
never be effaced. The interest of the public in the future of 
our blind brothers and sisters has been so aroused and stimu- 
lated that results more far-reaching than has ever been 
anticipated may now be prophesied with certainty, and on 
this last point we must all agree, that what works for the 
better education of the young adult and old among the 
blind must in truth make for the bettering of their chance of 
employment. But still let us never forget that the present 
situation has been mainly brought about, thanks to a 
century of work by private individuals and institutions ; it 
has taken centuries to make the State realise any obligation 
to provide education for the children of its subjects, it has 
taken even longer for it to realise that to seek to provide 
employment for those who are ready and willing to work 
and who through lack of means cannot seize upon oppor- 
tunities is also an obligation of the State, for it is only 
recently that we see this obligation recognised by the 
establishment of Labour Exchanges throughout the United 
Kingdom. On these lines we would call upon the State to 
go a step further in its attitude towards its blind subjects, 
and not only to provide opportunities for employment as is 
presented by Labour Exchanges to the able-bodied worker, 
but to guarantee employment for the worker who, through 
no fault of his own, is by reason of infirmity incapable of 
entering into equal competition in the labour market. The 
extension of the principle is not great, but the moral obliga- 
tion to extend it is very great. Realising, therefore, that 
to-day the public are in a state of mind to readily receive 
suggestions for ameliorating the lot of our blind brothers 
and sisters by enabling them to earn their own living, 
suggestions as to how this is best to be promoted are matters 
of detail upon which many minds are or will be exercised 
in the near future, and it is with diffidence and great respect 
that I make the following, which may be apparent to many 

99 H 2 

Past and Impending Legislation 

of those here present, and to many serving on the Govern- 
ment Committee. The suggestions are in outhne only and 
are based on quite a different foundation from those which 
I first contemplated when I undertook to deal with this 
subject — the difference to-day being that State intervention 
of some kind in the interests of the blind is coming into 
being — and, this being so, my suggestions are made from the 
point of view that the public may naturally expect the State 
to give them a lead in directing their attitude towards the 
employment of the blind, and it is on this footing that the 
following suggestions are put forward. 

And just before I make these suggestions I would add that 
we must ahvays bear in mind in supjjort of our contention 
that employment to the blind is in some respects even more 
essential to their existence and well-being than to any other 
class of the community^ — emplojanent is what they pray for, 
it is almost vital to them. Given a blind man or woman once 
instructed in a trade or occu23ation, I know of none that are 
more industrious in it ; they are passionately attached to the 
idea of becoming numbered amongst the useful members 
and workers of the State, and, indeed, daily employment 
and occujDation raises them — as they truly realise^ — from a 
state of dull, dead, lifeless existence to one of daily energetic 
vitality, taking them from their otherAvise sad thoughts of 

My suggestions are : — 

1. That the Committee established to inquire into the 
condition of the blind may see their way to recommend the 
establishment, whatever its powers at commencement may 
be, of some State department, or State sub-department, for 
the provision of the after-care and employment of the blind 
when they have received due education. 

2. That the recommendations of the Committee should be 
made widely known and disseminated throughout the United 
Kingdom and that some department of State should be 
authorised to make yearly reports to Parliament on the 
condition of the blind as regards education and employment 
during the preceding year, and for that purpose should 


Past and Impending Legislation 

require rejiorts from various institutions for the education 
and employment of the blind throughout the United Kingdom. 

3. That in taking evidence the Committee should, for the 
information of themselves and the public, inquire of those 
who are best fitted to give valuable information as to the 
capabilities of the blind, such as the managers of the various 
institutions and workshops for the blind throughout the 
United Kingdom and those of the blind who are engaged in 
work in these various institutions and can speak as repre- 
sentatives of their blind brothers and sisters. 

4. That yearly exhibitions of the work of the blind should 
be fostered or subsidised by the State, and that prizes should 
be given by the State for articles of the best workmanship. 

5. That inspectors of institutions and visitors of the bUnd 
throughout the United Kingdom should be employed under 
State control, so that the daily wants and interests of the 
blind may be known and met. 

6. And, finally, that, bearing in mind that as by proper 
and adequate teaching of the young or adult blind we gain 
the best guarantee for a demand for goods of their making — a 
guarantee which is essential in order to remove, so far as 
possible, the employment of the blind from the realm of 
charitable employment — then, when it has been thoroughly 
demonstrated that the work of blind men and women, while 
not so quickly done, is as good as the work of sighted men 
and women, it will be legitimate for the State, dealing locally 
with employment, to make public the fact by advertisement 
with a view to support the work of the blind in institutions 
and workshops, whether existing to-day or to be founded by 
the State hereafter. 


Past and Impending Legislation 

43 EUz. c. 2, 
s. 6. 

An Act for 
the Relief of 
the Poor 

59 Geo. III. 
0. 12, s. 26. 
An Act to 
amend the 
Laws for 
the Relief of 
the Poor. 

4 & 5 Will. 
IV. c. 76, 
g. 56. 

An Act for 
the amend- 
ment and 
tion of the 
Laws relat- 
ing to the 
Poor of 
and Wales. 
Vict. c. 43, 


I. England. 

" And be it fm-ther enacted, that the father and gi-and- 
father, and the mother and grandmother, and the children, 
of every poor, old, blind, lame and impotent person, or other 
poor person not able to work, being of a sufficient ability, 
shall, at their own charges, relieve and maintain every 
such poor person in that manner and according to that rate 
as by the justices of the peace of that county where such 
sufficient persons dwell or the gi-eater number of them 
at their general quarter sessions shall be assessed upon pain 
that every one of them shaU forfeit twenty shillings for 
every month which they shall fail therein." 

" And whereas by the said Act passed in the forty-third 
year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, for the relief of the 
poor it was enacted, etc. (as above). 

" And whereas it is expedient to extend the power which 
is by the said Act given to justices in their general quarter 
sessions to justices in petty sessions : Be it fmther enacted, 
that it shall be lawful for any two or more of His Majesty's 
justices of the peace for the county or other jurisdiction in 
which any such sufficient person shall dwell, and they are 
hereby empowered in any petty session to make such assess- 
ment and order for the relief of every poor, old, blind, 
lame, impotent or other poor person not able to work, upon 
and by the father, gi-andfather, mother, grandmother, or 
child (being of sufficient ability) of every such poor person, 
as may by virtue of the said Act be made by the justices in 
their general quarter sessions ; and that every such assess- 
ment and order of two or more justices in any petty sessions 
shall have the like force and effect as if the same were made 
by the justices in their general quarter sessions ; and the 
disobedience thereof shall be punishable in like manner." 

" And be it further enacted that from and after the passing 
of this Act all relief given to or on account of the wife or to 
or on account of any child or children under the age of 
sixteen, not being blind or deaf and dumb, shall be con- 
sidered as given to the husband of such wife, or to the father 
of such child or children, as the case may be : Provided 
always that nothing herein contained sh^ll discharge the 
father and grandfather, mother and gTandmother of any 
poor child from their liability to relieve and maintain such 
poor child in pui'suance of the provisions of a certain Act of 
Parliament i)assed in the forty-third year of the reign of 
Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth, intituled ' An Act for 
the Relief of the Poor. ' " 

" 1. The guardians of any parish or union may send any 
poor child to any school certified as hereinafter mentioned 


Past and Impending Legislation 

and supported wliolly or partly by voluntary subscrij)tions, 
the managers of which shall be willing to receive such child 
and may pay out of the funds in theii- possession the 
expenses incurred in the maintenance, clothing and educa- 
tion of such child therein dming the time such child shall 
remain at such school (not exceeding the total sum which 
would have been charged for the maintenance of such child 
if relieved in the workhouse dming the same period), and in 
the conveyance of such child to and from the same, and in 
the case of death, the expenses of his or her burial. 

" 2. The Poor Law Board may, if they think fit, upon the 
application in writing of the managers of any such school as 
aforesaid ajipoint such xjerson as they shall deem proper to 
examine into the condition of the school and to report to 
the said Board thereon, and, if satisfied with such report, 
that Board may, by writing under the hand of one of their 
secretaries, certify that such school is fitted for the reception 
of such children or persons as may be sent there by the 
guardians in i^ursuance of this Act ; and it shall be lawful 
for the said Board, if at any time they shall be dissatisfied 
with the condition or management of such school, by notice 
addressed to the managers and signed as aforesaid, to declare 
that the certificate is withdrawn from and after a day to be 
specified therein, not less than two months after the date 

" 9. No child shall be sent under this Act to any school 
which is conducted on the principles of a religious denomina- 
tion to which such child does not belong. 

"10. . . . the word ' school ' shall extend to any institu- 
tion established for the instruction of blind, deaf, dumb, 
lame, deformed or idiotic persons, but shall not apply to 
any certified reformatory school." 

" The guardians may provide for the recej^tion, main- 
tenance and instruction of any adult pauper, being blind or 
deaf and dumb, in any hospital or institution established 
for the reception of persons suffering imder such infirmities, 
and may pay the charges incurred in the conveyance of such 
l^auper to and fi'om the same, as well as those incurred in 
his maintenance, support and instruction therein." 

" The guardians of any mrion or parish may, with the 
approval of the Poor Law Board, send any poor, deaf and 
dumb, or blind child to any school fitted for the reception of 
such child, though such school shall not have been certified 
under the provisions of the Act of the 25th and 26th years 
of Victoria, chapter 43." 

" Nothing in the said Act of the thirtieth and thirty-first 
years of Her Majesty's reign, chapter five, or in this part of 
this Act, shall render a licence necessary in the case oi a dog 
kept and used solely by a blind person for his or her guidance, 
or render such person liable to any penalty in respect of a 
dog so kept and used." 

(This Act applies to Great Britain.) 

" Whereas by section 4 of the Poor Law Amendment Act, 


ss. 1, 2, 9 
and 10. 
of Pauper 
Act, 1862. 

30 & 31 Vict, 
c. 100, s. 21. 
The Poor Law 

Act, 1867. 

31 & 32 Vict, 
c. 122, s. 42. 
The Poor Law 
Act, 1808. 

41 & 42 
Vict. 0. 15 
s. 21. 
and Inland 
Act, 1878. 

42 & 43 Vict 
c. 54, s. 10. 

Past and Impending Legislation 

Poor Law 
Act, 1879. 

4') & 40 Vict. 
c. 58, s. 1?.. 
The Divided 
Parishes and 
Poor Law 
Act, 1882. 

1889 Report 
of the Royal 
on the 
Blind, the 
Deaf and 

.of) & b7 Vict. 
c. 42. 

The Elenu-u- 
tary Educa- 
tion (Blind 
and De.if 
Act, 1S!I3. 

1851, guardians are autliorised, with sucli consent as is 
therein mentioned, to subscribe towards the support and 
maintenance of any public hospital or infirmary as therein 
mentioned, and it is expedient to extend the said section. 
Be it therefore enacted as follows : 

" The provisions of the said section shall extend to autho- 
rise the guardians, with such consent as is therein men- 
tioned, to subscribe towards any asylum or institution for 
blind persons, or for deaf and dumb persons, or for persons 
suffering from any permanent or natural infirmity, or 
towards any association or society for aiding such persons 
or for xH'ovidiug nurses, or for aiding girls or boys in service, 
or towards any other asylum or institution which appears 
to the guardians, with such consent as aforesaid, to be 
calculated to render useful aid in the administration of the 
relief of the poor. 

'■ Provided always that nothing herein contained shall 
authorise any subscrij)tion to any asylum or institution 
unless the Local Government Board be satisfied that the 
paupers under the guardians have, or could have, assistance 
therein in case of necessity." 

" The guardians of any union who send any j)auper 
chUd to a school certified under the Act of the 25th and 
26th years of the reign of Her present Majesty, cap. 43, may 
pay the reasonable expenses incurred in the maintenance, 
clothing and education of such child whilst in such school, 
to an amount not exceeding such rate of payment as may 
be sanctioned by the Local Government Board, for ijaujier 
children sent to such school, anything contained in the said 
Act to the contrary notwithstanding." 

In 1889 the Report of the Royal Commission on the 
Blind, the Deaf and Dumb was published, and it would 
appear that the Elementary Education Act, 1893, was 
probably passed as a result of recommendation No. 243 of 
the Commissioners. The Education of Blind and Deaf- 
Mute Children (.Scotland) Act, 1890, passed three years 
previous to the English Act would also appear to have been 
a result of the recommendations of the Commissioners. 

The whole of this Act — eighteen sections — deals with the 
education of blindanddeaf children luider sixteen years of age. 

SEdw. VII. 
c. 48, s. 2. 
Post Office 
Act, 1908. 

The Publii 

Provides that a warrant may fix sjiecial jjostage rates for 
postal jiackets consisting of books and papers impressed 
for the use of the bliad, and may specify any special condi- 
tions and regulations in respect of the transmission by post 
of such packets. 

(This Act applies to the United Kingdom, the Channel 
Islands and the Isle of Man.) 

By a General Order made by the Local Government 

Past and Impending Legislation 

Board under the provisions of section 130 of tlie Public 
Health Act, 1875, the disease known in the medical world as 
Ophthalmia Neonatorum has been made a disease notifiable 
under section 3 of the Infections Disease (Notification) Act, 

II. Scotland (only). 

The whole of this Act (nine sections) relates to the 
education of blind and deaf-mute children between the ages 
of five and sixteen years. 

III. Ireland (only). 

" And be it enacted, that when the Commissioners shall 
have declared any workhouse of any union to be fit for the 
reception of destitute poor, and not before, it shall be 
lawful for the guardians, at their discretion, but subject in 
all cases to the orders of the Commissioners, to take order 
for relieving and setting to work therein, in the first place, 
such destitute poor persons as by reason of old age, infirmity, 
or defect, may be imable to support themselves, and 
destitute children, and in the next jilace, such other persons 
as the said guardians shall deem to be destitute poor, and 
unable to support themselves by their own industry, or by 
other lawful means : Provided always, that in any case 
where there may not be sufficient accommodation for the 
relief of all the persons applying for relief whom the guar- 
dians shall deem to be destitute poor, the guardians shall 
relieve such of the said persons as may be resident in the 
union before or in jireference to those who may not be so 

" And be it enacted, that where any poor person shall, 
through old age, infirmity or defect, be unable to support 
himself, every child of such poor j)erson shall be liable, 
according to his ability to support or contribute to support 
such poor person, and in case relief shall be given under this 
Act to any poor person whose child shall be liable to support 
him or to contribute to his support, it shaU be lawful for 
any two justices of the peace of the jurisdiction within 
which such child may dwell, on the application of the 
. guardians of the union, in which such relief shall have been 
given, by their order to direct what sum, not exceeding the 
cost price of such relief, shall be paid by such cliild to such 
guardians in respect of the relief which shall have been so 
given, and also what weekly or other jDeriodical j)ayments 
shall be made by such child to such guardians in respect of 
such relief as shall subsequently be given to such poor 
person ; and the sum so directed to be j)aid, and also such 
weekly or other periodical payments, when aird as they 
shall become due, shall be recoverable by such guardians in 
the same manner as any penalties are recoverable mider this 

" And be it enacted, that the guardians of any union may 
send any destitute poor deaf and dumb or blind child under 


mia Neona ■ 
tions, 1914. 

53 & 54 Vict. 
c. '13. 

Education of 
Blind and 
Deaf- Mute 
Act, ISttO. 

1 & 2 Vict, 
c. 56, s. 41. 
Irish Poor 
Rehef Act, 

1 & 2 Vict, 
c. 56, s. 57. 
An Act for 
the more 
Relief of the 
Poor in 

6 & 7 Vict, 
c. 92, s. 14. 
Irish Poor 

Past and Impending Legislation 

Act, 1843. 

39 & 40 

Vict. c. 50, 
s. 4. 

Poor Law 
Act, 1870. 

41 &42 
Vict. c. 60, 
s. 3. 
Act, 1878. 

the age of eighteen to any institution for the maintenance 
of the deaf and dumb or 'blind which may be approved of 
by the Commissioners, with the consent of the parents or 
guardians of such child, and may pay the expenses of its 
maintenance there out of the rates raised under the authority 
of the said first-recited Act." 

" The expenses incurred by the guardians of any Poor 
Law imion in Ireland in resjiect of the maintenance of any 
destitute poor deaf and dumb or blind person in the work- 
house, and in the conveyance of any destitute poor deaf and 
dumb or blind person to any deaf and dumb or blind asylum, 
and of the maintenance therein of any such person, shaU be 
borne by and charged against the whole union." 

" The guardians of any union may provide for the recep- 
tion, maintenance and instruction of any pauper above the 
age of eighteen, being blind or deaf and dumb in any 
hospital or institution established for the reception of persons 
suffering imder such infirmities, and may pay out of the 
rates the charges incurred in the conveyance of such pauper 
to and from the same, as well as those inciu-red in his 
maintenance, support and instruction therein : Provided 
always, that the amount to be paid by such union for the 
reception, maintenance and instruction of every such 
pauper so received in any siich hospital or institution shall 
not exceed the sum of five shillings weekly." 



Education, Employment and Maintenance of the 
Blind (No. 2) Bill. 

The object of the BiU is to provide for the technical 
education' of the blind by the cstabUshment and equipment 
of technical schools where necessary, or by contributions 
to existing schools and institutions for the employment 
of the blind ; or by the establishment and equipment of 
workshops where necessary, or by contributions to existing 
institutions providing work for the bUnd ; for grants in 
respect of augmentation of wages earned by persons so 
employed ; for the provision of the expenses of blind 
persons at institutions or hostels while under technical 
instruction ; for the employment and maintenance of 
bUnd persons away from workshops ; and for the main- 
tenance of bUnd persons incapacitated from earning their 

Arrangement of Clauses. 

1. Local authority to iirovide technical training, emplojTuent, and 


2. Establishment, equipment, and maintenance of technical schools 

or contributions to existing schools. Period of and qualifica- 


Past and Impending Legislation 


tion for training. Apjiroval of expense or contribution by 
Board of Education. 

3. Establishment, equij)ment, and maintenance of institutions and 

workshops for employment, or contributions to existing 
Institutions. Provision of employment. Certificate to carry 
on a trade, business, or employment away from a workshop. 
Conditions of withdrawal of a certificate. Approval of expense 
or contribution by Secretary of State. 

4. Provision for representation of contributing local authority on 

governing body of institution. 

5. Monthly grants to institutions in respect of persons employed. 

Monthly grants to blind persons holding certificates. 

6. Provision of expenses of persons at institutions or hostels, or 

technical schools or workshops. 

7. Statement of accounts to be rendered to contributing local 


8. Local authorities may combu\e. 

9. Governing bodies of technical schools or workshops established 

or acquired by a local authority. 

10. Monthly grants for maintenance of the incapable blind. 

11. Assi.Hance under this Act no disability. 

12. Definition of local authority. Expenses of local authority. 

Charge of expenses. Borrowing powers. Half cost to be 
borne by Imperial Exchequer. 

13. Definition of expressions. Settlement of residence. 

14. Application of Act to Scotland. 

15. Application of Act to Ireland. 

16. Date of coming into operation. 

17. Short title. 

a bill to provide for the technical education, 
Employment, and Maintenance of the Blind. 

Whereas many blind persons are unable to provide for 
themselves adequate technical training or to obtain employ- 
ment when trained ; 

And whereas the institutions for the blind now existing 
are insufficient to provide technical training and employ- 
ment for all blind persons capable of profiting thereby : 

And whereas many bhnd persons in consequence of their 
bhndness are unable, when fuUy employed, to earn sufficient 
wages or remuneration for their projier maintenance : 

And whereas many blind persons are completely incapaci- 
tated from earning their livelihood : 

Be it therefore enacted by the King's most Excellent 
Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords 
Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present 
Parhament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as 
follows : — 

1. It shall be the duty of every local authority, as herein- Local 
after defined, from and after the commencement of this authority 
Act, to make adequate and suitable provision within such to provide 
time as is reasonably practicable for the technical training, technical 


Past and Impending Legislation 

ment, and 

and main- 
tenance of 
schools, or 
tions to 

Period of 
and qualifi- 
cation for 

Api)roval of 
expense or 
tion by 
Board of 

ment, equip- 
ment, and 
of institutions 
and workshops 
for employ- 
ment, or 
to existin<; 

Provision of 

employment, and maintenance, to the extent and in the 
manner, hereinafter set forth, of every bhnd person over 
sixteen years of age resident A^ithin the area of such local 

2. — (1) For the purpose of providing for the technical 
training of the blind every local authority shall estabUsh, 
acquire, equip, and maintain within its area technical 
schools for the blind : Provided that any local authority 
may, and wherever practicable shall, make arrangements 
with any schools or institutions for the blind within or 
without its area for the provision of such techi>ical training, 
and for this purpose every local authority is empowered 
to contribute towards the enlargement, equipment, altera- 
tion, and maintenance of such schools and institutions. 

(2) The technical training provided under this Act shall 
be for a period not exceeding five years in the case of each 
blind peison, and shall only be given to such blind persons 
not exceeding fifty years of age at the commencement of 
such training as are, in the opinion of the local authority 
or of the Board of Education on appeal by any person 
inteiested, unable adequately to maintain themselves during 
such training, and capable of receiving and being benefited 
by such training. Any appeal under this section shall be 
made and dealt with in accordance with regixlations to be 
drawn up by the Board of Education. 

(3) No expense shall be incurred or contribution granted 
under this section by any local authority until the approval 
of the Board of Education has been obtained to the amount 
of such expense or contribution, and to the terms, if any, 
on which the expense is incurred or contribution granted : 
Provided that the Board of Education may draw up regula- 
tions relating to the incurring of expenses or granting of 
contributions under this section, and it shall not be necessary 
for the local authority to obtain the approval of the Board 
of Education to any expense incurred or any contribution 
gi'anted in accordance with such regulations. 

3. — (1) For the purpose of providing for the employment 
of the blind every local authority shall establish or acquire, 
equip and maintain within its area workshops for that pur- 
pose : Provided that any local authority may, and wherever 
practicable shall, make arrangements with any institutions 
for the blind within or without its area for the provision of 
such employment, and for this puri3ose every local authority 
is empowered to contribute towards the enlargement, 
equipment, alteration, and maintenance of such institu- 

(3) The local authority shall (so far as is reasonably 
practicable) obtain or provide employment under this 
section for each blind person who has completed a course 
of technical training under section two of this Act, or who 
satisfies the local authoiity or a Secretary of State on appeal 
from a decision of the local authority, that he is able with 
reasonable efficiency; to practise some t:ade, industry, or 


Past and Impending Legislation 

employment. Any appeal made under this section shall 
be made and dealt with in accordance with regulations to 
be drawn up by a Secretary of State. 

(3) If it is shewn to the satisfaction of a local authority 
that by reason of the age or infirmity of any blind person 
residing in the area of such local authority, or by reason of 
the circumstances connected with the carrying on of any 
trade, industry, or emi^loyment it will be to the advantage 
of such blind person that he shall be permitted, whilst 
residing in such area as aforesaid, to carry on away fi-om 
a workshop any trade, industry, or employment the local 
authority may by certificate authorise him to do so and shall 
so far as is reasonably practicable assist him in obtaining 
work in such trade, industry, or emi)loyment. 

(4) The local authority may on their being satisfied on 
the report of an inspector appointed by them to mvestigate 
the conditions under which such blind person is cai-rying 
on such trade, industry, or emiiloyment that it is not to the 
advantage of such blind jjerson that such certificate shall be 
continued withdraw such certificate, but no such certificate 
shall be withdrawn without the local authority giving such 
blind person the opportunity of being personally heard by 
them on the matter and any such withdrawal shall be sub- 
ject to the right of such blind person to ajtpeal to a Secretary 
of State from the decision of the local authority, such appeal 
to be made and dealt with in the same way as an appeal 
under sub-section (2) of this section. 

(5) No expense shall be incurred or contribution granted 
imder this section by any local authority until the approval 
of a Secretary of State has been obtained to the amount of 
such expense or contribution, and to the terms, if any, on which 
the expense is incurred or the contribution granted : Pro- 
vided that a Secretary of State may draw up regulations 
relating to the incurring of expenses or granting of contribu- 
tions under this section, and it shall not be necessary for a 
local authority to obtain the api)roval of a Secretary of 
State to any expense incurred or any contribution granted in 
accordance with such regulations. 

4. The terms of contributions approved by the Board of 
Education or a Secretary of State, as the case may be, may 
include j)rovision for rexjresentation of the contributing 
local authority on the governing body of the school or 
institution to which it contributes in cases where such 
representation appears to the Board of Education or a Secre- 
tary of State, as the case may be, to be practicable and 

6. — (1) Every local authority shall make monthly grants 
to any workshop established, acquired, equipped, or main- 
tained by such local authority, or to any institution towards 
which such local authority contributes under section three ( 1 ) 
of this Act in respect of each blind person employed in such 
workshop or institution for whom the local authority has 
the duty of obtaining or providing employment under this 


to carry on 
a trade, 
industry, or 
ment away 
from a 

of with- 
drawal of 

Apjiroval of 
exjiense or 
tion by 
of State. 

for repre- 
sentation of 
ing local 
on govern- 
ing body of 

grants to 
in respect 
of persons 

Past and Impending Legislation 

grants to 
blind per- 
sons holding 

of expenses 
of persons 
at institu- 
tions or 
hostels, or 
schools or 

of accounts 
to be 

rendered to 
ing local 

may com ■ 

bodies of 
schools or 
or acquired 
by a local 

grants for 

Act, for the purpose of augmenting tlie wages actually 
earned by such blind person. The amount of such monthly 
gi-ant shall be determined in each case by the local authority, 
but shall not be less than a sum equivalent to a weekly 
payment of Hve sMlUngs in respect of each blind person so 
employed, nor more than a sum to be fixed by a Secretary 
of State in respect of each such blind person. The sums so 
granted shall be paid by the governing body of the institu- 
tion to each blind person employed in such workshop or 

(2) Every local authority shall also make to each person 
holding a certificate under section three (3) hereof a monthly 
giant of an amoimt to be determined by the local aiithority 
but not being less than a sum equivalent to a weekly pay- 
ment of five shillings in respect of each blind person holding 
such a certificate nor more than a sum to be fixed by a 
Secretary of State in respect of each such blind person. 

6. — (1) It shall be lawful for local authorities where they 
think fit to provide the expenses of blind persons for whom 
they are providing technical training under this Act. The 
amomit so provided in any one year in respect of any blind 
person shall not exceed a sum to be fixed by the Board of 

(2) It shall be lawful for local authorities where they think 
fit to defray the cost of conveying blind persons for whom 
they are obtaining or providing employment under this 
Act to or from the workshop or institution where the blind 
person is to be or has been employed. 

7. \Mienever a local authority has made any grant of 
money to any school or institution under this Act the 
governing body of such school or institution shall send to 
the local authority accoimts, which accounts shall be 
prepared, rendered, verified, and audited in such manner 
as may be prescribed by the Board of Education or by a 
Secretary of State, as the case may be. 

8. Two or more local authorities may combine for the 
performance of their duties under this Act. Local authori- 
ties combining vmder this section may establish, acquire, 
equii^, and maintain technical schools under section two or 
workshops imder section thi'ee of this Act within the area 
of any of the local authorities so combining. 

9. Any local authority which establishes or acquires a 
technical school or workshop imder this Act shall appoint a 
governing body, consisting of not less than six persons, one 
half of whom shall be members of the local authority, and 
who shall be responsible for the management of such 
technical school or workshop. Where two or more local 
authorities combine to establish or acquire a technical 
school or workshop the governing body of such technical 
school or workshop shall be appointed by the local authori- 
ties so combining in such proportions as may be mutually 
agreed upon between them. 

10. Every local authority shall also make to every blind 


Past and Impending Legislation 

person who tlirough infirmity or incapacity is Tinable to 
learn or to support himself by means of any trade, industry, 
or employment a monthly grant for the maintenance of such 
bUnd person of an amount to be determined by the local 
authority but being not less than a sum equivalent to a 
weekly payment of ten shillings in respect of each such 
bhnd person nor more than a sum to be fixed by a Secretary 
of State in respect of each such bUnd person. 

11. The provision of any assistance under this Act to a 
blind person shall not deprive him of any franchise, right, 
or privilege, or subject him to any disability. 

12. — (1) For the purposes of this Act the expression 
" local authority " shall mean the council of any county or 
county borough. 

(2) The expenses incurred by a local authority in carrying 
out the provisions of this Act shall be paid in the case of a 
county council out of the county fund, and in case of a 
county borough council out of the borough fund or rate. 

(3) A county council may charge any expenses incurred 
by them under this Act on any part of their county for the 
requirements of which such expenses have been incurred. 

(4) A local authority may borrow for the purpose of 
this Act — 

{a) In the case of a county council in manner provided by 
the Local Government Act, 1888 : 

[h) In the case of a county borough council as if the pur- 
poses of this Act were purposes for which they are 
authorised by section one hundred and six of the 
Municipal Corporations Act, 1882, to borrow. 

(5) The Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury shall 
from time to time repay to the local authority out of the moneys 
provided by Parliament for the purpose one half of the expenses 
incurred by such local authority in carrying out the provisions 
of this Act. 

13.— (1) In this Act— 

The expression " bhnd " means too bhnd in the opinion 
of the local authority to perform work for which eye- 
sight is ordinarily required : Provided that where any 
local authority decided that a person is not blind within 
the meaning of this Act such person may appeal from 
such decision in accordance with regulations to be 
drawn up, and to such person or persons as may be 
appointed by the Board of Education and a Secretary 
of State : 

The expression " technical training " means the teaching 
the practice of any trade, industry, or employment 
which can be followed by blind persons : 

The expression " expenses " when used in relation to a 
bhnd person, includes the expenses and fees of and inci- 
dental to the attendance of a bUnd person at a school 
or institution or technical school as mentioned in sec- 
tion two of this Act, and the expenses of and incidental 
to the maintenance and boarding out of a bhnd person 


ance of the 

under this 
Act no 

of local 
of local 

Charge of 


Half cost to 
be borne by 

of expres- 

Past and Impending Legislation 

of residence. 

of Act to 

of Act to 

while so attending, and tlie expenses of conveying tlie 
blind person to or from the school or institntion or 
technical school as aforesaid : 
The expression " Secretary of State " means one of His 

Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State. 

(2) For the pm'poses of this Act, and for the purposes of 

poor law settlement, a bhnd person resident in an institntion 

or boarded out in pursuance of this Act shall be deemed to be 

resident in the district from which the blind person is sent. 

14. In the apijhcation of this Act to Scotland — ■ 

(1) A reference to the Scotch Education Department 

shall be substituted for a reference to the Board of 
Education, and a reference to the Secretary for 
Scotland for a reference to a Secretary of State : 

(2) The expression " local authority " shall mean the 

council of a county and the commissioners of poUce 
of burghs in which there are such commissioners, 
and in burghs in which there are no such commis- 
sioners, the town council. 

(3) The expression " county fund " shall mean the 

general purposes rate, and " borough fund or rate " 
shall mean in burghs in which there are commis- 
sioners of i)olice, the police assessment or in their 
option the public health assessment ; and in burghs 
in which there are no such commissioners any 
assessment levied by the town council : 

(4) The borrowing powers conferred on local authorities 

by this Act may be exercised in the case of a county 
council under the Local Government (Scotland) 
Act, 1889, and any Act amending the same, and 
in the case of commissioners of pohce of a town 
council under the Burgh PoUce (Scotland) Act, 1892, 
as amended by any subsequent Act. 

15. In the appUcation of this Act to Ireland — 

(1) A reference to the department of Agriculture and 

Technical Instruction for Ireland shall be substi- 
tuted for a reference to the Board of Education, 
and a reference to the Chief Secretary for a reference 
to a Secretary of State : 

(2) The expression " local authority " shaU mean the 

council of any county or county borough : 

(3) The expenses incurred by a local authority under this 

Act shall be defrayed in the case of a county council 
out of the county fund, as a county at large charge, 
and in the case of a county borough council out of 
any rate or fund apphcable to the purposes of the 
Pubhc Health (Ireland) Acts, 1878 to 1907, as if 
incurred for sanitary purposes or out of any other 
rate or fund which the Local Clovernmeut Board 
for Ireland may on the appMcation of the council 
approve : 

(4) The borrowing powers conferred on local authorities 

by this Act may be exercised in the case o.f a county 


Past and Impending Legislation 

council under the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 
1898, and in the case of a county borough council 
under the Public Health (Ireland) Acts, 1878 to 
, 16. This Act shall come into operation on the first day of Date of 
Januati/ one thousand nine hundred and fourteen. coming into 

17. This Act shall be cited as the Technical Education operation. 
and Employment and Maintenance of the Blind Act, 1914. Short title. 

C.B 113 

Past and Impending Legislation 


Mr. H. W. P. PixE (Nottingham).— Sir Ellis Cunliffe has done 
me the honour to invite me to open the discussion on his paper, 
probably because it has been my jjrivilege to occupy the position 
of lion, secretary of the National Employment Committee as 
well as the lion, secretary of the Special Committee who have 
in hand the Parliamentary Bill. 

The writer of the paper has given us a masterly review on the 
subject we have for consideration this afternoon, and with 
statesman-like grasp has indicated what is the position and what 
should be the duty of the State on the one hand in regard to the 
blind, and the duty of the British public on the other, not for- 
getting also the obligation which rests, and must rightly rest, 
upon our blind brothers and sisters themselves. 

Everyone will agree that the position in regard to the blind 
has moved immeasurably forward since some twelve months 
ago we drafted the titles of these two jjapers. Never before has 
the mind of the British public been turned to this question to the 
same extent as recently, and there is evidence on all hands 
that the sympathy and interest of the public have at last been 
thoroughly awakened and stimulated. 

In all this the recent kindly attitude and the practical sympathy 
shown by the Throne towards this question have given a tre- 
mendous lead, the results of which will ever remain, and the general 
interest throughout the country has been so aroused by the genius 
and the remarkable appeals of Mr. Pearson that I think it can no 
longer in justice be said that the attitude of the public towards 
the blind needs improvement. What is wanted now is that the 
abundant sympathy and interest that have been evoked should be 
wisely directed. In other words the British public say, " We are 
willing to do all you require, but tell us just what it is you wish 
us to do." 

The splendid work of the seven unions of which we have heard 
this afternoon in Mr. Wilson's able paper is accomplishing much 
in this direction, and the scattered blind are being found out and 
helped. It is to me most remarkable how many kindly people 
are being brought into the work who took no part in it before, 
and much information about the blind is being disseminated on 
all hands. 

It must be conceded, however, that in the recent campaign for 
the cheapening of Braille books the public mind has been directed 
in the main to what Sir Ellis Cunliffe has rightly described as one 
of the amenities, rather than to the greater need of the esseniials 
of the battle of life, and it will be necessary for the British public 
to be still further educated and directed, not only that they may 
support and be in accord with what the State may be urged and 
willing to do, but also that they may know the needs of the blind 
above and beyond what it is suggested is the obligation of the 
State to provide. 

I believe the country, as a whole, is not only willing but anxious, 
judging from the many speeches I have heard and read during 
the last year or two, to he directed, and is ripe for any forward 


movement for the benefit of the blind, and the public will not be 
unwilling to realise' that the time has arrived in the present trend 
of events in other directions in this country when, as Sir'Ellis 
Cunliffe has said, it is no longer fair to leave the charge for the 
welfare of the blind to philanthropy alone, particularly in such 
matters as technical training and the j)rovision of employment. 

Though, in these days, as someone has remarked, we are rated 
and taxed up to the hilt there will always be room for the blind. 

The Governments of this country have been very slow to deal 
with this problem of the blind, with the exception of the blind 
pauper, and have preferred to adopt the policy of " laisser faire.'" 
and leave the whole cost of their education and well-being to 
voluntary agencies. 

This state of things prevailed until the great Blind and Deaf 
Elementary Educatisn Act of 1893, since which time there has been 
no looking back. Before that Act, as will be seen by the schedule 
of legislation relating to the blind, which appears as an appendix 
to Sir Ellis Cunliffe's paper, the only public money that could 
be expended upon the blind was through the Poor LaAv, and 
under the Act of 1862 the guardians had power to send the blind 
poor to schools for the blind, but at a cost for all maintenance, 
education and clothing not exceeding the cost of maintenance 
for the same period in the workhouse. How inadequate this was 
may well be imagined ! By the amending Act of 1882 the guar- 
dians were empowered to jjay the reasonable expenses of a poor 
child sent to a school for the blind to an amount to be sanctioned 
by the Local Government Board. 

The great Education Act of 1870, when a national system of 
education was first established for the sighted, did not touch the 
blind at all. 

Until 1902 no provision from public sources could be made for 
training after sixteen years of age, except by a reversion to the 
Poor Law, but, fortunately, under the 1902 Act relating to 
secondary education the school authority may jjrovide technical 
training for the blind, but it is not compulsory. 

So far as the young blind are concerned I do not think, myself, 
that there is any great lack of accommodation for their technical 
training, but it must be remembered that the powers exercised 
are entirely optional and permissive. But when we come to 
those who lose their sight in adult life the case is quite different, 
for there are few institutions that will admit them after the ages, 
say, of twenty to twenty-five, and I think there is a great need 

The Elementary Education Act of 1893 has now been in 
operation for just over twenty years, and under it most of the 
young blind have been, or are being, educated. The natural 
consequence of this compulsory elementary education and after- 
technical training has brought about a greater need for employ- 

This question of employment has been the most jirominent one 
since the First International Conference held in Edinburgh in 
1905, when the subject occupied a very important place in the 
proceedings, and the committee, known as the National Committee 

115 1 2 

Past and Impending Legislation 

for tlie Employment of the Blind, was appointed. One of the 
first acts of that committee, finding that the institutions were in 
favour of the Government being appealed to, was to seek inter- 
views with the large spending departments of the Goverument 
to ascertain how far they coidd assist in jjroviding work, and 
also, to make some appeal to the Government itself on the 
problem of the blind. But the result so far as the Government 
departments are concerned has been that, though large quantities 
of goods have been supplied since then, the orders given, while 
of advantage to the blind workers in the way of employment, 
have been entirely unremunerative, in fact, have been carried out 
at considerable loss to the institutions which engaged in these 
contracts. It may be pointed out that, while some of the insti- 
tutions cannot do without these orders for Government work 
if they are to keep their workers constantly employed, it does not 
appear to be an equitable proposition that the Government should 
give out work to institutions at such prices as can only result in 
loss, and that the philanthropic amongst the public should be 
called upon to subscribe to make good that loss. 

In the year 1906, therefore, the National Employment Committee 
drafted a Bill to deal with this question of employment and to seek 
some assistance from the State. I must not now dwell upon it, nor 
can I go into details of negotiations which took place in regard to 
these Bills. Sir Ellis Cunliffe has briefly explained in his paper 
how there came to be two Bills and the circumstances which led 
to the Bill which was drafted by a special committee appointed 
for the purpose and which is now before Parliament. 

I find myself in cordial agreement with the views so well 
expressed in Sir Ellis Cunliffe's i^aper, and after a long experience 
I am entirely with him in the opinion that after the State has 
provided an education and training for those who, through no 
fault of their own, are handicapped in life's battle by blindness, 
the means also should be supplied by which they can realise the 
resiilts of that training. Other than this falls far short of what 
is required, is a waste of valuable training, and too often means 
bitter disappointment, discouragement and despair to the blind 

The Bill introduced into Parliament, therefore, provides 
technical trdning for all blind persons desiring it from sixteen to 
fifty years of age for a term not exceeding five years. It also 
enacts that, so far as is reasonably practicable, employment shall 
be provided for those willing to work, and it puts upon the State 
the duty of establishing workshops or of taking over or subsi- 
dising existing workshops. 

These are its main provisions. 

The total number of blind persons in the United Kingdom 
is not large, only some 34,000. Those of England and Wales for 
the census of 1901 numbered 25,317, and for the census of 1911, 
26,336. Of these 13,257 were males and 13,079 were females. 
Out of the 25,317 of the census of 1901, 3,295 were twenty years 
of age and under, and it is hoped and expected that the bene- 
ficent action of the President of the Local Government Board, 
to his iHHting credit, will .do much to reduce this number. It 



is a striking fact that no fewer than 12,538, or very nearly half, 
were fifty-five to eighty-five and upwards, leaving only 9,484 of 
both sexes from twenty to fifty-five, of whom it must be remem- 
bered half are females. 

The number, therefore, that would have to be provided with 
employment is probably not so great as may have been thought. 

There are three directions which may be looked to for this 
employment : — 

(1) The Government, i.e., the imperial authorities. 

(2) The local authorities. 

(3) The British public. 

The Government are by far the largest buyers in this country, 
and the amount of goods required such as institutions can make 
for the great State departments — the British Navy, the Army, 
the Post Office, etc., is enormous. It seems to some of us that 
it would be a perfectly simple j)roposition for the Government 
to order that the making of some of these goods should be reserved 
for the blind and at prices and in the proportions and descrip- 
tions at which the respective workshops could undertake them. 

The departments, when we interviewed them, told us that, 
while they were perfectly willing to place orders with institutions, 
they had no power to alter the regulations in regard to the pur- 
chase of supplies, nor to give any preference or consideration to 
the institutions without an order from the Government. But 
the State under its obligation to provide employment could order 
this and could subsidise these State departments, if necessary, 
to cover any extra cost the departments might have in providing 
this work or giving this preference — and I believe a symiiathetic 
public would agree. 

Allow me to take one instance only — that of the War Office. 
I hold in my hand tender forms and schedules of goods required 
by the War Office for the past twelve months. These schedules 
are sent to the respective institutions that are on the War Office's 
approved list of contractors for the particular goods for which 
each tenders, and a duplicate is sent to me in all cases as Hon. 
Secretary of the National Employment Committee. I have sum- 
marised these requirements and I find there are no fewer than 
476,000 brooms and brushes, viz., 67,000 bass brooms, 60,000 
sweeping brooms, 138,000 shoe brushes, 98,000 scrubbing brushes, 
and so on ; while 20,000 ammunition and other baskets, 3,600 
mattresses are also asked for in these forms. The regulations in 
regard to quality and workmanship are very stringent and insistent, 
and the work can only be satisfactorily done by the able-bodied, 
capable and efficient workers, but that satisfaction can be given 
may be shown from the fact that the Nottingham Institution has 
made some 7,500 bass brooms since this arrangement was entered 
into with only thirty-one rejected, while only fourteen of these 
thirty-one were on account of faulty work, and this of the most 
trivial kind, pnd for the past nearly two years not one has been 
rejected at all. 

I have no doubt Bradford and other institutions could give 
equally satisfactory reports. 

The prices, however, at which these brooms have been and are 


Past and Impending Legislation 

being supplied are entirely unremunerative, in fact have entailed 
throughout a loss of 2s. to 2s. 6d. per dozen. When the price 
was first allotted to the institutions it was 12s. "Id. per dozen 
In the next contract it was cut down to 12s. 6rf.,then to 12s. 3(7., 
then to 12s., and, though it is a little higher in the present contract 
there is still a loss consequent upon a recent rise of nearly 50 per 
cent, in the price of the raw material. 

The gTeatest diificulty of all that we have confronting us, in 
my opinion, is the question of more avenues of employment for 
girls and women. How far this crying need can be met by the 
Government or under the Bill is the most perplexing problem of 

Large quantities of goods can be, and are, supplied by institu- 
tions to local authorities, town and county councils, workhouses 
and other public bodies. The prices are not so low nor the regula- 
tions so stringent as in the case of Government departments. 

Much more work of a varied character could be found tor the 
blind in these directions and the National Employment Committee 
have by resolution on two occasions called the attention of local 
authorities throughout the country to this question. 

There are, however, frequently local jealousies on the part of 
rate -paying competitive manufacturers which would not appear 
in the case of Government provision of work. 

After all, it is chiefly the capable and efficient workers who 
could be provided with employment by imperial authorities, 
and these in a comparatively small number of occupations. It 
must be left to a large extent to a sympathetic and gradually 
enlightened public with their varied requirements, especially in 
regard to employment for women and girls and to the great 
influence of the workers in the several unions to step in and fill 
up where much will be required. 

In closing his admirable paper, for which I am sure we are all 
indebted to him. Sir Ellis Cunliffe has made certain valuable 
suggestions with most of which I cordially agree, though 1 am 
inclined perhaps to doubt the practicability or wasdom ot No. 4. 
The value of some of them is apparent, and in all probability, one 
would think, they will be adopted, while they are all of them 
worthy of careful consideration. 

NoTK. — In order to show some of the results of State action on behalf of 
the blind on the Continent, and to show how their connection rather develops 
than checks private benevolence, may I add one or two extracts from the 
report of a visit paid by Mr. Norwood, of York, and myself to a number of 
institutions in Swt den, Denmark, Germany and Austria a few years ago. 

Speaking of bru'^hmaking, we stated as follows : — 

" Brushmaking is a large industry for the blind of Berlin, and the work- 
shops in that city supply to the municipality no less than 60,000 brooms 
annually for street vise alone, thus finding much constant and profitable 
employment for many male and female workers. 

" We cannot leave this subject of employment without alluding to the 
great help and encouragement which is given to the industries of the 
Continental institutions for the blind from the patronage and favour which 
they receive from the Imperial and Royal Families, and from the spending 
departments of the State and municipaUty, including the Army, Navy, Post 
Office, hosj)itals, asylums, and many other puolic institutions. 



" It will be of interest to note that the foundation of institutions for the 
blind on the Continent dates from the early part of last century, and, there- 
fore, coincides with the similar movement in our country. We must also 
call attention to the important fact that each one of the nuie institutions we 
visited received in its establishment or erection direct State or municipal 
aid, and in some cases the State now makes direct contributions to the 
institutions to meet what is required for their annual outlay. The results 
of this help from the State cannot be described as other than good, and are 
to be seen in the handsome and spacious schools built, equipped and staffed 
in a manner quite beyond the powers of ordinary voluntary eifort ; and also 
in the liberations of the charitable funds of the institutions for the better 
carrying out of a small part of that boundless work which must always bo 
left to personal sympathy and private benevolence. 

" In conclusion, we cannot help stating that we were much impressed 
by the fact that there is undoubtedly a very great work being accomplished 
for the upUfting of the blind, and for the improvement of their general 
condition in the centres we were privileged to visit, and we are of opinion 
that this work is in many respects advanced by the direct connection of the 
institutions with the iState or municipality. This recognition by the State 
of the jjosition of the blind M'hich we found on the Continent seems to have 
stimidated rather than checked private effort on their behalf, for there are 
abundant signs on all hands of the active exercise of private benevolence in 
many forms of ' after ' and other cave which will always be best given, and 
at the same time be most valued by the blind themselves, when they come 
to them as an assurance of the personal sympathy of their sighted neighbours. 
We were glad to see how, in every place we visited, private benevolence and 
personal sympathy are sujjplementing and completing the work ol the State, 
and it was everywhere acknowledged that, however much the State may do 
in providing education and training to bring the blind up to the level of their 
sighted neighbours, tlie still greater work of general care and of bettering 
their social condition must always be left to voluntary effort." 

Mr. W. H. DixsON* (Oxford). — I was greatly delighted with 
tlie suggestions wliicli wei'e made in Sir Ellis Cunlilfe's paper. 
At the same time, I think we ought to centre our minds even yet 
on the improvement of the attitude of the public towards tlie 
employment of the blind, because really the public do not under- 
stand. You know the story of the German who said, '" The ghost 
is ready, but the meat is feeble.' (Laughter.) The public would 
like to do something, but they do not quite know what to do. 
I think that one way in which we can improve the attitude of 
the public towards the employment of the blind is by we blind 
people ourselves not being too ready to' take up a belligerent 
attitude. I mean to say when, for instance, some literary artist 
writes a strong letter to orxe of the London papers on behalf of 
the blind, even if we do not altogether approve of everything ho 
says we ought not to be too ready to refuse gratitude to the kinh- 
ness of that man and the kindly feeling which he has shown. 
But I do not think we have even yet broken down the prejudicit 
of the public. We talk sometimes as if ve had, but the day has 
not yet gone by when a blind organist has applied to a church fur 
a post and the clergyman has said, " I know you play very beauti- 
fully, but you have no control over the boys." That day has not 
yet gone by, and I woidd like what I am going to say to be recorded 
publicly. I wish it to be known througliout the length and 
breadth of Great Britain and throughoiit the world that a clergy- 


Past and Impending Legislation 

man said in Oxford that Mr. Osborne of St. Aldate's Churcli in 
Oxford had more control over tlie boys than any organist he 

Now as to the attitude of the State. I think it is not merely 
in the matter of industrial employments that the State could do 
something. It seems to me, sympathising as I do with Mr. Pear- 
son, that the blind should go in more than they do for the higher 
employments, I think that the State should recognise those 
higher employments. I think, for instance, that when the 
bestowal of a Crown living is in question, it shoiild be asked 
whether there is a blind man able to fill that living. I think when 
there is a question of a State or municipal musical position a 
blind person might be considered. I do not see, for instance, 
why a blind man or woman should not teach music in some of the 
State elementary schools, and I think the State or municipality 
should inquire into this. I know that Miss Matilda Aston, of 
Victoria, whilst waiting for a jiosition as head of a blind institu- 
tion, was sent temporarily to an infants' school in a slum district, 
and she was so successful that she was afterwards put in as second 
of a blind school without a moment's demur. But she was ap- 
pointed largely on account of the position she had held in an 
ordinary seeing school. It occurs to me, too, that great muni- 
cipalities have pianos to tune. They must have scliool pianos 
and others to tune, and I think they should ask whether there is 
any blind person in their district willing and able to tune those 

Before I sit down I should just like to say that the public are 
sometimes bewildered in the matter of the employment of the blind 
and other things bythe l^ck of co-operation among societies working 
for the blind, and I really cordially object to a gTeat central society 
collecting in a provincial town which has a local society without 
consulting the local society. 

Mrs. MuRDO Mackenzie (Inverness). — I have the honour of 
representing the Highlands of Scotland, and should like to thank 
Sir Ellis Cunliffe for his paper. I do not agree with the last 
speaker, that the public have got to the stage at which we 
need not trouble any more about them. You must say what you 
want very distinctly. Then say it over six times. Then say it 
once more very slowly, and say that it is what you said you meant 
and not what you did not say. 

I have a story to tell, about a boy named William Morrison 
in Inverness, sixteen years of age. We were at a loss to know what 
could be done with him. He was very musical, so we sent to 
Edinburgh to ask what the terms were, and how long it would 
take to train him. We were told that it woidd take three years 
and that the cost woidd be £.30 a year. Well, we found that we 
could get £10 a year, but did not know how to find the other £20. 
1 know Mrs. Andrew Carnegie, and wrote and told her about our 
little bit of human flotsam. She kindly promised the £20 for 
three years, and only yesterday I received my Inverness paper, 
in which I read the following : " Church News, Inverness. — The 
committee of the West Parish have appointed Mr. William Morrison 
as organist and choirmaster. He is twenty years of age and blind. 



He was educated in the Northern Institution for the Blind, and 
went to Edinburgh, where he received the latter part of his 
musical training." ^ 

After the fashion of the Indian gentleman this morning, may 
I say in our Highland language — 

" Gu ma fada beo Sibh's ceo do bhur tighe." 
(May you live long, and long may smoke come from your chimney.) 

Sir Edward O'Malley (London). — ^I am connected with one 
of the associations which sends delegates to this meeting, and am 
speaking in that capacity. I wish to say one or two words 
because I imagine that the position I take up is one that is not 
shared by a large proportion of those here. But it is one which 
oiight to be voiced on an occasion like this. 

In the first place may I thank Sir Ellis Cunliffe for the exceed- 
ingly lucid and frank statement he has made with reference 
to the existing state of the law and the provisions that have 
hitherto been made for the blind. I am very thankful to him 
for that, and still more for the schedule, which enables one more 
fully to iJrofit by what he has told us. I thank him for giving 
us facts whic/h we can act upon for ourselves, while he has allowed 
us the liberty of rejecting his advice if we think fit. 

Now, my Lord, I have only a moment or two in which to 
address the meeting, and what I wish to say is this : I am very 
anxious that it should not go forth to the ijublic that there is 
any unanimity at all in this meeting in support of the docti'ines 
which have been propounded by Sir Ellis Cunliffe and those who 
have spoken. He has i)ropounded the doctrine that the blind 
as a class — and they are not a very large class in our population — ■ 
are to be helped at the public expense to free education and con- 
tinuous employment at not less than the standard rate of wages, 
and that the money to do that is to be found, not by benevolent 
people voluntarily, but by contributions levied compiilsorily on 
the ratepayer and taxpayer generally. 

Now I represent a charitable association, as I believe that 
most of the delegates do, and I do not feel that we should be 
justified in allowing a proposal of that sort to go forth from this 
Conference without entering our j)rotest. It may be right or 
it may be wrong, but at all events, as far as we delegates are con- 
cerned, I do not think we have any mandate to give our consent 
to the proposals for legislation embodied in the Bill which has 
been brought before us. I would rather have nothing to do with 
the Bill in its present shape ; as I read it it is a socialistic measure. 

Mr. EoTSTON* (London). — I did not intend to speak this after- 
noon, so perhaps I may have to think just a little as I go on, but 
I did expect that the paper was going to have a little more to 
do with the general public rather than with their representatives, 
the Government. I think, perhaps, the title would have been 

1 It will intei'est the Conference to know that the minister of the West 
Church is my dear friend the Rev. Gavin Lang, uncle of the Archbishop 
of York. 


Past and Impending Legislation 

better if it appeared, " How to Improve the Attitude of the 
Government." But I do feel very strongly that our good friends, 
who are no doubt zealous and doing their best for tlie blind, do 
not appeal to the public nearly enough. The public attribute 
almost miracuJous powers to us, and yet at the same time when we 
come to a little practical work they say that the blind are unable 
to do it. I have heard it said, " Yes, somebody told me that a 
blind man had tuned his piano, and that he had had to have it 
repolished afterwards." The education of the public in regard 
to the capabilities of the blind has been very incomplete. I 
do hope that Mr. Pearson with his great powers will simply use 
the Press for all it is worth to educate the j^ublic as to what the. 
blind can do. There is a very small number of the blind, I 
understand, employed in institutions. The largest number that 
are educated are, after all, I believe, working, like myself and 
some of my friends, independently in different parts of the country. 
I will give you one instance in which a friend of mine was helped. 
A clergyman said to him, " Well, you have got nothing to depend 
upon ; you have a certificate, certainly, but that will not keep 
you. I will make a list of all the people I know in London and 
send you round to them, and then you must come back and tell 
me what they say, and if they have not given you their pianos to 
tune I will write to them afterwards." That man earned his 
own living from the start through the kindly action of the clergy- 
man. That is one practical way in which we can be helped. 
There is another way in which we can advertise, in London 
especially. We have been trying for three years to adopt a system 
for a register of blind workers. It is at the National Institute 
at the present time. It is not complete, but it is there. That 
register is intended as an advertising medium. An excellent 
plan would be to advertise the register in all the tube lifts through- 
out London, the passengers have nothing to do in these lifts but 
read the advertisements. And I do know this — that the workers, 
for the blind have not half sufficiently appealed to the manufac- 
turers of London yet and convinced them as to what the blind 
can do. In these and other ways the attitude of the public towards 
the blind can be improved. 

Mr. SiDDALL* (Rochdale). — It was my suggestion, I believe, 
that the paper under discussion should be read at this Conference, 
and I am heartily glad that I did so because of the result it is 
likely to bring forth. But that the attitude of the public towards 
the iDlind is improving seems to me quite evident. I believe the 
Government have appointed three blind men on the Departmental 
Committee. I am heartily pleased that this is so, and I hope the 
attitude of those three men will tend towards making the Govern- 
ment take a better view of blind teachers in thefr schools. 

Another point that Mr. Dixson raised was with regard to school 
councils using blind tuners. I believe that if you pressed the 
point when children are educated for music and tuning — if you 
pressed the school council and showed them that they have spent 
the money on the boy's education and that here is a chance of 
putting that education to good account, you would succeed. I 
have done this in Rochdale, and the school council now consider 



it as part of their work tiiat tlie blind shall tune their pianos. 
I have also obtained a similar concession in a district outside the 
borough of Rochdale. I hope this movement will spread to every 
county in the country so that all the education authorities will 
have their pianos tuned by blind people. I believe if the blind 
and those interested in them will take this step there will be no 
difficulty because you can always point out that the education 
authorities have spent the money on educating these blind 

Rev. W. E. Lloyd,* M.A. (Brighton). — I am going to be brief, 
because I am here to emphasise one special point, which I do not 
think has been sufficiently brought out. I am speaking from 
rather a different point of view to other speakers, as a clergyman 
who has had to fight his way without any assistance from any 
kind of institution except so far as education is concerned. The 
point is this — that 1 believe one of the great mistakes which blind 
people make who have to fight their own battles is that they do 
not always realise their limitations, and that when they do realise 
them they will not acknowledge them. I believe that is one of 
the reasons for the great prejudice which exists in the public 
mind to-day against the employment of the blind. If we want 
employment we start by telling people that we can do everything, 
and they do not believe that we can do anything. Here is an 
example of what I mean — which I hope you will not think too 
personal. As a rule, when I apply for any appointment — as a 
matter of fact, I have only applied for two — I have told the 
incumbents first what I can not do. I begin by saying that I 
cannot often take weddings because I cannot write the marriage 
certificate. The consequence of such a course is that, as a rule, 
people are far more inclined to listen to my claim than if I had 
started by saying I could do everything, because then they would 
probably have believed that I could do nothing. 

May I say in conclusion that I still think that the attitude of 
the public towards the blind can be very materially improved. 
I was visiting in a very poor parish in Brighton the other day 
and one old woman told me that she thought all blind people 
when they were born blind ought to be thrown into the river at 
the age of three days. I told her that possibly it might have been 
a good thing for me, but it would not have been at all a good thing 
for her. 

The Chairman.^ — It only remains for me to propose a hearty 
vote of thanks to the Chairman for his able conduct in the chair. 
(Applause and laughter.) 

tSn- Ellis Cunliffe. — As the Chairman has already proposed a 
vote of thanks to himself I can only take the opportunity of 
proposing a cordial vote of thanks to Lord Knutsford. 

Mr. DixsoN* (Oxford). — May I second it on the ground that I 
wish to thank Lord Knutsford for having in his opening speech 
talked none of the silly nonsense that is generally uttered by 
Chairmen at Blind Conferences. 



Thursday, June 18th. Evening. 

The Master and Court of the Worshipful Company of Cloth- 
workers kindly invited the members and delegates to a conver- 
sazione held at the Clothworkers' Hall, Mincing Lane, E.C. 

The Master, Sir Melvill Beachcroft, and Lady Beachcroft 
received their guests at 9 p.m. and about 400 persons availed 
themselves of this rare opportunity to inspect the hall of on of 
the historic livery companies of the city of London. The mag- 
nificent loving cups used at banquets, and the other plate of the 
company, was on view and was much admired. 

During the evening the Master made an interesting speech, 
in which, after welcoming the assembled guests, he gave some 
account of the history of the city livery companies. These, he 
explained, occupied in the Middle Ages the place in the Life of the 
community now filled more or less by the chambers of commerce 
and the trade unions, that is to say, they controlled the training 
of the craftsmen and apprenticeship arrangements, they assisted 
their members in evil times, safeguarded the secrets of the craft, 
and used their influence in various ways for the benefit of their 
members. Although these companies, owing to the changed 
conditions of life and commerce, no longer fulfilled quite the 
functions they did of old, it must not be thought that they had 
become mere historic relics of the life of the past ; most of them 
in the course of centuries had accumulated considerable funds, 
and these they administered to-day for humanitarian ends. 
Weaving being one of the handicrafts most suitable to the blind 
it was perhaps appropriate that the Clothworkers' Company 
should be more especially interested in the blind than the other 
companies, and he was glad to be able to say that this company 
administered several important charitable funds and bequests 
in the interests of the bUud. Sir Melvill Beachcroft then gave 
some interesting information about the hall itself, which had 
occupied its present site since the middle of the fifteenth century, 
although the actual building in which they were then assembled 
was only built about sixty years ago. 

The select choir of the Eoyal Normal College provided an 
excellent musical programme, and light refreshments were served 
in the ground floor rooms. The guests left at 11 p.m. after a 
thoroughly enjoyable evening. 


Reports of Committees 

Friday, June 19th. 


Chairman : The Right Hon. Earl Manvers. 

The Chairman.— I have not come here to make a speech 
to-day, but really more to listen. I was very glad indeed 
to have the opportiuiity of taking the chair at one of these 
sessions, because, as President of the Royal Midland Institu- 
tion for the Blind at Nottingham, which has done enormous 
work for the blind for many years, it is of great interest to 
me to come and see something of the International Exhi- 
bition and to attend this Conference. All countries now 
seem to be taking an interest in the welfare of the blind, 
and one can see in this Exhibition to-day what tremendous 
strides have been made during the past few years in giving 
occupation to blind people of both sexes. Formerly it 
always seemed that the blind man or woman had no future 
before them in this life, and it was always very sad, but I 
think now that all the sadness goes away because blind 
people can feel that they are useful members of society and 
that they can do a great deal to help forward the welfare 
of the blind generally. I know something of what blind 
people can do. I have a suit of clothes — I ought to 
have appeared in it to-day, but it is not made up yet. 
The material was made by the blind, and my tailor said 
it would make a very good suit. Blind people can do 
very good work in different ways. I have just been through 
the Exhibition and seen what other countries can do, and 
I hope that this meeting and combination of work from 
different countries will help forward very much the welfare 
of the blind in all the nations of the world. 

I do not intend to delay you long, as I told you just now, 
and therefore I will sit doAvn and listen to what will be to 
me a very interesting meeting. 


Report of the Conference Committee 

I will now take the reports of the various committees. 
I will ask Mr. Henry Stainsby, as Secretary of the Conference 
Committee, to read the report of that Committee. 


The Committee elected at the Exeter Conference in July, 1911, 
consisted of fifteen members, of whom five were blind. The 
followino; is a list of them : — 

Miss E. W. Austin. M. Priestly. 

Sir Francis Campbell. Dr. A. W. G. Ranger. 

C. M. ColUngwood. A. SiddaU. 

Walter H. Dixson. H. Stainsby. 

Eev. St. Clare Hill. W. M. Stone. 

W. H. lUingworth. H. C. Warrilow. 

A. B. Norwood. Henry J. Wilson. 

H. W. P. Pine. 

The first meeting of the Committee was held in London on 
November 11th, 1911, when Mr. Henry J. Wilson was elected 
Chairman, and Mr. Henry Stainsby, Hon. Secretary. At the 
following meeting on June 1st, 1912, Sir Francis Campbell resigned 
owing to ill-health, and it was understood that Mr. CoUingwood 
would not continue to serve. Mr. Guy M. CampbeU and Mr. 
Joseph Mines were elected to take their places. 

The Metropolis having been selected as the place of meeting of 
the 1914 Conference, the Committee reahsed that the ( Conference 
would assume larger proportions than usual, both as regards 
attendance and visitors and the number of entries for the Exhibi- 
tion, and they accordingly decided to appoint a number of Sub- 
committees to be responsible for the various sections of the work. 
The following is the Ust of these Sub-Committees, and the Chairman 
of each :- — 

Finance ..... Mr. P. M. Evans. 

Exhibition ..... Mr. Stuart Johnson. 

Hospitality ..... Miss Beatrice Taylor. 

AdveHisements and Invitations . Mr. Guy M. Camj»bell. 

Ilusio and Entertainments . . Mr. H. L. Balfour. 

The Chairman of each Sub-Committee was authorised and 
requested to nominate persons to serve on his or her own Committee, 
the Chairman and Hon. Secretary of the Conference Committee 
being ex-officio members of all Sub-Committees. 

At the meeting held in June, 1912, your Committee appointed 
a deputation to wait on the Postmaster-General, with the object 
of securing his sympathy and support in the matter of a reduction 
in international postage for embossed literature . The deputation 
consisted entirely of blind ladies and gentlemen, viz. : — 

Mr. H. M. Taylor, F.R.S. Mr. W. P. Merrick. 

Rev. H. J. R.' Marston, M.A. Mr. H. C. Warrilow, F.R.C.O. 

Mr. AV alter H. Dixson, M.A. Mr. Henry C. Preece. 

Miss Lily BeU. 


Report of the Conference Committee 

The deputation was introduced by Viscount Valentia, M.P. 

Mr. H. M. Taylor, who was the first speaker, referred to Mr. 
Henry Fawcett, who for some time occupied the position of 
Postmaster-General, and paid a tribute to Mr. Sydney Buxton, 
M.P., the previous Postmaster-General, who had made great 
concessions in tlije matter of inland postal rates on embossed 
letters and books. Mr. Taylor proceeded to give examples of 
the present rates of postage on books consigned from England 
to other countries, and showed that in several instances this 
amounted to more than the cost of the books. The other speakers, 
whose names are given in the order in which they addressed the 
Postmaster-General, were the Eev. H. J. E. Marston, Mr. Preece, 
Miss Bell, Mr. Dixson, and Mr. Warrilow. The Postmaster- 
General, who received the deputation most kindly, promised his 
support at the next Conference of the International Postage 
Union, agreeing with the deputation that the international postal 
rates were very high. He advised that institutions and indi- 
viduals in other countries interested in the questions should be 
communicated with at once, in order to get the respective Post- 
masters-General to arrange that their rejiresentatives should 
support the proposition in favour of reduced international postal 
rates for embossed literature. The Postmaster-General's advice 
has been followed, and, up to the time of writing this report, 
matters have progressed in a satisfactory manner, and it is hoped 
that, at the Postal Conference referred to, an agreement will be 
arrived at whereby international postage on embossed literature 
will be much reduced. 

With regard to the selection of subjects for papers, the Committee 
have been guided by the needs of the day, and have also taken 
into account the papers which have been contributed at previous 

The Exhibition is a very representative one, and so many 
exhibits have been received that additional accommodation has 
had to be provided. 

The meetings of the Conference Committee have numbered 
eleven, and all have been well attended. A list of attendances of 
members is attached to this report. 

The Chairman of each Sub-Committee was co-opted as .a member 
of the Conference Committee. 

Henry J. Wilson, Chairman. 
Henry Stainsby, Hon. Secretary. 

(Continued on next 'p(i[/e.) 


Report of the Conference Committee 












'^. s 

- ^ 


2 c 

„ o 

"1 o 



•-^ a 

-T O 

2 c 

. o 

05 ^ 




c 2 

-^ 5 


c ^ 

^ c 

t. a 




3 ° 

s ° 

ii o 


5 o 

O o 

Je o 

a, o 

a o 




2; hi 

^ ^ 

^ i-i 


■-5 -i 

z J 














Miss Austin 

. 1 












„ Taylor 













Mr. Balfour 





Sir F. Campbell 

. 1 



Mr. Guy Campbel 











„ Collingwood 


,, Dixsou . 











,, Evans . 










Rev. St. Clare Hil 

1 1 





Mr. lUingworth 










,, Johnson 






„ Mines . 





,, Norwood 








„ Pine 









„ Priestley 










Dr. Ranger . 

Mr. SiddaU . 








,, Staiusby 










,, Stone . 





„ WarrUow 






„ Wilson . 











Mr. W. M. Stone (Edinburgh). — \Miat I am about to say 
refers not so much to what is in the Report as to an omission in it. 
Most of you will remember that at our last Conference at Exeter 
the Committee who arranged that Conference recommended that 
the next Conference should be held after a period of five years. 
Unfortunately, in the enthusiasm of the moment, the Conference 
at Exeter rejected that recommendation, and we are therefore 
gathered here to-day. The reason that was given at that time 
was that important matters were likely to be introduced shortly — 
impending legislation, for instance — and it was felt that a Confer- 
ence in three years would be necessary. But, ladies and gentle- 
men, we never know when important matters may arise. We 
have seen this year many important questions arise that we did 
not look for, and therefore if that is an argument for holding a 
Conference every three years it is still more an argument for some 
body of a more permanent nature than a Conference can be. 
I should like you, if you will bear with me for a few minutes, to 
consider what these Conferences mean and what they do. 1 am 
afraid you will think that I am saying too much about their 


Report of the Conference Committee 

defects, but I am quite aware also of their good points. I am 
quite alive to their value, but I think we can have that value in 
another form. Let me then point out what I consider to be the 
defects of the Conference. In the first place it has no corporate 
being. It can never express an opinion as a whole. We speak 
here as individuals, and not as one body. Then, it is of a passing 
nature ; it is here to-day and gone to-morrow, or at best next 
week. One Conference is not the same body as the previous one, 
although a great many of the same people may attend both. 
Your Conference appoints committees. But these committees 
are not responsible to the Conference that appoints them, and 
are not, strictly speaking, responsible to anybody — or, if to any- 
body at all, to a body which they themselves call into existence. 
You leave your committees without funds. They have to do 
their work, such as correspondence, without funds, and frequently 
the expenses of these Committees have had to be borne by indi- 
viduals. This I think is a wrong principle. Speaking of funds 
brings one to the question of the cost of these Conferences. What 
have they cost us in all ? I do not suppose that it amounts to 
a penny less than eight thousand jjounds. That is a very moderate 
estimate. How long are you going to be able to gather such 
funds ? I imagine that the bodies which have supplied them are 
beginning to look for results, and I am not sure that we have 
anything very tangible to show. I think the time has come when 
we shoidd re-adjust our idea of the Conference and organise it on 
a different basis. 

My proposal is this, that an association should be formed 
representative of all those engaged in any work for the blind, that 
this association shoidd be a permanent association, with funds 
drawn from the subscriptions of its members, that it should have 
permanent officials and annual meetings for the election of its 
committees. Such a body would act as a consultative body when 
questions and difficulties arose, and it woidd have the power 
of calling conferences. It seems to me there is a great need for 
some representative body to whom questions can be referred. 
At the present time our American friends are approaching us, 
or desire to approach us, about a modification of our Braille 
system. To whom are they to apply f There is no really 
representative body that can deal with the question. I am not 
now in the slightest degree referring to any existing society, but I 
do say that if we have not such an association as I have outlined, 
some' other society, ample in funds, may arrogate to itself the 
right to decide such issues. I am quite aware that there is a 
danger of our having too many organisations, but this new 
organisation would not be an additional one, as it woidd be 
superseding something which already exists. 

I beg to move the following resolution, which I trust the Chair- 
man will consider to be in order : — " That this Conference considers 
that the time has now come when some organisation of a perma- 
nent nature should be called into being and that the Confer- 
ence Committee about to be elected should be empowered to 
organise such a body and that the control of future Conferences 
should be in the hands of this body." 

C.B. 129 K 

Report of the Conference Committee 

Eev. Dr. Burns (Ediuburgli). — May I be permitted at this 
stage to second that motion. As Chairman of the Royal Blind 
Asylum of Edinburgh I am here specially to suggest to this 
Conference that it would be advisable for many reasons that it 
should be held not more frequently than once in five years. I am 
very glad that Mr. ^^tone has brought forward this motion and 
think that it should be remitted to the Committee for the purpose 
of considering the advisability of having an executive committee 
representative of the blind so as to take immediate action when 
circumstances arise affecting its interests. Our Board has felt 
that between the times when Conferences are held many things 
happen affecting the interests of the Blind, and if anything is 
to be done, or should be done, it requires to be done immediately. 
When we have to wait for the next Conference the time for action 
is past. If we want anything carried through Parliament on 
behalf of the Blind we must take immediate action with our 
representatives. I hold very strongly that there should be this 
executive representative committee elected in the interests of the 
great cause we are met here to forward. I thank you for the 
opportunity of speaking. I see no other opportunity of doing 
what I have been sent here to do. I have much pleasure in 
seconding the resolution. 

Mr. Alderman Plummer (Manchester). — I would like to 
dissent from the resolution. This is an International Conference, 
the motion is confined to the British Empire, and I consider that 
such a meeting as this is of inestimable value in bringing together 
all who are thoroughly interested in the welfare of the 
blind. The mere fact that we meet under these circumstances 
is at once an inspiration and a help in our work. I was much 
struck yesterday by the remarkable demonstration which took 
place when the foreign delegates were welcomed. Nothing in 
my public life recently has affected me so much as to hear these 
people, coming from all parts of the world, speaking in our English 
tongue, and in one instance rising not only to a great dignity of 
language, but to sentiments which must have touched us all 
greatly. I protest against any attempt to narrow the functions 
of this great Conference to mere parochialism, and I hope that this 
resolutou will not be adopted. If we from our British point of 
view require to have this active association to which the motion 
refers, let us have it ; but do not for a moment put up any barrier 
to that community of ideas which is represented by an Inter- 
national Conference, such as we now have. I consider that the 
arrangement of that report is in itself quite sufficient justification 
for these Conferences. I do not know whether they should be 
held every three years or every five years, but I do hope we shall 
not be content to set aside these Conferences, which represent 
the ideas of the blind throughout the world. I hope the resolution 
will not be adopted. 

Mr. Guy Campbell (Norwood). — There is only one point that 
I want to draw attention to with regard to this matter. I wish 
to point out that if we are not to include other nations in these 
Conferences our title is wrong. You call this the International 
Conference on the Blind. It should be called a Conference e.u 


Report of the Conference Committee ■ 

the Blind to whicli delegates from other nations are invited. 
Now it may be a startling fact to realise that our continental 
neighbours, the French, German, and other nations on the conti- 
nent of Europe and in the East, have been holding Conferences 
for some time, the last being held at Cairo. How many English 
representatives went to that °? I do not want to deal with Mr. 
Stone's point, but I do want the committee or the corporate body 
that may be established to take into consideration how the 
Confei'ence shall become truly international, and the only way is 
to get into touch with those continental bodies that have held 
Conferences regularly for fifty years. I do not want any title 
to go forth from England conveying a wrong impression, and that 
is the consideration I would like to leave with you or with any 
corporate body that may be elected. 

Mr. Preece * (London). — I think we have a distinct grievance 
against Mr. Stone, and, if he is speaking for the other members, 
with the Committee as well. Evidently he had similar ideas at 
Exeter, and I want to ask him why he has not discussed the matter 
with the Conference Committee in the meantime. If he has held 
this view, why has the Conference Committee not considered it ? 
And as they, a practical body, have not considered it, I do not 
think we can decide it. I shall oppose it if for those reasons only. 
I hope the Conference Committee elected this time will consider 
the question fidly and report. 

Mr. DixsoN * (Oxford). — I want to back up Mr. Guy Campbell, 
and to suggest that we do one of two things. If we have an 
International Congress — no one doubts that this particular 
Conference is International, but that if we have another Interna- 
tional Congress — we must hold it elsewhere than in Great Britain. 
You cannot have two International Conferences, or three, or 
four, all managed by an English Committee. Do you suppose 
that if we propose to have in three or four years an International 
Conference in Birmingham, for instance, that all these repre- 
S3ntatives of foreign countries would come ? They would protest 
against the idea that it should always be held in Great Britain. 
I suggest either that we have another one in a given time and that 
we invite foreign representatives on to our Committee and that 
we try to arrange to have it in some foreign country, or that we 
give up the idea of the next Conference being International and 
have it as a " National " or " Royal " or " British " or " Imperial" 
Conference, or anything you like, but not " International," and 
in that case I think it would be very easy for it to be arranged by a 
considerably broadened Union of Unions. What I should like is 
a kind of permanent body such as Mr. Stone suggests, and that 
that body should include Scotland and Ireland ; that the Union 
of Unions should ask them to stand in, and that they shoidd have 
a certain number of blind representatives on the Union ; and that 
that permanent body should be appointed to arrange a Conference. 
One of the difficulties against always holding an International 
Conference in England or Great Britain, brought together by a 
committee entirely consisting of Britons, is the immense amount 
of hard work it entails. I am not one of the hard-worked ones. 
I do not think anybody not in it realises the amount of hard work 

131 K 2 

Report of the Conference Committee 

that lias to be done, and I liojie any mistakes will be allowed for 
on that ground. 

Rev. St. Clare Hill (Leatherhead). — I think there is a tendency 
to misunderstand the resolution before us. There is no intention 
of making a great alteration in the nature of the Conference, 
and I do not think that at the present moment we are in a position 
to discuss how we shall work out the international nature of our 
Conferences. I believe it is not Mr. .Stone's intention for a moment 
that such a question should be discussed. What he is thinking 
about has been in the minds of several members for a long time. 
I might say that many membeis of the Committee that has 
just given its report to the Conference have had this idea in their 
minds. It is true that the matter has not been formally discussed, 
as Mr. Preece said, but it has been in our minds, because we 
feel that those elected on this Conference Committee are not 
necessarily representatives of all the members of the Confer- 
ence in other parts of the world. That is the point we want 
to get at. We want to devise some scheme by which those who 
act on your Committee and manage the affairs of your Conference 
are the people you want to get there. And if that is the point Mr. 
Stone is wishing to bring before us, most heartily I support him. 
We want to make these Conferences as democratic as we can. 
We all ought to represent in every particular what all the members 
who join the Conference wish. The Committee is not to be a 
representation of the feelings of a certain number of people met 
together in a room like we are. It must be a representation of 
the feelings of all the people who joined the Conference in their 

Ladies and gentlemen, I do liope some step will be taken this 
morning to support Mr. Stone in the fundamental idea of his 
resolution, so that the matter may be thoroughly gone into with 
the view of calling into existence the next Committee that we have, 
a Committee that speaks the mind of all the people interested in 
this and future Conferences. 

Mr. G. I. Walker (Sunderland). — I should like to say how much 
I am in sympathy with Mr. Stone's ideas. We in Sunderland, 
for instance, are not represented. In the North we are never 
touched by the influence of your Conferences. It may be our 
fault, but it is true you are not really representative. The rank 
and file of the blind have practically no voice in the Conference, 
and no means of expressing their feelings and ideas, and if this 
is to be a really representative Conference, those of the rank and 
file, and I am one, claim and feel that they ought to have an 
opportunity of expressing themselves and making their ideas known. 
We are not finding fault with the gentlemen who have had the 
matter in hand up to now, but we feel there ought to be a wide 
development. As regards the international phase, I cannot see 
how the Conference can be truly International until it is truly 
British. When you are truly British you can come into active 
and real connection with those societies Mr. Campbell referred to. 
You have no authority now from the British blind, no mandate 
to enter into touch with the foreign delegates, but were there a 
permanent executive in England you could come into touch with 


Report of the Conference Committee 

permanent bodies on the ('ontinent and decide whether yon will 
hold the next Conference in London or in Switzerland. But you 
cannot do this until all the diiferent countries are organised. 
I think Mr. Stone's idea is not to make us more truly international, 
but to make us more truly British. 

Mr. John Ramsay *. — I come from Sunderland, too, and have 
been sent to the Conference by the League. We are prepared to 
support Mr. Stone. AVhatever the social aspect of this Conference 
may really be, seeing the amount of money that is expended, we 
ought to be much more widely represented, and the blind element 
ought to have an opportunity of being represented. I would 
supi)ort Mr. Stone in his endeavour. 

Mr. Tate (Bradford). — It would appear that there are two 
ideas present in the minds of members which though a little 
controversial need not necessarily be so. Mr. Stone somewhat 
deprecated the holding of Conferences, and wondered whether the 
amount of money they had cost had been justified by the results. 
Twelve years ago they were beginning and have been held tri- 
ennially ever since. The idea of postponing the holding of Confer- 
ences was advocated at Exeter, and I took the opportunity of 
urging that, in view of probable legislation, not more than three 
years should elajJse before another Conference was held. I woidd 
again desire to emphasise that view. I am of opinion that the 
Conferences held have been thoroiighly justified. Further, we 
have at the present time a movement on behalf of the blind that 
is world-wide, and we must not delegate to a small committee the 
decision as to whether we are to have a Conference or not. I agree 
that there should be such a representative authority as Mr. Stone 
desires, but I strongly urge that triennial Conference^ are con- 
tinued at least a little longer. 

A Voice : I second Mr. Preece's motion that the Conference 
Committee consider the question and report on Tuesday or 
Wednesday next. I think this would save our time. 

Rev. S. F. Harris (Cotleigh). — May I make a suggestion — that 
as a first step we should have members from other countries on 
the Committee. That would help to establish the international 
character of the Conference, and also after to-day's proceedings 
that we should have an expression of opinion and then refer the 
matter to the Committee. 

Rev. St. Clare Hill. — -I second that second amendment so 
that it may be put to the meeting. 

The Chairman. — Wliat were the terms of the amendment ! 

Rev. St. Clare Hill. — Mr. Preece moved that the Conference 
Committee should meet at once to discuss this question and 
report to us before this Conference ends, and I should like to 
second his motion. 

Mr. Preece *. — I did not formally move that amendment, 
but I now move the amendment, which my friend will second, that 
the matter be referred to the present Conference Committee and 
that they report on Tuesday or Wednesday. 


Report of the Conference Committee 

A Voice : May I rise to a point of order ? AVas Mr. Stone's 
resolution placed in the hands of the Committee "? If not. it is 
out of order, and I propose that we go on with the next matter 
of business. (Laughter.) 

A Voice : May I ask a question ? Was there a resolution 
before the meeting '? (Cries of " Yes.") - If there was a resolution 
before the meeting, my Lord, we can only have one amendment 
I presume, and we cannot have another until the first is out of the 

The Chairman. — I do not wonder that you are confused, I am 
myself. It has been proposed that we go on with the next 
business. (Hear, hear). Will those in favour of the motion 
signify the same by holding up one hand ? To the contrary l 

A Voice : Is Mr. Stone's motion not to come up again ? I 
should like to say that I am not in favour of being ruled by 
committees, but I want to ask whether the motion is to come up 
again — I want to know where I am. 

Mr. Stone (Edinburgh). — If you pass on to the next business 
now, what are we to understand ? Are we to have an Inter- 
national Conference or not ? It has been said this is the wrong 
time to discuss it, but I think if it had not been brought forward 
now there might not have been anothei' opportunity for dis- 
cussion. In the first place, my resolution is not opposed to 
Conferences. It simply has to do with the organising and 
arranging of Conferences, and all I ask is that this matter should 
be submitted to the Committee for further consideration. Surely 
you can do that. (Hear, hear.) 

A Voice : Then do we understand that this motion of Mr. 
Stone's is to be submitted to the Committee and that they are 
to report to us on Tuesday '? 

Mr. H. J. Wilson (London). — I have spoken to Mr. Stone. 
Do you not think we have spent a very long time over this matter ? 
Our time is precious ! Would it not be better to appoint a 
Committee, as was done three years ago, and submit this question 
to be discussed by them and brought forward at the next Confer- 
ence ? (Cries of " Xo, no.") Do you wish it brought forward 
on Tuesday ? (Cries of " Yes.") Very well, then, it shall be 
discussed by the old Committee, and a report presented on 

The following report of the Libraries Committee was 
then read by Miss E. W. Austin. 


This Committee was appointed at the Exeter Conference in 
July. 1911, to consider the entire question of libraries for the 
bhnd, with especial reference to the avoidance of overlapping and 


Report of the Libraries Committee 

the best means of utilising existing collections. 1 hose nominated 
to form the Committee were : — 

Miss E. W. Austin. Mr. W. H. Dixson. 

Miss E. M. Bainbrigge. The Eev. St. Clare Hill 

Lady Campbell. Dr. Ranger. 

Miss M. Comber. Mr. H. Royston. 

Miss I. M. Heywood. Mr. W. M. Stone. 

Miss Moon. Mr. H. J. AVilson. 
The Rev. C. E. Bolam. 

Mr. Hamley and Mr. Niederhausern were co-opted at the first 
meeting, the former in accordance with the recommendation of 
the Conference. Of these, Miss I. M. Heywood found herself 
obliged to resign, to the great regret of the Committee, owing to 
her inability to attend the meetings ; while Miss Bainbrigge was 
later represented by Miss Gilbert, her successor in her official 

The first meeting took place at the offices of Gardner's Trust 
on July 20th, 1911, when Mr. H. J. Wilson was unanimously 
elected to the Chair, with Miss E. W. Austin as Hon. Secretary. 

Two main objects lay before the Committee : — 

1. To render accessible embossed books already in existence. 

2. To secure some form of union or federation among societies 
for the provision and circulation of books for the blind. 

They decided that the first step should be the compilation of 
a " Union Catalogue " of embossed books. For this purpose a 
large number of circulars were sent out to individuals and societies, 
and also to every public library in the country. It was discovered 
that there were about 70,000 volumes in existence, many of them 
duphcates and many of them, i^robably, beyond use, but a certain 
number, mainly those owned by school libraries, of very great 
interest to the studious blind. These books were then catalogued 
by means of slips printed as follows, in such a manner as to obtain 
the necessary information as to author and edition : — 

Title of Work. 

Number of Volumes. 

Whethe,' *fomplete 
W hethei *in,.o,„j,iyte 

Whether *Haiifhvritteii or -Stereotv] 
*Moon Type. 

peil Braille (*01il style, or 'Reviseil) or 

Publishers. Eilitioii 

Date. Glossaries. 

Owner (or Institution) 

Postal afldress. 
*Strike out others. 


Report of the Libraries Committee 

Over 25,000 slips were distributed to the various societies and 
libraries, whose representatives most generously co-operated in 
the work by writing in the required information, a task in some 
cases of considerable magnitude and difficulty. 

The mass of information thus acquired was reduced to order 
by Mr. G. E. Roebuck, of Walthamstow Public Library, of whose 
skilled and devoted labour the Committee cannot express too 
strongly their appreciation. 

The catalogue, which is now completed, as far as a work to 
which additions are constantly made can be said to be completed, 
forms about forty volumes. It will be a source of reliable informa- 
tion, since all those who contributed to it have undertaken to 
continue to inform the custodian of any addition to their libraries. 

It should be added that the funds necessary to supply the 
materials for this catalogue, about £22, were raised almost entirely 
among the blind themselves. 

The Committee have, therefore, to report to this Conference the 
completion of the Union Catalogue, one of the objects for which 
they were appointed. 

Next, the Committee drafted a scheme of federation of libraries, 
which, with a few slight amendments, was accepted by the various 
bodies to whom it was submitted, and now stands as follows : — 

Scheme of the Federation of Libraries for the Blind, 
As amended at the Meeting of the Delegates on April llth, 1913. 

1. The establishment of a central office (or "' clearing house "), 
whose duties shall be as enumerated : — • 

(«) To collect material for, to prepare and revise periodically, 
a L^nion Catalogue, which should contain particulars of 
all books in embossed types in the United Kingdom ; this 
office to receive notification of any new embossed works. 

{b) To act as the recognised body to effect exchanges of books. 

(c) To receive suggestions as to the requirements for new books, 

and to use its best endeavours to secure the production 
of such books, either through the printing houses or by 

X.B. — The Clearing House shall submit the suggestions 
of readers for new books first to the publishing houses. If 
these do not consider that they should be stereotyped, 
they should be produced by voluntary labour, if suitable. 

(d) To keep a register of the work upon which voluntary 

writers are engaged, in order to prevent overlapping, and 
to secure as far as j)ossible the correction of all hand- 
written books. 

(e) To induce public Libraries which have not ah'eady done so' 

io contribute to the provision of literature for the bhnd. 
2. The appointment of local representatives (where possible 
the Home Teaching Society or some society aheady doing good 
work in the district) to organise the work of the federation in 
their respective districts, i. e. : — 

(a) The enlistment and training of voluntary writer.^. 

(b) The registration and employment of paid blind writers. 


Report of the Libraries Committee 

(c) The organisation of tlie financial side of the work in the 
district, to inchide the establishment of a fund for the 
payment of qualified blind copyists. 
{d) The distribution of books through the local society, public 

library or otherwise. 
(e) The drawing up of periodical Usts of books required in the 

embossed types. 
3. The initial membership of the Federation shall be by invita- 
tion and afterwards by election, and an effort shall be made to 
defray the expenses of clerical labour, stationery and printing 
by voluntary effort without subscription in the first instance. 
On the increase of expenses, a subscription to be calculated upon 
the number of exchanges will probably be charged. 

A fee of 5d. on each volume borrowed shall be charged to the 
borrower, to be allocated as follows : — 

To be retained or collected in cash by the ( learing 
House (to cover postage incurred in making the 
connection between lender and borrower) . Id. 

To be paid to the lender, viz., 

Carriage . . . . . . l^d. 

Fee for loan . . . . . 2^d. 

— M. 

Total M. 

Such payments will not be payable in small sums, but the 
account of each member will be kept at the Clearing House, 
balanced against those of other members with whom he has had 
transactions, and a statement rendered periodically to all members. 
The Committe3 thought it best to submit this scheme to a few 
only of the larger and more specialised libraries and publishing 
houses in order that its usefulness might be thoroughly te ted. 
Extension will always be possible later, but the benefit of the 
federation may be at once enjoyed by all by affiliation to one of 
the federated bodies. 
These are as follows : — ■ 

Birmingham Royal Histitution for the BUnd. 

British and Foreign Blind Association, London (now the 
National Institute). 

CathoUc Truth Society, London. 

Chester Home Teaching Society, Chester. 

Fife and Kinross Society, Kirkcaldy. 

Henshaw's Blind Asylum, Manchester. 

Home Teaching Society for the Blind, London. 

Moon's Society for the Blind, Brighton. 

National Lending Library for the Blind, London. 

Northern Counties Blind Society, North Shields. 

Royal Blind Asylum and School, Edinburgh. 

Royal Normal College, Norwood. 

Students' Library, Oxford. 

Yorkshire School for the Bhnd, York. 
It remains only for the Committee to report that the council of 
the federation has elected as its chairman Mr. H. J. Wilson ; that 


Report of the Libraries Committee 

it has appointed as its office and clearing house the National 
Lending Library for the Blind, 125, Queen's Road, Bayswater, 
London, whose committee have kindly undertaken the work 
entirely voluntarily ; and as'its Hon. Secretary, Miss E. W. Austin. 

The Committee understands that already several exchanges of 
books have taken place and information of value has been supplied 
to blind readers which would not have been available without this 

Its usefulness will doubtless increase as the work becomes 
better known, and they hope that this report may serve to 
encourage some of those who hear it to come forward prepared to 
act as local rej)reseutatives to carry out that part of the scheme 
which tends to decentrahsation and the spreading of the know- 
ledge of the federation and its objects in all parts of the country. 

The Committee have further to report that the message sent from 
the Exeter Conference to the Conference of the Library Association 
at Perth in September, 1911, was received with sympathy ; that 
a special committee was appointed at that Conference to consider 
the question of the distribution of literature for the blind through 
the pubhc libraries, with Mr. Roebuck as secretary, and that the 
report of this committee to the last Library Association Conference 
at Bournemouth in 1913 uiged u])on the public libraries of the 
country the duty of taking up the work wherever necessary. 

In conclusion, your Committee wish to state that during their 
deUberations they have come to the following conclusions which 
they submit for the approval of the Conference : — 

1. That no writer of Braille, whether paid or voluntary, should 
be encouraged to write books for circulation without adequate 
training and supervision. 

2. That libraries for the blind be advised to make as much use 
of stereotyped embossed books as possible. 

3. That the public libraries, except possibly in the largest towns, 
best serve the interest of their readers by loan collections, since 
they can rarely allow sufficient space or funds to maintain a 
collection of any value. 

Signed on behalf of the Committee, 






. Austin, 
Hon. Secretary. 

List of Donations. 


s. d. 

MissAlhson ...... 



Miss H. Barnett . . . . . 


A. Bartlett, Esq. . . . . . 



Miss Bealey ...... 


BUnd Social Aid Society and Literary Union 


Miss Budds ...... 



Sir Francis Campbell .... 

J. D. Carr, Esq.. . . . . . 


Carried forwa 

. £5 



Report of the Libraries Committee 

List of Donations — rontinned. 

A. Chappie, Esq 

W. H. Dixson, Esq. (collected) 

S. Dowdeswell, Esq. . 

Miss Dudgeon . 

W. Eaiie, Esq. 

Mrs. Edwards . 

Miss Etheridge 

Miss Farrell 

Rev. St. Clare Hill . 

Mr. Jackman 

Mrs. Jackson 

Miss F. Kay 

Baron Konstantin Lauglioff 

Colonel Lockyer 

Miss Mace 

Lady D'Arcy Osborne 

H. Warmington, Elsq. 

Rev. G. F. Whittleton 

Miss J. Wilson . 

John Wyllie, Esq. 

Robert Wyllie, Esq. . 

Brought forward 

































£22 1 

Income and Expenditure Account. 

To donations 

£ s. d. 

22 1 

£22 1 

By materials for 

'Union Catalogue 20 

By postages . 2 7 J 

By receipt book . 'O 4J 

£22 1 

The following report of the Employment Committee was 
then read by Mr. Pine, 


The National Committee for the Employment of the Blind, 
appointed at the first International Conference held in Edinburgh 
in 1905, and re-appointed at Manchester in 1908, and at Exeter 
in 1911, beg leave to present their report. 

At the first meeting, Mr. Henry J. Wilson and Mr. H. W. P. Pine 
were unanimously elected Chairman and Hon. Secretary 


Report of the Employment Committee 

Owing to circumstances hereafter explained the operations 
of the Committee since the last report have been more or less in 
a state of suspension. In the last report it was stated that a 
meeting of representatives of institutions and those interested 
in the welfare of the blind had been held, and that resolutions had 
been passed to the effect that the State should be responsible for 
the technical training of capable blind persons over sixteen years 
of age who needed it, in the same manner as it was already 
responsible for the elementary education of those under sixteen, 
and also that the State, the county and borough councils, and the 
parish councils of Scotland should assist in the better and more 
general employment of the blind. The report further stated that 
a special committee had been appointed by these representatives 
to consider the whole subject of employment of the blind and the 
question of the necessity of Government aid in relation thereto, 
with instructions to draft a new Bill if, in their judgment, they 
found one was needed. 

The Committee appointed consisted of six members of the 
National Committee for the Employment of the Blind with others, 
some of whom represented several of the largest institutions in the 

Inasmuch as this large question of the necessity of Government 
aid and the promotion of legislation was taken in hand by the 
Special Committee on which part of the National Emp|loyment 
Committee was acting, the Employment Committee itself decided 
to suspend all operations in this direction. 

In view of this fact, and while the question of legislation and 
of help from the Government is still unsettled, there have been 
few directions in which the Committee could pursue their activities, 
but it is beUeved that, when these important matters are de- 
termined, there will be, in the new order of things, much work 
for this Committee to undertake. 

The Special Committee, after carefully considering the question 
and the evidence submitted to them, came to tlie conclusion 
that it was necessary to seek Government aid if the employment 
of the blind of thecountry was to be put upon a satisfactory 
footing, and they, therefore, unanimously determined to promote 
a BiU upon the subject. As a basis it was agreed to take into 
consideration tiie Bill that had previously been drafted by the 
National Employment Committee, and they submitted this, 
after revision, together with full '" instructions to counsel," in 
which the whole position in regard to the bhnd was pointed out, 
to a parliamentary draftsman, requesting him with these data to 
draft a new Bill. It was further determined to make the BiU 
apphcable to Scotland and Ireland. 

Numerous suggestions were considered and modifications made 
where deemed advisable, and the Bill was finally settled by 
counsel and adopted by the Special Committee. It was also 
submitted to the National Employment Committee and agreed 
to by that body. The Bill, as revised, was then sent tq the 
various institutions for the bhnd throughout the country, when 
forty-one institutions declared themselves in favour of the 
principle of the Bill, three were neutral, while five were against, 


Report of the PImployment Committee 

making a total of forty-nine replies received, and it was subse- 
quently adopted by a meeting of representatives of institutions 
and others interested in the Bill. 

At this meeting the Special Committee were re-appointed with 
the addition of the names of Sir EUis Cunliffe and Dr. Eanger, 
and they were instructed to proceed with the Bill in whatever 
way they found advisable, and to arrange for it to be presented 
to ParUament at the earliest opportunity. The Bill was intro- 
duced to the House of Commons in October, 1912, by Mr. Alan 
H. Burgoyne, M.P., and read a first time. In the meantime 
certain criticisms had been expressed by those promoting another 
Bill, previously introduced by the Labour Party, and it was 
deemed expedient to endeavour to find a modus vivendi,so that in 
the presentation of any Bill to Parliament it should have the 
united support of all parties. 

Certain " conversations " thereupon took place between 
members representing the Special Committee and those responsible 
for the other Bill, the result of which was that it was agreed to 
add several clauses to the BiU, the two chief provisions being a 
monthly grant to be paid to each certificated blind worker as 
a kind of compensation for blindness, and a monthly grant to be 
made to every incapable blind person. 

These amendments and additions to the Bill were duly con- 
sidered by the Special Committee together with the arguments 
in favour of their inclusion, and it was agreed to accept them. 
The Bill was then adopted by the Committee in the form in which 
it now stands. 

In consequence of these negotiations, it was decided by those 
promoting the Bill backed by the Labour Party to drop that Bill 
and concentrate their efforts upon the amended and agreed on 
Bill of the Special Committee only. It was considered advisable 
to have the Bill backed by members from each of the parlia- 
mentary parties, and, these having been obtained, Mr. Alan 
Burgoyne consented to re-introduce it. 

The Bill was read a first time on May 21st last, and is put down 
for the second reading on June 25tli. 

The attention of the Government has been called from time to 
time to the question of the better employment of the blind, and 
at the close of the last Conference in 1911, on the recommendation 
of this Committee, a message was sent to the Government in the 
following terms : — 

" This Conference of representatives of institutions, societies 
and agencies, and others interested in the welfare of the blind 
throughout the United Kingdom, assembled at Exeter, 
July 3rd — 8th, 1911, respectfully calls the attention of 
H. M. Government to the urgent need for the better and more 
general employment of the blind of this country ; deplores the 
serious loss to the community and to the blind themselves by 
reason of the enforced idleness of a large number of capable 
blind workers trained for the most part at the public expense ; 
and declares its conviction that the difficult question of pro- 
viding employment for the blind cannot properly be solved 
without assistance from national and municipal sources." 


Report of the Employment Committee 

Tlie question lias recently been brouglit into prominence by 
the resolution moved in the House of Commons by Mr. Wardle, 
which was followed by an intelligently sympathetic debate. It 
revealed the fact that our leading politicians were keenly alivo 
to the necessity of something being done, and it elicited an 
equally sympathetic and practical reply from the Parhamentary 
Secretary of the Local Government Board on behalf of the 
Government. As is now well known, the Government promised 
to appoint an Inter-Departmental Committee to consider tho 
present condition of the blind. 

The Committee have now been appointed and are about to 
enter upon their labours, and everyone will unite in wishing 
them Godspeed in their important task. 

Copies of the Parliamentary Bill have been forwarded to the 
Committee, and it is hoped that it may form a basis for inquiry. 

The arrangements made with Government Departments for the 
supply of goods under contract, described in previous reports, 
have been continued, and orders for a large quantity of goods 
have been placed with various selected institutions ; but it is to 
be regretted that, as previously stated, the prices are not only 
quite unremunerative, but entail actual loss to the institutions 
which engage in these contracts. 

The Committee venture to hope that this question of the 
supply of goods to the Government by institutions for the blind 
may form an important part of the Inter-Departmental 
Committee's inquiry. 

In the last report the Committee stated, as a further means 
of prosecuting their work, they had framed a resolution on the 
subject of the need of more employment for the blind, which, 
with an explanatory statement, they had recommended to be 
sent by each institution, in its own district, to all the local 
authorities in the country. 

The Committee now have pleasure in stating that a copy of 
the circular and statement was sent to fifty-nine institutions and 
workshops, asking that, if advantage could be taken of it, a 
supply could be had on application, and in this manner some 
2,000 circulars have been distributed. The Committee believe 
that some good has resulted frpm calling the attention of public 
authorities to this question : a number of sympathetic repUes 
have been received from boards of guardians, town councils, urban 
and rural district councils, and the matter has been discussed at 
various meetings of those bodies. 

It has been determined to issue a reprint of the circular and 
explanatory statement, and this further appeal to local authorities 
is now being made. 

The Committee have further taken into consideration the 
comparative merits of present trade- and handicrafts and the 
question of the practicability of other possible industries, and 
lengthy discussions have taken place thereon. 

Another matter to which the Committee have given their 
attention is the question of the advisabiUty of a larger system of 
inter-trading amongst the various institutions and of buying in 
bulk wherever practicable. The Committee are of opinion that, 


Report of the Pianoforte Tuning Committee 

wliere this is possible, inter-trading should be fostered and 
extended, and that institutions themselves might be very good 
customers of each other in certain instances. 

In closing this report the Committee rejoice that the Govern- 
ment and the country generally appear to be awakened to the 
needs of the blind. The whole question is one of great com- 
plexity and supreme difficulty, but they venture to think that, 
with united action and goodwill prevailing on all sides, the 
employment of the blind of this country will ere long be placed 
upon a satisfactory footing. 

On behalf of the Committee, H. W. P. Pine 

June 1st, 1914. Hon. Secretary. 

Note. — A copy of the Bill referred to in this report will be found 
in the Appendix. 

(As the wording of the Bill has already been given on pp. 1U6 
et seq., it is unnecessary to repeat it here. — Editor.) 

A Voice : I want to call attention to the report just presented. 

The Chairman. — It will be discussed after Mr. Campbell h .s 
read his report. 

The following report of tlie Music Committee Avas then 
read by Mr. Guy M. Campbell. 


Mr. Chairman, — ■ 

It is strongly felt by the Committee that a bhnd tuner, in 
addition to learning to tune, should be most thoroughly taught 
about mechanical repairs. Even though the blind tuner may not 
be able to execute personally every repair he is called upon to 
meet, yet if he has a thorough knowledge of what is required, he 
wiU frequently be able to explain to and direct a sighted companion 
how to do what is necessary, and thus thoi'oughly satisfy the 
employer and retain his or her custom ; this is especially essential 
in country districts. The blind man should, therefore, be thor- 
\pughly famiUar with the sticker, check and grand actions and 
master constructions generally, he should be able to re-hinge a 
lever, hopper, or damper, re-hinge a sticker, put in a new hammer 
shank, ease a key, ease a butt, tone hammers, put on strings with 
a short eye, make a hopper or spiral jack spring, regulate or make 
the touch of notes with a check action, replace a broken tape or tie, 
recover a lever or butt, adjust various kinds of mechanism. 

In the tuning, to aim at raising or lowering the pitch and tuning 
to a tuning fork in time not to exceed two hours and a quarter. 
Blind tuners are often inclined to be slow. 

It was further felt that, to secure and maintain the highest 
standard, it would be better if one or two institutions, possibly 
three, should speciaUse in this business, and bhnd men desiring to 


Report of the Pianoforte Tuning Committee 

become tuners sliould be sent to them, rather than that every 
institution should have a small and, probably, more or less 
inefficient department through lack of facilities or other causes. 
As to the examination, it shoidd be in three parts : — 
(a) An actual tuning. 
(6) A mechanical examination, 
(c) Viva voce questions. 
As to an examination board, it is felt for the moment we should 
" wait and see." 

Quite recently an Equal Temperament Committee has been 
formed, consisting of twenty experts representing the following 
firms : — ^Messrs. J. B. Cramer & Co. ; Kemmler, Be.iard & Co. ; 
George Rogers & Sons ; Erard, Norman & Beard ; Steinway and 
Sons ; Chappell & Co. ; Rud. Ibach. Sohn ; Hopkinson ; J. W. 
Walker and Sons ; Pleyel, Wolf & Co. ; Bluthner & Co., Ltd. ; 
John Broadwood and Sons ; John Brinsmead ; Hill and Sons ; 
Henry Willis and Son: The Musical Times. 

This Committee is seeking to standardise equal temperament, 
to found a college Avhere the subject is thoroughly taught, and to 
hold examinations and grant diplomas. If this Committee is 
successful in its efforts, then this is the body to which the bUnd 
tuner, equally with the sighted one, should submit himself for 
examination. Wherefore the " wait and see." Meanwhile it is 
urged the lines of work abeady indicated should be faithfully 
pursued, and the question of what may be called the future official 
institutions be carefully considered. 

I have the honour to be, Gentlemen, 

Your obedient Servant, 

Guy M. Campbell, 

Eon. Secretary. 

Members of the Committee : 

Mr. Guy Campbell. Mr. A. Royston. 

Mr. Davidson. Mr. M. Stone. 

Mr. Gane. Mr. Young. 
Rev. St. Clare Hill. 

A Voice : May I ask the last reader if he will endeavour as far 
as possible to try to teach blind men to buy jjianos '? After we 
leave the schools or colleges we find this very difficult. I was 
trained at Norwood . 

The Chairman. — This matter will be discussed this afternoon. 

Mr. Ben Purse.* — 1 notice from the reports submitted by the 
authorities other than the National Employment Committee the 
meetings are specified. I want to know how many meetings the 
National Employment Committee have held. I think it is a 
matter of sincere regret that they refuse to continue their 
deliberations simply because the Government are about to 
espouse our cause. The system of awarding Government con- 
tracts is a matter to which urgent attention ought to be devoted. 
I admit that, along with other members of the National Employ- 
ment Committee in the year 1906 — 7, we made a very funda- 
mental mistake in accepting the conditions then laid down to us. 



Report of the Braille Notation Committee 

I thiuk it is witliiu the knowledge of every trading institution 
for the blind in the country that the system of contracts has been 
a failure. Instead of accepting the average price of all accepted 
tenders, we ought to be in a position to ask the Government to 
concede to us the price of the highest accepted tender. I feel 
that this would be a practical way of meeting the difficulties in 
this matter. 

But I do think that there are many other branches of 
industry which are suggested in the terms of reference to this 
Committee that the National Employment Committee might 
very well have undertaken. For example, it is well known to the 
majority here that many Education authorities place the tuning 
of their pianos in the hands of blind people in various centres. 
It would be a great thing, I think, if the National Employment 
Committee took more active steps to secure preference in this 
matter where an opportunity presents itself. I hope that my 
remarks will not be taken in any way as carping criticism. I 
merely want if I can to be helpful in this matter, and I think it 
was a very serious error on the jjart of the Committee to refuse 
to continue their deliberations because the Government were 
about to do other things which narrowed their province somewhat. 

Mr. H. W. P. Pine (Nottingham).^ — I want to say one word in 
answer to Mr. Purse with regard to the Employment Committee. 
I will only answer one point now, and the other points shall have 
the attention of the Committee. He spoke about the practice of 
accepting the highest of accepted tenders. That has already been 
attempted. I had a long conversation with the representative of 
the Government and asked whether instead of our being paid 
the average price of accepted tenders we could not be paid the 
highest price, but we were told that it would really make very little 
difference. We were informed that there were only a few coppers in 
question. So if we want to get a better price from the Government 
it must be on a different footing from either the average price or 
the highest price of accepted tenders. 

The following report of the Braille Music Notation Re- 
vision Committee was then read by Mr. Henry Stainsby on 
behalf of Mr. Warrilow.* 


The question of the revision of Braille music, which has received 
considerable attention in the Braille Musical Magazine, proved of 
such widespread interest that, when it was suggested by Mr. 
Stainsby that a conference on the subject should be held at the 
National Institute for the Blind, the idea was warmly welcomed, 
not only by the Notation Committee appointed by the Exeter 
Conference, but also by a large number of other bUnd musicians. 

c.B. 145 L 

Report of the Braille Notation Committee 

The Notation Conference was the outcome of a letter received by 
Mr. W. P. Merrick from Dr. Meyer, of Berlin, wliicli caused him to 
bring the subject of Braille music revision to the notice of the 
Book Committee of the National Institute. Two meetings were 
held at the Institute, both well attended, the first on Tuesday, 
July 15th, 1913, the second on Monday, October 2nd, 1913. The 
agenda for these two meetings was based upon a summary com- 
prising the French, German, and English suggestions, and several 
of these suggestions were recommended for adoption. A number 
of recommendations were drawn up, but as these have been stereo- 
typed, and as most of them are of a technical character, only main 
outUnes will be given here. Among the systems discussed may be 
mentioned those of Dr. Corbett, Messrs. Haun, Tiback, Strangways 
Gardner, Hans Bertram, and Stericker. The last three of these 
differ from the others in not being ordinary Braille music revision 
suggestions. Mr. Gardner's system is an imitation of staff pro- 
cedure, the notes in a chord being written over one another. 

In Mr. Bertram's system, which is also apphcable to orchestral 
music, the Braille alphabet is used for the notes. These two 
systems were recommended for further investigation. 

An increased interest was manifested in Mr. Stericker's system, 
and Mr. Stericker was asked to prepare a more exhaustive key than 
the one which was the outcome of the Exeter Braille Notation 
meeting ; several gentlemen present undertook to study the 
systems more fully, but on account of the delay in the making of 
the special guides (guides for writing both Braille and Stericker) 
little progress has as yet been made in this direction. The need, 
which has become more pressing of late, for writing all the parts 
together, is more fuUy met by this system than by any other. 

Vertical Score or Simultaneous Notation. — As an illus- 
tration of the growing demand for a more concise score, the 
following, from the recommendations of the Notation Conference, 
may be quoted : " That vertical score be adopted for the voice part 
and accompaniments of aU service music." (Music under this 
head, including as it does, settings, hymns, and anthems, would 
only be of use to organists in this country.) 

Since the Exeter Conference two books have been pubhshed 
by the National Institute for the Blind, illustrating the appUcation 
of vertical score to Braille music : " Hymns, Ancient and Modern ' ' 
and Buck's '' Unfigured Harmony." The former shows vertical 
score applied to simple music, the latter to more elaborate music. 

Our best thanks are due to Dr. Meyer, of Berlin, for a letter 
recently received, dealing at some length with the Braille music 
revision suggestions likely to be approved in Germany. It is 
much to be hoped that an agreement wiU be reached between the 
German Committee, the compilers of the French suggestions, and 
the Enghsh Notation Committee, on most, if not all, the questions 
under disciission, and it is felt, if a satisfactory conclusion is to be 
reached, that there is still a good deal more work to be done by the 
Notation Committee appointed by the Notation Conference. The 
names of this Committee are given below. 

It only remains to be added, that, though this report is brief, 
considerable progress has been made since the Exeter Conference, 


Report of the Braille Notation Committee 

and we ask in conclusion for the authority of the London Conference 
on the Blind to proceed with the work we have in hand. 

H. C. Warrilow, 
Chairman of the Notation Conference. 

Members of the Committee : 

Mrs. Guy Campbell. Mr. H. V. Spanner. 

Mr. W. Lucas. Mr. A. C. Stericker. 

Mr. P. T. Mayhew. Mr. H. WatUng. 

Mr. H. G. Oke. Mr. P. L. Way. 
Mr. H. E. Piatt. 

* * * 

The Hon. Secretary announced that nominations for the 
Conference Committee must be received by 12 o'clock on 
Saturday, not 12 o'clock on Friday, as stated in the Hand- 

Mr. Henry J. Wilson (London). — Before Mr, Illingworth 
begins to read his paper this morning I wish to refer to a 
most regrettable tendency that showed itself at yesterday 
afternoon's session to bring personal matters into general 
discussion. As Chairman of the Conference Committee, 
and speaking on their behalf, I cannot express too strongly 
our disapproval of such a course, and our desire to dissociate 
ourselves from any action of that sort, and I appeal earnestly 
to the Conference to support the intention of the Committee 
to secure order, strict attention to the business in hand, 
and that love of justice and fair play that we Englishmen 
take a pride in considering a characteristic of our nation. 
Where there are many men there must be many minds, and 
it is not only absolutely unnecessary, but ivrong, to bring 
into our counsels for the welfare of the blind the spirit of 
bitterness and personal attack. I have no more to say, but 
I appeal to the members of the Conference for their hearty 
and willing support in this matter. 

Mr. Illingworth.' — Reference has been made during 
this Conference to the rapid rate at which things in the 
interests of the blind are moving. No one could be more 
delighted than myself that this should be so, but at the same 
time my paper has suffered from some recent developments, 
and I shall have to ask you to bear with me if what I read 
is not exactly word for word what is printed. 

147 l2 



Superintendent of Henshaw's Blind Asylum, Old TiafEord, 

At the outset it is my desire to tender my sincere thanks 
to those of my colleagues who have kindly contributed 
towards the usefulness of this paper by answering the 
somewhat lengthy list of questions Avhich I submitted to 
them on the subject 

For the assistance of those about to take part in the 
discussion, a copy of these questions will be found appended 
to the paper now in j^our hands. 

In the short time allotted to me I cannot hope to lay the 
subject before you with the fulness which it claims, even 
were I capable of fulfilling such obligation luider any circum- 
stances, so you will pardon me if my remarks appear to be 
somewhat disjointed and inadequate. If, however, they 
form the groundwork for a healthy and useful discussion, I 
shall be more than satisfied. 

As most of you are aware, this subject, under another 
head, was most ably treated of by Mr. H. J. Wilson, in his 
valuable paper on " The Feeble-Minded Bhnd," at the 
Edinburgh Conference of 1905, and in the discussion which 
followed I made a statement which I would repeat and 
emphasise with all the force at my command. This is the 
quotation : "In the future the best way is to 'prevent the 
deficiency in these children as nmch as possible, and I 
believe as much may be done for the prevention of defectives 
as for the prevention of blindness.'^ 

Many defective children have been brought to me in the 
course of my experience who, if they had been treated by 


How to Deal with the Incompetent Blind 

their parents in the same manner as other children, if they 
had been given ordinary exercise and httle duties to perform, 
would not have been defective either mentally or physically. 
You all know that a blind child is very often left sitting 
in a corner all day long, and I can cite cases where such 
have actually been kept in bed most of their lives, till ten 
or eleven years of age, to keej) them out of harm'' s way. Such 
children are bound to be both physically and mentally 
defective. A considerable amount of the blame rests upon 
education authorities. I am «ure you will bear me out when 
I say that, although the Blind and Deaf Mute Education 
Act stipulates that the blind child shall be sent to school at 
five years of age, that Act is to a great extent a dead letter. 
If the Act were properly enforced, there would not be so 
many mentally and physically defective blind children." 
This was my view nine years ago, and it is my view more 
than ever to-day. 

Some of my correspondents, in reply to question 1, say, 
they do not understand my term " mentally weak through 
neglect," that it is a verj^ debatable term, and that a feeble- 
minded person is mentally defective and vice versd. At the 
risk of appearing tedious, I repeat that hundreds of our 
incompetent blind are incomi^etent through neglect. If we 
acknowledge, as I suppose we all do, that physical weakness 
and deformity are often resultant on carelessness and 
neglect, why should it be questioned that similar mental 
condition results from precisely similar causes ? 

The question, then, immediately before us is, in the first 
place, how to prevent mental^and^physical unfitness. If we 
have not such means at'our. disposal as we would like, let us 
not waste our time and energies in crying for such means, but 
make the best of what we have at hand. We have got an 
Act of Parliament which says that blind children shall be 
sent to school at five years of age ; then it is our duty to see to 
it that that Act is enforced. All the institutions and societies 
for the blind in England are now banded together in unions. 
Can these unions not bring pressiu'c to bear on the powers 
that be to compel education authorities to fulfil their obliga- 


How to Deal with the Incompetent Blind 

tions in those cases where they are unwilhng to do so ? I 
appeal to this Conference to make a recommendation to 
all schools for the blind in the country that they shall make 
a note of all children admitted in the course of the next 
six months, who, though blind, have been allowed to remain 
at home after the statutory age of five years ; that particulars 
of these cases shall then be sent to the Secretary of the 
Union of Unions ; and that this Conference requests that 
the Union of Unions will then draw up a report on these 
cases and present it by deputation to the Board of Educa- 

In answer to my question 22, I get the following answers : 
Scotland, 8 years ; England, 9 — 10 years. One of my 
correspondents says : " The average age of the last fifty 
admissions is ten years." This needs no comment ! 

I fear I am laying myself open to the charge that I 
am evading the real question at issue, " How to Deal with 
the Incompetent Blind ? " but, as the Irishman said, " Sure 
the best way to deal with a difficulty when it arises is to 
prevent it." 

I will now take up question 2 on my paper, and the eight 
replies give a total of sixty-five cases. There is some 
division of opinion as to question 3, but by far the majority 
of my correspondents are in favour of segregation and 
special schools. We have not got such special schools, 
however, except in a very limited sense, and till we have, 
again, we must make the best of the means at our disposal. 

As some of you are aware, I am an advocate for the 
employment of blind teachers wherever possible, and I am 
firmly convinced, after many years' experience, that a back- 
ward or a mentally defective child, who is teachable at all, will 
do better under a skilful blind teacher than under a sighted 
teacher. I will not attempt to enter into an explanation of 
this hypothesis from its psychological side, but simply make 
the statement to be taken for what it is worth, that I believe 
we should have fewer incompetents turned out of our schools 
at sixteen, or before that age, if the teaching of the more 
juvenile classes were more in the hands of blind teachers, 


How to Deal with the Incompetent Blind 

and I believe that in a school, however small, it will pay, both 
in an economic and humane sense, to pick out the backward 
and defective children and place them under the care of 
a good blind teacher, even though their ages be dissimilar ; 
their numbers being small, sufficient individual attention 
can be given to each, whereas, if mixed with the normal 
children, they are apt to be neglected and discouraged, not 
■ — as some say — -encouraged, by the presence of shar])er 

The answers to question 8 are sad reading : " They go 
home to their friends or the workhouse." Alas, do they not 
all go to the workhouse if they live to adult age ? While 
they are young, fond fathers and mothers will spend their 
last penny to provide for them, but when they reach adult 
age, and fathers and mothers are dead, what becomes of them 
then ? 

The majority of the answers to No. 10, I will simply 
say, in passing, are opposed to the theory that pecu- 
liar movements of head or hands, or both, indicate mental 
weakness, but many are agreed that such move- 
ments in excess tend to mental deterioration, therefore 
every means should be taken to eradicate them. Several 
correspondents, however, are convinced — and in this idea 
I heartily concur — that such movements are the result of 
neglect before the child was sent to school, and there can 
be no doubt they are prejudicial, to say the least of it, to 
the child's welfare in after life. I much regret that I have 
not got any information of value in reply to question 13, 
though all are agreed in recommending plenty of hand work, 
kindergarten occupations, etc., as a cure. To my mind this 
is one of the saddest and most serious forms of incompetence, 
for it is often found in children of the highest intellectual 
capacity, and I earnestly commend the subject to the careful 
consideration and persevering investigation of all teachers 
of the blind, to see if a remedy cannot be found. It is to 
be noticed that in almost every case of this kind there is a 
very abnormal amount of dorsal flexion present. This fault 
can be remedied to a great extent by continual grasping 


How to Deal with the Incompetent Blind 

exercises. Spring dumb-bells are very good, and the board 
and peg exercises. 

The answers to question 14, bearing on the above, are 
summed up in one : "I have come across such cases — they 
usually become derelicts." What a tragedy is hidden in the 
last four words ! An active, useful brain in a derelict body, 
which is otherwise quite healthy ! That brain is a potential 
unit in the State, but under existing conditions it is 
ruthlessly condemned to extinction. Can avc do nothing to 
change all this, and, if we can, why don't we ? 

Question 20 evokes quite a wave of enthusiasm, which I 
may sum up by quoting one reply in extenso. 

" It ought to be done, and, now that powers are given, 
I take it it will be done. A capital resolution for the 
Conference to pass would be one calling upon the Com- 
missioners to establish such institutions without delay." 
To this hopeful ebullition I heartily say " Amen," and 
though I am not at liberty to give details, I may say that 
I have, during the last week or two, been in communication 
with the Board of Control and the Association for the Care 
of the Feeble-minded and have every hope that a definite 
action in this direction will very shortly be taken. 

Question 23 brought me ten replies, of which three were 
in the negative and seven in the affirmative. 

Of nine backward or mentally defective children at 
present in Henshaw's Bhnd Asylum, the ages on admission 
were 11, 12, 7, 5, 11, 6, 12, 12, and 8. Whilst this leads to 
no generalisation, it is obvious that the younger the child 
comes to school the less waste of time and material there 
will be. 

The replies to question 24 are the saddest of all. The 
best authenticated answers give varying ratios from 17 to 
33 per cent. Truly the sins of the fathers are visited on 
the children, and the worst feature of all is that this cause 
of blindness generally carries with it the double affliction 
of deafness — partial or total — and greatly increases the 
number of incompetents. 

I am not a militant suffragist, but I firmly believe, when 


How to Deal with the Incompetent Blind 

women do get the vote, we shall be several steps nearer the 
prevention of such a shoeking and disgraceful cause of 
blindness, deafness and mental deficieney. 

Now, to sum up the case of the juvenile incompetent 
blind, may I give a fcAv general hints as to their treatment, 
and, in doing so, I take the opportunity of quoting freely 
from that useful httle book "Mentally Deficient Children," 
by Dr. G. E. Shuttleworth, which I would advise every 
teacher here to procure and study. 

Bearing in mind that mental feebleness is often merely 
a consequence of feeble physical health and malnutrition, 
and that, with improved physical conditions, the mental 
imjDairment not infrequently disappears, it behoves us, 
therefore, first of all to examine carefully into the physical 
condition of a mentally defective child, and do all in our 
power, by means of good food, fresh air and interesting 
exercise, to remedy existing defects in this direction. Much 
good ma} be done by suitable drill — musical as far as possible 
— and manual exercises to overcome the twitching and 
nervous movements so common in these cases. 

With regard to cases which may be classed as due to 
carelessness and neglect. Dr. Shuttleworth says : " Speaking 
generally, the prognosis is not favourable in such cases, 
though, of course, depending upon the amount of damage 
the brain has sustained or the degree of atrophy consequent 
on meningeal thickening. In some cases unremediable 
lesion may have been left, in others the a'-rest of develop- 
ment from failing nutrition may, under favourable circum- 
stances, be averted. 

" Cleanly habits must be promoted by every possible 

" Weak-minded children are often not devoid of all pride 
of appearance ; and this, judiciously cultivated, may be 
made a powerful lever in the upraising of good habits. We 
have known a case in which a tendency to destroy clothing 
has been overcome, not by attiring the child in sackcloth, 
but by providing for it a fashionable suit. 

" The mentally feeble child is specially incapable of 


How to Deal with the Incompetent Blind 

comprehending abstractions ; all instruction, therefore, 
must be presented to it in concrete form, which it can grasp 
with the hand as well as with the mind." 

As most of my correspondents agree, outdoor occupations 
and lessons are to be preferred wherever and whenever 
possible. Both physical and mental activities are often 
aroused by such healthy environment and work when 
indoor teaching and employment have failed. 

It is marvellous to what an extent the cultivation of the 
habit of exercising will poAver Mill be found efficacious in 
curing or eradicating peculiar movements of head and hands. 

I would specially wish to impress upon you my next 
quotation from Dr. Shuttleworth : " Care must be taken 
that recreation and relaxation do not degenerate into mere 
loafing. Suitable recreation must be supplied and insisted 
upon. Mentally deficient children are apt to be solitary. 
They have no idea of combination, even for games." And 
again, " The tactile function is not only the most general, 
but in some respects the most important of our senses, and 
in the normal baby its evolution takes precedence of all the 
rest. Impressions through the eye and ear are criticised 
through the sense of touch, and this natural development, 
so serviceable in the spontaneous education of all healthy 
young animals, must be imitated in our endeavours to bring 
up towards the normal standard the sensorial training of 
imperfect children." 

The out-of-school supervision should be in the hands of 
the teaching staff, and 7iever relegated to officers of the 
second class, such as attendants. 

I have long recommended the " peg board " as one of 
the best means of eradicating spasmodic movements of the 
fingers and inco-ordination in the use of the hands, and I 
am pleased to note that Dr. Shuttleworth considers this 
httle apparatus most valuable for such purpose, as also for 
developing the tactile sense. 

" In thus laying down," says the Doctor again, " these 
general principles of procedure, it must not be imagined 
that all cases can be treated in the same way. On the 


How to Deal with the Incompetent Blind 

contrary, it is essential to success that the teacher should 
study the individual peculiarities of each case and adapt 
the educational methods employed to the peculiarities. 
Mentally abnormal children may be broadly divided into 
two classes : (1) those who are dull and apathetic ; (2) those 
whose mental and nervous action is irregular. It is obvious 
that the rousing, stimulating regime suitable for the former 
is not the most appropriate to the latter, in which the 
inhibitory and co-ordinating functions require to be 
strengthened by exercise." 

Would it be possible to frame a stronger argument in 
favour of the employment of blind teachers for the incom- 
petent blind than this last quotation ? Nay, I might go 
further, and say that blind teachers might well be employed 
as the best possible educators of mentally deficient seeing 

On the question of the morally defective children I cannot 
dwell, but it is fully dealt with in the little book which I 
have mentioned and so freely quoted, and which again I com- 
mend to your consideration. I could heartily wish with Dr. 
Shuttleworth that, whenever an education committee sets 
aside a sum of money for higher education, for the benefit 
of those specially endowed, it would set aside a proportionate 
sum for the pro\'ision of instruction, by experts, of those at 
the other end of the mental ladder. Let us hope that the 
result of the recent Commission on the Feeble Minded will 
bring about this desirable end. 

And now, with your permission, I will pass on to consider 
the — may I say greater — subject of the incompetent adult 

I now come to the most difficult and complex part of the 
question " How to Deal with the Incompetent Adult Blind." 
Not only is it more difficult in the technical sense, but it 
is infinitely more difficult to treat of, owing to the fact 
that things are moving so ra2)idly in the blind world 
that any suggestions made now, in the month of Maj^ may 
be too late by the time this paper comes to be read — and, 
further, although I suppose I ought not to flatter myself 


How to Deal with the Incompetent Blind 

that anything I do or say will be of sufficient power to make 
an impression for good or ill upon our slowly moving Legis- 
lature, yet one does not like to throw anything, even a 
shadow, in the way if that august body really does mean 
to give real attention to some other matters than Home 
Rule and battleships. 

The term " incompetent," as applied to adults, has a 
very different meaning from the same term applied to 
juniors. In the latter case physical or mental deficiency is 
generally inferred, but not so in the former. Here, again, 
as in the case of juveniles, our watchword should be, wherever 
possible, " prevention." Those of us who have charge of 
technical schools and workshops know full well how fre- 
quently applications for places have to be met with the 
reply " No room," and that it is no uncommon thing for 
a pupil to leave school at sixteen and have to wait for 
years for a chance to get the technical training to fit him 
to earn a living. Or, on the other hand, when a vacancy 
does occur, and the friends are unable to pay the necessary 
fees, grave difficulties arise owing to the imwillingness on 
the part of higher education committees to exercise their 
permissive powers under the Education Act, 1902, Part II. 
Whilst acknowledging the sympathetic and ready action 
of some education committees in this direction, I deeply 
deplore the fact that others absolutely refuse to assume 
responsibility for such deserving cases — one I could name 
being that of one of our largest and wealthiest industrial 
centres, and the blind children, at sixteen, have been com- 
pelled to seek the aid of the guardians of the poor in order to 
obtain that Avhich their seeing brothers and sisters obtain, 
without question, from the education committee. 

From whatever cause, then, there be a break in the 
continuity of education, between the elementary school and 
technical training, should that break extend to any 
lengthened period, the chances of such blind pupil becoming 
a competent worker are proportionately reduced. It is 
impossible to over-emphasise this fact, and it is one of the 
strongest arguments in favour of technical training being 


How to Deal with the Incompetent Blind 

made compulsory, and not allowed to remain permissive, so 
far as education authorities are concerned. 

A blind adult, from a variety of other causes, may be 
unable to earn a living, and he is, therefore, as a self-support- 
ing individual, incompetent, whilst possessing all his physical 
and mental faculties. For instance, and this class of case 
is quite common, he may have lost his sight late in life, say 
at thirty to fifty years of age ; and, having never been used 
to manual occupation, or, at any rate, anything of a heavy 
nature, be unfitted for years to accomplish much in the way 
of wage-earning, however eager and willing he may be. 

It appears from the replies received to question 25 that, 
in most of our workshops for the blind, no discrimination 
is shown between the competent and incompetent so far as 
employment is concerned, though it is admitted that the 
wage-earning capacity of the latter is very low. It is quite 
evident, in fact, that, if we accept the standard laid down by 
those most calculated to inspire confidence in their deduc- 
tions as to what constitutes a competent blind worker, very 
few indeed would reach the border line of competence. 

To take a few examj^les, a superintendent of long and wide 
experience says a competent baskctmaker should earn 20^. 
to 30,s. a week ; matmaker, 15s. to 20^, ; pitch work brush, 
15s. to 20^. ; woman chair seater, 10s. ; knitting machinist, 
105. Another says, baskctmaker, 16s. ; loom mats, 12^. ; 
pitch brush, 125. ; woman chair seater, Qs. With this latter 
estimate the majority agree, and, I believe, at ordinary 
trades union piecework rates only, it represents a fair 
average. Those who favour the higher amounts have, I 
fancy, included augmentation, or have stated the amount a 
competent worker should receive — not earn — but all this 
should come out in the discussion, so I will pass on. 

I must confess I am somewhat puzzled by the replies to 
my next question, to which most of the answers are in the 
negative, although, in the previous question, I asked for the 
tninimum that should be earned by a competent worker. 

One gets at the root of the matter and strikes a truly 
pathetic, but practical, chord when he says : " Yes, in one 


How to Deal with the Incompetent Blind 

sense they are incompetent ; but, so far as good work is 
concerned, they are not. The one who earns the lowest 
•wages with us does the best work." 

It is fairly well agreed that the proportion of incompetents, 
judging from a wage-earning standpoint, is about one-third 
of the number employed, and where a uniform standard 
wage is not in vogue, as in Edinburgh and Glasgow, increased 
augmentation is given to the low wage earner. But I would 
observe, in passing, such a course is open to abuse, and even 
in its very essence is wrong in principle, seeing that in the 
very best such scheme, a sliding scale scheme, there is a 
point where the man who actually earns, say, 15s. lOd. 
receives more than he who earns 16*. To my mind it is a 
better method to give a lump sum to each worker, irrespective 
of his earning ability, as comj^ensation for blindness, that is 
to say, to reduce the handicap between a blind man and a 
seeing, and then let each earn as much as he can. At 
Henshaw's Blind Asylum we give 4*. per week in this form. 
Wages are paid on Friday and the compensation grant on 
Tuesday, so that the -is. comes in very handy if the previous 
week's wages are exhausted and supplies in the home are 
running low. In this way the very lowest wage earner 
gets 156'., and at least 80 per cent, get over £l. 

With one or tAvo exceptions, it appears to be the general 
opinion that it is undesirable to place incompetent workers 
in separate departments from the others. The arguments 
are chiefly based on financial considerations, " The expense of 
such separation would be too great, etc." But I must admit 
there is something to be said for the idea that the success 
of a smart man on the next plank stimulates to greater 
energy on the part of the slow worker. 

At the same time it must be borne in mind that some of 
the incompetents do really bad and faulty work, and this, 
when sold at any price, is detrimental to the best interests 
of the blind worker as a unit in the industrial world. 

Further, there is also such a thing as the slow worker 
being totally discouraged by the success of his next neigh- 


How to Deal with the Incompetent Blind 

I am not a little surprised to find that most workshops 
pay wages and augmentation all together at the same time. 
Probably those who prefer this method have sufficiently 
good reasons for such a course. 

Question 33. There is a general consensus of opinion 
that the Poor Law guardians, who are responsible for the 
feeding and clothing of sighted incompetents, should not 
be relieved of such responsibility simply because an incom- 
petent happens to be blind. In other words, money left 
for charitable purposes should not go to relieve the rates. 
Let it augment rate-provided relief as much as possible. It 
is a very mifortunate fact that many pension funds open 
to the blind are cursed with regulations which stipulate that 
no person shall become a beneficiary under such pension 
scheme if he has been, or be at the time, in receipt of parochial 
relief. How I should rejoice if this Conference could set 
wheels in motion to end this deplorable state of matters ! 
Is it not possible that our assembled wits can suggest a 
means to so desirable an end before we break up ? 

There is no doubt that incompetent adult blind of the 
physically or mentally deficient type, as also the hopelessly 
bad worker, should be provided for in homes, with careful 
and absolute segregation of the sexes. Here work of a 
suitably simple nature should be supplied, to prevent their 
living in idleness- — even though the work, when done, be of 
no practical use or value. The guardians should provide 
the home, and charitable funds or the Imperial Exchequer 
the rest. 

The home should be " run " by the local institution 
authority, and should not bear the stigma of the work- 

I maintain that there is nothing unreasonable in our 
assumption that it is the duty of the Legislature to provide 
the necessaries, and even some of the comforts, of life for 
those whom nature or accident has deprived of the power, 
either mental or j^hysical, to so provide for themselves. 

Amongst peoples that we, in our superior wisdom, are 
pleased to term savages or barbarians, a most efficacious 


How to Deal with the Incompetent Blind 

method of dealing Avith the unfit is in vogue. They are at 
once despatched as quickly as possible. We shrink with 
horror at the thought of such brutality, as we call it. But 
I to you in all sincerity, which is the more humane 
method, theirs or ours ? and I feel sure you will be bound to 
admit that the answer must be, in truth, " theirs." They 
reduce suffering to a minimum by inflicting a speedy death- 
bloAV. We, in our enlightened country, insist that the 
weakling in mind and body shall be tended and matured 
through a delicate infancy, endure privation and suffering 
through youth, and when it reaches maturity we turn it 
loose to reproduce its^kind and to multiply misery and 
suffering beyond measure. 

Therefore I say, again, the State that decrees that the 
incompetent shall live is bound by all the laws of logic and 
civilisation to see to it that such life is something better 
than a living death. We may all, I trust, hope for a practical 
solution of this great difficulty soon, seeing that care of the 
incapable blind is included in the Blind Aid Bill now before 
Parliament and the subject of inquiry by a special 

One of my correspondents writes : "A mentally defec- 
tive blind person most certainly ought to be in a special 
home, and not relegated to the union. There was an 
opportunity for Manchester to shine when preparing their 
plans about three years ago, by providing a special wing for 

I would like right here, as our American cousins put it, 
to say : We did provide a wing for 'em, and at the present 
moment we have from twenty-five to thirty full-grown 
chickens— not mentally defective certainly, but incompetent 
through no fault of their own^ — sheltering under that wing 
and leading a happy life in the Mary Ann Scott Memorial 
Home, and I will conclude my paper by saying to my friend 
already referred to, with all earnestness, and to all others 
here in similar positions: " Go and do thou likewise." 


How to Deal with the Incompetent Blind 

First as to Children under Sixteen Years of Age. 

1. The term " Incompetent " includes, I take it, 
" imbecile," " feeble-minded," " mentally weak through 
neglect," " physically defective, in addition to blindness." 

(a) Do you agree with this hypothesis ? 

(b) Can you suggest any other form of incompetence ? 

2. How many children who can be classed under any of 
the above heads have you at present in your school ? 

3. How many, approximately, have you declined to 
receive into your school, during the past five years, on 
account of any of the above-named forms of incompetence ? 

4. How many have left as unteachable, or been found 
unfit to go forward to technical training, during the same 
period ? 

5. Do you have special classes or lessons for defective 
blind children, or do you allow them to mix, in class and out, 
with the normal children ? 

6. What is your opinion on the question of segregation, 
where such is possible ? 

7. Do you apply any test as to the child's intelligence 
before you receive it into school ? If so, kindly give par- 
ticulars as to the tests j^ou use. 

8. What, to the best of your knowledge, becomes of those 
applicants whom you refuse as mentally or physically 
defective ? 

9. Before discharging a child as physically defective, does 
your medical officer certify the child as such, or is the 
evidence of the teacher considered sufficient ? 

10. It is considered by some that the peculiar movements 
of hands and head, so often noticeable in blind children, 
indicate mental weakness. What is your opinion on this 
subject ? 

11. Do you consider such movements tend to mental 
deterioration ? 

12. Many blind children suffer from inco-ordination in 
the use of the hands. What means do you take to remedy 
this defect ? 

c.B. 161 M 

How to Deal with the* Incompetent Blind 

13. What positive results have you obtained by such 
treatment ? 

14. In the course of my experience I have met with several 
cases of remarkable intelligence, combined with such 
complete inco-ordination in the use of the hands, as to 
absolutel}^ preclude the pupil from following any manual 
occupation. Have you come across such cases ? If so, 
what has become of them after school age ? 

*20. What is your opinion on the question of establishing 
an institution for feeble-minded blind children ? 

21. To what extent do you consider neglect during the 
early years of the life of the blind child conduces to mental 
and physical deficiency ? 

22. What is the average age of your pupils on admission ? 

23. Do you find mental deficiency more marked in those 
admitted over ten years of age than in those admitted 
younger ? 

24. What proportion of your pupils are blind from 
syphilitic causes, and what percentage of these are deaf 
also ? 


25. In the workshops, how do you discriminate between 
competent and incompetent ? 

26. What amount of wages per week do you consider a 
competent workman should earn as a minimum, given the 
opportunity to work ? 

As basketmaker ? 
Matmaker ? 

Bruslimaker, (o) pitch ? {b) drawn ? 
And woman as : 

Basketmaker ? 
Chair seater ? 
Mattress maker ? 
Knitting machinist ? 

* Questions 15 to 19 were cancelled as the subject they touched is dealt 
with in the Paper on the " Blind Deaf." 


How to Deal with the Incompetent Blind 

Swedish weaver ? 
Brushmaker (drawn) ? 

27. Would you class all who cannot earn these amounts 
incompetent ? 

28. What proportion of your workers would thus be termed 
" incompetent " ? 

29. How do you treat such cases in the matter of wages ? 

30. Do you consider it a wise suggestion that these 
incompetent workers, who require an abnormal amount of 
monetary and other assistance, should work in rooms 
separate from those who earn sufficient for their support ? 

31. Do you pay actual wages separately from augmenta- 
tions, or do you pay all at once ? 

82. Should any of your inefficient or incomjDctent workmen 
marry, would you favour the granting of further augmenta- 
tions in respect of wife and family if in distress ? 

33. It has been suggested that blind persons who, through 
physical or mental unfitness, cannot earn their living, or at 
any rate a reasonable proportion of it, should, like sighted 
people in similar circumstances, be chargeable to the 
guardians of the poor, and not constitute a continual drain 
on the finances of a blind institution. Please state your 
views on this suggestion. 

34. What other method of dealing with such cases have 
you to suggest ? 

35. How would you suggest that mentally deficient blind 
adults should be provided for ? 

36. Do you favour the idea of a residential home and 
workshops for them ? If so, to whom should the cost be 
chargeable ? 

37. Any remarks from any point of view on the subject 
" How to Deal with the Incompetent Blind," please. 

163 M 2 

How to Deal with the Incompetent Blind 


Mr. W. H. Thurman (Bii-mingliam). — Mr. Illingworth has 
given us a paper this morning on a problem which is most difficult 
to solve. It is one of absorbing interest, and of which only the 
fringe can be touched in the short time allowed for discussion. 

I am pleased to have the opportunity to express some of my 
views, especially in regard to the mentally defective blind. All 
will agiee that we are indebted to the writer of the paper. He 
will, I know, forgive my candour. On reading his paper about 
a fortnight ago I say at once that I was very disappointed. I 
expected something tangible — some concrete solutions of the 
difficulties in regard to the incompetent blind. In a word, I 
expected some suggestions as to their permanent care and control. 
Eighteen months ago I touched upon the question of the mentally 
defective blind in an article I wrote on " Trading Departments 
of Institutions for the Blind," when I stated : "It must not be 
thought that I do not possess sympathy with the dreaded spectre 
of the mentally defective blind, and of this I am quite sure, that 
many institutions have such cases, possessing conditions of 
extreme sadness, to deal with. There is, however, no disguising 
the fact, that a market does not exist for the products of the 
mentally defective blind. And quite apart from the point of 
trading, the question of morals ought to weigh heavily. All that 
can be done for this unfortunate class is on the charitable side, 
so as to alleviate wherever it is possible their troubles and difficvd- 
ties, which could be reduced to a minimum by segi'egation." 
Those words I endorse to-day. 

Mr. Illingworth says that we shall agi'ee with him that the 
Blind and Deaf Mute Act — I suppose he refers to the Elementary 
Education (Blind and Deaf Children) Act, 1893— is a dead letter 
in regard to the age of blind children and their first admission to 
school. My experience is that there are very few instances in 
which children are not sent as early as possible. It is generally 
a case of " no room " at the schools. As to the suggestion of the 
Union of Unions approaching the Board of Education by Depu- 
tation on the subject of defaulting Education authorities, a much 
better plan woiUd be to deal with the individual education authori- 
ties by corresponding with them as the necessity arises, and in a 
pleasant way issue an ultimatum to the effect that the Board 
of Education would be informed if the cause for complaint were 
not removed. One gentleman says that would be of no use. 
Well, we in Bii'mingham have tiied it, and it has been successful, 

Mr. Illingworth makes a statement on the top of page 2. He 
says : " Many defective children . . . mentally or physically." 
I do not agree with him at all when he says " many." Knowing 
a good deal about mentally defective children, both seeing and 
blind, I say emphatically that in the large majority of instances 
the defect cannot and never will be cured. What, then, is the 
position 1 I am not here to say what figures can prove, but I 
will give some dealing with the subject so far as the Birmingham 
Institution is concerned. In the last five years 156 pupils left 
the institution- — average 31 per annum. Of these 22, or 14 per 



cent., were distinctly mentally defective ; of the others 17, or 
11 per cent., were physically defective. None of these will ever 
become normal. Now is an opportune time to pass a resolution 
dealing with these children. Mr. Illingworth has informed us 
that something is going to be done. I should like to ask what is 
going to be done ? Is a wing to be put on to the ordinary Mentally- 
defective Colonies ? I rather think, from information received, 
that that is the proposition. If so, I should like to oppose it. \Vliy 
not approach the Board of Control appointed under the Mental 
Deficiency Act, 1913, who will look to us for a lead f Let us tell 
them that there are 480 mentally defective children in this 
country who are blind or partially blind, and that they ought to 
be placed in colonies on the Monyhull principle, quite apart from 
the seeing feeble minded. The accommodation at each establish- 
ment should be for 80. There should be one in the south, one in 
the west, a third in the Midlands, one in North Wales, another in 
the West Riding of Yorkshire, and a sixth somewhere around 
Durham. These should be established in the country. Three of 
them should be for males and three for females. The staff should 
be of the same sex as far as possible, for obvious reasons. 

Let Conference be active for once and pass a resolution on this 
subject which can be forwarded direct to the Board of Control. 
(Hear, hear.) 

A mentally defective child, whether seeing or blind, ought not 
to be in a class with normal children. It is not fair to the child. 
Neither is it fair to the child who is normal. Again, it is imfair 
to the teachers, and also to the parents. Parents of normal 
children object to sending them to school to be educated with 
mentally defective children, and rightly so. I know they have 
complained in Birmingham, and their complaints have been : 
" Before my child went to the mentally defective school he was 
all right, but since he has been attending there he is all wrong." 
He has probably copied the other children, and I sympathise 
with those parents. The children do copy bad habits ; to a 
greater extent than the lower grade are lifted up to the level 
of the higher grade. 

In these colonies which I suggest should be established for 
blind mentally defectives the following should be a general 
outline of their daily occupations : — 

They might, under seeing supervision, do dairy work, fruit and 
vegetable growing, cattle rearing, poultry rearing. In many ways 
the children, and adults too, could be found something useful to 
do. The schools for the blind now existing and the mentally 
defective institutions should be sorting houses for these colonies, 
and should generally deal with doubtful cases. 

Now a word, Mr. Illingworth, as to blind teachers of blind 
mentally defectives. I strongly disagree with you. Mr. Illing- 
worth tells us that a blind teacher makes the best teacher for 
mentally defective children who are blind or otherwise. In my 
opinion a teacher of such children needs six pairs of eyes if that 
were possible — I mean what I say. They require to be constantly 
alert, and even weak sight would be detrimental. Teachers of 
this class of children will agree with me, and especially those who 


How to Deal \vith the Incompetent Blind 

liave been engaged in the work for years. As to totally blind 
teachers being engaged as teachers of seeing children, this 
position is impossible and not worth serious consideration. It 
is time to speak out, and therefore I have done so. Of course 
there are glorious exceptions. There is one in Birmingham. To 
no one will I yield in my admiration of blind teachers, but the 
case of blind teachers of mentally defective children generally is 
another matter. As I have said, there are exceptions, but 
generally speaking such appointments would spell " failure." 

With regard to augmentation. If given at all, the defective 
blind should have the advantage. In his paper I am quite certain 
Mr. Illingworth points directly to Birmingham. He has reflected 
on our augmentation scheme. But he does not tell you the basis 
of it. He does not refer to Clause II. of the Scheme, and that is 
that we find out the ability of the worker before we fix his rate of 
augmentation. That puts a different complexion upon the 

As to pensions, I will cite what we have done. Under the 
Henry Stainsby Pension Scheme we have awarded a few pensions 
to deserving cases who are in receipt of parish relief on the distinct 
understanding that the guardians would not withdraw their 
weekly allowance to the recipients. I am pleased to be able to 
say in all instances the guardians met us in this matter. They 
sent us very sympathetic replies, and I say here as a compliment 
to them that there is not a better board of guardians in the whole 
country in their sympathy with the blind. 

Now, Mr. Illingworth, in regard to your mentally defective 
wing at Manchester. Time forbids me to deal at length with this, 
but I congratulate you on the fact that you are making a move in 
this direction. 

Mr. W. R. Wade * (Dublin). — As an Irishman I stand up to 
say a word about Ireland. I regret to say that Ireland with 
regard to the blind is in a terrible state. We have no less than 
one in every seven blind persons in the workhouse, and out of 
those there are only very few capable of being taught anything. 
Many of them are over sixty years of age. But some of them are 
able and willing to do work if only they could get it. Out of 
114 in the workhouses in Dublin I have only come across two who 
are there from any faidt of their own. I wish on this platform 
to deny the statement made in the House of Commons — I forget 
by whom — when it was said that blindness in the United Kingdom 
was on the decrease. At all events at the time of the last census 
there was an increase of 59 blind persons since the previous 
census in Ireland. And in the poor houses of Dublin on April 
2nd, 1911, there were 83 blind persons, and in December, 1913, I 
visited 114 blind persons in these workhouses. I think it is a 
disgraceful thing that something cannot be done for them through 
the State. I would suggest that the State should help these blind 
people to earn their own living. 

I would also like to point out that in Belfast there is a man 
about twenty-five years of age. He lost his sight by an accident. 
He was eai'ning a good wage as an accountant. He could do 
nothing but go to the workhouse. Fortunately the Belfast 



people found him and took him to one of the homes, and he is 
now earning his board and lodging by copying Braille books for 
that institution. That man is stone deaf and totally blind. I 
personally talked to him on his fingers by means of the deaf 
and dumb alphabet and I taught him in ten minutes to use the 
" Stainsby-Wayne " machine, and he could write the title of 
the book he was copying in that time. 

I would also like you to bear with me one second while I ask you 
what we are to do with the blind epileptics ? I have come across 
a case in my own district. The boy is fourteen or somewhere 
near that age. He is willing to go to work at baskets, but the 
institutions will not take him till he is sixteen. \Vliat is to be 
done for him ? The institutions of his religion will not take him 
because he needs a special attendant. I asked his parents to 
write to one of the institutions and state that they would not 
hold them responsible for accidents, but it was of no use. 

Miss Meiklejon * (St. Leonards-on-Sea). — I would like to say 
that, after twelve years' experience in the Hastings and St. 
Leonards School for Mentally Defective Blind Children, which is 
the only one recognised by the Board of Education, in the main 
I quite agree with what Mr. Illingworth says, and I would like 
to thank him for his paper. I only regret that I did not see any 
of the questions or have an opportunity of studying the paper 
until last night. One of the great things he mentions is the 
segregation of the children. I would like to make another 
classification of the incompetent blind, firstly into the permanently 
defective, who I think there can be no question should be cared 
for from the cradle to the grave — first in a special school and 
afterwards in a home for the mentally defective, in a blind class, 
not in a big colony or institution, but in a small home where such 
can receive the best of supervision. And secondly there is a very 
special class of mentally defective blind children whom I would 
term temporarily defective. And then I think we ought to give 
a warning to teachers. In my experience several children have 
been passed into my school from others who might have been 
greatly benefited if they had come earlier. I do not think that 
even a backward child can receive adequate attention in a school 
for normal blind children. It is better that a child shoidd be for 
a time the brightest boy or girl in a class of backward children 
than that he or she should be the dullest or slowest child in a 
school for normal blind children. My own opinion is that normal 
blind children are not treated as defectives as much as they ought 
to be. Then, as regards the teacher, I would like to say that 
I do not agree with a blind teacher having charge of mentally 
defective seeing children. I do think that the blind teacher 
is best for mentally defective blind children, but she should have 
a seeing assistant to act with her as her eyes. After twelve years' 
experience I may say that I never teach without such help, even 
if it is only a young student teacher ; I never teach without a pair 
of capable eyes in the room with me. 

And then, as far as the after-care of the blind is concerned, I 
may say that the du-e need for such a home as Mr. Illingworth 
refers to was so thrust upon us that under financial and other 


How to Deal with the Incompetent Blind 

difficulties we did establish a liome of our own — an after-care 
home — so that there might be no break in continuity between 
the training in the school and the training in the home. I think 
it is a terrible thing for a child to go out into the world and get a 
taste of liberty and then be brought back again. 

Mr. Charles F. F. Campbell (U.S.A.). — Just a word about the 
incompetent blind. We could say a lot about the child, but I 
will confine myself to the question of the adult. More than half 
the blind in this world have lost their sight after middle life. 
Now we are here, many of us, in the interests of the young blind, 
but we must not forget the adult blind, and it is an awful problem. 
Accepting, therefore, that more than half our problem is with the 
adult, we come face to face with the question of monetary relief 
for tlie blind, because they are so handicapped. Now I want to 
tell you what I heard in the United States. A very eminent man 
said : " Gentlemen, you pension not only in America, but all over 
the world, the man who cuts someone else's throat or who loses a 
limb in killing another man ; why not be as fair at least to the man 
who has worked at the work-bench and lost his sight in the fight 
for life." I do not advocate any particular system, but just as 
surely as I stand here the problem of monetary relief for the 
incompetent and for the competent blind man and woman is 
here and you have to face it. I stand here as a bit of a repre- 
sentative from a foreign country. You must not forget there 
are 100,000 blind people in America. The question of monetary 
relief was brought before us, and to the honour of the Committee 
be it said that that question is now being vigorously taken up. 
Do not dodge it. Fight together on it. I come here from only 
one State, the State of Ohio, with 5,000 blind persons. Our 
association covers an area of 200 square miles. That one State 
last year gave in the form of monetary relief to help the blind 
approximately £80,000. That is a step in the right direction. 

Now before I leave the platform I want to say this. In America 
the blind went forward irrespective of the sighted — that is the 
point — irrespective of the sighted and without their co-opera- 
tion, and because of that we have not got a wise, judicious or 
helpful system. We are going to have one, though. My associa- 
tion is studying the question. I say to you now, do be square and 
get together and each help the other. For heaven's sake, do not 
let the blind throw a rotten egg or a dirty brickbat at men who are 
trying to help them — and that is what they do. I was burning 
to speak for one minute only on that discussion about conferences. 
I myself unfortunately have had to be responsible for conferences 
for about ten years in the United States. And the one thing we 
have accomplished is this — that the blind and the sighted, the 
lion and the lamb if you please, have agreed to sit down together, 
and God l^less the meeting and work out our salvation together. 

Mr. P. Gray (Montreal). — I represent the Association for the 
Blind in Montreal. I was recently the head teacher at the Royal 
School for the Blind in Bristol, and I should like to congratulate 
Mr. Illingworth on his excellent and helpful jjaper. I early sat 
at the feet of Gamaliel. It was Mr. Illingworth who introduced 



me to the blind, and I know something of what he has done for 
them. When Mr. Illingworth speaks I think we all listen. Now 
we have great and grievous problems in Montreal to face. These 
problems are most difficult to overcome because all the blind are 
supposed by their parents to be incompetent. We cannot reach 
them. One of the best arguments I have in reaching them is 
by taking with me our music master, Mr. Austin, and by his 
reading and playing when there is a piano at hand. We find that 
we can reach them in that way. Then, too, we have concerts and 
ask those people to come to the school, and we are able to draw 
them in that way. There is no compulsory education system in 
the province of Quebec, and therefore we are " up against it." 

Now before I left Bristol I used to think that the decision with 
regard to defective children was very much left in my hands, and 
it ought not to be in one person's hands at all to decide whether 
a child is to remain after attaining the age of sixteen or whether 
he is to leave. It is a very serious state to be in. We want a 
consensus of opinion. I am sure that our own institutions could 
do a great deal more than they do in regard to this problem. 
They could have the incompetent blind in separate departments 
of the institutions when they are taken, as it were on approval, 
into the institutions. That is to say, we do not accept a great 
deal of responsibility if we are only dealing with the young. If we 
are going to carry them forward in our institutions such a system 
would fail. We ought to keep them until we are absolutely 
certain that they are defective and then weed them out. Then, 
and only then, will we be sure that we are doing all we can do for 
them. I have been most interested in the subject, and have 
found it ever so trying since I went to Monti'eal, but I feel after 
hearing this paper of Mr. Illingworth that I shall be encouraged 
and helped. And I should like to say that I think that in en- 
lightened England our teachers are very poorly represented at 
conferences. I used to fume and chafe against receiving all the 
news of what transpired at these meetings second hand, and I had 
to go to Montreal before I was. able to attend an International 
Conference on the blind in England. 

Mons. Eugene Bally (Switzerland). — If anybody is thankful 
to Mr. Illingworth for his excellent paper it certainly is the 
speaker, and I address you as President of the Swiss Institution 
for Feeble-minded Blind. I have been living with them for six 
years, and when anyone has gone through all the misery and aU 
the pitifid exj^erience with the poorest of the poor blind such man 
can be thankful to hear what is done elsewhere on this ground. 
And if to-day's Conference comes to a tangible resvdt with regard 
to the question of the incompetent blind, your General Committee 
which so valiantly arranged this beautiful Conference may well 
be proud of the result. Let me give you only a few notes. ^Vhat 
you want is an institution for feeble-minded blind in England. 
Do all that you can to establish it, and you will — I am quite sure 
you will — succeed. In Switzerland we began with a very little 

Mr. W. H. Tate (Bradford). — I beg to move as a point of order 


How to Deal with the Incompetent Blind 

that we adjourn tlie discussion till 2 o'clock. This gentleman 
could give us some very valuable suggestions, and I propose that 
we take it for the first item this afternoon. 

Mons. Eugene Bally (Switzerland). — In establishing an 
institution for the blind feeble-minded, take the children as young 
as possible, put them at two or three years into this institution, 
keej) them, and never leave them — keep them as adults and keep 
them to the end of their lives. That is what we do. We began 
with not more than £300, and in three years we have got to a sum 
of £10,000. Our establisliment exists, and if you have any interest 
in seeing our reports they are at your disposal. My sincere 
wishes go forth to a similar institution in England, and I shall be 
glad if to-day's meeting brings such a result about. My best 
wishes accompany all your efforts in this direction. 

A Voice : Mr. Chairman, I quite agree with what Mr. Tate 
has said. It is a very important subject. This afternoon there 
is only one paper, and it will not necessarily be a long discussion. 
With Mr. Tate's permission I will suggest that we continue this 
discussion after the paper is finished this afternoon. 

Mr. Pine. — Although we have had a long and exhausting 
sitting, I am sure you will like to stay a moment while I propose 
a hearty vote of thanks to Lord Manvers for so kindly presiding 
on this occasion. Lord Manvers has taken a long and hearty 
interest in the subject of the blind. He has been President of 
the Nottingham Institution ever since he has been Lord Manvers, 
and his father was president before him, and his grandfather laid 
the foundation-stone of the present building. 

{Discussion continued on jj. 195.) 


Pianoforte Tuning, an Occupation for Blind 

Friday, June 19th. 


Chairman : The Right Hon, Lord Southwark. 

As chairman of the Royal School for the Indigent Blind 
at Leatherhead, which I might say is one of the finest institu- 
tions of the kind in the world, and in connection with which 
we have also workshops, it gives me very great pleasure to 
preside over this gathering, especially as Mr, Philip Layton, 
who is going to deliver the address, is one of our old boys. 
In my opinion, and I know it is also the opinion of my 
colleagues, it is no good teaching the blind unless, after they 
have received a good education, employment can be found 
for them. In this I know I am supported by our very able 
and earnest principal, the Rev. St. Clare Hill, and also by 
my friend General Hill, the Treasurer, both of whom may be 
considered the very best and kindest friends of the blind. 

I am sure we are all very thankful to their Majesties the 
King and Queen for the practical interest they take in the 
welfare of the blind, and I have no doubt that this great . 
Conference which is taking place will also result in very 
great benefit in improving and developing the education 
and employment of the blind. And here I should like 
to say that unless we have employment education is 
very little good, for financial purposes at least. I hope in 
this country we shall receive the active and vigorous support 
of our new President of the Board of Trade, Mr. John Burns, 
whose work in connection with his last office was so greatly 
praised by his political opponents in the House of Commons 
last night. We know he has great sympathy with the 
people, and I am sure he would like to do great work in 
connection with the blind. Therefore I emphasise the fact 
that we want this question of the employment of the blind 
to be seriously taken up, and if the Board of Trade will come 
to our assistance it is practically certain that something 
beneficial will be done. 

Well, it has been my pleasure from time to time to pre- 


Pianoforte Tuning, an Occupation for Blind 

side over meetings of the blind, and I never wish to address 
more cheerful or more enthusiastic audiences. They are con- 
tented and happy. At one time I had the honovu" to repre- 
sent West Southwark in Parliament, and in those days 
there were a great many blind in the area, and of course I had 
to go on my knees and beg for their votes ; they used to 
give me a pretty good heckling ; I soon found that they took 
a great interest in public affairs, and although I hope I had 
their sympathy, and they had mine, still I want to say how 
they enjoy life and know how to be very practical. 

We have come this afternoon to hear an address from Mr. 
Layton, and the subject is " Pianoforte Tuning : An 
occupation for the blind, and how to make it one of the most 
successful." In introducing him I should like to say some- 
thing of a practical character, because I think that he fur- 
nishes a practical illustration of the fact that if you educate 
a blind man properly you can get remarkably good results. 
Mr. Layton has no objection, I am sure, to my telling you a 
little of his history. I find that he entered our blind school 
in St. George's Circus at the age of thirteen. He received 
a good general education, and at the same time he learned 
to make baskets, and also received a more or less general 
musical education under the late Dr. Murray. At the com- 
pletion, as he thought, of his school education he had the 
good fortune to meet Dr. . Afmitage in Norfolk, and Dr. 
Armitage, finding that he possessed musical talent, advised 
him to go to the Royal Normal College at Norwood. There 
he learned tuning and organ playing, and having completed 
his education in this Avay, instead of stopping at home to 
make the best of it here he went to Montreal. We are all 
very glad that his career in Montreal has been so highly 
successful. He went as a piano tuner. That piano tuning 
brought him in contact with various people, and he thought 
business and pleasure could be combined and took to selling 
pianos as Well. Now he is the head of an institution which 
turns over £40,000 a year. I can assure you that we at the 
Leatherhcad School are very proud that we had a little to 
dO' — or our predecessors had a little to do — with starting 


Chairman's Speech 

him on the road to accomphsh such splendid and useful 
work. He appreciated the benefits he had received and 
thought of his fellow-blind. He had the good fortune to 
marry a very good wife, I believe. He and his wife set to 
work and thought they would like to do something for the 
blind in Canada. They collected 100,000 dollars and 
started a blind school and workshops in Montreal. In that 
good work he had the assistance of that noble, high-minded 
and patriotic man whose loss we deplore, Lord Strathcona. 
That is Mr. Layton's history shortly told. 

I hope you will not think that I have intruded too long a 
speech, but the facts seemed so interesting to me that I 
thought they would be interesting to others. 

I have now very great pleasure in asking Mr. Layton if he 
will kindly deliver his address. 

Mr. Philip Layton * (Montreal). — As I am not an expert 
or rapid Braille reader, I will, with your permission, ask 
Mrs. Layton to read my paper. 





The Paris Institute for the Blind, that wonderful pioneer 
institution that gave the world the Braille system, has the 
honour, as far as we know, of first introducing piano-tuning 
as a profession for the blind about the \ear 1830. 

It would be a sheer waste of time for me to say but. very 
little as regards the practicability of piano-tuning as a pro- 
fession for the sightless. The blind everywhere have fully 
demonstrated their efficiency in this art. 

Why piano-tuning is specially adapted to sightless men is, 
that it is a work that appeals to the ear rather than the eye. 
Through necessity, the sense of hearing becomes very acute 
and accurate with the blind, hence the reason why they 
become so proficient as tuners. 

Again, there is such a gi-eat demand for piano-tuners on 
account of most people possessing a piano, there being 
probably in Great Britain alone forty thousand of these 
instruments sold annually. 

Although there is, of course, much competition in the 
profession, still it is not so great as with piano teachers. 

A strong reason in favour of piano-tuning as an occupation 
for sightless men is that people are not as a rule prejudiced 
against blind tuners, but, on the contrary, have the utmost 
confidence in them. 

Some of the most famous piano manufacturers specially 


Pianoforte Tuning, an Occupation for Blind 

employ a blind tuner to say the last word to an instrument 
before it leaves the factory, A perfect tuning means sun- 
shine to the piano, and this a blind man can do better than 
his seeing competitor. 

Mr. Edward Allen, Director of the Perkins Institute, states 
in the " Outlook for the Blind," that he visited a piano- 
manufacturing firm in Germany employing thirty blind 
tuners. I, personally, know of sev^eral manufacturers in 
Toronto who have from eight to ten tuners not possessing 
sight, while there are some who employ none but blind tuners. 

The demand for tuners is, and will be, greater than ever, 
owing to the invention of the player-piano which has made 
musicians of everybody. The silent piano is now a thing of 
the past. 

In my opinion piano-tuners could often be employed to 
advantage by organ manufacturers ; although it might not 
be possible for them to do the work inside the instrument, 
they could certainly sit at the keyboard and direct an 
ordinary mechanic to do this. 

Our church and concert organs would then probably be 
more evenly and scientifically tuned than they are at the 
present time. I have heard of blind tuners who wholly 
undertake to do this work, and there is a blind French 
gentleman in Montreal who has been successfully repairing 
and tuning pipe organs for many years. Of course, he uses 
an intelligent boy. 

I would suggest that j^rincipals of institutions try to get 
some engagements for their pupils with organ builders. 

Piano-tuning lends itself splendidly to the sale of pianos 
and organs. The tuner will get customers through his 
tuning connection, and also by advertising in the local 

I know of many blind men who sell quite a number of 
instruments annually and thus considerably add to their 

A regular showroom or shop is not necessary for the 
purpose. Instruments can be sold from the private house, 
thereby saving a great deal of expense. There are many 


Pianoforte Tuning, an Occupation for Blind 

people who would far rather buy their piano from a practical 
man than an ordinary dealer. All things being equal, 
the blind man generally gets the preference when in a 

I now come to the second jjart of my paper, namely, " How 
to make Piano-Tuning one of the most successful Occupations 
for the Bhnd." 

There are three classes of piano-tuners : first, those who 
tune in factories or Avarerooms ; secondly, those who attend 
to a tuning connection for a firm ; and, thirdly, the tuners 
who work up their own private connection. 

It is with the latter class that I specially wish to deal. 

To work up a private tuning connection is probably one 
of the most difficult problems that a blind man could have 
to face. 

He must have faith in liimself, otherwise how can the 
public have faith in him? and he must have the strongest 
desire to be free and independent, and no man can be this 
whilst depending upon his friends, in any way, for financial 
support. Without this desire is paramount in his mind, he 
is likely to give way under the hardships and disappoint- 
ments to which he will surely be subjected. But, with 
determination, he cannot but meet with success, if he carries 
out the following suggestions, which are largely my own 
personal experience. 

A young man must be careful as regards his personal 
appearance. He must see to it that his boots are well 
cleaned every day. Sometimes they will need cleaning two 
or three times. He ought to be able to do this work himself. 
His clothes must be well brushed and his linen spotlessly 
clean. If his eyes are disfigured he should wear dark glasses. 

If the tuner has a little sight his difficulties will be greatly 
lessened, but this paper is written chiefly for those who, like 
myself, are totally blind. 

Every young man starting out in life to work up his own 
private tuning connection should be provided with a guide, 
either by his friends or bj^ the institution in which he has been 
trained. In this way his progress will be more rapid. 


Pianoforte Tuning, an Occupation for Blind 

It probably costs £400 to educate the average piano-tuner. 
This, of course, includes his maintenance and general educa- 
tion ; therefore, it does seem regrettable, that for the sake 
of a few pounds, the institution should allow him to drift and 
absolutely to sink into idleness and wretchedness. 

An intelligent boy can be of the utmost value to a tuner 
in minor repairs. 

It is quite surprising how quickly a lad learns to do this 
work, but when it is not possible for the tuner to have a 
guide, he must then strike out for himself, and peg away 
until he can afford to pay for one. 

This brings me to a point of the absolute necessity of the 
institution training its pupils to travel alone. They ought 
to be encouraged and instructed to walk on the streets 
by themselves. This is as necessary as any part of their 
education. It is extremely wrong to keep young men and 
women shut up in a school from one year's end to another, 
depriving them of their freedom, and of the opportunity of 
mixing with people with whom they will have to get their 
living in after years. 

I attribute a good deal of my success to the fact that I 
have always been able to travel alone, but, of course, I much 
prefer to have a companion. Whenever I have had a diffi- 
culty Avhen alone, I have always met with a friend ready to 
lend a helping hand. I have travelled on several occasions 
unaccompanied from Montreal to London without any 
trouble. All that is necessary is attention to a few simple 

To work up a successful tuning connection it is absolutely 
essential to get about and be known, and it is impossible 
always to have a guide. A tuner probably cannot employ 
his boy after six o'clock, therefore he will often have to go 
out of an evening by himself. 

When he cannot afford permanently to keep a boy, he 
will have to use a little boy or girl after school hours to help 
him with his interviewing and other work ; and, again, if he 
has a piano to tune, he will have to get the child to take him 
to the house before going to school in the morning, and he 

C.B. 177 N 

Pianoforte Tuning, an Occupation for Blind 

must find his way home bj^ himself the best way he can, 
which will not be a very difficult task if he uses his brains. 
He will have to learn the art of using other people's eyes. 

I remember reading a paper given at the Manchester 
Conference on the Blind, 1908, in which the writer deplored 
the hardship of the poor l^lind in being jostled on the streets 
in Paris. It is a thousand times a greater hardship to be 
jostled out of your boarding-house because you cannot pay 
your bill. 

When tuning he must not leave without seeing the lady 
of the house and playing a tunc on the piano. In this way 
he will often pick up a good prospect for another tuning or 
the sale of an instrument. 

The tuner should always try to get his customers interested 
in him. Cards should be left with a request that they be 
given to friends. 

I once went to tune a piano, an annual, when I fomid the 
house had been sublet to a Dr. and Mrs. Howard, the latter 
being a daughter of Sir Donald A. Smith, Montreal's leading 
citizen, who afterwards became Lord Strathcona. 

I followed my usual custom, rang the he\ and asked to see 
Mrs. Howard. I told her I was anxious to know whether 
the pitch suited her — it was international. 

At her request I played the piano, and then told her I had 
come to Canada and was working up a business in Montreal. 

I showed her my diploma and the bag of tools presented 
to me as a tuning prize by Her Royal Highness the Princess 
Royal of England. I found Mrs. Howard very kind and 
sympathetic, and I said it woiild help me very much if I 
could get Sir Donald Smith's pianos to time. She promised 
to speak to her father about me. To my great joy, two days 
after I got a telephone message to go and time Sir Donald's 
pianos. One was a 1,000 guineas Art Stein way Grand, and 
the other a square piano standing in the Art Gallery. After 
this I had the privilege of having Sir Donald A. Smith's name 
on my card. Later, he purchased a seventy-fiAC guinea 
piano from me for the Royal Victoria College. 

Through this connection I had the honoiu- of selling an 


Pianoforte Tuning, an Occupation for Blind 

Angeliis Piano-Player to the Governor-General of Canada, 
Earl Minto, and in 1911, he, Lord Strathcona, gave me 
$10,000 to complete the $100,000 fnnd to erect a school in 
Montreal for the English-speaking blind. 

I could give many other illustrations of the advantage of 
getting well acquainted with your customer, but the above 
will suffice. 

If a young man can sing a little, it always helps him to 
become popular. It does not necessarily follow that he shall 
be an artistic singer or possess an angelic voic ; Chevalier 
has not got this, but he can please the people. 

A topical or humorous song is always welcome. Being- 
able to sing and play helped me very much at the start. It 
gets one known, and that is what is wanted. 

A silver plate bearing his name and profession shoidd be 
on the tuner's bag. This is the best possible advertisement 
he can have. The bag should always be placed in that 
position in which the plate is showing. 

It would help a tuner very much if he had a good public 
send-off. This should be done by the institution where he 
received his education. A concert could be given by a few 
pupils, and the principal or his representative could make a 
speech emphasising the superiority of blind piano-timers and 

asking the public to patronise Mr. . Two or three 

prominent people of the locality shoidd be asked to come on 
the platform and say a few words, but the great strength of 
the timer's success will be in personal interviewing, coupled 
with first-class work. 

Every name or prospect must be followed up with a call. 

A thousand circulars should be printed in letter form. 
These should be sent off in fifties, each being followed up by 
a personal call. 

Thus, the tuner calls at No. 1, Hanover Street, and asks to 
see the lady of the house. The servant will probably want 
to know his business. His reply will be that he called in 
reference to a letter. The lady then comes to meet him and 
asks to what letter he refers. After he has explained, she 
probably will say that they have a regular tuner, but he must 

179 N 2 

Pianoforte Tuning, an Occupation for Blind 

then be equal to the occasion, and tell her of the people he 
tunes for, the diploma he holds, etc. He asks to be allowed 
to try her piano over. It always interests him to see 
different instruments. If this request is granted he has 
scored a great point. One can talk far better when seated 
at a piano. If the instrument is not well in tune, he should 
point this out quietly to the lady and tell her how glad he 
would be to show her w^hat an improvement could be made 
in her piano. She may tell him she will talk it over with her 
husband, or will write him. 

He then calls at No. 2. The lady herself answers the 
door. She has no piano. He asks whether she will not be 
getting one. She may tell him she intends doing so next 

He will then mention Stokes and Sons, whose representa- 
tive he is, and speak about their beautiful pianos. This 
interview may mean five guineas in his pocket. He takes 
this name and address to Stokes and Sons, from whom he has 
previously obtained an agreement in writing in which they 
agree to give him 10 per cent, commission on all sales, where 
he has previously handed in the name and address of the 
customer, or personally taken the prospect into the ware- 

When he has got through the first fifty circulars, then 
another batch must be sent off, and so on until the thousand 
have been disposed of. 

He must call back again when he finds that the people are 
out. Evenings are always the best time for an interview 
when trying to sell a piano. The husband is then at home. 
The tuner must speak out and not be afraid. He is doing 
his duty in trying to earn his living — he will gain confidence 
in himself as he proceeds. It will be up-hill work at first, 
but after a few months he will then begin to reap the harvest 
of his labours. 

When making a number of interviews he must not trust 
to his memory, but must take short notes and revise these 
when he gets home. 

When making calls it is most profitable to know the name. 


Pianoforte Tuning", an Occupation for Blind 

This can generally be ascertained from the previous house. 
Of course, in good-sized towns and cities, one can always 
look up a directory. 

He must not talk on the doorstep but endeavour to get 
inside the house. 

The local musicians must be called upon. It is advisable 
to offer to tune their pianos free of charge, just to let them 
see his work. The name, and addresses of their pupils should 
be asked for ; two or three local testimonials will be most 
valuable on his circular. 

On account of musicians' influence a good reduction in 
charges to them should always be made. This procedure is 
also applicable to ministers, who should become the tuner's 
best friends. If he has the honour of tuning for the clergy- 
man, this will help him greatly with the congregation. 

If a young man's home is in a village, it is advisable that 
he makes his start in a neighbouring town and work for a 
radius of fifteen or twenty miles around. 

If a tuner has a knowledge of the staff notation and can 
play the piano a little, this will be of the utmost value, as he 
can give lessons in music. 

When I came to Montreal I got into a home, Avhere I taught 
two boys the piano as part payment for board and lodging. 
One of them is now my sales manager. But the tuner should 
give up teaching as soon as possible, for he will quickly find 
out that tuning and selling pianos is far more profitable than 

As he gets on his feet, he can buy up a second-hand piano, 
and after he has had it repaired can sell same at a good profit. 
He should advertise it in the local paper. He will often find 
that when people come to look at the second-hand piano 
they will purchase ni preference the new instrument in the 

Every tuner should carry a pocket diary. This is indis- 
pensable. It is a strong reminder of work that has to be 
done. The diary should be transferred every night, and 
unfinished work written in for another convenient date. 
These diaries can be bought at any stationer's for a shilling. 


Pianoforte Tuning, an Occupation for Blind 

A boy or some friend in the house can make the entries. A 
Braille diary might be arranged. 

Now I come to the subject of repairs — ^the rock on which 
the careers of so many tuners have been wrecked. Few can 
tell whether a piano is in perfect tune, but everyone knows 
whether a note is sluggish, whether it jingles, whether the 
pedal squeaks or whether a hammer or string is broken. 

If the tuner cannot do minor repairs or does not know 
how they are done, so as to direct others to do the work, he 
will be greatly handicapped, and I fail to see how he can 
possibly succeed. He ought to pass an examination for 
repairs, and I cannot urge too strongly upon our institutions 
the great necessity of well instructing their pupils along this 
line. The man who teaches repairs in a school should take a 
class regularly every week and deal with one special subject, 
illustrating the same. It is nonsense to say the average 
blind man cannot do the ordinary repairs of a piano. I know 
of a number of men without their sight, who, with seeing help, 
are able to do the most difficult rej^airs, such as putting in a 
new wrcst-plank, putting on a new bridge, re-covering a set 
of hanuners, or entirely re-stringing the instrument, etc. 

Men who undertake to teach this work in the school must 
have confidence in the blind, and should not perpetually say, 
" He cannot do this," and " He cannot do that." 

I am of the opinion that a capable blind num, who has an 
outdoor experience, and has a good mechanical ability, could 
with profit be employed one day a week to hel^) impart this 
knowledge :■ — 

First, because he would have the confidence of the pupils. 

Secondly, because he has faith in them, and can understand 
their difficulties, and therefore can teach the blind better 
than the average man with his sight. 

Mr. J. Alleock, 438, Liverpool Street, Seedley, Manchester, 
who has invented several ingenious contrivances to assist 
blind men in repair work for piano actions, writes me as 
follows :• — 

" I see no reason why the average blind person cannot do 
the same ordinary repairs on jjianos as a man with his sight." 


Pianoforte Tuning, an Occupation for Blind 

Mr. Allcock is a graduate of Henshaw's Institution for 
the Blind, and has a very large private tuning connection. 

What I have said above equally applies to the rc})airing of 
player-pianos — the introduction of which has greatly added 
to the difficulties of the piano-tuner, hence the necessity 
that institutions should be most thorough in this department. 

A young man with his sight from a neighbouring piano 
establishment, who has received special training in the 
repairing of players, could with advantage be employed for 
an afternoon or an evening a week to help in this branch. 

I recently received a letter from Mr. Edward Roberts, the 
blind instructor of the Tuning Department in the Columbus 
School for the Blind, Ohio, whom I consider to be one of the 
greatest authorities on tuning and repairing, in which he 
writes : — 

" I would say that the repairing of player actions is within 
the reach of some blind tuners, and even beyond the reach 
of some seeing tuners who are destitute of mechanical ability, 
for it is with tis, just as it is with all other men, the square 
peg is often placed in the roimd hole. 

" In connection with my school work I have made over 
many entire upright actions. For some time we have had 
two pianolas in oiu" school ; the one in the tuning depart- 
ment has been dissected and adjusted many times, for the 
benefit and advancement of oiu' students, and still the instru- 
ment remains in perfect order. The three yoimg men whom 
we graduate this year feel very well acquainted with it. 

" On first sight a player action looks like a ^-ery complicated 
bit of machinery, and would frighten an inexperienced hand 
into insensibility, but a little careful study, with the skilful 
use of a screw-driver, will soon bring a mechanical mind to 
see its secrets, and when once seen, the student will marvel 
at its simplicity." 

Advice to a Tuner. 

Dont walk into a lady's drawing-room with muddy boots. 
Remember, this is her sanctum. Wipe your boots well on 
the mat at the door, and see your guide does the same. 


Pianoforte Tuning, an Occupation for Blind 

Don't knock ornaments off the top of a piano, or off a 
table beside it. 

Don't scratch the piano when taking the front or action 
out, or putting them in again. Hurt your hand rather than 
disfigure the instrument. 

If you have a difficulty with the action do not be too 
proud to ask someone in the house to lend you the use of 
their eyesight. This is a thousand times better than making 
a serious blunder or botcliing up the work. 

Don't worry and fret when you lose a customer. 
Remember, you cannot j^lease everyone, and most of your 
customers have been taken from someone else. 

Don't make an excuse and stay at home when the weather 
is bad. A wet day is a splendid opportunity for a good 

Don't be discouraged if business is not coming your way, 
but give yourself a good scolding if you have not made at 
least twenty-hve calls that day to look up business. 

Don't stay away from your church, concerts, entertain- 
ments, or parties simply because you have no one to take you. 
Be your own pilot, and when you meet with difficulties on 
the way, do not be afraid to ask for heljD. Remember, a 
seeing person is more pleased to helj) you across the street 
than you are to seek their assistance. 

When help is proffered you on the street do not abruptly 
refuse it, otherwise you may so hurt a person's feelings that 
they may never offer to help a blind person again. Always be 
most courteous and thankful for every kindness you receive. 

Don't expect seeing people to do everything for you and 
you do nothing for them. 

Don't sit like a stuffed mummy when you are invited out 
to spend the evening. Sing, play, tell an anecdote, do 

Don't sit down and wish you were an organist or had 
learned a trade, but rather be thankful and know that you 
have the very best profession in your hands a blind man can 
have, and one that lends itself to greater possibilities of 
making money and friends than any other. 


Pianoforte Tuning, an Occupation for Blind 

The three P's are what you need, Patience, Pluck, and 

Don't be afraid to get into a conversation with a fellow 
traveller. This may often lead to business. Be liberal in 
giving away your cards. Remember, you are sure to meet 
with opposition which sometimes is unscrupulous. You 
must always be advertising yourself one way or another. 

Mr. J. L. Haworth, of Accrington, one of the largest piano 
merchants in Lancashire, a pupil of the Royal Normal 
College, and one of its greatest successes, used to start out 
bag in hand, even when he had nothing to do, and walk 
briskly in a certain direction as though going to execute an 

If you smoke, don't carry your ammunition in your pocket, 
and so make it necessary for a lady to ventilate a room after 
you have finished your work. Ladies will be your best 
friends, so it behoves you to study them in every possible 

Don't get offended and angry when someone makes a 
complaint about your work ; it may only be fancy on their 
part, which a little explanation will set right, but you must 
go and look at the instrument and rectify it, if w^rong. 

One of our leading piano-tuners in Montreal had a com- 
plaint from a lady to the effect that he had ruined her piano. 
She stated that the tone was altogether too subdued. He 
then put all the unisons out a little. This made her perfectly 
satisfied. You must humour your customers. A little tact 
goes a great way. 

In conclusion, be hopeful, be cheerful, be faithful to your 
opportunities, and remember that if you succeed you not 
only have helped yourself, but you have helped the great 
cause of the blind. 


Pianoforte Tuning, an Occupation for Blind 


Mr. Layton. — I thank you very much for the way in which 
you have received this paper. Of course I expected some criticism 
and shall have it, no doubt. I cannot expect everyone to 
think as I do. My Lord, you never knew of a family of, 
say, six boys and girls who absolutely agreed on every point. 
If you did, I would say that it must have been a very tame 
family, and a very uninteresting family, and I am afraid a very 
unhealthy family. But before I go further I want to say this, 
that we workers for the blind all over the world, from every nation, 
belong to one gi-and family working for one great cause. We 
may not all agree, we cannot all agree, but we are united in that 
we all want to uplift and better the condition of the blind all over 
the world ; in this we are united, and the rest does not amount to 
a row of i3ins. 

You have to thank Mr. Stainsby for this paper. He wrote to 
me at the beginning of the year, and I told him that I could not 
come. He wrote again and pressed very hard, and I told him 
I would write it, but could not come and read it. He pointed out 
that in that case it would fall very flat, and that such a procediire 
was against the rules of the Committee. To follow this up he got 
Mr. Wilson, the chairman of the Conference Committee, to write 
to me. Now I want to ask you this : Who could refuse two such 
gentlemen a favour or refuse to accede to any request made by 
Mr. Henry J. Wilson and Mr. Henry Stainsby f Anyone who 
refused two such giants in the work, who are doing so much for 
us, would need to have a heart of flint. 

I was thinking this afternoon, my Lord, if Mr. Stainsby had 
started j)iano trading on his own account what a successful man 
he would have been. He would have had to-day the largest business 
in the Empire, because whatcA^er he takes in hand he goes at it 
with all his strength and all his soul. Whether he is at the 
head of the Birmingham School or as the inventor of a type- 
writer for the blind, or whether at the head of the National 
Institute, it does not matter because he gives all his strength 
and soul. " Whatever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy 
whole heart, soul, mind and strength." This is what Mr. Stainsby 
has always done, and that is why he succeeds and why the National 
Institiite is making such good progress. Whether we are playing 
a game of cricket or a game in life, if we do not go at it in this way 
we cannot succeed. 

I am very glad indeed to be here to-day. When I wrote the 
paper it was only to help those starting as piano -tuners, but I 
hope what I have said may help those starting as piano teachers or 
in business. Get away from the beaten tracks. We do not travel 
the same as we did a hundred years ago, and if a man carries on this 
year's business on last year's ideas he cannot expect to succeed. 

You referred to my success, my Lord. If I have seemed to 
accomplish a little more than my friends, it is because I have had 
greater opportunities. I tried to get a living in England, but no 
one wanted a blind organist, though I managed to get a situation 
in Norfolk. Until I went to Canada I could not get on, but I had 
the opportunity of going to that most wonderful and greatest 



country in the world. And then, your Lordship, 1 had another 
great opportunity, and that was when I met Mrs. Layton. You 
have referred, Sir, to ray work for the blind in the province of 
Quebec, but I want to say that I could not possibly have done as 
I did without Mrs. Layton's help. She has been to me what 
Milton was to Cromwell. The cause of the blind has been as dear 
to her as to me. She has often sat at her desk from 7 in the 
morning till 12 at night. Mr. Stainsby knows, and you who are 
in the work know, what it means to work up a cause — the work 
you have to do is incessant. But I thank God we have prospered. 
I consider that every man and woman who are doing their best 
to be free, doing their best to earn a living, are doing as much as 
ever I did. For if we are doing our best, whether we succeed 
or fail we cannot do more, and a king can do no more than his best. 

The Chairman. — ^I am sure you will all have been delighted with 
the paper we have just heard, and I will say this, that I introduced 
myself to-day as the chairman of the Royal School for the Indigent 
Blind, but I also happen to be the President of the London Cham- 
ber of Commerce, and I think the paper would be almost as 
interesting to the business men of London, and those connected 
with commerce, as it has been to you. When I heard the address 
read I took my pen in my hand and j)ut a little mark against 
certain points which I thought some day I might use to give a 
little advice to those I may be addressing. 

Mr. J. L. Haworth^'- (Accrington). — ^The paper which has been 
so well read by Mrs. Layton and prepared by Mr. Layton deals 
with a subject that is well worthy of our consideration. Some of 
us who have been in emj)loynient for twenty-five or thirty years as 
piano tuners know that it is the best and most profitable, as well 
as the most suitable, occupation for the blind. Experience shows 
that a blind tuner who has been well trained can compete success- 
fully with those possessing their sight. If this paper has made 
this advantage clear, and will influence those who are responsible 
for the education and training of the blind to give better facilities 
for training tuners and repairers of pianos, it will have been 
crowned with success, and the afternoon will not have been wasted. 
Every opportunity should be given to the pupils to cultivate 
business aptitude. A course of commercial book-keeping for the 
blind would be a good asset to every blind tuner ; it would enlarge 
his capacities and stimulate his thought commercially. It has 
been said that business men are born and not made, but I know 
that business qualities can be acquired. What are the qualifica- 
tions that are most necessary "? I will give you three which I 
think are of great importance — imagination, ambition and dogged 
perseverance. With these backed up with a good, useful education 
and a good training, there is no reason why a blind man should not 
take his place in the world. I should like to say, my Lord, that 
the blind cannot be carried to success. They must make the 
start themselves, shape out their own careers, step forward, and 
not wait to be pushed on. Mr. Layton has shown the ladder 
and it is for you to place your goal on the topmost rung, and to 
climb that ladder for youi'selves. It is due to you to show those in 


Pianoforte Tuning, an Occupation for Blind 

authority that the money has not been wasted on your education. 
You must carry the flag of progress higher and still further than 
youi' predecessors, and show the world that blindness is no bar 
to business or to the highest professions. 

Now, my Lord, if you will allow me for one moment, I will be 
personal. Twenty-seven years ago I commenced business as a 
pianoforte tuner, and later stocked two or three pianos. To-day 
I have a stock of 120 pianos, and I pay wages to twelve employees. 
During January of this year I paid in rates and taxes £94. During 
the last twenty-seven years I have sold over 4,000 pianos. And I 
think I have fairly established one of the best businesses in Lanca- 
shire. And I ask you to bear in mind that I was not helped forward 
with capital. 1 started practically without any money, making 
my capital as I went. Last year my sales in pianos and other 
instruments amounted to about £10,000. Of course, we cannot 
talk of big things here like they can in Canada, but of us who have 
stayed at home some have done fairly well. All the pupils whom 
I know, and I know a good many, who have left the Royal Normal 
College, 90 per cent, of them are to-day self-supporting. 

Mr. C. F. F. Campbell (Ohio). — After the fireworks this 
morning I do not think I need more than a moment. For the 
last ten years I have been working among the graduates from 
schools for the blind in three great States in America, which have 
something like 800 pupils on their roll. And as one who works 
among them, I want to say that so far as I know I have rarely 
heard or read a clearer or a more helpfid paper than Mr. Layton 
has given to us this afternoon. I do not say this unkindly — I am 
guilty myself — but many of omi papers could be measured by 
volume in gas. They are like a lot of hot air, a lot of wind, many 
of them. Of course I do not refer to those that have been 
delivered at this Conference, but at others. 

The gentleman sitting at my side here is said to be one of the 
most beloved men in the United States, so modest that he will 
not allow his name to appear on programmes, and will not speak 
himself, and yet he speaks every moment to over 100,000 blind 
people in the United States. I refer to Mr. Walter G. Holmes, 
the editor of the Ziegler Magazine. I would like to say that I had 
the honour of coming here with him. He happened to meet us 
at lunch the day before we sailed, and he became so enthusiastic 
that he bought his ticket that night and came with us at 10 o'clock 
the next morning. Now the reason I have introduced his name 
is this : When I read the paper which Mr. Layton has contributed, 
I said it was the best thing I had ever read and that I should 
ask Mr. Holmes to put it in the magazine. When I got back he 
said, " Charlie, that is going into the next Ziegler.''' That is the 
way we do things in Yankee Land. We do not hold a lot of 
committee meetings about it. 

As I still have a minute, I want to say what was in my heart 
this morning, in honour to Mr. Stainsby, Mr. Wilson, and all the 
men and women who have assisted in organising this Conference. 
Now I have been the poor goat to run conferences in America^- 
I think that my wife gave her life for that work. It is cruel to 
any superintendent — 1 do not care who he i& — to say to him, 



" For the next conference we will come to Timbuctoo or Cala- 
mazoo, and you will be the titular man." It is not fair. Once 
in a lifetime is quite enough. There is a way to get out of it. 
I do hope that after the talk this morning, a British Association 
of Workers for the Blind may be formed, but if you cannot get 
that, for Heaven's sake at least employ a permanent Secretary 
and have him on the job until the association is formed, and he 
will be busy all the twenty-four hours. I know something about 
it. Now this is what brought me here. I believe, as you believe, 
profoundly in having the blind have confidence in themselves. 
The two men who have preceded me would never have been here 
to-day, with far more money than any superintendent in the 
room, if they had not had faith in themselves. I do not belittle 
that faith. Wlien boys go out of school to practise their different 
professions they find the world is not a bed of roses. It is not. 
It is the cussedest place to earn a shilling. There is a man waiting 
round the corner to do you, if you do not do him. I will give one 
illustration. A young man from a school for the blind came to me 
before I sailed and wanted me to help him get a job. He lived in 
a small town, and I said to him, '' When you go home, go and-offer 
to tune the piano of your minister for nothing." He nearly 
fainted on the spot. But it is good advice. When your boys go 
from school, tell them not to be afraid to do some tuning for 
nothing for the best man or woman in the town. Simply say to 
him " I want to show you that I can do the work," and that man 
will be your friend for life. 

Miss HECKRATir (London). — -There is one thing which I think 
is rather important although it is not actually connected with 
tuning. In the course of my experience among blind tuners I 
have found a good many of them take up copying Braille music in 
their spare time. Where duplicate copies are needed this is a 
simple matter ; but a real difficulty arises when first copies have 
to be made from sighted music, as it so frequently happens that 
reliable and accurate sighted dictators are extremely difficult to 
find. Is it not possible for technical instruction to be given to 
willing volunteers for this work °? 

Mr. Kreamer * (Stepney). — It gives me great pleasure to say 
a few words on this occasion, as I am an old friend of Mr. Layton's. 
We have just remarked that it seems but a few months ago we 
were playing together in St. George's grounds. We followed 
each other to the Koyal Normal College. I became a tuner and 
succeeded fairly well. There is one thing I should like to ask the 
authorities of institutions to pay more attention to, and that is 
to teach their pupils how to buy the pianos, and how to sell them 
to the public when they get out into the world. When I left the 
institution I knew nothing about buying pianos, and more than 
once I was robbed absolutely by maniifacturers who knew my 
ignorance and played upon it. \Vhen we are trained we should 
learn the whole thing from top to bottom. A young man who is 
being trained as a tuner and repairer of pianos should likewise 
be trained as a salesman, because I must tell you that the greater 
part of my own success has been due to the selling of pianos 


Pianoforte Tuning, an Occupation for Blind 

rather than to tuning them. As to the competition that a blind 
man has to meet with in East London, I will tell you a case that 
has just happened to me, and yoxi may imagine what we have to 
contend with. For twenty-six years I have been tuning the 
pianos for the St. George's in the East Board of Guardians. 
Some months ago I ran for the borough council as a Conservative 
and Unionist and opposed certain Eadicals of the constituency. 
To spite me these men have sacked me after twenty-six years, 
and they have not given the pianos to a competent tuner, but have 
employed an organ builder. 

The Chairman. — ^I do not think we can discuss these things. 
We must confine ourselves to tuning. 

Mr. Kreamer. — Well, my Lord, I endorse what Mr. Layton 
has said in every way possible. When I started in London twenty- 
seven years ago I had greater difficulties than he had, because 
blind people were not then allowed to travel on the Metropolitan 
Railway by themselves. That was a great hardship. I want the 
institutions to teach their men to walk alone in the street and not 
confine them in the institiitions. Let them mingle with the 
public to learn what the public is and to learn how to amuse the 
public. I joined clubs and I find that getting among card 
parties sometimes gets me tuning to do. 1 advise institutions 
to teach their people to go in for all kinds of sports as far as 
possible — -chess, card-playing, etc. With these few words I have 
very much pleasure in endorsing what Mr. Layton has said. 

Mr. Guy Campbell (Xorwood). — ^In the first place may I 
congratulate Mv. Layton and Mr. Haworth on their remarks. It 
is delightful to feel that they are both old students of the Royal 
Normal College, but for that reason perhaps Mi-. Layton will not 
mind his old master taking issue with him in the hope that some 
of his points may be more fully amplified. 1 was so delighted 
to find that he emphasises the importance of a cleanly appearance 
for piano -tuners. With I'egard to smoking, he says a man should 
not " carry his ammunition with him in his pocket," but he did 
not mention that he had the slightest objection to a man smoking 
up to the front door and dropping his cigarette ash on his waist- 
coat. I have frequently found that blind people will go about 
smoking and making themselves repulsively untidy, and therefore 
minimise their opportunities of having a successful interview or 
getting their tuning commended. I am not opposing smoking, 
but there is the proper time and place for it. If the blind man 
is not willing to recognise some of his limitations, as Mr. Lloyd 
has said, he is not going to be a big success. And one of these is 
that because of his blindness and its effects he must relinquish 
smoking until he is in the proper place. 

Another matter I want to refer to is that question of " after 
e:re." Of course, many institutions do what Mr. Layton has 
pointed out. He says it probably costs £400 to educate a blind 
person and it does seem very regrettable when it is found that 
this amount of money has been wasted. But it is impossible to 
keep these people all their lives. If you work on that principle 
you are doing what is not done for the seeing. Does Oxford or 



Cambridge or any other school find employment for its graduates f 
The idea is a magnificent one, of course, and it should be done 
whenever possible, but to blame institutions or workshops because 
they have not been able to get employment for all who have been 
trained there is unfair. I think it is worthy of the consideration 
of this Conference and the future Conference Committees whether 
a pound or so per annum should not be added to the fees charged 
to the education authorities or the boards of guardians on the 
understanding that this extra amount is to go towards giving the 
pupil a start in life when he leaves his school. 

With regard to going about the streets. It is a lovely idea, 
and those from the college know that it is encouraged there, but 
the conditions of the streets change every year and every day. 
What is the use of a tuner arriving at his destination smothered 
in mud through having been knocked over ? It will create a far 
more pleasing impression if he goes with a neat and attentive 
guide. I believe in independence. We encourage the idea more 
than any other institution ; but I do not like to see three or four 
blind people trying to potter along the streets by themselves and 
call that independence. It is cheek. 

Now the last point. Mr. Layton says something about playing 
the piano when you have seen the good lady of the house, and that 
this is a good way to please her. I think he has forgotten the chil- 
dren. Many a tuner have I helped by saying '' Always make love 
to the children ; do not go in for corrupt practices, but do not fail 
to have some chocolates with you." Next to making friends with 
the lady the best thing is to make friends with the children. 

Rev. St. Clare Hill (Leatherhead). — I stand here this after- 
noon in a sort of reflected glory. I wish I could say that Mr. 
Layton and Mr. Haworth were my pupils. They were before my 
time, but there is a reflective glory from those two men which I 
enjoy at the present moment. 

There are one or two points to which I would like to refer. 
First with regard to the paper which Mr. Layton has given us. 
As I listened to it I thought " what a lot of hints I am getting for 
my next sermon," so pre-eminently practical, teaching the every 
day things which I call the Christianities of life. It will be written 
out in Braille for oiir pupils to read. There is just one important 
point that has not been touched upon. I do think that those 
of us who are responsible for institutions should concentrate our 
attention more upon the choice of the person whom we allow to 
learn music and tuning. Pupils who present themselves for 
admission may say '' I want to learn music " or " I want to learn 
tuning." But how can we possibly make a success of a young 
man in those professions unless he possesses the capabilities which 
will respond to the tuition given ! So I urge you, not to permit any 
person to take up pianoforte tuning as a profession and business 
unless he has passed through a test to find out whether he has the 
necessary qualifications. Another point I should like to refer to, 
or rather accentuate, is the absolute necessity of a pianoforte 
tuner being ready to do ordinary repairs. We cannot exjject a 
lady to say, " We will have a blind man to tune the piano and 
next week will have another to repair it." One man must be able 


Pianoforte Tuning, an Occupation for Blind 

to do the two things, and if, unfortunately, the blind man cannot 
do the repairs, he goes to the wall. So I urge very strongly that 
all of us should make it a regular rixle in oiu* institutions that the 
person who is learning piano tuning as a trade shall also have 
mechanical capabilities, and if he does not show an evidence of 
success in that direction he should give it up and learn some other 

One other thing I would urge, and that is to have a class held 
weekly if possible when the commercial aspect of the whole subject 
can be discussed with the pupils. You have already heard a 
previous speaker say that he lost custom or was robbed because 
he did not know how to buy. Of course, how can a man know 
how to do these things unless he is instructed by somebody who 
has the valuable experience ? So I strongly urge that there 
should be this commercial class. If the teacher of tuning happens 
not to be a commercial gentleman, then call in a commercial 
gentleman, and give your pupils the education that it is necessary 
for them to have. 

I cannot sit down without saying how thankful I am that our 
dear old school has done such fine work in bringing forward two 
men such as you see here this afternoon, and I have every reason 
to believe that it has also brought out many other successful 
men, all of them proving that it is worth while to go on trying 
with the education of the blind. 

Mr. Greek* (London). — I am here this afternoon, not speaking 
for myself, but for the members of the Blind Social Aid Society, 
for piano-tuners, and for other members we have met with lately. 
A suggestion has been made which I think should be considered by 
institution officials. ^Mien teaching us tuning they should also 
teach us to buy second-hand pianos from auction rooms or else- 
where, bring them to the shop, and teach the blind to repair them 
thoroughly. They can then be returned to the auction room and 
sold. In this way you have no responsibility ; if the job is not 
done well, nobody knows and nobody has any responsibility, and 
every blind man can learn thoroughly all about repairs. Then I 
think all will agree that it is most necessary for blind people not 
only to learn tuning, but also to learn how to " chip up." Many 
blind people are in the factories and have to " chip up," and for 
some time they take considerably longer than a sighted person, 
but if they are taught, and have had practice, they can be made 
pretty efficient. Then, again, it is necessary for blind people in 
factories to know how to tone. Now, I learnt tuning at the 
Royal Normal College. There is nowhere that can teach it better, 
but when I first went to the factory I did not know how to tone. 
My employer said, '" Do you not know how to do it ? " And he 
took me in hand and taught me on an old piano. Now it is an 
essential thing for blind people to learn to tone. We could often 
get more work if we could only tone. 

Then again, a suggestion has been made that it might be possible, 
either for the National Institute for the Blind or for the institu- 
tions all over the countiy, to supply blind men with materials for 
repairing. It may not be known to most people that nobody can 
buy from ordinary trade places unless they have two trade refer- 



ences — ^I mean, of course, on trust. Many blind men at tlie begin- 
ning of their careers liave not tlie ready money to pay, and it is 
therefore necessary that the institutions or the National Institute 
should be able to supply blind men with materials and allow them, 
say, a month's credit. I believe it is possible for us to do it through 
the college, but I know of several places where the ex -pupils 
have not been able to do it. I think that is a point to be remem- 

I think also that besides making a blind person an efficient tuner 
he must be trained to be quick. As I have said, the Royal 
Normal College teaching is the best we can get, but we want more 
quickness. There should be less time spent on the piano. It 
does not matter if it is not quite right at first — let the pupils run 
through it and then give a rough criticism. So long as the pupils 
get quickness it does not much matter at first. In a factory they 
will be expected to do eight pianos a day. How many who leave 
an institution can do that ? 

Mr. Latton. — -In reply to my friend Mr. Guy Campbell's 
criticism, I would say that I am in hearty accord with him as 
regards the folly and foolishness of blind tuners getting themselves 
covered with cigarette ash. I thought I made it clear that the 
tuner must be particular in the first place about his personal 
appearance. I thought that would cover the question. As 
regards making friends with the children, I also agree with Mr. 
Campbell. I have often sold a piano through taking a baby on 
my knee and kissing it. (Laughter.) 

I do not like to go contrary to the principal of an institution 
to which I owe so much. But for the Royal Normal College 
I should never have been able to do what I have done either for 
myself or for the blind. Through going to the College I learned 
piano tuning thoroughly, and I learnt many other things there, 
and the Royal Normal College has made me what I am. But I 
cannot find language strong enough to go against Mr. Campbell's 
theory that the Institution should wash its hands of its pupils 
when their training is complete. The institutions may not be 
able to afford otherwise. I am not blaming the Institution. 
I am blaming the system. I want to give an illustration. A 
school is in the position of a manufacturer. What would be 
thought of a piano manufacturer who kept on making pianos 
and piling them up and never troubling about the marketing ? 
There are two sides, the manufactm^ing part, and getting the goods 
on the market. You have got to have different men for these 
two different departments. You want yom- mechanics, and for 
getting the goods on the market you want your commercial 
travellers, etc. If the institutions cannot do it singly, they 
should do it jointly. There should be an employment manager — - 
a man to get situations for the blind. Another point I want to 
mention is with regard to blind pupils in institutions being taught 
to be more independent. I mean every word I have said. I have 
been blind for forty-one years and have mixed with hundreds of 
thousands of blind people, and I know that our seeing friends are 
always willing to help us ; but there are many things we could do 
alone, if they would only let us. With regard to travelling, I 

c.B. 193 o 

Pianoforte Tuning, an Occupation for Blind 

still disagree with Mr. Campbell. I know London as well as I 
know Montreal, and I can go out of this hall and if Mr. Guy 
Campbell will bet me a thousand pounds I will take the wager, 
( because I want to prove the vital question in the interests of the 
ijlind), that I can find any address in the city of London, and that 
I can find it without a guide or a taxi-cab, and I will find it nearly 
as quickly as a man with his sight. I find in going about London 
now that it is easier to do so than it was twenty-five or thirty years 
ago. I will prove it. I used to come from the college and get off 
the train at Victoria Station, and take a bus there, and be put off 
at Tottenham Court Road and then walk to Euston Square. I 
could not hear where I was going ; the noise of the traffic was 
deafening ; there were no rubber tyres then, and the steel tyres 
made such a din that you could not hear anything else. Now as 
you walk along Euston Road you do not hear this deafening noise, 
and I maintain that although difficulties have increased in some 
directions they have lessened in others, and I would rather 
travel to-day with all the increased traffic. Of course, a blind man 
has to be very careful how he crosses the street, because if he gets 
knocked down he hurts the whole cause of the blind. But I 
maintain that the blind can go alone, and they ought to be trained 
in our institutions to do so. 

General Hill (Leatherhead). — Before we separate I wish to 
move a very hearty resolution in favour of our chairman for the 
able manner in which he has conducted the proceedings. Not 
only has he been a good chairman, but he has been very cheerful 
with it and has kept you in laughter. At the same time I take 
this opportunity, being connected with the Royal School for the 
Indigent Blind, of congratulating you on the fact that you have 
had before you two so very successful men who received a portion 
of their education at that school. It is a great credit to the school, 
and it may be of some use to you to know that there is a very good 
school, known as the Royal School for the Indigent Blind, at 

Mrs. Layton (Montreal). — It gives me much pleasure to 
second the vote of thanks to Lord Southwark this afternoon. 

Rev. E. G. Cocks (Plymouth). — May I ask you a question ? 
Seeing that a lady has put forward a question of some very con- 
siderable importance this afternoon touching the matter of the 
writing of Braille music, I should like to ask whether such music 
is also interpreted in Moon type, because there are two types in 
use among the blind, and if so, I do not think all the consideration 
should be given to the one. We have heard a great deal about 

The Chairman. — I was wrong to let the lady introduce another 
matter into the discussion. 

Rev. CocKS.^ — Thank you, my Lord. 

The Chairman. — I am very much obliged to ray friend General 
Hill for his remarks, and also to Mrs. Layton. It has been a very 
great pleasure to me to preside here this afternoon. And as 
regards Mrs. Layton, I should, of course, have been glad to allow 



lier to go on another half -hour. The paper was most interesting 
and instructive, and I am sure we have had a most enjoyable 

Now my business is ended, because I am the chairman for the 
purpose of this paper only. You are now about to continue the 
discussion of this morning on Mr. lUingworth's paper, and the 
chairman of the Conference Committee will take my place. 

Mr. H. J. Wilson (taking the chair). — Wc will now 
continue the discussion on Mr, lUingworth's paper. 

Miss CtARAway (London). — I want to speak, if I may, on one 
small point that was raised this morning. Mr. Illingworth alluded 
■ to the work we had done or to the results that we hope to get from 
the Mental Deficiency Act, and said he had been to the Board of 
Control and hoped something was going to be done. I felt I must 
speak because we — ^and when I say " we ' I am alluding to the 
Association of Teachers of the Blind, who have done everything 
in their power to safeguard the interests of the blind — ^we as an 
association approached the Secretary of State and asked that, 
in considering the case of the mentally defectives, the mentally 
deficient blind should be jjrovided for in homes of their own, and 
not scattered in homes for the mentally deficient where no ade- 
quate provision could be made for them. And in arranging this 
deputation we asked the College of Teachers for the Blind and the 
Smith Training College to co-operate with us. We urged that 
the juniors should be separated from the seniors, that the sexes 
should be separated, and that suitable homes should be provided. 
We were a little disappointed with the result of our efforts. When 
the regulations were published a little while ago absolutely no 
notice was taken of the blind or the deaf. These preliminary 
regulations were not in themselves a very important thing, but 
we felt that the Authorities should at least know whether the 
children they were going to train were blind or deaf. They 
should have that knowledge to work upon. So we made a further 
effort and endeavoured to insist that the forms should show 
whether the children were blind or deaf. I hope Mr. Illingworth 
is not too sanguine. I am afraid there is a great deal yet to be done, 
and it behoves us all to use every effort in our power to see that 
care is taken to obtain the greatest possible advantages for the 
blind under that Act. The Act says that suitable homes and educa- 
tion will be provided ; but it is the interpretation of that word 
" suitable " that is so greatly needed, and it requires very careful 
watching to get the right interpretation put upon it. We cer- 
tainly feel, as an association, that the work is not yet done, and 
I wish to commend it to the attention of all who have any influence 
to get the proper interpretation put upon the expressions 1 have 
just called attention to. 

Rev. E. G. Cocks (Pjymouth). — ^I think it is rather difficult 
under the circumstances for us to get back to the atmosphere 

195 o 2 

How to deal with the Incompetent Blind 

which was created hy the paper we heard this morning, and unless 
we can bring our minds back to that, I do not think that what I 
am about to present to this meeting is likely to have the effect we 
could wish. May I say, sir, that in connection with the paper 
read by Mr. Illingworth there were some points on which I wish 
to join issue ? He says on page 2 that there is a considerable amount 
of blame to be attached to education authorities. It seems to 
me, sir, that the blame, if there be any, is not so much with the 
education authorities as, in some instances, with the magisterial 
bench. It must be remembered that a child to-day cannot be 
received into a school until he is five years of age, and if he does 
not attend then it is the business of the attendance officer to see 
that he is sent. And the experience that some of us have on 
attendance sub-committees is that it is difficult to get the magis- 
trates to back us up. In cases where we have tried to get the law 
put into effect, from reasons of sentiment the magistrates were not 
prepared to give us the assistance we ought to have. And there- . 
fore it is not so much the education authorities as the magisterial 
bench who are to blame. 

Then another matter of importance is the statement that is 
made that hundreds of our incompetent blind have become so 
through neglect. That may have been so in the past, but it need 
not be so in the present, and we hope still less in the future. 

Ophthalmia neonatorum is now made a notifiable disease. There 
is, we are told, the greatest possibility of reducing some of those 
things in the way of blindness that manifest themselves in infancy 
almost to decimal nought. Again, the speaker said that most of 
those pupils who fail in the schools drift into the workhouse. I 
say emphatically that they do not. As vice-chairman of a board 
of guardians in East Stonehouse, I say that in that particular 
board, and in that particular house, we have not one single case 
of blindness in a hundred. I was making an inquiry on the same 
point in another district, and I find that in a house of 500 inmates 
not more than about 1 per cent, are blind in that workhouse to-day. 
I do not think, therefore, that it can truly be said that aU who have 
failed in their schooldays drift back to the workhouse. 

Again, if I may bring things to a practical issue, sir — and if I 
am out of order I submit to your ruling — we want to come to 
something like a satisfactory conclusion, and not, as the gentleman 
from the United States said, allow everything to end in gas. I 
would like to move this resolution : — ^" That in the opinion of this 
Conference the time has come when it is necessary and desirable 
that the mentally defective blind children should be segregated, 
and training schools specially set apart for them by local educa- 
tion authorities, as is done in the case of the ordinary mentally 

I believe that something of the kind is already being attempted. 
I think if it could go forth from this Conference that we desire to 
back up any work that has been done in that direction, we should 
not have met in vain, and that we should materially strengthen 
the hands of those who are trying to assist us with regard to the 
work for the blind. If you are prepared to accept that as a 
resolution I am prepared to move it. 



Mr. Kelly* (London). — I presume nobody will dispute the 
proposition that there has never yet been a paper prepared — and 
certainly I have never heard one read — that would not be the 
better for a little criticism. And I purpose very briefly to offer a 
little criticism on Mr. Illingworth's paper to which we listened this 
morning. As the last speaker said, it is somewhat difficult to 
get back to the atmosphere that was created this morning, but I 
trust my recollection is sufficiently keen to recall the statements 
that were made. Although the paper has been criticised by various 
speakers, I am of opinion that the criticism has fallen rather 
short of what the paper deserves ; for I venture to express my 
own opinion that the paper to which we listened this morning 
ought never to have been written, and therefore ought never to 
have been read. (Laughter.) My reason is that the title of the 
paper is in my opinion an entire misnomer. It is called " What 
to do with the Incompetent Blind " : that is, I believe, the title. 
Who are the incompetent blind ? Evidently the blind whom 
Mr. Illingworth had in his mind were children. (" No, no."') We 
were told by a subsequent speaker that the incompetent blind 
were half, or more than half, of adult age. Well, sir, I belong to 
that section. I am qiiite willing to accept all responsibility for it. 
I am, and I am not ashamed to own it, one of the incompetent 
blind by the verdict of all the best authorities. Now, sir, I say 
a paper that deals with that section of the incompetent blind for 
which the State already makes provision ought not to have been 
delivered in this Conference. Because we cannot move the wheels 
of the State, we cannot put the statutes into operation and see 
that the work has been done, and where it is not in operation 
everybody knows how to set the wheels going. But there was 
only one reference to the section to which I belong, and it was 
contained in a few lines at the conclusion of the paper. As I said, 
the State looks after some of the incompetent blind, but it does 
not look after all — it does not look after me, and I do not want it 
to. I do not advocate State aid. I do not oppose those who 
want it, but I am not pleading for State aid. I am endeavouring 
to impress upon those concerned with institutions that some of 
them at all events should take the advice tendered yesterday, 
and begin at the beginning. The incompetent blind of adult 
age have nobody to look to but the managers of the institutions 
throughout the country, and personally I have been rejected by 
at least half a dozen institutions I have gone to for employment, 
because I am one of the incompetent blind. It may be said that 
my age is against me. That may be so, but I do not recognise 
that I am incompetent. I am capable of working, and when I 
feel that I am no longer capable I will recognise that I am incom- 
petent, and there will still be a little work left for the undertaker. 
I have mixed a good deal with the blind of the various societies 
since I became a citizen of the blind world. I made up my mind 
to learn all I could about it, and I have lost no opportunity. I have 
come across many of those who have lost their sight late in life. One 
man I know went to an institution and wished to be taught tuning, 
but was told that he was too old, and that they did not take pupils 
over the age of twenty-one. He learned tuning subsequently and 


How to deal with the Incompetent Blind 

is earning his own liying now, but there are no thanks due to any 
institution for that. 

I wished to criticise the speaker further, but as I have used 
up my time I bow to your decision, sir, and leave the matter where 

it is. 

Miss Rose Petty (London). — ^I was very glad to hear one 
speaker say a good word for the education authorities, because 
in London, at any rate, children do not get overlooked. We have 
heard a good deal about the children not being admitted young 
enough, but that is often due to the fact that they are not certi- 
fiable as blind. Some are attending hospital and have hopes of 
regaining their vision. All that sort of thing helps to make the 
average age of children who are not attending school appear higher 
than it really is. But I do agree that we often admit young 
children who are not actually defective, but who are considerably 
behind the standard for their age, and we have to make up about 
two or three years' loss of time, which has been quite unnecessary. 
I have always felt that this was a thing for the Unions ; if they 
could get hold of the children before they were of school age, if 
the ladies would visit the cases and encourage the mothers to 
teach them as normal children, the work in schools would be 
easier. I was very surprised to hear Mr. Thurman say that 
of the children who have left Birmingham during the last five 
years 14 per cent, were mentally defective. That seems 
to me to be a very large proportion. In the normal ele- 
mentary school population the education authorities only allow 
for 1 per cent, of defectives. It shows how very serious this whole 
question is. 

Then I should like to emphasise Miss Garaway's remarks about 
grading the deficients. I feel we ought to have schools which 
would be more or less clearing-hovises where the children could 
be kept for a year or two until we find out how deficient they are. 

Mr. Peter Miller * (Hull). — I want to make myself heard. 
The difiiculty in this room, sir, all through up to now has been 
the hearing side for us blind people ; I am afraid some of them 
do not hear well. I represent Hull. Through the Rt. Hon. Thomas 
Ferens, M.P., and Mr. Tom Wing, M.P., I have the pleasure and 
freedom to come here to represent the blind of my city, where 
the National League and everything else was started to help the 
blind. We began in 1870 when the Education Act was passed 
for the sighted, and we worked away, as all the blind know. I 
was very pleased to hear Mr. Purse this morning, as I have not 
spoken to him for some years. I am out to agitate for the after- 
care of the blind. There are a hundred blind begging in the 
streets of Hull. The subject, as I understand it this morning, 
was that Mr. Illingworth is desirous of having better conditions 
for the blind. 

The Chairman. — The paper deals only with the incompetent 

Mr. Peter Miller.*^ — If you will let me, sir, for the few minutes 
that you are giving me, go my own way, I will try to get to what 
I Avant It took me six weeks to get here, and I should not have 



been here at all if it had not been for the gentlemen I have men- 
tioned and other friends. Bnt in representing Hnll I cannot 
say that I represent any but my own ideas. The Government 
has taken up the whole work of the blind up to the age of twenty- 
one, and now all that we have to do, as blind men, is to make a 
better condition for ourselves, to get more into line with each 
other, and to get the Government to make a better condition for 
the lot of us, which they are willing to do. The only way, sir, is 
by agitating, and I have come to agitate my ideas absolutely 
as I think. The first thing we want is more total abstinence 
among the blind. There is too much drinking. Whilst men and 
women have to get their living at the doors of publics and in 
publics, they cannot be free, and they cannot do what they would 
do if they had freedom. Now the nation is willing to make a 
proper grant, with moneys already left to us, to make a better 
condition for us. The first thing (Mr. Hirst advocates this, I know) 
is that we should have more bread and butter and less of what we 
call subterfuge. I am in accord with Mr. lUingworth's idea that 
the future work we are going to do is getting a better condition 
for om'selves. Let everything be national. In London you have 
1,220 blind people in the workhouses. The guardians in Hull 
have offered us parish relief, but we cannot accept parish relief 
under the present law. 1 wish to thank the Committee, and I 
wish to thank Mr. Hlingworth for his paper. 

Mr. S. E. Stevens (Liverpool). — ^Mr. Hlingworth referred this 
morning in his paper to the unwillingness on the part of some of 
the higher education committees to exercise their powers under 
the Education Act, Part IL We at Hardman Street find the 
same difficulty. The education committee prefers to leave it to 
the guardians, who, I am glad to say, generally come forward to 
the assistance of the blind. The blame is sometimes due to the 
indulgent parents, who often prefer, if the pupil is a girl, to have 
her at home at the age of sixteen. I have a case of that kind in 
mind. I have pleaded with the mother to have her child's training 
continued, but so far without response. As Mr. Hlingworth has 
pointed out, there is a weak link in the chain, and 1 honestly 
believe it would be a great boon if elementary training for the 
blind were stopped at the age of fourteen and followed by compul- 
sory technical training for four years. 

Mr. SuTHERBY (Hull). — ^I feel that I cannot let such a statement 
as that made by a recent speaker go forth to be commented upon in 
the Report without correction. Hi his remarks he stated that there 
are a hundred street beggars among the blind in Hidl. I flatly con- 
tradict such a statement. He is absolutely wrong in his figures. I 
quite agree with Mr. Hlingworth's remarks about blind teachers, and 
can quite endorse, from personal experience, that a blind teacher is 
the most capable person to deal with mentally and physically 
deficient cliildren. I have a case in mind, and I think it will illustrate 
what I want to put before you. The education authority in Hull 
some time ago received a blind girl aged sixteen from another blind 
school. Her report stated that she was mentally or physically 
unfit to be taught anything. The education authority wrote to 


How to deal with the Incompetent Blind 

my committee to ask if anything could be done for lier. After 
consultation the child was brought before the committee, who 
formed the same opinion as the education authority ; but I 
pleaded that the girl should be given an opportunity to show 
whether she could do anything by further training and tuition. 
And so the education authority made a temporary grant of 5s. 
per week for six months, so that this case, which had been rejected 
by other institutions, might be given a chance to earn something. 
I am pleased to say, sir, that to-day that case is proving most 
successful ; the girl can already completely seat a chair from 
taking out the pegs to finishing the chair. I think if blind 
teachers were used more in such cases we should get better results, 
for I am sure they have more patience and sympathy, especially 
with backward children, than the sighted have. 

I thank Mr. Illingworth also for a little hint which he threw out 
in his paper where he speaks of the augmentation of blind workers' 
wages being paid on Tuesday. This is a suggestion which I shall 
take home with me, for one frequently finds that by the middle 
of the week the money earned by om" people has been spent, and 
I feel certain that the payment of their augmentation during the 
week would be of great benefit and help to them. 

Mr. Tate (Bradford). — At this late moment I will trespass on 
your patience but to say a word. I think sufficient has been 
advanced this afternoon to justify my words at noon, that this 
subject is altogether too vast to be brought within the survey of one 
short session. I think the fact that of the blind children leaving 
the Birmingham institution in five years so large a proportion were 
incompetent shows that this question is a wide and far-reaching 
one, which is borne out fully by our experience in the North. I 
approve the resolution in a sense, because I feel that if we could 
have the considered judgment of the experts of this Conference 
focussed into a resolution that could be forwarded to the Board of 
Control it might materially assist them. 

The next point I would like to emphasise is that there should go 
forth from this Conference some recommendation to the Inter- 
Departmental Committee that it should appoint a sub-committee 
to specialise on this subject, to find out the grades of deficiency, 
how they have been occasioned, and to what extent any of the 
defects may be curable. I think it will be found that parental 
neglect is a very great factor in many cases, and once it is known 
that a defective blind child is in a district the education authority 
should be empowered, where necessary, to step in and adopt the 
child. May I give a case in illustration. 

A vicar's lady came to me and said : " What can we do in regard 
to a blind baby in my husband's parish ? It is said to be five 
years of age, but is still confined to the cradle, and the parents 
refuse to allow any of the neighbours to see it." She had tried in 
her own way to get into the house, but could not. I said to the 
lady : "If the child is five years of age, go to the education 
authority and urge them to put their- powers into operation." I 
have had many instances of defective children, not only blind, but 
sighted, whose defects have been clearly traceable to parental 



I should like to controvert the statement that the magistrates 
are to blame to any great extent. I happen to be one of those 
responsible for the administration of justice in a children's court, 
■ and in reference to sighted delinquents it has frequently been said 
by my brother magistrates : '" This child's defect is entirely due 
to its environment and the lack of parental care and control." 

I have read Mr. Illingworth's paper with great interest, but I 
deeply regret that his studies should have led him to include a 
laudatory reference to the inhuman ways of cannibal races. 
Fortunately for society and for civilisation we do not share his 
views. And well it is for many afflicted ones that we do not, for 
had we not had men of the stamp of Dr. Howe, Dr. Shuttleworth, 
and others, we should have had no Laura Bridgman or Helen 

Mr. Illingworth (Manchester). — I did not recommend that we 
should use the methods of barbarians. What I said was that 
their methods were preferable, and that if we allow defectives to 
live we should see to it that they live in some degree of comfort. 

Now, with regard to Mr. Thurman's criticism on the subject 
of the blind teaching the seeing, I think I was misunderstood. I 
said it would be well for the blind to teach seeing defective children, 
but you have to read that statement in connection with the para- 
graph before it, which deals with the development of the tactile 
sense. The blind can teach that better than the seeing. 

To those who adversely criticise my statement that the blind 
are the best teachers of the juvenile blind, I say, " Go to the schools 
and see for yourselves." I will not say what schools. I have in 
my mind now a college or university trained teacher who leaves 
the college or university with all manner of certificates, but no 
knowledge of the blind, seated before a class of blind children and 
professing to teach them action songs, say, and never stirring 
from her place, whilst the children in no semblance of order loll 
about the desks indulging in all kinds of mannerisms. In the 
next room is a blind teacher with a class of children in absolute 
order who are paying attention to everything that is going on, and 
she knows exactly what they are doing. I will not attempt to 
explain how they do it, but there are blind teachers who can tell 
whether the blind pupils are attending. I have had them in 
Edinburgh and in Manchester. One of the best blind teachers of 
tuning in the kingdom whom I know can tell whether a pupil has 
cleaned his nails and brushed his shoes. 

I thank Miss Garaway and Miss Petty very much for their 

Now, I am in a little difficulty. I do not want to exaggerate 
the position, but would like you to note that originally I had in 
my paper a distinct recommendation urging upon this Conference 
that it should pass a resolution asking the Board of Control for 
immediate action on behalf of the defective blind, and that I took 
it out simply because of the correspondence I have had with Sir 
William Byrne, the Chairman of the Board of Control, and further 
correspondence with the Association for the Feeble Minded, as I 
felt it would come badly from me to move such a resolution. I 
am quite willing that such a resolution shall go from this Con- 


How to deal with the Incompetent Blind 

ference, but I prefer not to move it. I think that you may take 
it from me that things are really approaching a very satisfactory 
conclusion, and it is not intended, I believe, that these institutions, 
establishments or colonies, or whatever you call them, shall be iii 
any way connected with the ordinary feeble-minded children's 
colonies or schools. 

Mr. Thurman. — May I ask if that is definite ! 

Mr. Illingworth. — I beUeve so. I cannot say more definitely. 
I know that many of these children who come to the blind schools 
as apparently mentally defective are, after a certain amount of 
hygienic treatment and proper feeding, able to take their places 
in ordinary blind classes, and if the prospective establishments are 
associated with institutions for the blind, the children will then be 
able to be drafted directly from the defective department to the 
normal department. Further, if such institutions are set up in 
connection with some of the larger blind institutions in the king- 
dom, the same stigma would not attach to pupils who were sent to 
them as if sent to a special feeble-minded school, because they 
would go to the blind institution in the ordinary way and would 
there be placed in the establishment-set apart for defectives. 

Mr. Cocks was quite mistaken when he suggested that I meant 
that some of the blind became defective through ophthalmia 
neonatorum. I did not mean that. The neglect I referred to was 
the physical and mental neglect after ophthalmia had done its 
work. His stateiuent that in a workhouse of a hundred ordinary 
people there was not one blind person is not to be wondered at. 
The proportion of the blind is only one in a thousand. But when 
he stated that in a workhouse of five hundred there were five or 
six blind persons, I think he helped to prove my point. I think, 
Mr. Chauman, that is all I have to say. I am very giateful to the 
Conference for the appreciative way in which my paper has been 

Mr. Wilson. — We have had a very interesting and important 
paper and discussion. Mr. Cocks has put into writing his suggested 
resolution, which is as follows : " That the Board of Control be 
informed that in the opinion of this Conference immediate steps 
should be taken to deal efi'ectively with the mentally-defective 
blind by creating separate establishments in convenient country 

This was seconded by Mr. W. H. Thurman, of Birmingham, and 
carried nem. con. 

Mr. Henry Stainsbt (London). — ^Mr. Walter Hanbury wishes 
to say a few words. 

Mr. Hanbury* (Brighton). — Last evening the Royal Deaf and 
Dumb Association gave a tea to its deaf-blind people at 419, 
Oxford Street. After the tea a most interesting incident occmred, 
which I think all who are here at this meeting of the International 
Conference on the Blind will heartily appreciate and warmly 
reciprocate. The chaplain, the Rev. F. W. G. Gilby, made a 
speech on his fingers to the deaf-mutes, who also spelt it on their 
fingers, I should say, to the deaf-blind there assembled. That 
speech referred entirely to the wonderful success of this gathering 



of ours, the International Conference on the Blind. And I think 
that before the Chairman reads the message which they asked me 
to bring to yon I ought to say all honour to the Royal Deaf and 
Dumb Association for the kindly remembrance of those who, 
perhaps more than myself, are doubly afflicted with blindness and 

The following message was then read by the Chairman : — 

''June 18th, 1914. 

" The Royal Association in Aid of the Deaf and Dumb, at a 
party of about eighty persons, all deaf and dumb (fourteen of 
whom were deaf-blind), passed a unanimous vote of sympathy 
with the great effort that is being made at the present time to 
raise the condition of the blind and wish to send a message of 
congratulation and goodwill to the friends who are gathering at 
the Church House. 

(Signed) " F. W. G. Gilbt, Chaplain." 

Mr. Tate (Bradford). — I think it would be nice if we 
returned to the association a letter of thanks reciprocating most 
heartily the good feeling that has been shown to the Conference. 

Seconded by Mr. W. M. Stone, Edinburgh, and carried. 

Friday Evening, June 19th. 

In the evening a grand concert was given at the ^olian Hall, 
New Bond Street, W. Admission was by invitation only, and, 
although the entire hall was reserved for members and delegates 
of the Conference, the accommodation was barely sufficient 
and many applications for tickets had, unfortunately, to be 

The programme was well varied and gave full scope to the 
performers to show their executive skill and artistic perception. 
Several works by blind composers were included. 

The choral items were sung by the junior and select choirs 
of the Royal Normal College, and, if it is permissible to single out 
any item for special mention where the whole was so excellent, 
the success of the evening was undoubtedly the wonderful render- 
ing of Hollins's " The Lion and the Mouse " by the children's 
choir. Signor Fabozzi, the bhnd Itahan pianist, also gave a fine 
performance and was warmly applauded. 

The artistes taking part were as follows : Soprano, Miss Ada 
Thornewell ; Mezzo Soprano, Miss Edith Wood ; Contralto, Miss 
Sarah Maden ; Tenor, Mr. William Turner ; Bass, Mr. Andrew 
Fraser, L.R.A.M., A.R.C.O. ; Violin, Mr. J. R. CoUacott ; Piano, 
Cav. Prof. Gennaro Fabozzi, Mr. Ronald Goiirley and Mr. W^ilfrid 
Kershaw, L.R.A.M., A.R.C.O. ; Organ, Mr. Horace Wathng, 
L.R.A.M., F.R.C.O., Mr. WilUam Wolstenholme, Mus. Bac. ; 
Accompanists, Miss Laubach, Miss Helen Liles, L.R.A.M., Mr. 
John Hunter, F.R.C.O., and Mr. Wilfrid Kershaw, L.R.A.M., 
A.R.C.O. ; Choir, Select and 'Junior Choirs of the Royal Normal 
College for the Blind, Upper Norwood, S.E. 


Le Braille et ses Modifications 

Saturday, June 20th. 

Chairman : The Right Hon. Lord Kinxaird 

The Chairman. — -Our subject, as you know, this morning 
is " Braille and its Modifications," and mentioning that 
name one feels what a deep debt of gratitude we owe to our 
French friends, who, as in other sciences, have put the 
world under another obligation by inventing a system of 
reading and writing for the blind which has become of 
world-wide fame and will be a means of communication 
between the blind all over the world. Therefore, as 
Englishmen, we feel pleasure in welcoming the representative 
of an institution in France who will speak on this question 
of " Braille and its Modifications." We feel also how much 
we owe to one in this country who did so much to introduce 
the Braille system here- — I refer to the late Dr. Armitage. 
It was my pleasure to know Dr. Armitage and many members 
of his family in connection with many charities, and we feel 
that his work in this country did a great deal to stimulate an 
interest in Braille reading and writing. If he could have been 
here to-day he would have rejoiced to find how the system 
has helped the blind, and would have wished that a further 
development of it should be a help to them in order that they 
might go forward in the various branches of trade and in the 
professions they follow, and so that they might keep in touch 
with the world and with that scientific knowledge so neces- 
sary to enable them to hold their own in the competition of 
life. We must all be rejoiced to see how many new avenues 
are now open to the blind, and I trust this Conference will 
give a fresh impetus to the further improvement of Braille. 

I will now ask Mile. Thevenin, of Paris, who has come to 
read the paper prepared by M. Perouze, of the Valentin 
Hauy Association ; he was miable to come to London and 
Mile. Thevenin has come in his place. 

Mr. Abseil, the Assistant-Secretary of the Conference, 
will read the paper, as the lady feels that her voice might 
not fill the room and she is anxious that everyone should 
hear in order to get full benefit from the paper. 



Monsieur PEROUZE, 
Association Valentin Haijy, Paris. 

A MAiNTES reprises, en France et ailleurs, une idee 
seduisante au premier abord a ete emise. !]^pris de 
logiquc et considerant que dans le syst^me Braille tel que 
I'a con9U son auteur, les signcs tres frequcmment usites ne 
sont pas tou jours ccux qui renferment le moins grand nombre 
de points, certains esprits ont propose de remedier a cet 
inconvenient en procedant a une classification " scientifique,^'' 
de fagon a obtenir un alphabet d'une ecriture plus rapide 
et aussi, disent quelques uns, d'une lecture egalement plus 
rapide, parce que le doigt aurait ainsi un moins grand 
nombre de points a toucher. 

Jusqu'ici cette idee n'a ete mise en pratique qu'aux 
Etats-Unis, dans le syst^me dit " Braille- Americain." 
Mais comme des efforts semblent vouloir etre tentes main- 
tenant pour la propager dans toute I'Union et m^me au 
dela, il nous parait opportun, a nous Fiancais, de dire 
notre mot dans le debat afm de defendre la conception de 
notre grand compatriote. 

D'ailleurs, nous ne sommes pas guides par I'esprit de 
clocher et nous pensons pouvoir donner mieux que de 
simples raisons de sentiment. 

L'avantage que procure dans la lecture un alphabet 
base sur la reduction du nombre des points n'etant mis en 
avant que par des personnes peu au courant de la question 
qui nous occupe, nous n'en dirons qu'un mot en passant : 
la lisibilite d'un texte en relief ponctue ne depend pas du 
nombre plus ou moins grand de points qu'il renferme : 
elle depend de la variete des signes et de leur position 


Le Braille et ses Modifications 

nettement determinee, evitaiit les confusions et les hesita- 
tion au doigt exeree qui saisit d'ensemble la forme des 
caracteres sans s'arr^ter a analyser leurs elements. Sous ee 
rapport, le Braille integral n'a absolument rien a envier 
a aucune autre syst^me. 

L'assertion relative a I'ecriture est autrcment serieuse 
et merite d'etre examinee de pres. II est incontestable, en 
effet, qu'une economic de points permet d'ecrire sensiblement 
plus vite. C'est la un avantage certain et appreciable. 
Mais il n'est pas aussi grand qu'on parait le croire et I'usage 
d'un alphabet particuli^re a pour les aveugles qui s'en 
servent des inconvenients graves. 

D'abord, I'augmentation de rapidite n'existe que dans 
I'ecriture a la main. Car dans les impressions et dans 
I'ecriture a la machine dont I'emploi se generalise de plus en 
plus parmi les aveugles qui ont besoin d'ecrire vite et 
beaucoup, le profit est nul. En second lieu, il est possible, 
meme dans I'ecriture a la main, d'obtenir un resultat 
identique par I'emploi d'un abrege facile et bien concu, 
voire meme d'une veritable stenographic." 

Ainsi done, I'advantage, bien que reel, se reduit, en fin 
de compte, a bien peu de chose ; est il suffisant pour compen- 
ser les inconvenients qui en resultent ? 

Si, apr^s avoir reconnu que les derives d'un signe genera- 
teur de trois points de hauteur repondaient parfaitement 
aux exigences du toucher tout en fournissant un nombre 
suffisant de combinaisons graphiques. Braille s'etait borne 
a choisir parmi ses 43 signes ceux qui convenaient le mieux 
a la langue francaise, surtout sous le rapport de I'ecriture 
jious aurions a I'heure prcscnte, au moins un alphabet 
parti culier pour chaque langue. 

Les relations entre correspondants de pays differents 
deviendraient, de ce fait, beaucoup plus compliquees, et 
I'etude des langues etrangeres offrirait souvent a I'aveugle 
une difiiculte de plus qu'au clairvoyant, parce que celui ci, 
deja plus favorise de bien des facons, n'a pas toujours 
besoin de s'assimiler un nouvel alphabet. 

Les musiciens, professeurs et organistes qui formcnt une 


Le Braille et ses Modifications 

categoric nombreuse parmi les aveugles, auraient, eux 
aussi, a souffrir d'un pareil etat de choses. Actuellement, 
ils ont la facilite, grace a I'alphabet imiversel et a remploi 
general de I'italien comme langue rausicale, de pouvoir 
aisement profiter des oeuvres de musique publiees partout, 
tandis qu'autrement ils seraient reduits, a nioins de se 
resigner a un surcroit de fatigue, a n'employer que la 
musique publiee dans leur propre pays. Bien plus, on 
verrait sans doute se reproduire en plusieurs endroits ce qui 
se passe aujourd'hui aux Etats-Unis oil les aveugles ne 
peuvent profiter des ouvrages cdites en Angleterre, dans 
leur langue meme, qu'a la condition de connaitre deux 

Par une heureuse intuition, et peut-etre aussi influence 
par le tableau de Barbier, Braille ne s'est pas contente d'un 
alphabet particulier a notre langue qui aurait eu certaine- 
ment quelques avantages pour I'eeriture de frangais, il a 
cherche et trouve un classcment fonde sur la symetrie, dotant 
ainsi les aveugles du monde entier d'un alphabet commun. 
Du meme coup, il a assure a son syst^me une fixite qu'aucun 
autre mode de classcment ne lui aurait donne a un aussi 
haut degre. 

II nous parait difficile de renoncer a I'ordre symetrique 
des series sans boulevcrser compl^temcnt le syst^me, et 
sans se priver par consequent d'un point d'appui relative- 
ment solide. On pent bien ranger les lettres d'une langue 
suivant la frequence de leur usage, mais on n'a pas de r^gle 
pour attribucr tel signe a telle Icttre, et Ton doit la plupart 
du temps proceder arbitrairement. 

Le principe de I'economie des points nc saurait en effet, 
donner une r^gle fixe et precise : applique dans toute sa 
rigueur, il conduit a la constitution d'une foule d' alphabets 
aussi peu lisibles les uns que les autres ; sans aller si loin 
et en tenant conqDte des exigences de la lecture comme de 
celles de I'eeriture, la m6me methode conduit neanmoins 
a un nombre considerable de groupemcnts alphabetiques, 
a peu pres d'egale valeur et dont pas un ne s'impose assez 
pour exclure irrevocablement les autres. En dehors de 


Le Braille et ses Modifications 

I'ordre symetrique, on tombc dans une variete telle, que tout 
derni^rement encore, la meme personne nous proposait a la 
fois 4 alphabets orthographiques et autant d'alphabets 
phonetiques, qui, au dire de I'auteur, offraient tout, a des 
degre divers, les plus grands avantages. 

Du reste, d'autres principes peuvent egalement ^tre 
invoques : il s'est rencontre, par exemple, a des epoques 
et dans des pays differents, deux hommes qui ont eu I'idee 
de faire choix des signes Braille ay ant vuie certaine analogic, 
assez vague, bien sou vent, avee les Icttres vulgaires pour 
en composer un alphabet ressemblant a celui des clair- 
voyants. Ceux-ei n'auraient eu dds lors, assurait-on, que 
pcu on point d'effort a faire pour corrcspondre aisement avec 
les aveugles. Inutile de dire le rble preponderant que 
joucrait la fantaisie personnclle dans dc parcils choix. 

En resume, le Braille, pris dans sa forme originale, est scul 
capable de donner un alphabet stable et convenant a toutes 
les langues. Les autres formes peuvent, il est vrai, offrir 
de legcrs avantages, notamment une rapidite un peu plus 
grande dans I'ecriture, rapidite qu'il est d'ailleurs possible 
d'obtcnir par un moyen detovn-ne, mais toutes ont un double 
et grave inconvenient : faites pour une langue, dies ne 
conviennent qu'a cette langue, ce qui revient a dire qu'elles 
isolcnt les aveugles. Constituees seulement d'apres des 
convenances personnelles, clles prescntent bcaucoup plus 
de prise a la critique qu'un ordre symetrique purement 
impersonnel et sont par suite plus exposees aux tentatives 
de revision. 




Association Valentin Haiiy, Paris. 
(Translation by A. Absell, Assistant Secretary of the Conference.) 

At various times, in France and elsewhere, an idea, 
seductive at first sight, has been put forward. 

Led away by logic, and seeing that in Braille as conceived 
by its author the signs in very frequent use are not those 
containing the smallest number of dots, certain minds have 
proposed to remedy this disadvantage by proceeding to a 
" scientific " classification, so as to obtain an alphabet of a 
more rapid script, and also,, some say, of an equally more 
rapid legibility, as the finger would thus have a smaller 
number of dots to touch. 

Up to the present this idea has only been put into practice 
in the United States, in the so-called system of " American 
Braille." But as it seems that efforts are now being made to 
propagate it throughout the Union and even beyond, it 
appears opportune that we Frenchmen should say a word in 
the discussion in order to defend the conception of our great 

For the rest we are not moved by any narrow-minded 
spirit, and we believe we can show more than mere reasons of 

The advantage in reading to be secured by an alphabet 
based on a reduction of the number of dots being only put 
forward by those who have little acquaintance with the 
question before us, we shall only say a word in passing with 
regard to it. The legibility of a text in pointed relief does 
not depend upon the greater or less number of the dots it con- 
tains ; it depends upon the variety of the signs and their 
precisely determined positions which obviate confusion and 

c.B. ?09 P 

Braille and its Modifications 

hesitation for the practised finger, which seizes the forms in 
their entirety without pausing to analyse their elements. In 
this respect the Braille character covets absolutely nothing 
from any other system. 

On the other hand, the statement with regard to writing 
is a genuine one and deserves closer examination. It is, in 
fact, incontestable that economy of dots permits of sensibly 
greater speed in writing. That is a certain and appreciable 
advantage. But it is not so great as people seem to think, 
and the use of a special alphabet has grave drawbacks for the 
blind who make use of it. 

First of all, the increase of speed exists only in hand work. 
In printing and in machine writing, the use of which is 
becoming more and more general among the blind who have 
to write much and quickly, the advantage is nil. Secondly, 
it is possible, even in handwriting, to obtain an identical 
result by the use of a facile and well-conceived abbreviation, 
to use, in fact, a true " stenogi-aphy." 

Thus then, the advantage, although a real one, amounts 
in the end to very little. Is it sufficient to compensate for 
the drawbacks which result from it ? 

If, after having recognised that the derivatives from a 
parent sign three dots in height fulfilled perfectly the 
exigencies of touch and at the same time furnished a sufficient 
number of graphic combinations. Braille had confined him- 
self to choosing among his forty-three signs those which best 
suited the French language, especially as regards writing, 
we should, at the very least, have had to-day a special 
alphabet for each language. 

The result would have been that the relations between 
correspondents in different countries would have become 
much more complicated, and the study of foreign languages 
would have offered to the blind one more difficulty than to 
the sighted, because the latter, already more favoured in 
many ways, are not always obliged to assimilate a new 

Musicians, both teachers and organists, who constitute a 
numerous category among the blind, would also have had to 


Braille and its Modifications 

suffer from such a state of things. Whereas now, thanks to 
the universal alphabet and the general use of Italian as the 
musical language, they are able to benefit by musical works 
published everywhere, whilst they would otherwise have been 
reduced, at all events withoutresigningthemselves to excessive 
labour, to use only the music published in their own country. 

Further, we should doubtless have seen reproduced in 
other places what is happening to-day in the United States, 
where the blind can only take advantage of works published 
in England, although in their own language, on condition of 
knowing two alphabets. 

By a happy inspiration, and influenced perhaps by the 
table of Barbier, Braille did not content himself with an 
alphabet specially for our language, which would certainly 
have had some advantages for the writing of French ; he 
sought and found a classification based on symmetry, 
thereby bequeathing a common aljjhabet to the blind of the 
whole world. At the same time he secured for his system a 
fixity which no other classification would have given him in 
so high a degree. 

It seems to us difficult to abandon the symmetrical form of 
the series without completely upsetting the system, and conse- 
quently without depriving ourselves of a relatively solid stand- 
point. One can arrange the letters of a language according 
to the frequency of their use, but one has no rule for attribut- 
ing a certain sign to a certain letter, and most of the time 
one must proceed arbitrarily. The principle of economy of 
dots will not in fact provide a fixed and precise rule ; 
rigorously applied it leads to the construction of a crowd of 
alphabets, each as little legible as the other : without going 
so far as this, and having regard to the exigencies of reading 
as well as of writing, the same method nevertheless leads to a 
considerable number of alphabetic groujiings of approxi- 
mately equal value, no one of which is able to imjiose itself 
sufficiently to irrevocably exclude the others. Outside the 
symmetrical order one falls into a variety such that, even 
quite recently, one and the same person suggested to us four 
orthographic alphabets and as many phonetic alphabets, 

211 p2 

Braille and its Modifications 

which, according to the author, all offered the greatest 
advantages in varying degrees. 

Besides, other j^rinciples may equally be called upon ; for 
example, we have seen at different times, and in different 
countries, two men who have each had the idea of selecting 
the Braille signs having a certain analogy, vague enough 
very often, to the ordinary letters, and of composing of them 
an alphabet resembling that of the sighted. Thus, .they 
assured us, the latter Avould have little or no difficulty in 
corresponding with the blind. It is needless to point out 
the preponderating rdle which personal fancy would play in 
arrangements of that kind. 

In sum. Braille alone, in its original form, is capable of 
giving a stable alphabet suitable to all languages. Other 
forms, it is true, may offer slight advantages, especially a 
somewhat greater rapidity in writing, a rapidity which, 
moreover, it is possible to attain by other means, but they all 
have a double and a grave disadvantage : made for one 
language they suit that language only, that is to say, 
they isolate the blind ; constructed only according to 
personal convenience, they are much more open to criticism 
than a purely impersonal, symmetrical order, and are 
consequently more exposed to attempts at revision. 




Mr. H. M. Taylor * (Cambridge).- — I think the reason that I 
am the first to be called to address you this morning is that I have 
the honour, and have had the honour for the last two or three 
years, of being chairman of the Book Committee of what vised 
to be called the British and Foreign Blind Association. That 
leads me to consider very often with my committee the question 
of printing books — in fact that is our chief duty — -not only on 
different literary subjects, but also on scientific work. 

I listened yesterday morning to some remarks on the question 
of whether this Conference ought to be called, and was properly 
called. International. I think the character of the paper we have 
just heard from M. Georges Perouze sufficiently justifies the 
Conference being deemed International. I am very glad of it. 
\Vlien I first became blind, twenty years ago, I tried to read a 
Moon book, and succeeded in getting to the end. But I found 
out very soon that I had no opportunity of getting books on the 
subjects that I take interest in, and that I could not write notes 
for myself, so I was led to learn to read Braille. When I tried 
to write Braille with a style I found that I was very clumsy, and 
made little advance in writing until I had the luck to hear of the 
Hall Braille writer. When I used this machine I found it extremely 
easy to write notes which I could read with very little trouble. 
After that I took to Braille in earnest. When I was first called 
into public life as a blind man thirteen or fourteen years ago 
and was subsequently asked to join a committee which was in 
co-operation with our friends across the Atlantic about Uniform 
Braille (that meant not uniformity among the French, Germans, 
Italians, and all English-speaking people, but for the latter only). 
I thought it was a capital idea when I heard the Americans had 
chosen those signs that have the least dots for the letters that 
occur most often in English. But when I found out that all the 
European countries had adopted the French Braille alphabet 
without any change, I thought it the duty of English people to do 
the same, and gave up the idea of Uniform Braille for English- 
speaking people contrary to Uniform Braille for the whole world. 
Some of our friends from America are here to persuade us that it 
would be a capital thing for a uniform system for English-speak- 
ing people to be introduced. I have come to the conclusion that 
it does not much matter what the alphabet is, but I think if all 
the blind people of Europe have the same alphabet, it is a pity for 
anyone, no matter how large or how influential a body, to try to 
make a change so that they should be diverse from the rest of 
the world. I am heartily glad that we have a paper of this kind, 
because I think it will be a splendid opportunity for our friends 
from different countries to express their opinions as to what they 
think of the importance of all languages as far as possible having 
the same Braille alphabet. If any blind person wants to study the 
language of another country, it is a great help to know the letters of 
the alphabet to start with. When the late Dr. Armitage had 
looked about to see what was done for the blind in other countries 


Braille and its Modifications 

he came to the conckisiou that Braille was the best type and 
imported it into England, and although the " w " of the English 
language does not come quite in its proper order, he did not 
attempt even to change that. He seemed to have a prophetic 
idea of the Entente Cordiale which was going to happen some day. 
I believe all the other languages have taken the French alphabet 
and punctuation marks, and that is an important thing when you 
want to read Braille in a different language. I sincerely hope that 
every person who represents a non-English-speaking country 
to-day will express his opinion candidly as to the importance 
of having the same alphabet as far as possible. I know it is 
applied to most European languages ; I have seen Spanish books, 
and books in Italian, French, German, and Danish ; I have seen 
Greek books too, but not modern Greek. Of the different Euro- 
pean languages the only ones that I can think of where the French 
alphabet was not adopted are Greek and Russian, and I hope they 
make use of it as far as it will go. That is what we have adopted 
in printing Greek classics and what some of us are aiming at when 
we attempt to print Hebrew. It is a great advantage to a student 
to have many of the letters the same as he has been used to when 
he takes up a new language. 

Mr. E. H. Fowler * (Uniform Type Committee, America). — It 
is a great privilege to be here to say a few words on the subject 
of Braille and its modifications. It is a subject which in America 
we are now approaching under the title of a Uniform Type. I 
wish to thank our friend across the Channel for the instructive 
paper we have just heard. I think the writer of the paper has 
treated the subject ably, and put it forth in as good a light, as 
possible. I must, however, say that on some points I cannot 
quite agree. One of these is that the modifications of the Braille 
system, which have been in existence chiefly in the United States, 
have meant nothing but dire misfortune. On the contrary, I 
think they have done a great deal of good. For one thing they 
have brought the different systems into competition and in that 
way have stimulated the invention of machines for writing and 
printing, and they have also stimidated printing itself, which 
has given the blind a larger amount of literature than they would 
otherwise have had. A few years ago — I do not know how it is 
now, but a few years ago, perhaps four or five — I had occasion 
to look up the amount of literature in the different systems, and 
found we had in America more works in each of our American 
systems than were shown in the catalogues of the British and 
Foreign Blind Association and the Craigmillar Press combined. 
For the last two or three years our presses have been slackening 
their efforts, looking for the Uniform System, and I presume your 
presses have been going on with gieater rapidity than formerly. 
I have the honour to be one of the representatives of the Uniform 
Type Committee. About a year ago we sent two investigators to 
England to conduct certain experiments in legibility, and I want 
now to congratulate your English and Scotch readers on the 
gieat number of remarkably good readers that you showed. 
But while these results indicated great skill on the part of your 
readers, they nevertheless contained within themselves good 



evidence that a somewhat better and more serviceable system 
can be devised, and the real test that is to settle the Uniform 
Type of the future is not symmetry, but service. These results 
have been printed in our reports, where anybody can find them, 
and we do not care to disregard them, because our constituents, 
to say nothing of our own consciences, would turn upon us and 
say, ■' Thou wicked servant, out of thine own mouth will I judge 
thee." But that is not the best reason for desiring the best 
system. We hear a good deal about the cost of printing books, 
but not much about the cost of learning and reading. You men 
who are in schools know what a large amount of the pupils' time is 
spent in learning and in reading and writing and how much it 
costs to maintain the schools. Putting the matter on a sordid 
basis, you will find that the cost of reading is very great, even 
compared with the cost of printing. This is not all. We must 
not forget the keener pleasure that comes from easy reading, 
the greater quickening of the mind, the lessened handicap and the 
greater efficiency. With these objects in view we have no right 
to rest until we have done the work entrusted to us so well that it 
will not have to be done over again. 

Mr. C. Arthur Pearson.* — -I have hstened with deep interest 
to the paper of the distinguished French BraiUist, and generally 
speaking I agree largely with the conclusions arrived at. I think 
aU of us who have to depend on Braille know what a deep debt 
of gratitude we owe to the large-hearted Americans who have 
devoted time, trouble, and money in the endeavour to devise 
a perfect system of tactile reading. But with every deference 
to them, and wishing to speak with the utmost good fellowship, 
I do not think the tail should wag the dog. The Americans are 
a great nation, and are growing with great rapidity, but they are, 
after all, only one of many nations, and seeing that the Braille 
type has been adopted, I think universally, by the other civilised 
nations of the world, it seems to me very important that its main 
constituents should remain unchanged. The BraiUe system is used 
universally. I do not say I consider it to be perfect. I think 
myself — though I speak with deference, as I have only recently 
been obliged to learn it — that if an alphabet of the kind were 
devised to-day less care would be taken to make it easy to learn 
and more to make it easier after the learning. But there, we 
have it. All nations have it, and I think we must stick to the 
Braille alphabet. As to the system as a whole, I think most 
people will agree with me in the idea that there can be no objection 
whatever to giving the most careful consideration to what I may 
perhaps call Grade III. Grade II. was adopted after much care 
and study, but I think that as Grade II. was an improvement 
on the old authorised Braille, so it is equally possible to devise 
still further improvements. The contractions might be made 
more numerous, and I think in many cases more serviceable, 
and I am sure that we should all — I do not speak only for British 
BraiUe readers, but for the continent of Europe generally — we 
should all welcome the opportunity of conferring with the repre- 
sentatives of the American Uniform Type Committee upon this 
subject. But we ought to approach the matter from the stand- 


Braille and its Modifications 

point of "leave the alphabet alone," not because it is perfect, 
but because it is a universally used alphabet. Members of the 
Uniform Type Committee are here now at the instance of the 
National Institute for the Blind. They had decided to come 
rather later, but we cabled to them, and they have responded 
by their presence to-day. I very much hope that all who are 
interested in Braille will take an opportunity of talking with the 
members of the Uniform Tyjie Committee and of going into the 
subject as fully as is possible during the time they are in England. 
As I said before, we on this side owe a great debt of gratitude to 
the Americans for bringing forward the subject. We realise 
their difficulties and deplore the state of affairs in the United 
States. We should welcome anything that would enable a free 
interchange of books produced in America and this country. 
I look upon it as a point of the utmost importance that books 
should be interchangeable. As Mr. Fowler says, the American 
output is much greater than ours, the reason being that in the 
past the Americans have had the advantage of greater financial 
resources. The resources of those who produce British Braille 
in future will be adequate to meet all demands. We shall be 
increasing in every direction, in quality, quantity and diversity, 
the output of Braille books, magazines and papers in a few 
months, and now is the psychological moment to discuss any 
pending changes. The saving of cost there is no need to dwell 
upon. Plates can be produced in both countries. It will be 
perfectly simple to have a committee in America and one in this 
country, and the members of these committees would decide 
what books should be produced on each side. The plates would be 
produced on or.e side and books printed from them. The plates 
could then be sent across the Atlantic and the supply of all but 
ephemeral literature would be practically doubled. I do hope 
that our friends will see their way to stepping down a little bit 
from the rather high platform on which they have started and 
join with us in a whole-hearted endeavour to make a uniform 
type which shall be usable on both sides, but which at the same 
time shall not interfere with the free and general use of the 
Braille alphabet throughout the civilised world. 

Mr. Jacob Koloubovsky (St. Petersburg). — Mr. Koloubovsky 
handed a written paper to the Chairman, who said — With refer- 
ence to Mr. H. M. Taylor's doubts about Braille as applied to the 
Eussian language, Mr. Koloubovsky, delegate from the Imperial 
Government at St. Petersburg, wishes to say that the French 
alphabet forms the basis of Braille in Russia. 

Mrs. George Wilkinson (China). — I thought it would interest 
you this morning to know how we can adapt the Chinese language 
to Braille. When you think that we have to learn thousands 
of characters to read Chinese classics, and over 4,000 to read the 
Bible, it seems impossible to teach the blind to read. But with 
the Initial and Final System we do that, and in South China we 
have three schools using that system, one for boys, one for girls, 
one (with a different dialect) where there are about thirty girls 
and women. I am glad to say I think this system can be used 



over the whole of China. I was asked by a missionary if I would 
adapt it to the Mandarin, and I found it was possible to read it 
perfectly well, and she was sure they would be able to use that 
system. I have here something that may help you to understand. 
In Chinese we have so many initials and so many finals, and with 
combinations we can make up 420 different signs. It is so simple 
that one boy who had never been to school was able to learn to 
read and write 8t. Mark's Gospel in six weeks. The British and 
Foreign Bible Society, I am thankful to say, have adopted it, 
and now print a book of the Bible each year. My name in 
Chinese is " Guang," the initial G, and the final " uang," which 
means a ruler. Now in our dialect we have seven distinct tones 
and combinations which makes it difficult. A very noted English 
Chinese scholar thought the devil had something to do with our 
dialect. Mandarin is much more simple. In the Foo Chow 
dialect if I want to say " mountain " I say " sang " ; if I want to 
say " I am very angry," I say " sang " (in a different tone). In 
the Chinese there is a character for every word, the " sang " 
meaning " mountain " will have three strokes, and the " sang " 
meaning " I am very angry " will have five different strokes, and 
you know by the look whether it is " angry," '• mountain," or 
" umbrella " ; but in the Romanised we add a tone mark after the 
word, and thus know what it means. (The speaker showed a 
chart and gave a number of examples.) 

I would like to say just one or two more things. You see 
(pointing to the chart) we do use the English numerals. I have 
started to teach English, have seven boys now learning, and I may 
say the Government has given the degree of B.A. to one boy for 
his knowledge of English, Braille, and Mandarin. I think if Mr. 
Murray were here to-day he would adopt this system, but all 
honour to him for the work he has done. I have just heard that 
a conference was held in Shanghai, in November last, and the 
English and American Bible Societies have decided to emboss the 
Scriptures for the whole of the Mandarin speaking parts of China 
in the Initial and Final System that was accepted by that confer- 

Mr. 0. H. BuRRiTT (Pennsylvania). — May I remind our friends 
on this side of the water of some contributions that we feel we 
have made and are making to this question of a uniform type and 
a good type for the blind ? I hope you will bear with me for a 
moment while I call your attention to some of the work done in 
America. I have only time to sketch it briefly. The New York 
Point system was worked out theoretically in the New York 
City Institution. The work done by Mr. Wait and others prac- 
tically enthroned the dot type, and drove out the line type that 
was in universal use. The American BraiUe system was worked 
out theoretically after much consideration and exjjeriment with 
English BraiUe, and was used by some of our American teachers, 
who came to England chiefly, if not wholly, to the Royal Nor- 
mal CoUege, and then went back to America taking that type 
with them, seeing advantages which they believed that New 
York Point had not, and a small group beheved it so thoroughly 
that they cling to it still. They felt at that time — we have 


Braille and its Modifications 

learnt much since then, and are learning now, I hope — there was 
much to be said in favour of the principle of recurrence, i.e., 
representing the letters that occur most frequently by characters 
containing the least number of dots. That method seems to have 
an advantage. The exiieriments of the Uniform Type Committee 
have proved to us that it does not possess the advantage that we 
supposed, but that it has some advantages has been proved by 
tests in New York Point, American Braille, and Enghsh Braille. 
In your own system the tests taken here last year proved that 
there is some help to be had from the principle of recunence. 
It remains to be determined whether that help would be sufficiently 
great to warrant a modification of your alphabet. May I remind 
you that in America we have 7,500 pupils enrolled in schools, that 
we are dealing with blind readers to the number of 100,000, that 
since 1879 the National Government has subsidised the Ameri- 
can Printing House for the Blind at Louisville, Kentucky, to 
the extent of £2,000 a year for thirty-five years, that the Howe 
Memorial Press at Boston has for years spent something like 
£1,600 a year, that the school at Philadelphia is spending £700 
a year in embossing books, and that one of our States (New York 
►State) is now annually appropriating £400 for the production of 
books ; that the Ziegler Association is doing a good work at a 
cost of £4,000 a year. We are thus expending £10,000 to 
£15,000 a year on books for the blind, but we are coming directly 
to the point that we want to know what is best. In America, 
as in England and Europe, we have done much theorising, but 
very little experimentation. We want to know before we go 
ahead in what direction we should go, and it is for that reason 
we are now raising money and have been expending money 
in experimentation, for we want to get at the facts. If those 
facts lead us in the direction of the English BraiUe, then we 
say " Amen." But we want the facts to lead us there, and 
that is what you want. And is not that the only satisfactory 
route by which to arrive ? We are not prepared any more 
than you are to accept all of your contractions. We are not 
satisfied, and you are not. But we do not know, and you do not 
know, what the errors really are. Our Uniform Type Committee, 
backed by the American Association for the Blind, has been at 
work since 1905, when the educators of the blind had become 
so exasperated over it that it could not be discussed at a con- 
vention. We have asked for criticisms, and have received 
them. They have been commendatory in the main. We can- 
not find very many vulnerable points in the experiments that 
have been conducted. We are coming to you if to you we 
must come. We are coming home if we must. But facts, let 
us have the facts ! And may I remind you that because a 
group of a few men, educators of the blind in America, be- 
lieved that English Braille had advantages in it that were not 
found in the systems in use in the United States, for that reason 
to-day there is a contribution very directly leading to a universal 
alphabet which looks hke an English Braille alphabet. If the 
small gioup of men and women had not started on this work we 
would not be so far forward as we are to-day. 



Mr. H. G. Oke * (Margate). — I am afraid I have not very 
much to add to what has ah'eady been said. I feel that as I can 
read a good many types I am in a position to say something with 
regard to the matter. I have been a reader of American Braille 
for about eight years, and I can read it with nearly as much ease 
as my own type, though not quite as much. New York Point I 
cannot read so well, but I can read all forms of English Braille. 
My teeHng is that the systems containing the fewest dots are not 
so easy to read, because the dots straggle and you cannot be quite 
sure what part of the letter they belong to. I can read it, but it 
takes an infinitesimal fraction of time to discover wliat position 
the dots are in. Therefore I feel very strongly that whatever 
system we have, it should be something where the positions are 
very definitely defined. Then, of course, another point I feel 
strongly is that we want a system we can all read. Take the 
question of music. There is a lot of music published in America 
which would be very valuable in England, but some of us cannot 
and some will not learn the system. Some have not the time. 
Songs, for instance, where the words come in : that is where the 
difficulty commences, and makes another argument for an inter- 
national system. In fact, I suppose there really are no arguments 
against it. The whole trend of the present age seems to be in 
favour of internationalism, and that is a point I feel I should 
like to emphasise. 

Miss Pearl Howard * (American Uniform Type Committee). — 
I f,eel that there is very little left for me to say at this time, but I 
am indeed proud to have the opportunity to let my voice be 
heard at this great Conference if by so doing I may help out the 
cause which is closest to my heart. We are seeking for the best 
for Uniformity. I do not think we are seeking for the best 
because it is the best, or because we want an ideal or a perfect 
system, but we of the Uniform Type Committee are trying 
earnestly, laying aside all preference and prejudice, to find what 
is best for Uniformity, and when we are satisfied in our own 
minds what that is, we hope to unite with the world on that basis. 

Mr. Percy W. Merrick * (Shepperton). — I have two points 
I should like to bring to your notice. First, that a perfectly 
uncontracted system, where the alphabet is uniform throughout 
the world, is very useful, because everybody can get friends 
and relations who can see to learn that system, and can correspond 
with them on important matters, such as family affairs, which 
they do not want to go through the hands of secretaries. That 
is a good reason for a sijnple alphabet, while the blind themselves 
have their shorthand and stenography, which has to be adapted 
to every language because one system will not fit two languages. 
In Esperanto we have no contractions, and we find it easy to get 
people in all countries to learn the system and to write books for 
us. A gentleman from Finland told me that in their country 
they spoke two languages, as there were the Fins and the Swedes, 
who are practically cut off from each other, but they have their 
Braille, and they can find people who will write their letters and 
will also write books for them, because they have no Braille 


Braille and its Modifications 

contractions. Now in Esperanto several Americans have taken 
it up simply to correspond with other Americans who did not read 
their particular point system. I have known one or two readers 
of American Braille who learned Esperanto in preference to New 
York Point. Several Americans write to me in Esperanto ; they 
say, " I dare not write in English Braille, but I can write in Esper- 
anto, and I want news from England." I think I must now 
make room for another speaker. 

Director J. A. Lundberg * (Stockholm). — I only want to say 
a word. In accordance with the kind exhortation of Mr. Taylor 
I feel bound here to bear a simple testimony for the blind of 
Sweden as to our attitude towards the system of the immortal 
Louis Braille. As belonging to a small nation I have no right to 
interfere in the modern world of the great Powers (" Yes, yes,"), 
the world of England and America, the world for the rest so filled 
with noble sentiments — I have no right to impose on this Confer- 
ence the opinions of our humble nation. (Applause, and cries of 
" Yes.") I have, however, a duty as a blind man indebted to 
the Braille system for so miich, to confess my pure, my never- 
failing faith in the undivided Uniform Braille. (" Hear, hear.") 
It is my duty to remind you of the sentence, often, but never too 
often, heard, " Unity (that is, here. Uniformity) gives strength." 
(•' Hear, hear.") I think personally that it will take years, cen- 
turies, before the system of Louis Braille will be equalled or 
surpassed. (" Hear, hear.") 

The CiiAiRMAN.^ — I am sure the Conference is very glad that 
Herr Lundberg did speak, for we want to have the opinion of the 
smaller countries just as much as the larger ones. 

Mr. Eandolph Latimer * (Baltimore). — -I do not come to 
you from America only but from Maryland. Maryland was the 
first British colony which, while you over here were taking off 
the head of Charles I. was passing a law granting religious freedom 
to every one of its citizens. We are tolerant people in Maryland, 
and I take it that you are fully as tolerant as we. It seems to me 
that we are approaching one goal from different view points. 
You want British Braille as it stands, if possible, to be the Uniform 
Type. We, basing our views upon experiments made upon 
1,200 readers and upwards, find that we cannot accept, as it is, 
any one of the three major systems now in existence as being 
capable of becoming the Uniform Type. There are manifest 
advantages in British Braille- — that goes without saying. There 
are manifest advantages in American Braille- — ^that goes without 
saying in Boston and Philadelphia. There are manifest advan- 
tages in New York Point — that goes without saying in New York, 
North Carolina, Ohio, and Maryland ; in fact, in 60 per cent, of 
America. There are twice as many readers of New York Point 
in America as of British Braille here. There are more readers 
of American Braille in America than there are readers of British 
Braille here. But the Uniform Type Committee faces a three- 
cornered position. There are three systems, and each claims 
superiority. British Braille has a slight advantage in legibility ; 
New York Point in economy of space and writeability. How 



far these different points are of practical value is a matter, to 
some extent, of opinion, but also of experimentation. I regret 
that the major pajjer presented before us to-day, while it was in 
many respects an excellent exposition of the question from the 
view point of the British Braille alphabet or the Louis Braille 
alphabet, gives us no data whatever as to any experiments made. 
It makes sweeping assertions as to the inadequacy of any recurrent 
basis. The Uniform Type Committee has for a number of years 
been making experiments. It has determined that the principle 
of reciirrence has value. The experiments which proved American 
Braille to be below British Braille in legibility show that the 
principle of recurrence did bring the system up high in legibility ; 
whereas certain confusions in form^ — ^the introductions, for instance, 
of the American Braille " N " which is the British " ing "^ — -confuse 
that character with the letter " U " ; the corresponding character 
for " P " was confused with " M " ; and many other confusions 
resulted. But we want, ladies and gentlemen, to get at uniform- 
ity. We want to go along the lines of compromise, not in a spirit 
of controversy. We want criticism and careful co-operation in 
the study of the question, and it is hoped that the proper authority 
in Britain will appoint a committee which will receive the findings 
of our committee and pass upon them. Remember that to say 
we want miiformity is to say that we want an alphabet that may 
vary very slightly from yours, and we hope that some day that 
will also be the alphabet in every country as well as of Britain 
and America. I thank you for your attention* 

Miss E. J. diFFEN (Washington).^ — -I wish merely to state that 
the National Library for the Blind, incorporated in 1911, uses only 
the English Braille. We have taken this because we expect 
to exchange our books. We are an international library, and 
have taken English Braille because other countries can then 
exchange books with us. 

Mr. Herbert Warrilow * (Oxford). — I am sure we all thank 
M. Georges Perouze very much for his paper, and I think he has 
made two strong points. The first is that we want an alphabet 
that shaU be international, and if you have an alphabet based 
upon mechanical or experimental statistics, you have an alphabet 
which must vary with the languages. And the second point is 
that if you have such an alphabet you inevitably invite change, 
which is a thing we are seeking to avoid. I must also call atten- 
tion to the comparison between the New York Point readers in 
America and the British Braille readers in this coimtry. I think 
the comparison should be made between the New York Point 
readers in America and the Braille readers in Europe. If the 
comparison were made in this way there would be a great many 
more on this side. I must say also that we are very heartily 
indebted to the Uniform Type Committee for their conscientious 
work, and we should thank them very much for all they are doing. 

Mr. W. M. Stone (Edinburgh).— I merely wish to say, on 
behalf of some of the British delegates, that we have heard what 
our charming American friends have to say, and we not only 
hear what they have to say, but we receive it with the fidlest 


Braille and its Modifications 

sympathy and close no door. We hope when we have accom- 
plished what some of us have in our minds, the formation of a 
British Association for the Blind, that we may be able to consider 
the matter more in detail and hear them further. 

Mr. W. M. DixsoN * (Oxford).— I only want to say that I 
think, after all, with regard to the war between us and America 
—the civil war^ — ^that the matter is bound to be settled by the 
best existing system. It will always be settled by the best 
existing system, and we are not going to try to devise a perfect 
system, because we might be doing nothing else. After all, the 
way the question is going to be settled, in my opinion, is by reduced 
international postage. I believe that will cause such an influx 
of books in the best system that that system will win in the end. 
And, of course, when later on we get our Government aid in this 
country, and our Government printing-house, perhaps matters 
will be very much changed. 

* * * 

Mr. Stanley Hedger (Sydney). — Before I read my paper 
I should just like to say a word. Owing to the number of 
speakers I could not get an opportmiity yesterday. The 
question was raised as to whether this is or is not an Inter- 
national Conference. Well, I ask, if anyone has come as 
far as I have to attend it, what is the answer ? 





Read by Mr. STAN. HEDGER, 
Manager's Assistant and Librarian. 

In every country philanthropy has thrown its sheltering 
cloak around those with whom the light has failed. Once it 
merely gave them doles. The doles kept them in food and 
clothing and shelter, but did nothing to help the idleness of 
the sightless. The aimless charity that once helped them 
along was as the blind leading the blind — and it led nowhere. 
The afflicted rich enjoyed the maximum of bodily comfort, 
but in the absence of some concrete and mentally satisfying 
and physically useful occupatioa, their increased activity of 
mind was a further punishment. The poor who have never 
enjoyed the culture which teaches automatic restraint of 
passion no longer strained to achieve it, for they knew a 
sympathetic world forgave almost any offence of the blind. 
To-day there has been evolved, out of the chaos of sentiment 
without rule or specific end, an organisation of treatment 
with a substantial motive as the present and ultimate goal. 
In every civilised community there is at least one institu- 
tion guided by capable students of the problem of satis- 
factorily handling the blind. They are men who have 
mastered its psychological and material perplexities, and 
though their methods may differ in detail they have the same 
end, viz., to impress the blind with the conviction that they 
have a distinct place of utility in the home or industrial hfe. 
That feeling begets confidence in its sense of self-reliance, 
boldness and courage, and the lamentable and the lament- 
ing blind person ceases to creep, frightful and fretful and 
clinging, and instead walks with the steadying knowledge that 


Sydney Industrial Blind Institution 

he is not without a useful niche in the universe. He has been 
fired with a new sense of self-reHance. He is fearless in the 
street, often walking briskly and unerringly without a guide ; 
within doors he is master of all rooms and corners and when 
not industriously employed, reads and writes or plays games 
of cards, chess, dominoes, etc. The new teaching which has 
given him self-confidence has redeveloped his manhood. 

Philanthropy knows perhaps no more pronounced victory 
over distress than this, and it is gratifying to find that in 
Sydney (Australia) we have an Institution for the Blind which 
for comprehensiveness and methods may be ranked among 
the most useful institutions in the world. There is also an 
institution for the juvenile blind, but its admirable work is of 
an elementary nature. Our Industrial Institution is charged 
with the handling of all blind persons over sixteen years of 
age in the State, and in its thirty-four years of existence it 
has grown to be of immense value to the community. What 
that means is clear from this simple fact, that the institution 
has employment for every blind person, male or female, of 
working age, and a home for every friendless female, and also 
one for boys over fourteeen years of age in New South Wales. 

It is an institution which teaches independence through 
industry. Thrift and industry are always admired, even 
among those well endowed with this world's goods, but how 
much more must we admire the spirit of those who desire 
that the sorely handicapped blind shall earn their living, and 
shall not depend on charity, which though perh'aps warm to 
the giver, is after all cold and dispiriting to the receiver, 
tie matter how appreciative he or she may be. The Sydney 
Industrial Blind Institution is endeavouring to make the lot 
of the thousand odd blind people in the State a hajDpy one by 
teaching them trades at which they can earn their living 
despite their big handicap, and also to teach them to read 
and write by the Braille and Moon types. 

In the " Life of Fawcett " (the late Postmaster-General 
of England), who was blind, written by Mr. Leshe Stephen, 
the following passage occurs : — 

" Briefly his (Fawcett's) advice to all his fellow sufferers 


Sydney Industrial Blind Institution 

was — ' Always do what you can to act as though you were 
not bhnd. Be of good courage and help yourselves ' ; and 
his advice to the seeing ones was, ' Do not patronise. Treat 
us without reference to our misfortunes, and, above all, help 
us to be independent.' " 

In those few sentences are embodied the reason for the 
existence of the S. I.B.I, of New South Wales. 

Number of Blind in the State of New South Wales 
Census (1902). 




Under 15 




15 and under 25 




25 and under 40 




40 and under 50 




50 and over . 







The above comparison shows an increase of 129 males and 
twenty-four females over the census of 1891, and the average 
age of the blind is now fifty-four years. The most pleasing 
feature of the 1902 census is that infantile blindness is 
decreasing in this State. This is no doubt due to the fact 
that the progress made during the last quarter century in 
medical science and in dealing with diseases of tiie eye has 
been enormous. The improvement of late years is very 
noticeable, and is certainly in the main attributable to the 
greater precaution taken to prevent severe ophthalmia and 
to improvements in surgical treatment. 

The system of payments in the different grades is very 
liberal as follows :— 

Immediately a man enters the institution to be taught a 
trade, he obtains these benefits, even before he can earn a 

Married Men (Learners) are admitted up to hfty-five years 

c.B. 225 Q 

Sydney Industrial Blind Institution 

of age. They are granted a minimum allowance of £l a 
week, they can also obtain the Commonwealth Pension of 10s., 
making a total of £l 10s. a week to start learning their trade. 
After they have learned their trade, they are paid at union 
rates, and, in addition, are also paid a bonus of from 25 per 
cent, to as much as 50 per cent, on their weekly earnings, but 
(as stated above) they cannot receive less than £l IO5. 

In addition to his wages the institution pro^^des and pays 
for doctor and medicine for himself, wife and family, which 
costs the institution £140 a year, and when sick the " Sick 
Fund " provides a weekly allowance of 155. without con- 
tribution from workers. 

A married man in needy circumstances, having children 
to keep, is also given up to £5 in case of illness of himself, 
wife or family. 

After ten years' service, if he becomes incapacitated from 
work, he may retire on a pension of from 7*. 6d. to 10*. a 
week, in addition to which he is also entitled to claim the 
Commonwealth pension of 10s. a week. 

The institution also pays for quarterly railway tickets for 
workers who reside in the suburbs. Married men also receive 
pay and a half for Christmas week as follows : — 

£ s. d. 
From the institution^ — ^minimum wage 

and a half 1 10 

Parcel of groceries . . . . 10 

Commonwealth Government pension . 10 

£2 10 
All blind workers are paid for holidays (about eighteen 

yearly), and free railway passes are obtained at Christmas 

for them to visit their friends and relatives anywhere in New 

South Wales. 

All workers are insured by the committee against accident 

under the Workmen's Comj^ensation Act. 

Single men, from sixteen years of age, on being admitted 

to learn a trade are paid as follows : — 


Sydney Industrial Blind Institution 

1st and 2nd year 16 a week and clothes (if 

destitute of means). 









3rd , 
4th , 
5th ,. 

Also the Commonwealth i^ension to make their allowance up 
to £l a week during the first four years. Learners other 
than basket-makers, who show good progress at their work, 
may be advanced one or more years, so that it is possible for 
a worker to receive the maximum amount after one 

After becoming journeymen they are paid union rates and, 
in addition, arc paid bonuses of from 10 per cent, and 
upwards to as much as 100 per cent, of their weekly 

Annual holidays (about eighteen) are paid for, and free 
railway passes are obtained to enable them to visit their 
friends and relatives in New South Wales. 

They also receive pay and a half for Christmas week. 
After ten years' service, if he becomes incapacitated, a worker 
may be retired on a pension of from 7s. 6d. to lO.s. a week, 
in addition to which he is also entitled to receive the 
Commonwealth pension of 10*. a week. 

All workers are insured by the committee under the Work- 
men's Compensation Act. 

All men are taught pianoforte playing and singing. 

Women and girls are admitted from sixteen years, and are 
paid 12,s. Qd. a week during the first year, in addition to 
which they may receive the Commonwealth pension of 
7*. Qd., making a weekly allowance of £l to start learning 
their trade. 

They also receive free tuition in pianoforte playing and 
singing, also lessons in dancing. 

They also receive the other benefits enjoyed by the men as 
enumerated above. 

Working Hours. — Men : 44 hours in winter, 48 hours in 
summer. Women : 41 hours all the year round. 

227 Q 2 

Sydney Industrial Blind Institution 

Where the Money comes from. 

The institution derives its income from the following 
sources : — Income from invested legacies, jDublic subscrip- 
tions, Government subsidy, sale of manufactures. 

The number of blind people now employed by the institu- 
tion is 117 (males and females). They are classified as 
under : — 

1. Those residing in their own homes and coming to the 
institution daily. 

2. Those who are assisted by giving them work to do in 
their own homes. 

3. Women in residence. 

4. Boys in residence. 

The women and boys in residence do not receive any 
wages, but are allowed pocket money and provided with 

The total number of blind now administered to by the 
institute and receiving benefits from it is 388, comprising 117 
institution workers, eighteen working in their own homes, 
253 readers connected with the library exclusive of those 
among the workers, while it is probable that the officials of 
the institution are in touch with fully 150 more living in 
various parts of the State. 

The committee arc always desirous that the benefits con- 
ferred by this institution should reach as many adult blind 
persons as possible. It must be remembered that quite 
two-thirds of those who become blind after birth do so as 
adults, the average age of blindness in the State being fifty- 
four years. All these have learned some trade or calling 
before becoming blind, and must be trained for some other 
sphere of labour which can be prosecuted without the use 
of the eyes. 

The committee of the institution have devoted much 
earnest and helpful consideration to those unfortunate men 
and women, and they have shown by this distinct service 
what it is possible to achieve in the way of teaching the blind 
to work with their own hands. The work which they have 
been taught to do has let light and happiness into their lives, 


Sydney Industrial Blind Institution 

where formerly they had lived a life of dark monotony of 
helpless and aimless existence. 

The system of payments and bonuses together with the 
other benefits are regarded as being the most liberal in the 
world. For instance, I quote a few examples of the highest 
and lowest wages, showing system of paying wages to piece 
workers and allowances to supplement their earnings taken 
from pay sheets, 1911 — 12. 


Earned at 
Union Rates. 


granted to 


One week. 

£ s. d. 

£ s. d. 

£ s. d. 




2 10 


1 18 9 

9 8 

2 8 5 


1 17 

9 3 

2 6 3 


16 9 


1 15 9 


19 5 


1 19 5 


16 2 

7 2 

1 13 4 


19 9 

7 2 

1 6 11 

Age G5, 
minimum 20.5. 


5 8 

14 4 


Age 68, 
minimum 205. 


16 7 


12 7 


1 10 2 

12 7 

2 2 9 

I know the argument is used that if this system were 
adopted it would tend to encourage the fast worker to come 
back to the level of the slow worker, and this may be true to 
some extent, but I believe I am right in saying that while 
there will always be some malingerers the vast majority of 
the blind pride themselves on earning as much as possible. 

In regard to the incompetent or slow workers, viz., those 
who cannot, even with a liberal bonus, earn anything like a 
living wage, our idea is not to judge any worker as being 
incompetent so long as he can turn out saleable work. No 
matter how small his earnings may be, he is granted enough 
to live on. 


Sydney Industrial Blind Institution 

Incompetency in my opinion should not be judged accord- 
ing to the earning power of the worker, so long as that worker 
is honest in his endeavours to try and earn a livelihood. I 
consider that he is entitled to every consideration, and indeed 
much more than the more fortunate individual who is blessed 
with stronger power and greater dexterity in manipulating 
his work. 

The liberal treatment of the workers makes the cost of 
production much greater than that of commodities turned 
out by labour-saving machinery, but the donations of the 
public and the subsidy of the State are devoted to reconciling 
the disproportion in the earning power of the workers, so 
that on the basis of union rates of pay, with very liberal 
bonuses to supplement their earnings, they make a living 
wage, and yet the goods may compete in the open market. 

One thing is clear, however, were it not for this bonus 
system, many old and slow workers would either have to 
remain a burden on their friends, or become inmates of a 
Government asylum, and there would be no need to call on 
the public benevolence, but, as the system is worked, the 
happiness of the afflicted is measured by the support of the 

Manufacturing Department. 

The trades taught to the blind are mat-making and 
matting, weaving, basket-making and wicker furniture, , 
brush and broom-making, bedding and halters, chair- 
caning, netting, and also Braille writing and typewriting. 

The gross sales for 1913 amounted to £12,504 5s. 4d., 
which is £745 2*. lid. more than the sales for the previous 

The total for this year, however, would have been con- 
siderably larger had the institution been able to undertake 
all the orders sent in, but the output of manufactured 
articles was not nearly equal to the demand. 

While this fact may be taken as evidence of the stability 
of the manvifactures turned out by the institution, and, 
better still, that all the blind who want work to do can have 


Sydney Industrial Blind Institution 

it to do, nevertheless, notwithstanding the many privileges 
and advantages offered by the institution, it is sad to know 
that there are many of the blind in various parts of the State 
living in idleness, a burden to their friends as well as to 
themselves and the public in general. 

When it is considered that, in starting to learn a trade, 
no boy or girl from the age of sixteen years need receive 
less than £l per week (inclusive of the Commonwealth 
pension), with medical attendance and sick pay (without 
payment of fees), music tuition, reading and writing, and 
numerous other benefits which go to make this institution 
undoubtedly one of the most liberal in the world, it is hard 
to believe that there would be a single youth in the com- 
munity without occupation. Several of the best workers 
have spent over twenty-five years in the institution, and, 
with the improving conditions, there is no reason why others 
cannot do the same. 

In scope of employment for the blind, it would be one of 
the largest institutions in the world, in point of numbers, if 
there were more blind people requiring employment, which 
fortunately there are not. 


Last year the actual earnings of the workers at Wages 
Board rates amounted to £3,501 135, 5d., and £1,G5S 7^. 8d. 
was granted to supplement the above amount, making in all 
£5,170 Is. Id. To this sum must be added £467 18s. lOd. 
paid to music teachers, transcribers and home teachers, 
making a grand total for the year of £5,637 19,9. lid. 

The value of the institution, however, cannot be gauged by 
the mere monetary return to the workers. Important as 
that is, when an adult finds himself blind, everything looks 
literally black to him. If his mind could not be occu]>ied 
he would sink into despair. Here the institution steps in 
and provides occupation for mind and body, and the know- 
ledge that he can still help himself, by honest work, and 
have a useful place in the world, takes the sting out of his 
affliction. Once they are taught to realise that they can still 


Sydney Industrial Blind Institution 

produce and still earn a livelihood without being a burden on 
others, peace of mind is restored, and their thoughts are led 
into brighter avenues. Their mind is taken away from think- 
ing of their misfortunes. Their hands are kept busy. In my 
experience of the blind, their loss of sight does not distress 
them much. They can scarcely spare a thought to the cir- 
cumstance. What they always dread is the helplessness 
which arises out of their affliction. They do not desire 
sympathy in their blindness, which is alwaj's distasteful to 
them, but sympathy with them in their efforts to make a 
livelihood is always acceptable. 


Apart from the industrial training of the blind, the 
charitable work carried on by the institution is growing 
very considerably, and covers almost every phase of work 
attempted for the blind, viz. : — 

1. Home teaching in reading and industries. (Teachers 
are sent all over the State free of charge.) 

2. Lending and reference library of over 5,500 volumes in 
Braille and Moon tyjses. 

3. Home for blind women. 

4. Home for blind boys. 

5. Tea agency for the blind. 

6. Assisting the outdoor blind and destitute workers with 
clothes, grants of material and monetary assistance, in cases 
of distress. 

7. Providing picnic, concert, and theatre parties. 

8. Pianoforte tuition. 

9. Singing tuition. 

10. Blind men's social and debating club. 

11. Dancing class for women. 

12. Holiday rest home for the blind. 

13. Pensions for incapacitated workers of from Is. 6cl. to 
105. after ten years' service. 

The cost of administering the above dejiartments for the 
year amounted to £3,737. 

These figures will emphasise the fact that the institution 


Sydney Industrial Blind Institution 

is not confined merely to teaching the bhnd how to work, 
but it is also engaged in a great and meritorious work other 
than industrial training. 

Home Teaching. 

This beneficent work of home teaching began in 1882, 
and has steadily grown in size and importance. New cases 
of importance are constantly being brought under the notice 
of the committee. The teacher is despatched without delay 
to report on each case as to the best means of affording help. 
The "importance of this work is never lost sight of. A 
vigorous canvass is maintained with the object of discovering 
the whereabouts of blind people who, through various causes, 
have not availed themselves of the benefits they can derive 
through the institution. 

Magistrates, postal officials, i^olice, and clergymen of every 
denomination have been pressed into service by the home 
teacher. When a fresh case is discovered, the teacher puts 
the advantages and benefits of the institution before the 
blind person, who is given the opportunity of learning to read 
and write the Braille and Moon types, and also mat-making, 
halter-making, bedding, chair-caning, netting, and also how 
to play dominoes, cards, chess, draughts, etc. 

The reluctance of many afflicted ones to leave their own 
homes for the purpose of reaping the benefits of such institu- 
tions is met by this benevolent scheme. One might reason- 
ably suppose that people so afflicted would rejoice to know 
of an Alma Mater provided for their needs, and would lose 
no time in getting there. But the blind are no different from 
other people; there are the indolent, apathetic blind who 
prefer to accept the dole of charity to the earnings of indus- 
try, but this class are hap^iily in the minority in New South 

No spot in its remote territory is too remote for the ener- 
getic teacher who, accompanied by a guide, seeks, as the 
Scrif)ture has it, " For the stray sheep of his flock," taking 
the gifts of the institution, free knowledge and tuition, light 
for the imprisoned mind, work for willing hands fettered by 


Sydney Industrial Blind Institution 

darkness, and also monetary assistance. Often he must 
cover rough bush tracks and perilous crossings by creek and 
river on these errands of mercy, but no obstacle deters him 
from the philanthropic duty placed in his hands. 

The tediousness of these journeys can be well understood 
when it is stated that to visit one of his pupils the teacher 
had to travel by train and coach a distance of 1,200 miles, 
and in the early part of the present year the committee beat 
all records for distance by sending a teacher nearly 3,000 
miles, the teacher leaving Sydney by train on Monday at 
8 p.m., and arriving at his destination on Thursday morning, 
having spent three nights in succession sitting up in the 
train, and certainly a more irksome or tiresome journey could 
not be undertaken. I question if this record for a journey 
to teach the blind in their own homes will ever be beaten. 

As an illustration of what it is possible for a blind man or 
woman to accomplish under great difficulties, it may be 
mentioned that the average age of seven of the new cases 
taught last year was sixty-nine^ — the oldest being seventy-six 
■ — a remarkable case being that of a lady who is deaf, dumb 
and blind, who was taught to read the Moon type and has 
been suj^plied with books ever since. Another wonderful 
case is that of an old lady over ninety years of age who took 
lessons in the Moon type, and she is making good progress. 

We have to remember that a man or woman suddenly 
stricken with blindness becomes as a child again and requires 
to be taught to read again before being able to make use of 
the books in the Braille and Moon types. Moreover, when 
it is considered that the average age of the blind in New 
South Wales is fifty-four, one can realise what difficulties the 
teachers have to contend with and how much praise is due 
to them for the success they have achieved in dealing with 
so many aged pupils. 

Another feature of the home teaching work is that the 
Saxon system has been introduced, and the blind who have 
been taught a trade are supplied with such materials as they 
require to work up in their own homes, and in some cases 
selling the articles they make. The value of the material 


Sydney Industrial Blind Institution 

granted varies according to the circumstances of each case, 
the amounts varying from £5 to £10 per annum. There are 
many of these people who, through illness or old age, can do 
little to support themselves, but their lives can be made 
more bearable through learning to read and write and to do 
some useful work, which at least can give them the blessing 
of occupation, and prevent them brooding over their mis- 

Many of the blind in the country have lived idle, cheerless 
lives, but as soon as it is proved by j^laiting a halter, making 
a mat or caning a chair that they can again do some work, 
they cease to be a drag upon those who have to support them 
in enforced idleness. 

Free Circulating and Reference Library for the Blind in 
Braille and Moon Types. 

This valuable branch of the institution's work has proved 
a great blessing to many who have been taught to read and 
write. The number of volumes will very shortly reach 6,000, 
and it is believed that the library now ranks among the most 
up-to-date in the British Empire. The number of readers 
now suj^i^lied with books is 253, residing in all parts of the 
State. During the past year over 500 volumes were added. 

The library is open every day from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m., and 
any blind person is made welcome, and can receive lessons in 
reading and writing or in any of the home teaching branches 
free of charge. The demand for embossed books is ever 
increasing, nearly 5,000 books being lent last year, many of 
them being sent to far distant parts of the State, as well as to 
New Zealand and Fiji, and several blind people travelling 
from Australia to England have been lent books to read on 
the voyage. 

Nearly every available magazine for the blind published 
in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth is received 
regularly by mail, viz. : Progress, Braille Literary Journal, 
Hora Jocunda, Santa Lucia, Hamstead, Braille Musical 
Magazine, Channels of Blessing, Comrades, London Daily 
Mail, Moon's Monthly Magazine, Morning (S.A.), Odds 


Sydney Industrial Blind Institution 

a7icl Ends (Vic), Boomerang (N.S.W.), Blind Teachings and 
Spineless Cactus (U.S.A.), Weekly Summary, etc. 

The committee spare no effort or expense in keeping the 
hbrary thoronghly up-to-date. Large quantities of Braille 
and other writing frames, paper, and every kind of apparatus 
are imported and sold to the blind at London cost price (the 
committee defraj'ing expense incurred by freight, etc.). 

Four paid blind transcribers are kept constantly employed, 
while the committee receive valuable assistance from several 
ladies and gentlemen (blind and sighted) as hon. transcribers. 

Holiday Rest Home for the Blind. 

This home is intended to provide residence to blind per- 
sons, whether workers in the Industrial Institution or not, 
who may be recovering from illness or surgical treatment, 
or who may require change and rest and are otherwise unable 
to obtain it. 

The cottage is situated in the Blue Mountains, which are 
famous throughout Australia as a health resort, and it is 
within easy reach of Sydney, taking one hour and twenty 
minutes to reach it by train. 

Applicants must produce a doctor's certificate, supplied 
free, certifying that they need a change and rest, and that 
they are free of infectious disease. Everj^thing is done to 
make them comfortable during their stay in the home — a 
matron is placed in charge, a piano is provided, also games of 
various kinds, and books, etc. 

There are no charges of any kind in connection with the 
home ; railway fares are paid, and in some cases the wives 
of married men are allowed to accomi^anj^ their husbands, 
so that their stay is made more pleasant than it otherwise 
would be. 

It has been decided to extend the privileges in connection 
with the holiday home, and arrangements are now being made 
to secure accommodation for cases at the seaside, on the 
mountains and inland, so that applicants requiring a change 
can have their choice of all the well-known health resorts. 


Sydney Industrial Blind Institution 

Sick Fund and Medical Benefits. 

Immediately a worker joins the institution, a medical 
officer in his district is appointed to examine the applicant 
for medical benefits. Thus every worker is provided with a 
doctor and chemist free of charge, and the wives and families 
of married Avorkers are also granted this concession. 

The cost of these benefits last year was £208 II5. Id., and 
£30 was paid to insure all workers under the Workmen's 
Compensation Act. Formerly it was the rule for the blind 
workers to contribute Is. per month, but, owing to the 
favourable j^osition of this fund, the committee decided to 
forego the members' contributions to it, so that sick pay and 
medical benefits are noAV jDrovided free to all workers. 

In addition to the paid medical officers, hon. specialists are 
appointed to deal with special cases, viz. : hon. medical 
officers, hon. oculist, hon. neurologist, so that nothing con- 
ducive to the health of workers is left undone. 

Homes for Males and Females. 

These homes are available for every blind person through- 
out the State and are conducted as boarding houses, free to 
those whose parents, many of Avhom live 300 miles from 
Sydney, are desirous of sending them away from home 
to be taught to work. 

There are at present twelve males and nine females in 
residence. They are provided with clothes, and allowed 
10 per cent, on their earnings for pocket money. Matrons 
are placed in charge of the homes, and are unremitting in 
their efforts to look after the welfare of those placed in their 

If no such provision existed to meet such cases, many of 
the younger blind would never be allowed to leave their far- 
away homes, and consequently would grow up and never 
know the value of work. 

Pensions for Incapacitated Workers. 

These pensions are instituted by the committee to provide 
for those of the workers who, after ten years' service, may, 




exceeding 7 

6 a week 







Sydney Industrial Blind Institution 

through physical disabilities or old age, have to give up work 
and retire from the institution. This pension has already 
proved a great blessing to those who have had to retire, and 
with the Commonwealth pension of 10^., has enabled the 
recipients to live in comparative, comfort, instead of in 
hovels or for ever in Government asjdums. 

The following regulations govern the payment of pensions 
to those who have served not less than ten years' service in 
the institution with good conduct : — 

For 10 years' service . 

,, 10 to 13 years' service 

„ 13 to 16 

,, 16 years and uj) wards 
I am pleased, however, to record the fact that the first 
worker who was offered the retiring pension respectfully 
declined to accept it, stating that he preferred to continue 
work as long as possible. 

Pianoforte Tuition and Singing Club for the Blind. 

Every adult blind j^erson may take lessons in music and 
singing, whether they are connected with the institution or 
not. They are instructed by blind teachers and, although 
very few can expect to become expert players at the age they 
start, nevertheless it can reasonably be expected that some 
of them with patience and experience may play well enough 
for pastime and recreation purjwses. 

In addition to teaching music, the male teacher conducts 
a singing class, and, considering the material he has at his 
command, very excellent results have been achieved. Girls 
are also taught to read and write, music, hand-knitting (the 
latter being a useful occupation as an earning power as well 
as for pastime). 

Recreation and Amusement. 

The work of both sexes is well catered for in the way of 
recreation and amusements after working hours. Tickets 
are obtained for admission to all the leading concerts, 


Sydney Industrial Blind Institution 

theatres, organ recitals, symphony and orchestral concerts, 
elocutionary recitals, etc., and thus the blind are afforded 
the opportunity of hearing every leading artist in the world 
who has visited Australia, notably Madame Melba, Madame 
Clara Butt, Madame Kirkby Lunn, Madame Ada Crossley, 
John McCormack, Bishpham, Mons. Kubelik, Sousa's Band, 
The Kilties Band, Hollins, and many others. Concerts are 
also given in the hall of the institution every month, which 
are devoted to the blind and their families, and several motor 
launch outings are given on Saturday afternoons. 

Picnic and athletic sjDorts are held regularly every year. 
The sports consist of running races, walking matches, high 
jumps, long jumps, potato races, throwing the cricket ball, 
cutting off the Turk's head, and occasionally swimming and 
rowing races. The picnic and sports are eagerly looked 
forward to by the blind and their friends. Last year's event 
was quite the largest function of the kind ever held in 
Australia. Just on 400 sat down to lunch and tea, which 
are provided by the connnittee, the outing costing nearly 
£80, exclusive of the wages paid for the day. About £15 is 
provided by the committee and friends for prizes, and, in 
addition, the patron of the institution. Sir Robert L. Lucas- 
Tooth, presents a valuable cup for the champion of the insti- 
tution, which has been responsible for increased interest in 
this function, and causes very keen competition in the various 

Mr. Hcdger, the Manager, has invented the first circular 
running track for the blind, which enables them to race over 
long distances, and we shall be pleased to send a full 
description of the same to anyone. Mr. Hedger also 
invented the straight running track. 

Then we have initiated the Blind Men's Social and Debating 
Club. The object of the club is to furnish enjoyment and 
intellectual acti^'ity to its members. It gives the blind men 
the stimulus of meeting other men on an equal basis, and 
enables them to spend a pleasant evening together. Interest- 
ing papers are read on various topics, mock banquets, 
domino and card tournaments are held every quarter, and 


Sydney Industrial Blind Institution 

musical evenings to which their sighted friends are invited. 
The club, which is open to any respectable blind man in New 
South Wales, meets in the library of the institution, and, 
when business is over, light refreshments are provided by the 

Dancing Class for Women. 

During the winter months, a dancing class for women is 
held in the hall of the institution under expert supervision. 
Each blind person attending the class is allowed to have a 
sighted female friend to act as a partner, and who also 
receives tuition free of charge. Dancing is a favourite 
pastime for the women, and the season is wound up by holding 
a social to which they invite their sighted friends of both 
sexes. The latter return the compliment by giving a return 
dance to the women, who are always sorry when the season 
draws to an end. 

Even the lunch hour is taken up every day by prominent 
gentlemen who attend regularly to read the newspaper to 
those who care to listen to them ; a garden roof of 80 by 40 feet 
is utilised for this purpose. For those not caring to listen, a 
paddock adjoining the institution is used to lounge in during 
the lunch hour ; swings, trapezes, etc., and smoking shed 
are provided for those who like them. In fact, nothing is left 
undone by the committee and officials in trying to make the 
lives of those we administer to as bright and happy as it is 
possible to make them with the limitations of blindness. 

It is evident that the conditions are made very much 
easier for the blind in Australia than those obtaining in the 
Old World, and our sympathy is always with the manage- 
ment of English and other institutions in their earnest and 
constant endeavours to jorovide more work for the blind. 
We feel sad to know that the institutions in the homeland 
lack the support that is so urgently needed to enable them 
to teach and to give employment to all those of the blind who 
are capable and willing to do it. At the same time I believe 
that if the matter is brought more forcibly under the notice 
of a generous English public whose hearts have so often 


Sydney industrial Blind Institution 

responded in the cause of charity, that the great and crying 
needs of this afflicted class will receive better recognition 
than heretofore. 

Summarising the whole of Australia's efforts in ameliora- 
ting the lot of the blind, I believe the recognition of the States 
in subsidising such institutions has proved very helpful, and, 
with such aid and with private assistance, it has made pos- 
sible the achievement of results that otherwise would have 
been impossible to reach, and thus we have been able in a 
great measure to bring sunshine into the hearts of those who 
are compelled to dwell in the mundane kingdom of darkness. 

When Helen Keller appealed to the people of America to 
provide work for the blind she did so in the following words: — 

" I ask that those who have plenty invest a little of 
their abundance in the practical work of the sightless. I 
appeal not for charity for the afflicted, but for opportunity 
to those who are able, willing and want work. I hear the 
cry of the blind — Give us opportunity to get work." 

Fortunately there is no need for such an appeal in Nevr 
South Wales, where we have solved the problem of employ- 
ment for the blind, who are not only taught and provided 
with work, but are actually paid while learning to do it. It 
is fortunate for the institution that it has such a splendid 
committee of management, comprising as it does some of the 
most influential and best-known members of the community ; 
much of the success it has achieved is undoubtedly due to their 
influence and the keen interest they have taken in the insti- 
tution, giving as they do their valuable advice, time and 
money most generously in the interests and welfare of the 
blind of the State. 

Indeed, New Soilth Wales can boast of an institution that 
is in many respects second to none, offering advantages — 
nay, carrying those advantages — -to the doors of afflicted 

Note. — On Thursday last Sir Robert Ellis Cimliffe, in his outline of 
proposed Legislation said that as far as he knew no Government had yet 
come forward to the extent required to help the Blind, and he hoped the 
credit of doing so would fall to the British nation. Although I A^as the 

C.B. 241 R 

Sydney Industrial Blind Institution 

first delegate to pass my card to the Chairman in order to defend my 
Government I was overlooked, and had no chance to speak. In justice 
to my generous Government I now want to say that they have come 
forward by subsidising the Public's generosity pound for pound, as well 
as interest on invested legacies until they cap'.talise, and the Common- 
wealth Government give a pension of 10s. Meekly to every incapacitated 
blind person over 16 years of age in the Commonwealth. Sir Robert and 
all here will therefore agree, that these facta in conjunction M'ith my paper 
prove that Australia has solved the problem for its bUnd community, and 
the credit does, after all, fall to us all — for is not Australia bound to the 
d<^ar old Mother Land by tiee of love stronger than death ? 




Mr. Isaac Dickson (Queensland).— You have heard the repre- 
sentative from South Australia, and now I would like you to hear 
something from the youngest state of Australia. My disposition 
is different from that of most of the representatives who have 
addressed you. No paper has been prepared by me, but I have 
dotted down a few particulars which may be of interest to you, 
and I hope they may be of some benefit, although you will find 
that our work is carried on on very much the same lines as the 
work in South Australia. It is a great pleasure and privilege to 
be here and to come across so many blind people who have gained 
so much distinction. It is a great inspiration to all who help in 
the work. 

The Queensland Institution for the Blind was established in 
1884. The first president was Bishop Hale, of the Episcopal 
Church. The work was commenced in a very small way in a 
wooden cottage in Brisbane, about half a dozen men being gathered 
in by J. W. Tighe, a blind man himself. The work was carried 
on here for about two years ; meantime, funds were being gathered 
together for the erection of a more suitable workshop. The 
Government of that day gave to the committee an area of ten 
acres of land in the suburbs of the city, and a building (of wood) 
was erected thereon in 1886. 

In that year the total income was £52 3s. 6d. In 1913 the 
total income from all sources amounted to £18,996. 

Up till 1892 nothing was done in Queensland for the children, 
but some of the blind children in the State were sent to the 
neighbouring colony of New South Wales, to the Blind School 

In 1892, on June 25th, the foundation-stone of a brick building 
was laid by that fine old gentleman, Sir Henry Wyllie Norman, 
then Governor. The building cost over £2,000, and had accom- 
modation for twenty children. A start was made with sixteen 
children. One hundred and eighteen blind children have passed 
through the school, some of whom are in business and doing well, 
but the greater number are in the workshops connected with the 
Institution. At present there are thirty blind children in the 
school. It may be interesting to point out that the Queensland 
institution differs from most other institutions in that it provides 
schooling for the blind, and also for the deaf and dumb, as well as 
the workshops, all being under the same control. In a coimtry 
like ours with a small population the grouping of all the afflicted 
in this way has many advantages — it saves overlapping and the 
confusion and annoyance that is often caused when collectors 
go round and find that the money intended for them has been 
given to someone else. It also saves the public some trouble. 

The association of the deaf and dumb with the blind, I think, 
is helpful to both. 

Special attention is given in the school to physical exercise, 
regular lessons in deep breathing and gymnastic drill being given 
daily in the regular school hours. Swimming is also one of the 
favourite amusements of both boys and girls. The girls are 

243 r2 

Sydney Industrial Blind Institution 

tauglit to cook, and all who show any aptitude for music have the 
chance of learning. Teachers with special qualifications for the 
work have been selected from British schools. 

Every year pupils are entered for the Trinity College musical 
examinations, and are generally successful in obtaining passes, 
sometimes honours. 

The school work is modelled to some extent on the lines of our 
State schools, the same books being used and the same standard 
of work maintained. Excellent reports are received from year to 
year by the committee from the State school inspector as to the 
work being done. 

Buildings. — Up to now the total expenditure on buildings has 
been something like £20,000, and during the last three years 
about £12,000 of this sum has been spent. The dormitory 
accommodation is the best that can be devised for the special 
requirements of the country, and at all times are cool and com- 
fortable. Eighty pupils can be boarded. 

There is a separate and distinct school for the deaf. 

An emergency hospital is provided on the grounds ; and a 
swimming pool has just been added. 

No water-closet system exists in Brisbane, but the institution 
has built a septic tank, and has an up-to-date lavatory system. 

The workshops are spacious and well ventilated, and there is 
room for more than one hundred workers — about ninety are at 
present employed, principally at basket-making, brush-making, 
and millet broom-making. When more buildings are required 
they will be forthcoming. 

A suction gas plant has been installed recently, with dynamo 
for creating power to drive necessary machines used in the work 
and for lighting the premises. 

System of Payment. — Workers are admitted on probation for 
one month : if they show any desire to work they are retained, 
and receive 1 5s. per week from the committee ; this is supple- 
mented by another 5s. from the Invalid Pension. 

The Commonwealth Government insists, however, that all 
able-bodied men and women endeavour to assist themselves by 
working in some institution. Those who may not be able to 
gain admission to an institution receive the full amount of 10s. 
per week from the Government. The institution authorities 
are requested by the pension officer to report on every application 
they receive from blind persons for the invalid pension. If an 
institution reports that they can give the applicant work at 15s. 
per week, the Government will then only grant the applicant a 
pension of 5s. If an applicant for admission to the institution 
is refused, the reason must be assigned for such refusal. 

In Queensland the blind are in this happy position, that no 
single man or woman need be in receipt of less than £1 per week, 
and married men can be in receipt of £1 10s. per week, as the 
minimiim wage from the institution is £1 and the Government 
give the 10s. to the man's wife. 

The institute cannot get enough sightless workers to carry out 
the work they have on hand. 

Piecework. — As many men and women as is possible are employed 



at piecework, the full union rate of wages being paid, and an 
addition of one-tliird to all earnings. 

Two weeks holiday each year is granted at Christmas to all the 
workers on full pay. The amount of wages paid to the blind 
workers in 1913 was £4,169. 

The workers have their own sick fund which they manage 
themselves, paying into it Is. per month. The institution pays 
them 10s. per week while sick, and their own fund another 10s. 
They see thai no malingering is carried on. Often have they 
refused to pay one of their number when the sick fund money 
from the institution has been paid. 

Home Teaching. — A blind man has been appointed home 
teacher and librarian ; his work lies in the homes of the aged and 
infirm blind ; he carries a message of hope to those who sit in 
darkness and solitude. Moon books are mostly sought after by 
the old people, and many a life has been brightened and many 
a weary, sleepless night shortened by the j^erusal of one of these 
books lying on the bed with the sufferer. Light work is taught, 
such as chair-caning, netting and plaiting. 

There are about 1,000 volumes in the library ; these have been 
mostly selected by the readers. 

A Braille Writers' Association have a library of about 800 
volumes, which are at the disposal of workers and children, and 
are largely used. 

Endowment. — The Government endows the subscriptions 
received by giving pound for pound. Up to last year the endow- 
ment was £1 10s. for every pound. It will thus be seen that the 
institution has a splendid incentive to increase its subscription 
list, and it was largely through this means that so much has been 
done in late years in erecting so many buildings. 

South Australian Eoyal Institution for the Blind. — The institu- 
tion was established in 1884. There are about eighty workers 
employed in the workshops. One hundred and fifty-nine blind 
persons in the State are being visited by a home teacher, where 
instruction is given, and all who desire it are taught to read and 
write. A large proportion of these have learnt Braille. 

The library contains 2,123 volumes and 1,515 periodicals. In 
connection with the institution there is a publishing department. 
A monthly magazine. Morning, edited by the manager, Mr. A. W. 
Hendry, is read with much acceptance by the blind in all the 

Need for more suitable premises is badly felt, and an effort is 
being made to raise £4,000 from the public ; this with a similar 
sum promised by the Government will enable them to erect 
suitable buildings to carry on the work with more comfort. 

The sales for the year 1912-13 amounted to £11,383, and the 
amount paid in wages to afflicted workers was £4,150 ; 41,985 
brooms and brushes, 5,148 baskets, 4,085 articles of furniture, 
1,377 door-mats, and 1,249 yards of matting and various other 
work was made during the year. Ready sale is found for the 
output of the institution. The number of orders dealt with for 
the year was 5,844. 

In Australia the blind community are in a happy position 


Nominations for the Conference Committee 

compared to other parts of tlie world, inasmucli as the Commou- 
wealtli Invalid Pension Act applies to all bond-fide blind persons 
sixteen years of age and over. For instance, a blind girl may be 
employed at an institution and receive 10s. per week ; she is 
also entitled to another 10s. per week as an invalid pension. 

Men receiving 15s. per week from an institution will receive 5s., 
making their income up to £1 per week. 

Married men may receive £1 per week from an institution and 
still get the 10s. invalid pension ; so really no blind man or 
woman (single) need be in receipt of less than £1 per week provided 
they are willing to so some work. 

It may be interesting to note the rapid progress made by the 
institution during the past ten years ; in 1904 the sales realised 
£4,700, while in 1914 the sales totalled over £11,000. The increase 
of workers was from fifty-two to seventy-foiir, and the increase 
of money paid to the blind during this period from £2,356 to £4,150 
per annum. 

Now, Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, I am sorry that this 
paper has been so hurriedly got up, becausg really I dotted it down 
this morning, but I hope some of the particulars will be of benefit 
to workers here. There is no doubt in my mind that AustraUa, 
so far as the afflicted are concerned, is far ahead of other countries. 
Of course, it is an easier problem in our country because it is a 
new country and we have started right. You perhaps have 
started wrong. 

In accordance with the request of blind members the Hon. 
Secretary here read the Hst of nominations for the Conference 
Committee, as follows : — 

Blind Representatives. 

Bolam, Rev. C. E. Piatt, Mr. H. E. 

Carr, Mr. Alfred Preeee, Mr. H. C. 

Dixson, Mr. W. H. Purse, Mr. Ben 

Hawarth, Mr. J. L. Royston, Mr. H. S. 

Mines, Mr. J. H. Siddall, Mr. A. 

Passmore, Mr. L. M. Warrilow, Mr. H. C. 
Pearson, Mr. C. Arthur 

Sighted Representatives. 

Abseil, Mr. A. Evans, Mr. P. M. 

Austin, Miss E. W. Caraway, Miss M. M. R. 

Brown, Mr. G. C. Hill, Rev. St. Clare 

Campbell, Mr. Guy Johnson, Mr. Stuart 

Ellis, Miss Jolly, Col. T. R. 

Epps, Mr. ■ Martin, Mr. T. H. 


Sydney Industrial Blind Institution 

Sighted Repre sek t ati ve s — -co?} tin ued. 

Norwood, Mr. A. B. Stevens, Mr. S. E. 

Petty, Miss R. Stone, Mr. W. M. 

Pine, Mr. H. W. P. Taylor, Miss Beatrice 

Priestley, Mr. Miles Tennant, Mr. John 

Ritchie, Mr. J. M. Thurman, Mr. W. H. 
Rosedale, Rev. Dr. H. G. Wilson, Mr. H. J. 

Smith, Mr. Lister S. Woollatt, Mr. F. A. 
Stainsby, Mr. H. 

Mr. H. J. Wilson (taking the chair).— The Chairman 
Lord Kinnaird, has been obliged to leave, and as he passed 
he begged me to say how much he has enjoyed the meeting, 
but that he did not Avant a vote of thanks. It is just like 
Lord Kinnaird — he is so kind-hearted : all the same I am 
sure we very much appreciate his services in the chair. 
If you only knew as I do the amount of philanthropic work 
he does^ — -I have worked with him for over thirty years — • 
you would realise what an excellent man he is in every 
particular, and how devoted he is in the cause of the blind. 

I will call on Miss Moon to continue the discussion. 


Miss Moon (Brighton). — Before this subject is concluded I 
wish to state a few important facts in connection with home 
teaching in Australasia showing its beginning and progress ; I can 
vouch for their accuracy, and it is well they should be known and 
remembered by all interested in the welfare of the blind. 

In 1874 Mr. T. James commenced the home teaching for the 
blind at Ballarat, Victoria. 

In 1877 Mr. H. S. Prescott, after several interviews with Mr. 
James, proceeded to Syduey, New South Wales, where he com- 
menced the work of home teaching, the Moon Type being used. 
One result was the estabUshment of an Industrial Institution 
for Blind Women, afterwards affiliated to the Sydney Industrial 
Blind Institution in that city, where the home teaching is now 
efficiently carried on. Mr. Hedger is the superintendent. His 
son we have with us. 

In 1883 Mr. Prescott taught, equipped, and sent to Brisbane, 
Queensland, a Mr. Tighe, who commenced home teaching, which 
resulted in a few years in the establishment of the Educa- 
tional and Industrial Institution of Queensland, whose super- 
intendent, Mr. Dickson, is also now with us. Prior to this the 
blind of Queensland were totally uncared for. 


Sydney Industrial Blind Institution 

In 1887 Mr. Prescott equipped and sent to Hobart, Tasmania, 
a Mr. Mercer, who commenced lionie teaching, which he established, 
the Moon Type being used. Subsequently he resigned his work 
in Tasmania, which was then taken up by Mr. Scowne, of South 
Australia, the result being the present Educational and Industi'ial 
Institution of Tasmania. Prior to this the blind of Tasmania were 
■totally uncared for. 

In 1889 Mr. Tighe, after establishing the institution in Brisbane, 
Queensland, was sent to Auckland, New Zealand, by Mr. Prescott 
and commenced the work of home teaching there, the Moon Type 
being used, which afterwards grew into the present Educational 
and Industrial Institution of that colony. Prior to this the blind 
of New Zealand were totally uncared for. 

In 1894 Mr. Prescott equipped and sent Mr. Davis to Perth, 
Western Australia (where Mr. W. H. Dixson had carried on pioneer 
work some time previously). Mr. Davis continued home teaching, 
but, dying shortly after, his work was taken up by Mr. Kent from 
Adelaide, South Australia, the result of which is the present 
Educational and Industrial Institution. 

Mr. Prescott in conjunction with Mr. James equipped and sent 
a Mr. Pittz to Adelaide, South Australia, where a school for blind 
children already existed. He commenced home teaching there, 
but not meeting with immediate success he returned to Victoria. 
A Mr. Hendry of Adelaide, South Australia, perceiving the 
needs of the blind and the importance of liaving such a centre 
of educational activity, took up the work which the latter had 
resigned, and his devotion and energy were such that within 
a short time the Industrial Institution was founded there, which 
includes a home teaching branch. 

Mr. Stainsby. — It is not usual or right for the Secretary to 
take part in the discussion, but I feel so interested in this Austra- 
lian question that I must say one word. I am delighted to find 
that Miss Moon's work and the type which lier father invented have 
had such great success in Australia, and as one who knows to 
what extent Braille books are used there, I feel I ought to say 
that Australia buys more books from the National Institute than 
any other part of the world. I think this is greatly to the credit 
of our friends in Australia. 

Mr. Tate (Bradford). — If this Conference had called forth no 
outstanding feature with regard to the work and management 
of the New South Wales Institution except the paper we have 
listened to its results would have been abundantly justified. 
In that paper we have an epitome of the actual work in what 
appears to be Utopia — so far as the blind are concerned. I do 
hope that representatives of institutions and workshops in Great 
Britain and in Europe wiU cii'culate copies of Mr. Hedger's 
paper everywhere, and that a copy may be sent to every member 
of the Inter-Departmental Committee. (" Hear, hear'). I hope 
our esteemed Chairman, Mr. H. J. Wilson, and other members 
of the Committee will support the ideals there set forth. Nay, 
more, that the great English public may be shown how far its 
treatment of the blind is below the standard of daughter States 



in the Soutlieru hemisphere. If the one outstanding feature, viz. — 
that for every pound subscribed by private charity the Govern- 
ment steps in and gives another pound — could be brought into 
operation in our EngHsh institutions, what a great forward wave 
woukl immediately be given to all our work, \^^lat is the attitude 
of many of our committees when asked to take in hand additional 
work for the blind ? They say " We cannot afford it." And what 
are the tests by which results are judged ? The commercial 
sales — the financial side of things ! Wlien as in New South 
Wales there are no financial difficulties there will still remain the 
great fact that the man is more than his work. Until that 
consideration becomes the ideal actuating the members of every 
organisation ministering to the blind complete success will still 
be unattained. 

I would suggest that one of the International Conferences be 
held in New South Wales, and that it be a request from this 
Conference to administrative bodies to send representatives to 
see -v^hether these things are really as represented, for Mr. Hedger's 
paper is so wonderful as almost to take our breath away. 

If I may refer again to the question of the Inter-Departmental 
Committee, I would ask them to make this paper the test by 
which all institutions are judged when making their inquiries 
throughout this country, and then our friends will begin to put 
forth the energies which, undoubtedly, many of them possess and 
which are held back because of beggarly £ s. d. difficulties. 

Mr. DixsoN * (Oxford). — I really feel rather ashamed. I was 
going to waive my right to speak again. However, I do want to 
say a word about the kindness which I experienced at the hands 
of Mr. H. S. Prescott, who was referred to by Miss Moon, when I 
did a little home teaching work in a voluntary sort of way in 
Western Australia. He was then the home teacher and, I think, 
the general head of the Society in New South Wales, and the 
alphabets and plates and other apparatus which he sent to me, and 
the help which he gave me when he knew I was a mere youth 
just doing a little work in an inexperienced way, are things I shaU 
never forget. Mr. Prescott lives in Seaford, in the county of 
Sussex, and I am very sorry he is not here, but I thought I would 
not like this meeting to pass without paying a tribute to the work 
which he did in the way of helping us. 

I should like to say that I, too, was very much impressed with 
what I saw in Australia about four years ago, and I think the 
reason they have achieved such magnificent results is that they 
are a country with a small population and can try experiments 
which ought to be tried in this country, but which cannot as a 
rule be tried with much speed. 

Rev. E. G. Cocks (Plymouth). ^ — It is because I have a duty to 
perform that I stand here this morning. I was charged by my 
committee before coming here that if I had an opportunity to 
put in a word on behalf of the Moon Type I would do it. I said 
that I could not do so unless the opportunity presented itseU. 
It seems to me that that opportunity has now come, and if one of 
the i)revious speakers has been correct in his diagnosis of our 


Sydney Industrial Blind Institution 

present position when he stated that so far as New South Wales 
is concerned it has done a great deal towards solving a difficult 
problem, then his idea of Utopia has been reached ; and that 
Utopia has been reached in New South Wales is largely due to the 
fact that not one but two types of reading for the bhnd have been 
in use. It was with intense satisfaction that I found out that 
a west countryman — and I have to represent the W^est counti'y at 
this Conference, Devonport and the Western Counties Institution 
for the Blind occupies the most western area — when I found that 
a Cornishman had been instrumental in carrying on the work 
for the blind in that particular colony ; and it affords me 
no small satisfaction that I am able, under the circum- 
stances, to say something on behalf of the Moon type. 
The institution I represent is entirely a workmg one, and both 
types are in use. I do not represent one more than another, 
but I am asked by my committee to state that they hope 
that in any allocation of funds on behalf of the bUnd, all 
shall not go into one channel, but that there wiU be some 
consideration given to those who are readers of the Moon type as 
well as to those who are readers of the Braille. Not only am I 
asked to say that by my committee, but, being a member of the 
Western Counties' Union, I am also asked by them to urge that 
this matter shall not be left out of consideration by those interested 
in the general welfare of the blind. I therefore feel that I have 
discharged my duty, and shall be able to go back and tell my 
committee that I have said something on behalf of the Moon type. 
Having looked at the matter closely, I am of opinion that those 
going blind late in life, say, somewhere about fifty years of age, 
for such it would be much easier to read what is a kind of develop- 
ment of the ordinary Roman type, while the dots and dashes that 
represent the Braille would be more difficult. Personally, if I 
were expected to read, so far as I am able to judge, I should not 
prefer the intricacies of the Braille type. 

Mr. Stainsby. — I should not have risen again but for the fact 
that Mr. Cocks has mentioned the Moon type and the Braille 
type, and stated that some of the funds which are available for the 
Braille ought to be used for the Moon. I have Miss Moon's 
permission to say that that suggestion is in the air. The National 
Institute is now conferring with Miss Moon with the idea of 
bringing about a union of the two Societies. 

Mr. Peter Miller * (Hull). — I want to give just the figure of 
the blind themselves. You see we are so handicapped by not 
having our Congress together. So all the blind of England have 
decided to come to London next week for a week instead of being 
here to hear us talk. There are in England to-day 40 per cent, 
of the blind who lose their sight after thirty-five years of age, 
and we cannot get them to read anything. I lost my sight forty 
years ago and I cannot read anything but Moon type. That is 
beautiful. Many blind people have been to college, but I have 
been working ever since I lost my sight, and we cannot get basket- 
makers to read Braille — their fingers wiU not aUow it. We want 
Moon in Hull. 



It is all right to say that the blind are properly looked after, 
but I can bring you back to Hull to people who cannot read 
anything. I never could read Braille, and I must have Moon 
type. The blind of Hull want Moon type. The secretary of the 
Blind Institution says that Moon is obsolete. 

Mr. Kelly. — Can those who cannot attend the meeting vote 
by proxy ? 

The Chairman. — No, we cannot admit proxies. 

Mr. Hedger. — I will not add to what I have said, except to 
mention that one of the speakers was rather inclined to doubt 
our good work — only in a friendly way, of course. Our object 
in printing that paper is that it may go before all the world, 
because when it is in print we can stand by it. With regard to 
legislation, the British Parliamentary Committee have asked me 
to appear before them to give them particulars of our legislation 
in Australia. They have been so taken with our work in New 
South Wales that they asked me to prepare a paper and let them 
know what we are doing. In reference to the controversy regard- 
ing Braille and Moon types, in Australia we want both. Some of 
the older blind cannot do without Moon. AVe must have Braille 
too, and we beg of Miss Moon and Mr. Stainsby and Mr. Stone and 
other leading printing presses throughout the world to go on with 
their good work. We can at present buy the whole lot, as well 
as print our own. I gave a lecture on board the s.s. " Malina " 
coming here, and collected over £37 towards the National Institute. 
The Captain had not received any wireless appeal, and I placed 
the matter before him, with the result mentioned. This shows 
that we are not confined selfishly to helping our own institution. 
I may say that the managers of a continental and an American 
institution have asked me to show them how we make our mats. 
I agree that we always experiment largely for the benefit of the 
blind, but our success is due mainly to the English institutions 
industrially. We are able to improve where you have led the 
way. America is waking uj) to tho fact that the blind of their 
country want work. 

Mr. Tate (Bradford). — I am very much in favour of Mr. Illing- 
worth's idea of employing blind teachers of the blind. How 
many have you teaching the blind in those industrial schools 
in Sydney ! 

Mr. Hedger. — Our music and home teachers are blind. 

Mr. Tate. — But in the industrial schools how many have you ? 

Mr. Hedger. — I cannot say about the schools, because the 
deaf, dumb, and blind in New South Wales have separate estab- 
lishments for children. We take only those over sixteen years of 
age, and give work to blind persons in all positions that a bhnd 
person can successfully fill. 


Garden Party at Royal Normal College 

Saturday Afternoon. 

By the kind invitation of the chairman and Executive 
Committee of the Royal Normal College for the Blind, 
Upper Norwood, the members and delegates attended a 
garden party in the college grounds, and were received by 
Sir Harry Samuel, M.P., and Lady Samuel. The event was 
favoured with brilliant weather, and a most interesting pro- 
gramme was successfully carried out by the students of the 
College. The demonstrations included roller skating, indoor 
and outdoor gymnastics, swimming, diving and lifc-sa^'ing 
in the swimming bath, rowing on the lake, cycling, stilt 
walking, etc. Of especial interest was the demonstration 
of the results of the system of oral training in music used at 
the College. The tests included the analysis and repetition 
of a melody heard for the first time, the extemporisation of 
passages to complete opening phrases of melodies set by the 
teacher, or the second and fourth phrases of a sixteen-bar 
passage, while one pupil extemporised a complete valse. 
The success attained seemed to demonstrate the superiority 
of modern methods of teaching music. Tea was served on 
the lawn, and photographs were taken by Mr. J. J. Bayfield, 
the College Studio, 37, Gipsy Hill, S.E., from whom copies 
can be obtained. The London, Brighton, and South Coast 
Railway kindly provided special trains to convey visitors 
to and from Norwood. 

Saturday Evening. 

At 8.15 p.m. the foreign visitors were entertained at a 
dinner given in the Victoria Hall of the Hotel Cecil, when 
243 persons were present. The chair was taken by Mr. Alan 
Hughes Burgoyne, M.P., and after the loyal toasts had been 
honoured he welcomed the guests of the evening in a happy 
and humorous speech. He said he did not profess to be an 
expert on matters relating to the blind, but he had had the 
honour of piloting the Blind Aid Bill through the House of 
Commons, and he presumed it was on that account he had 


Dinner at Hotel Cecil 

been asked to preside that evening. The thanks of the 
guests for the hospitahty extended to them were gracefully 
expressed by Miss Winifred Holt (New York), Director 
Lundberg (Stockholm), M. Silva de Mello (Brazil), and Sir 
John Parkington (Montenegro). In conclusion Mr. Henry 
J. Wilson made a short speech thanking the chairman for 
coming there that evening at such short notice, and also for 
the great service he had rendered to the cause of the blind 
in the House of Commons. Photographs were taken 
during the dinner by Messrs. Fradelle and Young, 283, 
Regent Street, W., from whom copies can be obtained. 


The Elementary Education of the BHnd 

Monday, June 22nd, 1914. 

Chairman : Mrs. Wilton Phipps (Chairman of L.C.C. 
Special Schools Sub-Committee). 

The Chairman. — When I was asked some months ago to 
come here to-day and take the chair at this Conference, I 
felt great diffidence in accepting the invitation, because I am 
really a learner in the subject in which you are all so much 
interested, and I felt a little doubtful as to my fitness for 
being here on this occasion. At the same time I realise 
that, representing (unofficially) as I do the Blind Schools 
under the London County Council — I am chairman of the 
Special Schools Sub-Committee which is responsible for all 
scholars suffering from all forms of defect, the blind, invalid, 
and mentally defective— I felt that it would not be right 
for me to decline the honour, and am therefore here to-day 
to take the chair. I have very little to say as chairman, 
because I have been brought up to believe that a chairman 
takes the chair and other people speak. For that reason 
I have very little to say, but I see on the list of the schools 
you are to visit to-day that our schools are among them, 
and I can only say how delighted we are that you should 
see anything that we can show you. I also desire to say that 
the schools for myopes have been an experiment for the 
past few years, and they have proved extraordinarily 
successful. Myopic children are taught with others who see 
well, and it has been a great happiness to them to mix 
with sighted children and learn many things they would 
not otherwise do. The experiment has been such a success 
that we now have before us the prospect of opening within 
the next few months five of these schools. London is 
leading the way in this direction, and I felt I ought to men- 
tion this. Of course, you all know that the great difficulty 
we have to contend with is to know what we are to do with 
the children after they leave school. That is the great 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

difficulty. We can manage them so long as they are in the 
schools. We do all we can for them there, but afterwards 
the problem is a very grave one, and for that reason I am so 
glad to be here to learn what I can as to any suggestions 
by which we can see our way to helping the children when 
they leave. Now I began by saying that I did not intend 
to make a speech, and I will keep my word. I feel very 
much honoured at having been asked to come here this 
morning, and very proud to be in the chair, I will ask Lady 
Campbell to read her paper. 

Lady Campbell. — I think you will be glad to hear that 
Sir Francis is very much better. The doctor said yesterday 
that he did not see why Sir Francis should not enjoy life 
for some time longer if we could keep him quiet. I told 
the doctor that was a difficult task but that I should do 
my best to care for him. 

I want also to apologise for the length of the paper. I 
shall not inflict the whole of it upon you, but having gained 
a great deal of information from my correspondents I felt 
that it would be well to put it into print so that it might 
appear in the Conference Report. 





Hon. Lady Superintendent, Roj-al Normal College for the Blind. 


At the Conference held in Edinburgh in 1905, Mr. Henry 
Stainsby dealt with the Elementary Education of the blind 
in an exhaustive manner, presenting to his audience in a 
clear and concise style the views of experts on the general 
principles underlying the subject, namely, residential schools 
versus day classes, mixed classes, school curricula, musical 
instruction, physical training, blind versus sighted teachers, 
etc. The report of that Conference is, or ought to be, in the 
library of every school for the blind, and it would be a waste 
of time to recapitulate the conclusions therein set forth. 

The object of the present paper, which has been largely 
compiled from replies to a questionnaire, is to lead those 
engaged in teaching the blind to study the individual 
requirements of their pupils a little more closely. I have 
tried to obtain detailed information as to the best means of 
cultivating manual dexterity, the training of the other 
remaining senses, any new methods of teaching the subjects 
in the curriculum, and suggestions for future improvement. 
My sincere thanks are tendered to all those who furnished 
replies, and I regret it will not be possible to quote more of 
them in extenso. In some instances the replies were pre- 
pared by a conference of superintendents and teachers, in 
which case the name of the Institution is given, while others 
represent individual opinions. 

Turning for a moment to the education of the seeing, we 
learn from educational journals, teachers' conferences, the 
daily papers, and the reports of deputations to the Board of 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

Education, that the results produced during the last forty 
years are disappointing. Among the improvements sug- 
gested are the curtailment of the academic portion of the 
curriculum, and the allotment of more time to manual 
training, domestic science, agricultural knowledge, organised 
games, scouting, etc., in a word, the cultivation of manual 
dexterity and motor activity. The very handicap of blind- 
ness makes these two new factors in the education of seeing 
children, a necessity in the training of our pupils, and rightly 
applied, a source of great mental advancement. 

In an address on blindness, Sir James Crichton Browne 
spoke of the effect of blindness on the visual centre, and the 
beneficial results produced by the early development of the 
other centres of the brain. 

" When from any cause there is blindness, dating from 
birth, infancy or childhood, the visual centre is deprived of 
its appropriate natural nourishment at its growth period, no 
supplies from the retina are conveyed to it, and it remains 
starved, stunted and curtailed of fair proportion. The visual 
centre that is left to itself must remain more or less dwarfed, 
and must fail to participate fully in the general life of the 
brain, that is to say, in its intellectual and emotional func- 

" If the blind are taken in hand betimes, much may be 
done to compensate any defect for which the undernourished 
and undeveloped state of the visual centre is responsible. 
That visual centre is surrounded by other centres in the 
brain, those concerned in touch, taste, smell, hearing, 
general sensibility, and those presiding over the movements 
of all the voluntary muscles of the body, and with these 
centres the visual centre is, or ought to be, in constant inter- 
course through innumerable lines of intercommunication, if 
these lines are only properly opened up. It is by taking 
advantage of these collateral lines of communications that 
the visual centre in the brain of the blind may be aroused, 
and perform its associative, if not its primary functions. In 
order to effectually help the blind you must attack this 
crippled visual centre on all sides, link with it all the motor 

c.B. 257 s 

The Elementary Education of the BHnd 

centres, in manual exercise, in games, sports, and athletics, 
and mainly that great sense of hearing, the centre for which 
in the brain lies in immediate juxtaposition to the centre 
for vision." 

Thoughtful parents might do much to foster the mental 
development of the little blind child by encouraging it to 
move about freely. The seeing infant toddles around, 
handling, rattling, biting, and banging the various objects 
■with Avhich he comes in contact, and is, by that very motor 
activity, contributing to the rapid growth of its brain-cells. 
Unless there is some one to watch each movement and guide 
each step, this activity is repressed rather than encouraged 
in the blind child, with the result that the brain is stunted, 
and the centres which might have partially supplied the 
want of sight remain undeveloped. 

Many of the children enter our schools, inert, awkward, 
helpless, timid, wanting in strength and decision of character, 
younger by two or three years than their ages indicate. 
Needless to say, lessons in dressing, eating and bed-making 
are among the first that should be given the child, and for 
those who experience great difficulty, some apparatus for 
teaching buttoning, lacing, tying, etc., like that of Madame 
Montessori, is helpful and easily made. It is well to arrange 
some other time than meals for acquiring good table manners, 
as it will be less wearing and vexatious both for teacher and 
pupil, although vigilance at the table must not be relaxed. 

All through elementary school life, plenty of time must 
be allowed for play, for at the outset it is often the only 
thing that will arouse any interest. Blind children who 
have not been allowed to take their full share in the duties 
and pleasures of family life, have little inclination for active 
games, and it requires a real love of children, with plenty of 
initiative on the part of the teacher, to make the play hours 
a success. 

Having aroused the pupils and created a desire for active 
exertion, we are now ready to consider the question of cur- 
riculum. One of our ablest brain specialists states that 
the development of the hand centres probably commences in 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

the first year of the child's life, and is most active between 
the fourth and fifteenth year ; should this period be neglected 
and the hand left untrained, it beconies incapable of high 
manual efficiency. Manifestly, then, manual training* mvist 
occupy a large portion of the time, especially as many of the 
pupils will have to depend on some form of handicraft for 
their future livelihood. 

Sir John Cockburn took as the subject of his recent address 
at the Leeds Training College, " Handmindedness." In 
that helpful book, " Talks to Teachers," Professor James 
says: "An impression that in no way modifies the pupil's 
active life is an impression gone to waste, its motor conse- 
quences clinch it. The introduction of Manual Training 
Schools will give us citizens of an entirely different intellectual 
fibre." Therefore, in planning for a special course of hand- 
training, conducted on educational lines, we are taking the 
best means to arouse those centres in the brain which will 
develop the child's intelligence. 

We must not forget that when considerable facility has 
been acquired in any manual operation, the act tends to 
become automatic, the movement is controlled by the lower 
centres of the brain, and the exercise has lost much of its 
value as a means of mental development, hence the need of 
constant variety and advance in the hand-work course, 
until the time arrives when the aim is to acquire speed and 
dexterity in some special form of manual work. If possible, 
all the work should be made for some purpose which the 
child can appreciate, for it grieves him to think his handi- 
work will be counted as rubbish, and thrown away. The 
extent to which a class can be employed in carrying out some 
cherished purpose is well illustrated in the practising-school, 
connected with the L.C.C. Day Training College, or the 
Mixdenden Council School, Halifax. A stimulus we have 
used to foster perseverance and industry is the pleasure the 

* "The Book of School Hindwork," edited by H. Holman, M.A., 
pubUshed by the Caxtoa Publishing Corapmy, Clun House, Surrey Street, 
W.C., will be found helpful in the school library ; it contains much that is 
not applicable to blind children, but the wide-awake teacher can adapt 
many of the occupations. 

259 S 2 

The Elementary Education of the Blind 

articles made in the kindergarten, knitting, and sloyd will 
afford parents and friends if used for Christmas or birthday 

1. Mention the various means by ivhich manual dexterity 
can he cultivated. Outline of courses of training for children 
between the ages of five and fourteen. Suggest ions for overcoming 
the helplessness of children in whom the connection between the 
hand and brain is defective. 

Very full replies were sent to this question, and detailed 
schemes will be found in Appendix I. For the junior classes, 
all correspondents mention Kindergarten occupations. 
Some lay great stress on the value of beads in all the forms 
in which they can be used, beginning with a large size and 
gradually introducing smaller ones; it was also suggested 
that children be asked to supply original patterns. If the 
beads are varied in shape, interesting number lessons are 
provided at the same time as hand-training. Some teachers 
would banish blocks, but Mr. Illingworth advises the use of 
larger ones than are sold with the usual Kindergarten material. 
Mr. Stone recommends giving much time to free play with toys 
at this stage. Mr. Norwood follows the course and occupa- 
tions suggested in the Code for Special Schools (Board of 
Education) with specially devised apparatus to meet the 
difificulties of abnormal cases. The following occupations 
w'cre common to nearly all the lists : modelling (both clay 
and plasticine), stick-laying, cane-weaving, paper folding and 
cutting, graduated weaving (both wool and rafia), straw 
plaiting, the sand pit and sand table. By means of bent 
wires and felt mats, or cushions, geometrical forms can be 
taught, and stories illustrated. All the occupations men- 
tioned are suitable in more advanced stages for pupils in the 
Intermediate department. 

Most of the children in the Kindergarten department can 
begin sewing and knitting, and for the former, a course first 
taught at the Royal Normal College by Miss Molander, a 
Finnish lady, is recommended. All the different stitches are 
taught on very coarse canvas with wool, repeated on finer 
canvas, and, finally, taken on very fine canvas with silk. 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

We afterwards adopted a ehart with eyelets for the most 
helpless ehildren. By this course, the position, of the needle 
and shape of the stitch were firmly fixed in the child's mind. 
From the beginning, the canvas was cut to such a size that 
useful or pretty articles could be made from the finished 
work, and it was delightful to see the pleasure of the children 
in their handiwork. It was easy to transfer the knowledge 
thus gained to cloth of different qualities. A course in 
knitting outlined by the same Finnish lady secured, from 
all but the most helpless, good progress. 

In reply to the second part of the question, Miss Garaway 
and Mr. Stoddart say : " The problem of the helpless children 
we have not been able to solve." 

Birmingham. " From the beginning, insist upon such 
children becoming proficient in matters which concern their 
own person, such as dressing, boot-brushing, bed-making, etc. 
Pay special attention to weak deportment and mannerisms — ■ 
individual attention in the exact use of school apparatus. 
Insist upon effort rather than mere attempt at perfection. 
Simple exercises in wrist and finger training in as many forms 
as possible. It would seem futile to expect that ail children 
suffering from th's defect shall become proficient in manual 
work and be able to earn their own livelihood — ^there must 
be a fair percentage of them who, after specially sympathetic 
treatment, still continue to be defective," 

York. " By as great variety as possible of various simple 
occupations {e.g., rubbing a desk or table both top and legs, 
brushing clothes, taking a number of books from one shelf 
to another some distance away, etc.) which are not regarded 
by children as lessons. In this work plenty of change is 
essential. Great care should be taken that the forms of 
manual occupation do not include processes which are 
beyond the mental powers such pupils are able to exercise 
in their kind of work." 

Mr. Stone. " Do not think artificial methods are much 
use. Helplessness is physical — much exercise and fresh air 
needed — such children are often intellectual and unfit for 
industrial work." 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

Miss Mciklejon. " The first occupations should be of a 
nature to keep the fingers and hands mo^'ing without undue 
demands upon the mental capacity or tactile sense. Then 
should follow exercises in which balance and some control 
are required." 

Mr. Illingworth. " It will be necessary to confine such 
children to more elementary exercises, taking particular note 
of individual progress and the means which in each case 
produced the best results for future guidance ; when the 
lack of co-ordination is the result of chronic physical defect 
little can be done to overcome it." 

The other suggestions for such children were, " more time 
devoted to work in which all mistakes are very noticeable," 
"repeating steps till they become familiar," "constructive 
puzzle games," " such toys as ' mecanno ' out of school 
hours," "placing geometrical forms on corresponding open- 
ings in a wooden frame," " action songs and musical drill." 
All are agreed that such childien call for endless patience, 
perseverance and sympathy. They require individual treat- 
ment which cannot be given them in a class with other 
children, and the most heljiless should he provided for in 
sejjarate schools. 

2. What are the best forms of manual trahiing for pupils 
from fourteen to sixteen years of age ? Should the manual 
instruction he of a genercd character, or directed to some specicd 
trade to he follotved in adidt life ? What trades are suggested 
as suitable, considering the appliances availahle in Elementary 
schools ? 

The following occupations were recommended, and 
although none of them are new, improved apparatus and 
methods of teaching have been introduced in many institu- 
tions. Wood and bent iron work, chair-seating, basket, 
brush, and mattress-making, mats and rugs, cork fenders, 
boot-mending, typewriting, tuning, hand and machine 
sewing, hand and machine knitting, crocheting, weaving, 
and domestic subjects. 

For the pupils who will have to depend on handicrafts, the 
majority were in favour of a course of manual training 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

between fourteen and sixteen years of age which should bear 
on their future occupation, but this did not imply that all 
other subjects were to be neglected. 

There were only two who referred to the appliances avail- 
able in Elementary schools. Mr. Stoddart, who replig(j 
" Owing to the proximity of our workshop, we are in h^q 
fortunate position of being able to get expert teacher^ j^^ 
every department," and Mr. Illingworth, " If the applia 
are not there they ought to be." nces 

3. Do you favour the transfer fro)n Elementary to Secondary 
schools at fourteen instead of sixteen years of age, if means are 
provided for a five or six years' course of Secondary training ? 
Considerations which should govern the choice of a profession or 

In direct connection with the second part of question 2 is 
the consideration of the age at which pupils should be trans- 
ferred from an Elementary school, certified under the Educa- 
tion (Blind and Deaf Children) Act, 1893, which extends the 
age for the Elementary education of blind children to sixteen 
years. This question does not arise when the elementary 
and secondary classes form two departments of the same 
institution, for the pupils have the advantage of training by 
expert teachers, and the use of the appliances of the Secondary 
department. If, however, they have been in Day-classes, or 
in an institution which sends them away at sixteen years of 
age, and their training is to be continued in another institu- 
tion by the help of a Secondary education authority, then it 
seems to me desirable to make the change at an earlier age. 
The replies showed that the tendency is to specialise at 
fourteen years, and it frequently happens that a pupil begins 
some trade, or studies for some profession, but not on the best 
lines, or with all the advantages he could obtain in a larger 
institution. As the senior pupil in a small school, he has 
been brought forward, perhaps praised unduly, and it takes 
some time for him to find his level ; often, too, he is unwilling 
to adopt any new suggestions as to methods of study, work, 
or practice. 

Most of the answers were favourable to an early transfer, 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

but it is only fair to quote Mr. Ritchie's objections : " I am 
strongly in favour of children being kept in the Elementary 
school until sixteen years of age. During the last years a 
strong manual training element may be thought desirable, 
but it is essential that the general atmosphere should be that 
of a school and not that of a ivorkslwp. The atmosphere of 
the apprentice establishment must always approximate more 
or less closely to that of the workshop even where classes of 
a literary character are included in the curriculum. In my 
opinion it is better that the adolescent period should be 
passed in school, Avith its closer supervision, stricter and more 
experienced control and higher ideals, than that boys and 
girls should at the dangerous age of fourteen pass under a 
new, and in some ways, to them, an undesirable rdgime.^^ 

If the change meant companionship only with adults in a 
workshop, I should agree with him, but many institutions 
have a secondary department where the pupils are still under 
good supervision. If an Act is passed making Secondary 
education and training compulsory for the blind, I hope to 
have the support of all interested in their welfare in urging 
that the age of transference be fourteen. 

In deciding upon the trade or profession to be followed by 
the pupils, the capacity, mental and physical, must be care- 
fully considered. It often happens that the latter is left out 
of account, and lads who have a good car but lack co- 
ordination of the hand and brain, or who have hands so 
damp that they cannot touch a wire Avithout rusting it, are 
unfortunately recommended for pianoforte tuning. Again, 
to train a boy for the musical profession who shows no desire 
to become neat in his appearance, courteous in his manners, 
and free from all mannerisms and peculiarities that Avould 
render his presence noticeable, will still further increase the 
prejudice already existing against employing blind organists 
and music teachers. 

The considerations specified in the replies were, "individual 
aptitude," " facilities for the proper following of the trade 
when training is completed," " market value of the occupa- 
tions," " home environment and private resources," " give 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

the pupil a voice in the matter if possible, as he is more 
likely to succeed if allowed to follow his own bent." We all 
know that a blind man's chance of success is usually doubled 
when he has a good sighted wife, and Mr. Brown thinks we 
must estimate the " possibilities of marriage " in the choice 
of a profession ; but we must ask him to give some hint as 
to the manner in which he judges the chance of his pupils 
in the matrimonial market so early in their career. 
. One successful blind man writes : " The tendencies and 
capabilities of the blind person should form the criterion ; 
home surroundings, position of parents or guardians, should 
be left out of account. The point to decide is, can he be 
made technically good ? " If the pupil gives evidence of 
that indomitable pluck and perseverance which conquers all 
obstacles, we can safely follow this advice, but not otherwise. 

4. To what extent should household duties he taught the female 
2)upils ? affect on pupils. 

There are many domestic duties which blind girls can per- 
form as well as their sighted sisters, indeed some successful, 
enthusiastic blind housekeepers maintain that they have 
managed their households single-handed for many years, 
to the entire satisfaction of husband and children. Not 
all seeing housekeepers can make so proud a boast, and it 
shows unusual aptitude and executive ability when a blind 
woman surmounts all the difficulties. Domestic training 
should have a place in the curriculum, and when the necessity 
of preparing in a limited time for a trade or profession 
precludes the possibility of a thorough course, the girls 
should be encouraged to gain a knowledge of housework 
during the vacation. It is more difficult to persuade the 
mothers that such duties are possible for their daughters, than 
to arouse in the girls an ambition to become useful members 
of the family. Mr. Dow, Superintendent of the School 
for the Blind, Faribault, Minnesota, U.S.A., enclosed a 
copy of an excellent leaflet he sends to the parents at the 
beginning of the holidays, pointing out that no school can 
relieve them of all responsibility for the education and 
training of their blind children. (See Appendix IV.) 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

In nearly all the schools, bed-making, dusting, laying 
tables, washing dishes, and some other light household 
duties are undertaken. The American schools have prac- 
tising-rooms with a complete outfit for a thorough course 
in Domestic Science. The Glasgow Asylum is fitting up a 
room in their technical school for cooking, housekeeping, 
and laundry work, where an expert teacher of these subjects 
will give lessons. All the replies were in favour of such train- 
ing, but Mr. Siddall notes " the time given should be dis- 
tinctly defined, or it will be overdone to save female labour. 
It should be graded so that a girl may gain general 
information." The advantages are so apparent, I shall only 
mention one that was given. " The effect is to make them 
considerate for those who serve them, as well as making 
them independent." 

5. Suggestions for the cultivation of the sense of hearing as 
regards direction, distance, object, and material. 

We do not give enough heed with young children to the 
cultivation of the sense of hearing. Their attention should 
be frequently called to the different echoes produced by 
their own footfall in their various surroundings, the footsteps 
of their companions, the sounds of the outdoor world, 
especially the song of the birds, and noises made by any- 
thing passing them in the street. I am sure my knowledge 
of the mechanical construction of different vehicles has 
been greatly increased by the catechising of Sir Francis 
Campbell, for not a sound escapes his attentive ear. 
In addition to this incidental training, a few minutes can 
be given out of class-work each day to exercises, illus- 
trating the sounds produced when different substances and 
articles are struck, dropped or rattled. When the children 
begin to show fatigue and inattention, if introduced as 
a game, it will wake them up. It is important to impress 
upon our pupils the necessity of judging distance and direc- 
tion, and following a straight course to objects within a 
small radius. A little practice will enable them to establish 
sound signals in familiar surroundings, and save that helpless 
groping and wandering to reach an objective point, which 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

impresses the observer so forcibly with a feehng of the in- 
competency of blind people. 

Many correspondents mentioned the great benefit to be 
derived from playing games with a ball having a bell inside. 
Other suggestions will be found in Appendix II. 

I hoped to gain many useful hints from my blind friends, 
but the cultivation of their sense of hearing has been so 
gradual it seems to them instinctive, and they are unable 
to explain the process. 

Mr. Siddall. " The answer depends largely on the pupil, 
but he could be materially assisted by not making the school 
gates the boundary, and by sending him to the shops near at 
hand. Nervousness is detrimental to correct hearing, and can 
often be prevented by starting the child when fear has not 
entered too strongly into its inind, and the idea of looking 
foolish does not occur to him." 

Miss Till. " Blindness causes the sense to develop itself ; 
we soon notice the difference between the sound of a wall 
or a hedge, a fence, etc. I found hide-and-seek amused, 
exercised, and developed the sense of hearing in my little 

Mrs. Wood. " The best method of cultivating the sense 
of hearing with a view to becoming more self-helpful, is 
an earnest determination to make use of the common oppor- 
tunities of daily life for locating objects by sound. Just as 
a blind person may distinguish almost anything by its 
scent (if it has any), so anything in life that is capable of sound 
has its own characteristic sound." 

Mr. Moyes, " Outdoor exercise in such an area as will 
of necessity compel the child, for reasons of personal safety 
and decorum, to rapidly gauge the nature and location 
of such objects as are met with during locomotion. Associa- 
tion and experience will be the main factors of development." 

Sir J. M. Barrie relates that the friends of " Old Irons," 
the blind tailor of Thrums, " granted that he could tell when 
a doctor went by, when a lawyer, when a thatcher, when a 
herd, for all callings have their walk ; but he was regarded 
as uncanny when he claimed not only to know ministers in 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

this way, but to be able to distinguish the steps of the dif- 
ferent denominations." I do not know whether anyone 
present can rival " Old Irons," but the following incident 
was told me by a friend of Mr. Hendry, of Adelaide. They 
were walking together, when Mr. Hendry suddenly raised 
his hat ; the friend inquired the cause, and learned that Mr. 
Hendry was bowing to the chairman of his executive com- 
mittee, who was passing in his carriage. Mr. Hendry had 
recognised the trot of the gentleman's horse. 

Time and space will not permit me to deal with the musical 
aspect of this question, but I should like to urge upon all 
educators of the blind, the necessity of introducing a pro- 
gressive and co-ordinated scheme of aural training, whereby 
the hearing and rhythmic faculties will be systematically 
developed from early childhood, and upon which the study 
of harmony and composition can be successfully based. 

I regret no inquiries were made in regard to the cultivation 
of the sense of touch. The compensation of which people 
talk so glibly comes to the blind only by the careful training 
of the senses that remain, and tlie longer that training is 
delayed, the more difficult becomes the task of the teacher. 
The importance of the sense of touch in the education of a 
normal child leads to its early and constant use in Madame 
Montessori's system. In his exposition of the system (Board 
of Education Pamphlets, No. 24) Dr. Holmes says : " The 
sense of touch is the first developed of the bodily senses, and 
is also the first to be dulled if left uncultivated." 

The most important properties of bodies, roughness, hard- 
ness, weight, shape, and temperature, are acquired by the 
tactile sense, with which we include the muscular sense. 
The physiologists and psychologists are making the sense of 
touch a subject of careful research. In Appendix V. will be 
found the results of an experiment that shows to what an 
extent the sensitiveness of the skin can be increased. Next 
to the tip of the tongue, the tactile sense is most acute in the 
tips of the index fingers, but it can be brought to a great 
degree of sensitiveness in all the fingers, and even in other 
parts of the body. Some teachers consider the task is 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

accomplished when a pupil can read fluently with the fore 
finger of one hand. 

If it is regarded as such a help in the education of 
seeing children, how much greater is its importance to blind 
pupils. Mr. Illingworth delivered two valuable lectures on 
this subject at the Holiday Course for teachers, held in 
Manchester two years ago, from which he has kindly allowed 
me to quote. He emphasises the necessity of keeping the 
class rooms warm enough to prevent the fingers losing 
sensitiveness through numbness. 

" In this condition, the tactile sense is in abeyance, but 
the muscular sense may be brought into play by drill or any 
active movements with excellent results. The finger tips 
are the media, we might almost say the organs, with which 
wc are chiefly concerned. Let us do our utmost to prevent 
these from being impaired before the child reaches school 
age. We hear a great deal about the prevention of blindness, 
but injury to the finger tips means double blindness. Nail- 
biting is a habit, which militates powerfully against sensi- 
tiveness of the finger tips, and unless the nail-biting habit is 
eliminated at an early age, the fingers affected are per- 
manently injured for reading purposes. The teacher who 
really desires to comprehend the possibilities of the develop- 
ment of the sense of touch, should have at least an elementary 
scientific knowledge of the construction of the machinery 
with which he has to deal, otherwise his work will be per- 
formed by ' rule of thumb,' and cannot be guided by 
intelligent aim, founded on a real knowledge, as, if it is to be 
thoroughly and successfully applied and directed, it ought 
to be." 

The lectures described in detail how the various Kinder- 
garten occupations can be made most effective for cultivating 
the tactile sense. 

Miss Meiklejon, who has a school for defective children, 
speaks of the importance of active exercise as a pre- 
paration for lessons dependent on touch. " The class 
should begin with finger and hand exercises. If the 
children's hands are cold, they have to warm them 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

through their own activity- — clapping, rubbing, hand-shaking 
and twisting, finger drill on and off the table, exercises in 
gripping and relaxing, pulling, pressing, etc. The feeble 
attempts children make in rubbing are astonishing ; it is an 
excellent exercise to make big sweeps with firm pressure, also 
circular mo^'ements on table or polished floor. The circular 
movements, being particularly good, are given in a variety of 
ways. Dr. Francis Warner lays great stress on systematic 
training of the muscular sense by means of weights." 

The Rev. W. Jackson, one of our former pupils, gives 
some interesting and amusing advice on the matter. 
" The chief thing to which I can attribute the develop- 
ment of the tactile sense is careful instruction in childhood, 
with my sisters, in various household duties. I am confident 
there is only one sound method, ' toys and toys and toj'^s ; ' 
mechanical toys for construction and destruction, old clocks 
for analysis, numberless dolls and myriads of Noah's arks. 
Apart from toys and puzzles, amateur mechanics and car- 
pentry, sewing and embossed geometry are most valuable. 
For the art of balance, playing with balls, balancing sticks, 
carrying full tea-cups and pails of water is useful. There is 
one point of practical imjoortance, the deportment of a boy 
depends largely on his contact with the ground through the 
tactile sense, and this is affected by the shape, weight, and 
flexibility of boots." 

I will close this section with the testimony of Helen Keller. 

" Necessity gives to the eye a precious power of seeing, 
and in the same way it gives a precious power of feeling to 
the whole body. Sometimes it seems as if the very substance 
of my flesh were so many eyes looking out at will upon a 
world new-created every day." (" The World I Live In.") 

6. Illustrations of the use of motor activity as a stimulus to 
mental development. What active games and ivhat other forms 
of physical exercises are popular ? Are the p/f/?/ hours super- 
vised ? Is the Gymnasium available in free time ? 

This subject was dealt with by Sir Francis Campbell, at 
the London Conference, 1902, and in Mr. Littlcwood's paper 
at Manchester, 1908, but it bears so directly on the mental 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

development of the child it is worth our while to consider 
it again. If there is no desire for play on the part of a child, 
there is generally but little energy available for work. With 
many blind children, we must keep constantly in mind their 
tendency to sit down and dream, or to wander about aim- 
lessly, and counteract it by arousing a desire for active games. 
Dr. Wood Hutchinson, in an article in the Contemporary 
Reviezv, asserts that for every pound spent on schooling, ten 
shillings should be spent on play, as it leads to such all-round 
adaptability. That the committees of schools for the blind 
are beginning to realise this fact, is shown by the removal of 
so many of the schools to sites that furnish room for ample 

It was the unanimous opinion that play is a great stimulus 
to mental development, that the play-hour should be super- 
vised unobtrusively, and the children left free to choose their 
own games. In most cases the gymnasium was not used 
in free time miless a responsible person was present. You 
will be interested to learn to what an extent play has become 
part of the daily life of the pupils in our Schools for the blind 
and what games are popular, therefore the replies are quoted 
in the Appendix III. 

One point to be remembered in suggesting or arranging 
garhes for the children, is to try to work in a line with nature, 
and suit them to the succeeding stages of the child's develop- 
ment. With little children the dramatic instinct is strong, 
playing shop, or school, representing the events of daily 
life, or characters in a story are favourite amusements. 
On these occasions " we have the giftie gie us, to see oursels 
as others see us." While the blind child is quick to catch the 
tone and manner of those with whom it associates, the want 
of sight deprives its play of the development that comes 
through imitation of everyday actions. Here is a chance 
for valuable lessons, if we can enter into the spirit of child- 
hood, and make believe successfully. At this stage round 
games accompanied by singing and action songs are a 
delight. The latest books on musical instruction contain 
many rhythmic exercises to which the children are to 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

listen, and afterwards give expression through movement. 
Indeed, the representation of musical rhythm by movement 
has been elaborated into a system of rhythmic gymnastics 
by Mons, Jaques Dalcroze, and its introduction in this 
country is strongly urged by his converts. 

A little later, with the boys, comes a strong desire to play 
robber, pirate, or police, to fight, storm forts, and knock 
each other about, the product of past racial activities. 
At eleven or twelve years of age individual activity yields 
to a desire for corporate action, and we must either 
adopt a modified form of cricket and football, or devise 
something to take their place. We had a striking example 
of the necessity of the competitive element in order 
to keep up a real interest in games. After the novelty 
had worn off, our skittle-alley was scarcely touched, until 
the boys themseh'cs organised at the beginning of each 
Easter Term a number of clubs. A strict record is kept, 
with prizes on Sports' Day for the winning team and 
champion player, and now the skittle-alley is in constant 
demand during free time. 

7. The best means of visualising the outer ivorld to those 
•who have lost their sight in infancy. 

In reply to this question the following summarises the 
suggestions : " Contact with objects, and when this is im- 
possible, the use of models " ; " models should be made 
simple, not overloaded with detail to the detriment of im- 
portant points " ; " using your own height, weight, and 
other well-known standards for purposes of comparison " ; 
" illustrative analogies from the known to the unknown " ; 
" visits of observation and to museums " ; " clear explana- 
tions, with opportunity for questions " ; " descriptive 
walks " ; " descriptive literature." 

Mr. Siddall. " The answer to this question is the hardest 
to find, either for teacher or blind person. I am convinced 
that embossed pictures are no use in the majority of cases 
to a blind man who has lost his sight before understanding 
pictures, and every blind man I have asked (and they are 
many) is of the same opinion. Models in wood, or some such 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

material, stuffed birds and wild animals would impress the 
general outline on the mind of the blind person. Maps give 
a good idea of the shape of the land, etc., because we have 
a knowledge of the land we walk on." 

Mr. Ritchie may be right in saying, " We can help those 
blind from infancy to realise something of the world around 
them, but never to visualise it." The blind with whom I 
have been most intimate have enjoyed so keenly the wonders 
and beauties of nature, it is hard to believe they have not 
a vivid picture of the scene before them. To quote again from 
Helen Keller : " Every atom of my body is a vibroscope. 
The thousand soft voices of earth have truly found their 
way to me^ — ^the small rustle in tufts of grass, the silky 
swish of leaves, the buzz of insects, the hum of bees in blos- 
soms I have plucked, the flutter of a bird's wing after his 
bath, the slender rippling vibrations of water running over 
pebbles. It is not for me to say whether we see best with 
hand or eye, I only know that the world I see with my 
fingers is alive, ruddy, satisfying." 

The everyday surroundings are so familiar to us, we 
neglect to mention details that are essential to the forma- 
tion of an accurate picture. Often a very little child is 
a blind man's best companion in a country walk, for the 
commonplace has a freshness and interest for him, which is 
manifested by constant questions. When excursions are 
planned to places noted for natural beauty or historical 
interest, prepare for them by reading good descriptions, 
also poems or other compositions that express the feelings 
awakened in the minds of others. When reading we should 
bear this in mind, and note any beautiful word-painting that 
will convey a vivid impression to our blind friends. 

Visits to museums and zoological collections are helpful 
features in cultivating the imagination of our pupils. Mr. 
Deas has shown what striking results are obtained when 
the visits are under the superintendence of an enthusiastic 
expert. A full account of the visits to the Sunderland 
Museum inaugurated by him will be found in the Museums^ 
Journal, September, 1913. 

c.B. 273 T 

The Elementary Education of the Blind 

8. Are visits to museums a regular part of your school work ? 

Mr. Stone notes, " the Scottish National Museum authori- 
ties have placed a room filled with specimens at our disposal, 
and have supplied full descriptions of the objects that have 
been put into Braille and placed beside the objects. The 
pupils are greatly interested, a great number of fresh 
conceptions have been received and misconceptions 

Birmingham. " Arrangements at present are being 
negotiated with the keeper of the Birmingham Art Gallery, 
Sir Whitworth Wallis. Visits are made to the Botanical 
Gardens, where there is a zoological section. It increases 
interest in nature study and natural history, and stimulates 
mental activity." 

York. " We have a small but good museum of our own 
which is constantly used. All the staff and other members 
of the various departments of the institution are encouraged 
to bring for the pupil's observation any object which they 
think will interest and instruct our pupils. Our pupils paid 
a visit of observation to Streasall Common and Military 
Camp. They were divided into parties of four, each party 
in charge of a guide. The plan of the visit was that each 
party should choose the feature it wished to see, and that no 
information was to be given by the guides except in reply to 
an inquiry from one of the party of observers. In this way 
the camp guard-room, a soldier's tent and its equipment, 
the series of rifle butts and arrangements for scoring, 
with other features of camp life, as well as the flora were 

Glasgow. " We have a very comprehensive museum of 
our own used daily in object teaching, and occasional visits 
are paid to the public museums on Saturday mornings." 

Mr. Brown and Mr. Evans mention occasional visits, and 
their use in bringing to light long-concealed misconceptions, 

9. Any new devices or methods for teaching Reading and 
Braille ivriting. 

It was thought this question might lead to the discovery 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

of some ingenious person who had found a way to adapt for 
the use of the bhnd the latest methods in vogue with seeing 
children, but apparently the inability to eomparc quickly 
one word with another by the sense of touch is an obstacle 
to the " Look and say," or other modern methods of teaching 
reading. Metal plates, the ethelda, or boards on the plan 
of the braillette are in common use for teaching the alpha- 
bet. Some teachers recommended enlarged letters, but we 
have found in most cases the standard size preferable, as the 
little fingers more readily cover a smaller-sized letter. The 
type-board can be utilised for forming words, letters, and 
sentences ; many exercises can be devised to keep up the 
interest. If the class consists of a number of beginners at 
different stages of progress, each one requires individual 
attention, and by means of type-boards you can easily keep 
them all busy and have a record of what they are doing. 
At the same time the fingers are being trained, and the child's 
natural desire of having something to show for his effort is 
gratified. It also gives excellent drill in spelling before the 
class is able to use the Braille frame. 

Our teachers prepare many reading cards, introducing each 
new letter as it is learned. Miss Lily Bell suggests the 
following : " Before the lesson commences, prepare a story, 
writing on cards all the principal words, which should be 
short and easy ; tell the story to the class, and when their 
interest is aroused, let them read the prepared words." 
This embodies an important principle — create in the children 
a strong desire to learn to read for the pleasure it will bring. 

We all desire in teaching reading to " touch the true chord," 
and often the promise of a library book is a strong incentive 
to progress. In our course, after the primer and one or two 
readers, we have used stories in preference to more readers, 
but the revised Braille has forced us to give up the abridged 
edition of Scott's novels, " Myths of Hellas," Church's 
" Iliad " and " Odyssey," and many others, which we had 
collected in duplicate for this purpose. 

Writing.- — All are agreed it is unwise to begin Braille 
writing until the child's hand is strong enough to hold the 

275 T 2 

The Elementary Education of the Blind 

style in a proper way. If a bad manner of grasping the style 
is once acquired, it is as difficult to correct as awkwardness 
in holding a pen. Although it will require patience with 
helpless children, it is important for them to learn to put 
the paper in the Braille frame. 

Mr. Robb. " For teaching reading and writing to pupils 
below the normal, we have found a plasticine alphabet useful, 
the pupil makes his own A B C on the desk, using large 
balls at first." 

Mr. Norwood uses a perforated board with rivets. 

Mr. Illingworth. " Best of all methods, supply blind 
teachers for these subjects. I do not favour devices. I 
think it is a mistake to make things too easy." 

Mr. Dow. " For saving time and labour, and securing 
best results, writing machines should be used as soon as 

Mr. Hamilton. " The Cooper Engraving and Manufactur- 
ing Co., 558, West Washington Boulevard, Chicago, manu- 
facture for $5 the ' Midget Braille and Point Writer.' 
This is extremely simple, reasonable in price, and easy to 

10. Methods of teaching Geography in the early stages to 
blind children. 

The teaching of geography has been almost revolutionised 
in the last few years, and the methods now in use among 
seeing children are those which are advantageous for the 
blind child. 

All the replies recommended the use of sand, or models of 
clay, wax and plasticine, for the early stages, to be followed 
by plans of the premises, playgrounds and neighbourhood, 
the children measuring the distances and making the plans. 
For this course the type-boards, wives and cushions, or per- 
forated boards with rivets can be used. 

The long lists of rivers, lakes and mountains have given 
place to descriptions of the people of different countries, 
their occupations, the productions, etc. Sometimes the 
older children, who are more advanced in modelling, can 
provide illustrations for the little ones. The following books 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

are useful for lessons of this description : " Seven Little 
Sisters," " Living Races of Mankind," " Customs of the 
World," "Man in Many Lands," "Man and the Earth." 
Although the work belongs to a later stage, I would like to 
mention the great value of having the pupils study in detail 
the raised maps of the United Kingdom and Colonies, also 
other countries, if time allows. In after life they cannot 
always be consulting an atlas, and if the knowledge is gained 
in youth, it becomes a permanent possession, which adds to 
their interest in the news of the day, books of travel, 

Mr. Robb and Mr. Benj afield suggested the representation 
of geographical facts by means of games. The latter uses 
models of the different countries cut out of thin wood ; one 
of these models is placed on a perforated board, and the out- 
line traced with small nails. Afterwards the pupil makes the 
outline from memory and fills in the physical features of the 

Mr. Illingworth notes that this subject is too much 
neglected. You will pardon me for relating the following 
experience of Sir Francis Campbell. He was told it was no 
use to teach geography to the blind, and as an argument, the 
gentleman, leading him to an embossed globe and placing 
one hand on New York, the other on Liverpool, said, " You 
can't tell how far it is from one place to the other." Sir 
Francis immediately turned round and asked, " Can you ? " 
The gentleman hesitated, and finally acknowledged he 
could not. " Then what is the use of teaching a sighted man 
geography ? " retorted Sir Francis, adding, " the distance is 
exactly 3,066 miles " — he had recently crossed the Atlantic. 

11. Course of Nature Study adapted to blind children. 

The syllabuses for nature study followed closely those in 
general use, including lessons on plant life arranged according 
to the seasons (bringing the children, if possible, in contact 
with the growing trees, flowers and fruits), gardens of their 
own, and germinating seeds in the schoolroom. During 
the winter, our Kindergarten table is covered with vessels 
containing peas, beans, grains, and nuts, each one labelled 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

with the owner's name, for personal ownership adds greatly 
to the interest. Lessons on insects, birds, elementary 
seience, and physiology were included, until one felt the 
school hours were not long enough for all the nature know- 
ledge one would like to impart. The keeping of pets was 
also mentioned. 

12. Course of History adapted to blind children. 

In pursuing this study there is practically no difference 
between the blind and the seeing child, and the former has 
the advantage in the fact that his memory is generally 
stronger. Therefore, all correspondents recommended the 
courses generally adopted in progressive schools. A few 
of the practical suggestions are appended. " The sand-table 
for illustrations, dramatization of historical incidents, and the 
reading of historical novels." Mr. Stoddart notes that they 
encourage the senior pupils to take a supplementary course 
in history, by placing on the library shelves all the interesting 
books in embossed type bearing on the subject. 

13. Correlation of studies. 

The interest which arises from discovering the relations 
that exist between different studies and their natural 
groupings are so obvious it is unnecessary to dwell on this 

14. Have you ojjen-air classes ? What results are notice- 
able ? 

Classes are held in the garden during the summer months in 
nearly all the Schools, the only ones having special facilities 
in the form of open-air classrooms being Birmingham and 

It was the general opinion that the children benefit 
physically when the conditions are suitable, but less work is 
accomplished during the lesson as the attention of the class 
is diverted by the many sounds. 

One principal notes, " everything which distracts and 
dissipates attention is objectionable, and open-air classes 
are not desirable except for the frail and sickly. Have 
abundant play and exercise, but have school classes in 
regular schoolrooms, properly constructed and ventilated." 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

15. Are joint Institutions for the blind and deaf mutes 
desirable ? If not, ijlease give reasons. 

The imanimous \ erdict was against joint institutions for the 
following reasons : " There is nothing in common between the 
two classes and the course of training is entirely different." 
" Under one headmaster, one or other class gets the prefer- 
ence to the detriment of the other." " The blind children, 
when talking to the deaf, contract facial exaggerations, 
and the imperfect language of the deaf is imitated." " Each 
class had better be educated with normal children than 
with each other." " The difficulty is to think of any reason 
why they should be together. Neither party is the slightest 
use to the other, and it has brought about intermarriages." 
There have always been strong, but unavailing, protests 
when educational authorities proposed to erect joint Schools. 
One council even contemplated adding accommodation for 
the mentally defective. It is to be hoped that this unanimous 
testimony, from those who can judge by experience, will 
prevent the building of similar Schools in the future. 

16. Are there serious defects in the present education of the 
blind ? If so, zvhat remedies would you suggest ? 

" The want of good text-books, models, and maps " was 
mentioned as one of the defects at the present time. '.We 
appreciate what Mr. Stainsby has done since he came to 
London to increase the supply, and we know that he intends 
the immediate preparation of maps and other educational 
publications. The greatest want is, " the lack of financial 
support.'' In employing teachers, buying apparatus, or 
enlarging premises, one has to stop and consider how the 
additional expense is to be met and forego many improve- 
ments that would add to the efficiency of the school. -We 
w^elcome the increased Elementary grant, and hope before a 
year has elapsed ample provision will be made by the 
Government for the education and training of those over 
sixteen years of age. 

" Difficulties of classification owing to irregularities in the 
age of admission " could be met by giving up Day-centres in 
favour of more centralisation. " The lack of blind teachers 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

on the staff " was regarded as a serious defect, and the 
prejudice against their employment can be overcome only 
by the continued protest on the part of those superintendents 
who know the worth of their blind assistants. " The need 
of frequent interchange of ojiinion upon vital points of the 
work " will be met by more extended work on the part of 
the "Association of Teachers." It was urged that educa- 
tional authorities " should grant facilities for members of 
the staff to visit other schools." " The education of myopes 
in a separate school " is already receiving attention. 

" A work on pedagogy written by an expert in blind work " 
was asked for. Many suggestions that will be helpful can 
be gained from practical ps5'-chologies and educational pub- 
lications already obtainable. There is a danger of differen- 
tiating too widely between the capacity of blind and seeing 
children. I would urge upon all teachers in schools for the 
blind to associate more with their fellow teachers in schools 
for the seeing- — ^join a " Childhood Society," keep up-to-date. 
You will be surprised to find how much of the fresh know- 
ledge gained can be applied in your special work. 

17. Do you find that teachers who come fresh to the work 
experience any difficulty in adajJting themselves to the needs of 
the blind children ? 

There is abundant testimony that teachers who come fresh 
to the work, while they may experience a little difficulty at 
first, soon adapt their methods to the needs of the children, 
and bring fresh life and interest. One correspondent dis- 
agrees, and criticises unfavourably " the college-trained 
infants who are so full of i^rcconceived notions of what they 
call psychology and hygiene, that they have to unlearn much, 
and this they are reluctant to do." He would have sighted 
boys and girls enter as student teachers and be trained for 
service in the institution. I cannot agree with this sweeping 
condemnation of trained teachers. The " trained infants " 
must have listened to lectures on psychology and hygiene 
more mj^stifying than enlightening. Teachers who consider 
their training is finished zvhen they leave College, and are not 
prepared to he learners all their lives, are of little use in any 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

school. Student teachers who receive all their training 
inside an institution are apt to have a narrow view point ; 
some experience with normal children is desirable, otherwise 
there will be a tendency to set too low a standard for the 
blind children. 

18. Have the examinatiofis of " The College of Teachers " 
improved the attainments of your staff? 

Where new teachers have been added to the staff since the 
organisation of " The College of Teachers," there is gratifying 
testimony as to the good effects of the examinations of that 
body. In one or two replies, there was a criticism of the 
academic qualifications required of the candidates. At 
first it was impossible to set a high standard of attainments 
for the candidates, but the council and committee should 
consider whether the time has not come for a revision of the 
conditions of admission to the examinations. 

19. What proportion of your teachers have had a Training 
College or Kindergarten course ? 

It is a matter for congratulation that so many teachers 
now employed in our schools are trained and certificated. A 
course of training will not make a teacher of one who has no 
fitness for the work, but any natural qualifications are 
strengthened and given a right impulse by residence in a 
good Training College. 

Lord Morley in a recent address at Manchester University, 
after complimenting the city on the munificence and energy 
to which the University owed its existence, referred to the 
skill, devotion, and perseverance of its long list of distin- 
guished teachers, and added, " the teachers are the soul of a 
college^ This applies with even greater force to those in 
charge of the blind, as the pupils, owing to their circum- 
scribed environment, are more dependent on the teacher's 
influence. A teacher who has no enthusiasm, no initiative, 
no genuine love of teaching, is out of place in a school for 
the blind. Great care should be taken in choosing the 
teaching staff, and I would beg governing bodies not to try 
and economise on the salaries of their teachers. Education 
and training are usually the blind youth's only capital, and 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

surely one so handicapped and restricted in the hnes of work 
open to him deserves the best education that can be given 
him as a preparation for future employment — an education 
that will not only make him skilful in some trade or pro- 
fession, but also fit him to take his place in the community 
as an intelligent, self-respecting, upright citizen. 

Those who are familiar with the condition of the schools 
for the blind forty years ago, when children were housed with 
adults, when the school curriculum included little beside 
reading and arithmetic, when physical training was regarded 
as beyond the capabilities of the blind, will realise how great 
has been the advance in all departments of their education. 
But there is no standing still in educational work, we must 
either advance or go backward. It rests with all the teachers 
and their co-workers, not alone those gathered in this Con- 
ference, to determine whether the course in the future shall 
lead " right onward " towards a higher ideal. 



Outline prepared at the Birmingham Royal Blind Insti- 

Manual dexterity can be cultivated : — • 

(1) Directly. — By means of manual training. 

(2) Indirectly. — By making the child independent in matters 
of personal cleanliness, tidiness, domestic duties, etc. 

Outline Course. 

(1) Paper Folding and Cutting leading to geometrical forms. 

(2) Mat-plaiting, raffia and wool-weaving, leading up to cane- 
seating chairs. 

(3) Bead threading — making of original patterns. 

(4) Plasticine modelling, illustrating nature lessons, geography, 
history and story lessons with original modelling. 

(5) Knitting (graded). 

(6) Sewing (graded). 

(7) Wire work (boys). 

(8) Cane weaving; from fiat weaving to baskets and fancy 

(9) Domestic duties (laundry and housewifery). 
(10) Woodwork (boys). 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

Outline prepared by Mr. W. M. Stone, Royal Blind Asylum 
AND School, West Craigmillar, Edinburgh. 

I. — (1) Performance of elementary duties such as clothing and 
feeding, fastening buttons, lacing boots, etc. 

(2) Playing with toys. 

(3) Occiipations of infants' schools. 

(4) Manual work, such as carpentry, bent iron work, knitting, 

II. — (1) Free play with toys, bricks, cups and saucers, dolls. 

(2) Bead work, raffia work, simple weaving with wools. 

(3) Pulji cane work, knitting. 

(4) Carpentry, basket-making, bent iron work, knitting 
(hand), knitting (machine). 

(5) More advanced carpentry, sewing machine. 

Outline prepared by Mr. J. A. Cheek, L.C.C. School, Linden 
Lodge, Wandsworth. 

For boys between the ages of twelve and sixteen years, I believe 
a general training is best and would recommend at least three out 
of the many subjects. One, woodwork, with a variety of well- 
directed thrusts, pulls and knocks, with fine set tools, scientifically 
reducing hard material and constructively assembling the parts. 
Another, basket work, which brmgs into play a totally different 
set of finely judged manipulations of pliable material, in which 
tools are almost negligible. And another, clay modelling, a 
subject providing means to cultivate gentler touch in work. I 
think these three forms of training suijplement each other, and, 
combined, complete a fairly comprehensive system of hand 

Outline prepared by Misses Delph and Garlick, L.C.C. 
School, Morning Lane, Hackney. 

Kindergarten, bead work, modelling, knitting, sewing, rug- 
making, macrame work (which we find most useful for boys), 
netting, basket-making, stool and chair-seating, and woodwork. 

Outline prepared by Mr. J. M. Ritchie, Henshaw's Blind 
Asylum, Manchester. 

Infants, 5 — 9. — Mamly by the manipulation of the various 
forms of apj)aratus specially designed for Infant handwork. Here 
we use miich of the material siipplied by such firms as Charles and 
Dible, Edward Arnold, etc., which can be adapted to the use of 
the blind or which can be used without adaptation. Probably 
the most educative activity is clay modelling, which we correlate 
with nature study and other lessons. Beads are used in three 
sizes, large, intermediate, and seed beads. Band-pit and sand- 
table play and lessons give exercise for manual dexterity, as also 
garden work. 

From 10 — 13. — In this intermediate section the most advanced 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

forms of Kindergarten occupations are retained. The ciiief are 
clay modelling, seed bead and pulp cane work. 

From 13 — 16. — In this senior section tlie factor of utility plays a 
prominent part. Tlie scheme here in use was outlined in an 
appendix to Mr. Stain^by's paper at the Edinbui'gh Conference 
and printed in that Keport. 

Outline prepared by Miss Gertrude Radford, London 
Society for Teaching the Blind, Hampstead. 

1. Modelling. (5 — 14 years.) 

Manipiilation of plaiticuie. 
Modelliug, simple forms ; roll-ball, etc. 
Modelling, complex forms. 
Imitation of various objects. 
Expression of ideas. 
Modelling should be used to ilhistrate any lesson. 

2. Bead Worh. (5—10 years.) 

Stringing beads, starting with very large and gradually 

introducing seed beads. 
Stringing beads of different sizes and shapes. 
Making articles with beads and wu'e : (1) round, (2) oval, 

(3) square. 

3. Baffta Work. (5 — 10 years.) 

Raffia binding over cardboard, starting with (1) square, 

(2) ring. 
Raffia weaving on frame. 

4. Plaiting, etc. (5 — 10 years.) 

String (coarse, fine), 3 strands, 5 strands. 

Rush, 3 strands, 5 strands, 7 strands. 

Raffia, 3 strands, 5 strands. 

Fastening buttons on button frame, coat, etc. 

Tying bows, dressing dolls. 

Lacing: (1) wooden frame, (2) strips of leather, (3) boots. 

5. Knitting. (8 — 14 years) with : 

String on frame at first, then needles. 
Wool: (1) coarse, (2) fine. 
Method of holding needles : 
(1) Plain, (2) purl, (3) ribbed. 

(4) Four-needle work. 

(5) Articles in various patterns. 

6. Cane Weaving. (8 — 14 years.) (Sizes 6 — cane.) 

( 1 ) Single, double, triple weavmg on wooden practice frames. 

(2) Round baskets with wooden bases. 

(3) Round baskets with wooden bases, handles, lids. 

(4) Round mats. 

(5) Round baskets with cane bases. 

(6) Round baskets with cane bases and lids, etc. 

(7) Oval trays -with wooden bases. 

(8) Oval baskets with wooden bases. 

(9) Oval baskets with wooden bases and lids. 

(10) Oval mats. 

(11) Oval baskets with cane bases, lids, etc. 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

(12) Square baskets. 

(13) Fancy shapes. 

7. Chair Caning. (10 — 14 years.) 

(1) Square frames. 

(2) Square chairs. 

(3) Ordmary cliairs. 

(4) Round chairs. 

8. Typing. (12 — 14 years.) 

(1) Letters of alphabet. 

(2) Sentences. 

(3) Tables. 

(4) Business letters, etc. Speed tests. 

9. Crochet. (12 — 14 years.) 

(1) Large hook and coarse wool. 

(2) Smaller hook and fine wool. 

(3) Chain, doubles, trebles, etc. 

(4) Various articles. 

10. Sewing. (12 — 14 years.) 

(1) With wool on canvas (coarse, fine). 

(2) Coarse calico and thread. 

(3) Fine cloth and cotton. 

(4) Various stitches, tackmg, hemming, runnmg, sewing, 

fancy stitches. 

(5) Cutting out and making various garments. 

Outline prepared by Mr. R. Toms, A.M.I.M.E., West of 
England Institution for the Blind, Exeter. 

Woodwork [First Tear). 

Exercise I. — -Marking and sawing off to a given length. 

Exercise 11. — Gauging on flat. 

Exercise III. — Gauging and marking off to a given depth. 

Exercise IV. — Gauging, marking, boring and nailmg. 

Exercise V. — Gauging, marking, sawing and chiselling to a 
given width and depth. 

Exercise VI. — Gauging, marking, sawing and chiselling on the 
edge, every other groove being twice the depth of the others. 

Exercise VII. — Gauging, marking, sawing and chiselling grooves 
in the width of the wood. 

Exercise VIII. — Planing to a given width and thickness. 

Exercise IX. — Planing, markmg, sawing, chiselling and inlaying. 

Exercise X. — Planing, marking, sawing, chiselling and oblique 

Exercise XI. — Planing, setting out with compass, boring, 
sawing and spoke-shaving. 

Model. I. — Square mat. Planing, shooting, glueing, setting out 
with square, rule and compass, spoke-shaving. 

Model Ia. — Round mat. Same tool operations as the last. 

Model II. — Square prism. 

Model III. — Octagonal prism. 

Model IV. — Round ruler. 

Joint I. — Lapped halving. 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

Joint II. — Lapped halving on edge. 

Model V. — Key rack, involving all tlie foregoing tool operations 
and exercises. 

Woodwork {Second Year). 

Model I. — Bracket. Planing, sawing witli bow saw, paring 
with gouge and chisel, boring and sawing. 

Model II. — Soap bos. Planing, sawing with tenon saw, end 
grain shooting, paring with chisel, boring, nailing and screwing. 

Model III. — Letter rack. Planing, boring with brace and 
centre bit, glueing and screwing. 

Model IV. — Pipe rack. Planing, parmg with gouge and chisel, 
boring with brace and centre bit, sawing with bow saw, spoke- 
shaving and screwing. 

Model V. — Knife box. Planing, shooting end grain, grooving, 
boring with centre bit, spoke-shaving and nailing. 

Model VI. — Egg stand. Planing, boring with centre bit, spoke- 
shaving, application of the lapped halving joint and screwing. 

Model VII. — CoUar box. Planing, end grain shooting, nailing 
and screwing. 

Model VIII. — Book rest. Planing, end grain shooting, bormg 
with brace and centre bit, paring with gouge and chisel, spoke- 
shaving, nailing and glueing. 

Model IX. — ^Coat rack. Planing, bormg with brace and bit, 
paring with chisel, chamfering with plane and chisel. 



Birmingham. — By carefuUy devised tests which sliaU bring 
mto play the sense of hearing as regards obstacles, their size and 
nature ; sounds, the direction of issue, nature of same. 

Mr. Stone. — I have not much faith in special methods. Plenty 
of activity, games, exercises in the open is what is requisite. As 
soon as possible pupils should be allowed and encouraged to go 
short walks and long ones, too, as they advance in years, into the 
country and into the town. Then they have to use their 
hearing, and the jiower of judging distance and direction grows 

Mr. Brown.— Various games and training of boy scouts I have 
found to be invaluable. Cricket, poultry farming and museums. 

York. — The sense of hearing may be cultivated by constant 
practice in sounds of various kinds and intensity in rooms, halls, 
and in many different conditions in the open. This testing and 
judging sound is done by our pupils in all their outside walks, and 
periodical tests are held in locating, distinguishing and otherwise 
determining sounds, both inside and in the open, under varying 
conditions of furniture and surroundings. 

Mr. Dow. — Gradual extension of the environment of the blind 
child as fast as conditions of safety will permit will automatically 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

cultivate the sense of liearing tlirough necessity. Attention 
should frequently be called to things desirable to be noticed and 
questions as to comparative results may profitably be held in 

Mr. Hamilton. — Have a portable electric bell which can be 
placed at various distances from the pupils ; teach them to gauge 
this distance, have them measure it. Walk to the sound and back 
again, thus forming the idea of distance. It also helps to have a 
small bag of sand to throw at the bell. 



Birmingham. — A carefully graded scheme of physical exercises 
and gymnastics, dancing and rhythmic movements, calling into 
play the various muscles of the body and inculcating a sense 
of direction and distance. All forms of ball games (adapted), 
races, running, skipping, jumping, swinging ; play hours are 
supervised ; gymnasivim free after school hours. 

Dundee. — All ordinary children's games ; play is not super- 
vised ; gymnasium is open at any time for play or practice. 

Edinburgh. — Young children : free play, rocking horse, 
bicycle. Boys : football, cricket, quoits, bowls, running, dancing, 
Swedish drill, gymnastics. Girls : skipping, swinging, dancing, 
acting, Swedish drill, gymnastics. Play hours are unobtrusively 
supervised ; gymnasium available in free time if teacher is present. 

Glasgow.^ — We have children lethargic and mentally dull on 
admission who have become quite normal after a course of 
physical training. Skipping, hide-and-seek, stilts, running round 
in the joy wheel, football, dancing, swimming, rowing at the coast. 
While the playgrounds are overlooked, the pupils are allowed to 
play freely and choose their own games. Gymnasium open in the 
morning for voluntary work, but always under superintendence 
of the physical instructor. 

Liverpool (Catholic Blind Asylum). — The physical exercises 
approved by the Board of Education. Football, cricket, stilts, 
swinging, see-saws, running game, dancing. Play hours are 

Linden Lodge. — I consider the gymnastics one of the best 
means of mental development, especially where the pupils are 
allowed to practise by themselves by way of recreation. There 
is no limit to invention of new exercises. The content of the 
apparatus is grasped, and an exercise must be conceived before 
it is attempted. The joy of daring and conquering is induced. 
Gymnastics for the blind correspond to golf to the sighted. Tree- 
climbmg, rambles in the country, roller skating, training for 
school sports, cricket, pushball, skittles, and a game pecuhar to 
ourselves, played in a narrow alley with a wicker baU, gardening, 
walking competitions. A master is always responsible, but play 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

is not closely supervised. Gymnasium only available under 

Manchester. — Children wlio have been previously dull and 
listless develop sharpness and keen interest, especially if taught 
the principles of mechanical force. Motor toys are useful in this 
connection. It is remarkable how the Swedish-loom has developed 
a bright iatelligence in some of our previously dull, and so far as 
handwork is concerned, useless blind girls over sixteen. Football 
and cricket are most popular with our boys, also swimming, but 
the giiis enjoy skipping and ordinary girls' games. Play hours 
are supervised, but every freedom is allowed. Gymnasium free 
to a certain extent. 

Newcastle. — All games involving motor activity stimulate and 
cultivate mental development and independence. According to 
the season, we have football, cricket, running tracks, tops, hoops, 
skipping, stUts, swings and see-saws. Play hours are all super- 
vised. No gymnasium. 

Norwood. — Gymnastics, swimming, roUer-skating, cycling, 
boating, dancing, skipping, jumping, putting the shot, tug-of-war, 
walking and nmning competitions, skittles, swings, stilts, see-saw, 
etc. The play grounds are overlooked, but the pupUs are allowed 
to play freely. The gymnasium is open in free time for voluntary 

St. Leonards. — The cbUdren should conduct and select their 
own play as far as possible. The teacher's duty should be to 
prevent danger and harm of every description, moral and other- 
wise, and to prevent stagnation and aimless wandering about of 
the helpless ; to correct bad and nervous habits, to encourage 
and take an interest in children who have hobbies. The teacher 
has great opportunities of bringing out much that is good in the 
children, of tnspii'ing them with ambition, and forming tme 

Swansea. — Skipping, jumping, football, tug-of-war, swinging, 
running, gymnastics, and dancing. Play hours supervised. 
Gymnasium apparatus sometimes available. 

Stoke-on-Trent. — A few remedial and recreative exercises 
interspersed occasionally in the daily work ; football, cricket, 
hockey, horses, skipping, dancing, barbells and wands ; all the 
times devoted to games are organised and supervised, but not 
ordinary recesses ; no gymnasium. 

St. John's Wood. — General supervision in play hours, a 
portion of the time spent in organised games, but much free play ; 
gymnasium not available in free time. Cricket, skittles, wrestling, 
leap-frog, chains, tug-of-war, roller skating. 

Worcester. — Rimning games, scouting, cricket, stUt-fighting, 
country walks, dancing. Play hours supervised unobtrusively. 
Gymnasium available provided the boys can get a master to be 

York. — A simple illustration of the use of motor activity as a 
stimulus to mental development is readily found in the game of 
skittles, the pupils having in the ordinary course of the game to 
comit the balls and also skittles overthrown, as to value and 
number, also to judge the direction in which the ball must be 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

thrown, the force required and so forth. Cricket, skipping, leap- 
frog, hare and hounds, tug-of-war, fox across, disguising voices, 
giant-strides, see-saw, swinging, wrestling. Outside gymnasium 
api^aratus always available. A teacher is responsible for the 
pupils durmg play hours, but there is no attempt to interfere with 
the freedom of the children ; it is the true essential of real play. 
At the same time, the children are encouraged and taught to play 
by the teacher when necessary. 

Eov. C4eo. WiiiTTLETOisr. — Country walks if the party be not 
too large. The walking over rough country, and the negotiating 
of gates and stiles all tend indirectly to develop the physique of 
the child, and if a really interesting description of the country be 
added, and it is not overdone, tlie average child will be able to 
visualize his surroundings. I am greatly interested to see that 
the Scout movement has extended to the blind. Of its great 
benefit to the rough lads of this neighbourhood I can bear grateful 
testimony, and I think it will be useful to the blind. Camping for 
blind boys, if not an accomplished fact, I feel sure is practicable, 
and would be useful. Some ten years ago, with two blind com- 
panions and a lad aged fourteen, I rowed from Oxford to Putney, 
and each night we pitched our tent and did simple cooking with a 
little help from the boy. 



Suggestions for the Home Training of Blind Children 
DURING Vacation. 

Parents and friends of the blind should bear in mind that no 
school can, or should, relieve them of all responsibility for the 
education and training of their children. 

Many things which cannot well be learned at home will form 
the subjects of training at school, while many others which can 
as well, or better, be taught at home should receive attention 

One great purpose of the long summer vacation is that during 
that time j)upils may'have time and opportunity to learn at home 
those things which, with little effort and no expense, can be 
imijarted to them there, but which could only be given at school 
at considerable exi^cnse, and then less profitably and efficiently, 
for since many of these are to be practised in the home in after 
life, they can best be originally learned there. 

During this season girls should, step by step, acquire a know- 
ledge of all the kinds of housework which have a place in the 
household of which they form a jiart. Sweepmg, dusting, 
mopping, arrangement of furniture, washing, ironing, settmg the 
table and clearing it off, dish washing and wiping, the preparation 
of all kinds of vegetables, and, when sufficient deftness in other 
directions has been acquired, practice in cooking. All these can be 
satisfactorily done by blind girls with proper training and atten- 

c.B. 289 U 

The Elementary Education of the Blind 

tiou, wliicli may generally be incidentally and easily imparted by 
the mother or sisters wliUe engaged in tlieir work. 

Do not be too fearful of letting your girls try experiments in 
any and all of these directions, and if some small loss or incon- 
venience occurs in the process of instruction and experiment, 
remember that the State has been to immensely greater cost that 
your child might learn the things you could not teach her, and 
certamly yoiir interest in her development should not be less. 
The entire resi^onsibility for such training cannot be delegated to 
the State ; it falls primarily upon the parent and should not be 

Again, do not keep the girl at one or two things which she may 
have learned to do fairly well, simply because it is some conveni- 
ence to have them done. Some girls are kept at dish-washing or 
tending the baby until they fairly loathe the thought of such 
work, when, if it were diversified by the opportunity to engage in 
the many other kinds of work which they might do, the aid would 
in the end be even greater and the benefit much greater, besides 
being much more agreeable. 

Remember that, wherever your daughter is to live, a capacity 
to do all of these thmgs will be of immense advantage to her. If 
she is to live in the home, as most blind girls will, she may in the 
declining years of the parents be the main stay of the family in all 
kinds of housework, with only such superintendence and assistance 
as may be required, from seeing persons. And certainly her 
position will be vastly more comfortable, if she is to live in the 
families of brothers and sisters or strangers, if she is quick, deft 
and tidy in all matters of hoiisehold work. 

The same remarks apply in differing directions to blind boys 
during the vacation. 

The farmers' boy should be taught to do everything about the 
farm which does not absolutely require sight, and it is astonishing 
how few things do, when an earnest effort is made to do them 
without it ; milking, the care of stock, all the house and barn 
chores, sawing and splitting wood, piling it up and getting it into 
house and shed, turning the grindstone and fanning mill, sacking 
grain, sorting potatoes, and a thousand other things which may 
readily be learned. Even a very little sight will help very 
materially in farm work as also in the household. I have known 
young men with barely sight enough to avoid large obstacles to 
do a full man's work in the hay field and in harvest by a little care 
in arranging the kind of labour. 

Here, too, do not keep the boy at one thing because he can do it 
pretty well and so be of more temporary help .at that than at 
anything else. Do not keep him at the grindstone, or the fanning 
mill, or the saw buck until he comes to hate them and with them 
all other kinds of farm work. 

The town boy has less opportunity for varied outdoor employ- 
ment, but even for him the vacation presents some opportunities. 
The inside chores and hoiisework he may profitably learn, and he 
need not be at all ashamed to do " girls' work." Teach him that 
it is better to pay his way by doing " girls' work " than to be a 
helpless dependent. 


The Elementary Education of the BHnd 

The summer vacation furnishes the town boy an opportunity 
to experiment in little business ventures. One totally blind town 
boy makes a good living by selling daily paj)ers. Many little 
ventures of this kind can be undertaken, and the business training 
thus got will be of immense value, even if the financial gain be 

In short, let the blind child, boy or girl, feel that the vacation 
is a time for traming just as much as the school time is, although 
of another kind. The brother or sister with sight expects when 
school closes to go to work indoors or out in whatever way may 
be most desirable or necessary. Let the blind child feel the same 

This is the work and duty of tlie parents during the vacation 
period, and it should be heartily accepted, and the utmost jiains 
and ingenuity be exercised that good methods be selected and 
that good results follow. The special characteristics and capacities 
of the child should be observed and pains taken to bring out all 
the powers and j)ossibilities he may possess. 

The sujjerintendent of this school will gladly assist by sugges- 
tions in more detail in all cases where it may be desired. 

James J. Dow, 
Superintendent School for the Blind, 
Faribault, Minn. 



One experiment consisted in finding the minimum distance at 
which two compass pouits could be distinctly felt, before and after 
the education of the tactile sense. A portion of the skhi 5 centi- 
metres square between the wrist and elbow was taken on the left 
arm of a man, and the right arm of a woman. At each sitting 
twenty-five to forty observations were made, the svibject being 
blindfolded. At the beginning, on the arm of the man the 
distance between the points was 33 millimetres and at the end of 
the fourth week, 3 millimetres ; on the arm of the woman, 21 
millimetres, and at the end of the fourth week, 4 millimetres. At 
the end of the fourth week corresponding places on the opposite 
arms were tested, and the points were recognised at 5 millimetres. 
The education had crossed over, so to speak, or the general dis- 
criminative ability had been wonderfully sharpened. That it 
was not due to the latter was proved by testing neighbourmg parts 
of the skin. 

Bex>lies were received from tJie following : — 

Superintendent and Staff, Royal Institution for the BHnd, 

Superintendent and Staff, Royal Institution for the Blind, 

291 u 2 

The Elementary Education of the Blind 

Superiuteudeut and Staff, Catholic Blind Asylum, Liverpool. 

Superintendent and Staff, Royal Victoria School for the Blind, 

Superintendent and Staff, Royal Asylum for the Blind, Glasgow. 

Superintendent and Staff, Yorkshire School for the Blind, York. 

Mr. G. C. Brown, College for the Higher Education of the Blind, 

Misses F. Brautigam, H. DeljA, F. Garlick, M. Holmes, 
K. Norris, E. Whitehouse, L.C.C. Day Centres. 

Messrs. H. W. Benjafield and R. Toms, School for the Blind, 

Mr. J. F. Dow, School for the BUnd, Faribault, Minnesota, 

Miss M. M. R. Garaway, Messrs. J. A. Cheek, E. Evans, and 
P. Robb, L.C.C. School, Linden Lodge, Wandsworth. 

Mr. S. M. Greene, School for the Blind, St. Louis, Missouri, 

Miss L. Hughes, School for the Blind, Wavertree, Liverpool. 

Misses B. Hatherwell, N. Preedy and B. Thomas, School for the 
Blind, Swansea. 

Mr. C. A. Hamilton, School for the Blind, Batavia, New York, 

Messrs. W. H. Illmgworth and J. M. Ritchie, Henshaw's Blind 
Asylum, Manchester. 

Miss A. Meiklejon, Special Residential Blind School, St. 

Mr. T. S. McAloney, School for the Blind, Pittsburgh, Pennsyl- 
vania, U.S.A. 

Misses E. M. Ridley and G. Radford, London Society for Teach- 
ing the Blind, Hampstead. 

Mr. L. S. Smith, School for the Blind, Stoke-on-Trent. 

Mr. W. M. Stone, Royal Blind Asylum and School, West 
Craigmillar, PMinburgh. 

Miss C. Till, Fentou. 

Mrs. M. Wood Putney, 

Mr. C. H. Irwin, North Shields 

Rev. W. Jackson, Ilford. 

Mr. P. Keiley, Alford. 

Mr. J. R. Lawfeon, Hull. 

Mr. T. B. Moyes, Sterling. 

I\rr. A. Siddall, Rochdale. 

Fpv G. Whittleton, Plumstead. 




Miss Garaway (London). — There are so many points arising 
out of Lady Campbell's paper that will lead to much discussion 
that I wiU, with your permission, select one or two on which I 
should like to add a few words. 

Under \. — As to the problem of the helpless child. I quite 
agi'ee that exercise, especially very varied exercise, ten minutes 
at this, ten minutes at that — may aid to a limited -extent; 
we have found it helpful. But I have in mind the intelligent 
child who has apparently ample general exercise, but who 
seems quite unable to express his ideas through his hands. There 
must be some psychological reason for this, and some special line 
of treatment to be followed, if we could only discover the reason 
of the difficulty. That there are seeing people equally deficient 
in this respect is well known, they, however, being less dependent 
suffer less. I am convinced in my own mind that till we locate 
the cause we can never cure the evil. 

Under 2. — I believe woodwork to be the means of excellent 
hand training, but I strongly deprecate the use of templets or 
any artificial guides. The work may have a less finished appear- 
ance when no such aids are used, but that is a very secondary 
matter ; our object is to obtain the independent work of the boy 
or girl, and the accurate thought, measuring, and work that are 
required are of the highest value. In this as in every other 
branch of our work we must aim at the greatest possible output 
of individual effort, and the more we can get our boys independent 
of the help of artificial aid or of the master, the greater is the mea- 
sure of our success. 

Under 16 (Are there any serious defects in the present edu- 
cation of the blind ?). — 1 should like to speak for a very few 
minutes on education as distinguished from instruction. 

At the educational meetings held in London last Christmas I 
was present on one occasion when moral training in schools was 
being discussed ; and a paper was read by the head mistress of a 
large school in the Midlands in which she stated at the outset 
that she was only going to speak of those qualities which could 
be to any extent adequately dealt with in the class-room. Others, 
she considered, must be left, certainly mainly, if not entirely, 
to the home. Those of us who have to deal with children in 
residential schools must do our best to meet the needs of the 
children in all directions, and cannot confine ourselves to that 
training which takes place in the class-room proper or in the 

The charge is sometimes brought against us that we produce 
a type, and it is implied that the type is not the best type. Must 
we plead guilty — are we sending out children wanting, for in- 
stance, in adaptability, due to a too rigid following of orders and 
not sufficient opportunity for experimenting, adventuring and 
making mistakes, or children wanting in individuality, all having 
been formed on one pattern ? It is a question I sometimes ask 
myself. I certainly think it is a danger we ought to have in mind. 
It is quite true that the weakness is not necessarily confined to 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

residential schools, but seeing that, should it exist, it is more 
dangerous there, we ought to be on the lookout lor it. 

It seems to me that such an evil can be best combatted by 
maintaining as free a discipline as possible, by letting the children 
largely do as they like in their free time, without continuous 
supervision, by letting them go out alone, by giving them the 
opportunity of all sorts of experience such as they would have in a 
well-ordered home. 

I know that this more liberal life brings with it some difficulties — 
in a measure it increases the work of those responsible for the 
children. There is less exact order, less personal neatness — clean 
collars and unchecked play are not always compatible ; if you 
give children the run of the house and garden, they tend to become 
far less neat, and things have a habit of getting into places where 
they ought not to be. You cannot make a fetich of exact order 
and neatness without sacrificing something of high value for it, 
and those of us who know what it is to be visited and inspected, 
and those of us whose duty it is to inspect, will do well to bear 
this in mind and remember that it is not the things that are most 
easily appraised, and that commend themselves to the superficial 
observer, that are the most important. 

I think we should sometimes be unconventional. We are all 
very imitative, and I admit that it is wise, when being uncon- 
ventional, to ask ourselves whether what we hope to gain is worth 
more than what we stand to lose, realising that convention is 
largely the result of much experience"; but it must also be remem- 
bered that any particular convention may be the result of the 
experience of those striving after a different end than ours, and 
then surely we shall be wise at least to moderate our action. 

Do not think I am suggesting indifference to neatness and order, 
far from it. I only want to impress on myself, as well as others, 
that it is not the most important thing, and a rigid or even a 
narrow discipline which limits children's opportunities of expe- 
rience must have a cramping effect on them, and may lay us open 
to the charge of producing a tyiJC, and that not a desirable one. 

One of the signs of a good education is the capability of adapting 
yourself to your conditions. Knowledge may bo poiver, but if you 
can only use your knowledge in one particular way, certainly 
your power may be very limited. We are most desirous of 
turning out men and women who have not only knowledge, but 
who are capable of using it to the best possible advantage in 
whatever circumstances they may find themselves. 

Under 17. — I feel I ought almost to apologise for having in 
this year of grace to speak about tiaining of teachers, remem- 
bering, too, that in a very short time an untrained teacher will 
not be able to put his name upon the register, and will therefore 
not be regarded as a member of the profession. 

Those of us who have had the privilege of listening to Professor 
Adams on Saturday — and I suppose there is not a man in the 
country whose opinion is better worth considering — had impressed 
upon them the value of professional training. Professor Adams 
emphasised the fact that much which we call theory we forget, 
and rightly, but not before it has for ever modified our minds and 



outlook. " Teachers me born, not made " — there is much truth 
in this ; so are doctors, but you insist on a doctor liavinc; his 
professional training, if not you call him a quack, and veiy few 
of you would trust yourselves to his ministrations. 1 should like 
to couple my name with Lady Campbell's in appreciation of the 
work of blind teachers, of whom the large majority are both 
trained and certificated. 

Mr. Illingworth (Manchester). — As a good many of my views 
on this subject have already been kindly included in her paper by 
Lady Campbell, I will not inflict more than a minute on you. 

I want to emphasise one thing Lady Campbell has spoken of on 
p. 268 with reference to compensation, and in order to cut my 
remarks as short as possible I have taken the liberty of writing 
them down. 

Many years ago I was very much struck with a remark made by 
Dr. Eichholz when he visited our school. Commenting on educa- 
tion in general he made this remark : " All methods of educating 
the blind fail in their object if they do not tend towards the 
development of the remaining faculties to compensate for loss 
of sight." Nature does not unaided compensate for loss of sight 
in the direction of providing bread and butter. It is necessary 
to place the blind child or adult in an environment which will 
guide and stimulate the development of the compensating powers ; 
in other words, place the child at the earliest possible age under 
the care of those whose special aim is to supply other eyes for the 
darkened ones. 

I consider that teachers and others connected with institutions 
ought, wherever and whenever possible, to do their utmost to 
prevent chairmen and other speakers at public meetings in 
connection with such institutions referring to the pupils' dei)riva- 
tion and the wonderful way in which Nature, in taking away one 
sense, gives another." This kind of speech from somebody in a 
responsible position at a meeting of the blind has a misleading 
influence on the public. It makes them think that the blind, 
because they are blind, are made up to by Nature in some remark- 
able way for the loss of sight and require no help from the seeing. 
They talk about sympathy and say they are very sorry for them. 
At such times I feel inclined to say to such people, as the Quaker 
said to his friend when they were visited by some one wanting 
assistance, " Well, friend, I sympathise five pounds ; how much 
dost thou sympathise "? " 

Mr. H. R. LATiMER*(MaryIand). — As coming from a school of 140 
all told — kindergarten, primary, grammar, and higher grade — 
and as a descendant of Bishop Hugh Latimer, who was roasted 
by some of you good Englishmen, I am here to say that I hope 
by God's help, as he did to his brother Ridley on that famous 
funeral pile, we will kindle in Britain to-day so great a fire as will 
never go out. 

Touching the point of actual contact in visualising objects, 
I would say that one of our little boys whom we moved to our new 
school, which I believe is on a cottage plan, taking our model in 
some respects from the Royal Normal College — that little boy 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

was running around and we were warning liim constantly to look 
out for the lamp-posts. He came to me at the end of the Aveek and 
said, " I know where they all are, I have bumped every one." 
That is the best way to teach a boy to get about. Let him bumj) 

The next point is that of the blind teachers. Of course I am 
one, and may be regarded as prejudiced, but our superintendent 
says, " My blind teachers are my best teachers." He goes 
further, and says, " My blind teachers cannot teach everything 
best." We have our limitations, we ladies and gentlemen of the 
blind world, just the same as ladies and gentlemen of the seeing 
world. We must leave their limitations to be discovered by them- 
selves and find out our own. We must be awake to our failings. 
Now as to matters of discipline. Why should the discipline in 
oiir blind schools be any different from that in schools for seeing 
children ? If it is wise for boys and girls to be under supervision 
when they can see, why is it not equally wise when they cannot 
see "? Make one rule for all. Propinquity is the danger. Throw 
young people together and they form their attachments and 
habits and customs from their associates. Be sure that their 
associates are all right, and you take care of the blind children as 
well as of the seeing. 

One more point. The question of age has lost its specific 
significance in our schools. We have passed BiUs in many of our 
Legislatures, admittmg children to our schools theoretically for 
any period, from three days to ninety-nine years. Where they 
commence sufficiently early they leave at from sixteen to eighteen 
years of age, but we are free in this respect. As to the promotion 
of a child to the primary, grammar, and secondary schools, this 
is done on the basis of the subject, and not the grade. If a pupil 
is capable in arithmetic, we have it so arranged that he can advance 
in tliat subject ; if he is proficient in English composition, etc., 
he can move along. If he is clever at geography or music or any 
other branch of study, he goes forward in that particular branch. 
The advantage of this is that he is kept abreast all the time of 
what he is actually able to do, and he is never beyond his depth or 
discouraged by inability to keep up with those in the particular 
class with him. This enables us to give each boy and girl the 
satisfaction of doing something for which they are bound to 
receive the proper reward, and of getting the proper punishment or 
discredit for what they do not do. We have established by that 
means a school system of credit by which every boy in the school 
from the first grade to the twelfth is judged. A boy in the first 
grade may take the first place in the school over a boy in the 

Mr. Keir """ (Aberdeen). — I perhaps occupy a unique position, 
inasmuch as the previous speakers dealt entirely with what I 
may call special schools for the class to which we belong. I am a 
delegate fi'om the Aberdeen School Board, of which I am chairman, 
and that Board manages educational affairs rather differently in 
what I suppose would be described in this large centre as a North 
Country village. AVe cannot boast of a special school, and I am 
not sure that we desire to have such a possession. For a number 



of years we Iiave educated our bliud cliildren in an ordinary 
school, under tlie care of two blind teachers and under the super- 
vision of a sighted headmaster. This particular class room in 
which our blind pupils are accommodated forms an integral part 
of an elementary school of about 1,050 children, so that it will be 
seen that the opportunities for rubbing shoulders with sighted 
children arc not wanting. We claim, and I personally feel myself 
responsible to a very large extent — we claim that by this means 
you better fit the children for their future life's work. We further 
claim that you cannot too early impress upon the child habits of 
self-reliance and self-confidence and of always being ready to help 
himself. We have found that in some cases where the children 
come, unfortunately, from undesirable homes — but I may say 
here that we find that many of our children come from desirable 
homes — we find in those cases that a blind child is not always well 
attended to, and in such a case we have found it necessary to 
have the child sent to a special school in another city where the 
conditions were much better than were provided at home. In 
that connection 1 should like to say that I hope to see the time 
when not only blind children but all children will be removed from 
parents or guardians who fail absolutely to discharge their duties 
to the children. I think we shall never be in a satisfactory state of 
civilisation, we shall never approach perfection, until the children 
are taken care of by the State when those entrusted with the care 
of children do not discharge their duties either from inability or 
owing to criminal habits. 

WHiat we do with the children in Aberdeen at the age of fourteen 
or fifteen when no special aptitude has been shown, no special 
musical or literary gift developed, we arrange with the local blind 
asylum to which they are transferred, and they begin to have a 
trade taught to them. We feel that in this way we are doing the 
very best we can for the rank and file, because after all they will 
most of them have to earn their bread by the sweat of their brow. 
We have, however, had occasion to send some to Craigmillar 
School, Edinburgh, and one, perhaps the most brilliant of these, 
went to Edinburgii University and proved to be a prizeman and 
medallist in Mental Philosophy last spring, reflecting great credit 
on Mr. Stone, who is the head of the excellent staff at West 
Craigmillar, and just a little, I hope, on Aberdeen, as it shows at 
least the fact of a blind boy passing through an ordinary board 
school does not i)revent ability increasing where it exists. His 
name is William Murray, and after he went to Edinburgh the 
Secondary Education Committee in Aberdeen readily contributed 
towards the cost of his education there. Someone said that the 
Act, so far as the compulsory attendance at school of blind 
children at the proper age was concerned, was a dead letter. 
That may be so in England, but in Scotland it is not so. 

I thank you for allowing me to trespass so long on your time. 

Mr. R. Wade* (Dublin). — I think I have a little opportunity 
of knowing something about the work in Ireland. We have more 
blind j>eople there than in Scotland, and I think we have one 
more institution than in Scotland. I would like to tell you that 
with regard to the teaching of the blind in our institutions they 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

are most admirably conducted, and in our St. Mary's Asylum for 
the Female Blind in Dublin tlie children have a most ))eautiful 
orchestra and play marvellously well. They are taught natural 
history by the best methods of stuffed birds and so on. I would 
also like to mention the institution of St. Josejjh's, which is the 
only institution in Ireland where, besides being educated, they 
are taught mat-making. 

With regard to Belfast, we have an institution there which is 
carried on very well, where we combine not only the blind, but the 
deaf and dumb. And I regret to say that there are a great many 
deaf and blind in the north of Ireland, more so than in the west 
and south. 

I would also like to take up Lady Campbell's challenge. 

Mr. Miller. — I rise to a point of order. Is there any free 
education by the Government in Ireland for the blind ! 

Mr. Wade. — I apologise if I have said anything that is not to 
the point. (Cries of " No, no ; go on.") 

I take up Lady Campbell's challenge with regard to the hearing 
of the blind. I know a good deal of what can be done by them in 
regard to hearing. A gentleman was asking me in my office one 
day, " You are a blind man, and you cannot sec ; I have two eyes, 
so I ought to be able to see double." My explanation of that is 
that if you shut one eye and open the other, an object is conveyed 
to the brain ; if you close that eye and open the other one, the 
same object is conveyed to the brain by that other eye, but if you 
open both eyes and look at the object, it is conveyed to the brain 
by both eyes at one and the same time, and therefore you only 
see one object. 

If I feel one thing with this hand and the same thing with that, 
or if I feel the same thing with the two hand§ at once, still only 
one object is conveyed to the brain. I personally can, and have, 
told my wife and children those who have come into ('hurch by 
their step, and I stand here to say so : and what is more, I would 
also say that I can distinguish not only which way a trap or cart 
is coming, but when I am driving myself I can tell you whether 
we are meeting them or overtaking them. I can tell you whether 
a horse is being led, and also in some cases whose trap is coming 
to the station behind me or just in front. 

Mr. Oke * (Margate). — I am afraid that as a private individual 
I cannot say much with regard to the school side of this matter, 
but I always feel very strongly upon the paramount import- 
ance of the early training of the young in this particular matter 
of touch for instance. Why should not a blind child touch 
everything that comes in his way ? I would almost say that he 
had better break a few things rather than not touch them. I have 
known numbers who have suffered, and I have myself suffered, 
from that sort of mistaken idea of '' You must not touch that or 
you will break it." The consequence is I have not learnt as 
much as I might have done, and when I was a little over twenty 
years old, altjiough I was pretty well educated, little sighted 
children of five knew certain facts that I knew nothing of. I have 
not quite got over it even now. That kind of thing should not 



be. I would like to impress upon the aTuateurs in the blind 
world that a, blind eliild sliould be allowed to do as inuch for himseli 
as possible ami should bo encouraged to touch everything ; that 
he sliould bo told about everything and have it described to him, 
and it should not be taken for granted that he knows about it. 
People used to say, " I did not have to be told " ; but I said, " You 
saw, and you imitated ; but I could not see and so I am all wrong." 
That is my object in speaking. I feel so convinced that the 
main thing is to teach these youngsters the little things which to 
the sighted are so obvious that they think it is not worth while. 
Describe every little thing you see when with a blind child. Make 
him understand it. I am sure it is possible to some extent for 
blind peojile to appreciate descriptions of scenery. Whether we 
get the same impression as a sighted person I do not know, but I 
myself and many other blind people whom 1 know very much 
enjoy a description of scenery. 

Mr. Ritchie (Manchester). — I want first to thank Lady Camp- 
bell most sincerely for her helpful paper, and while doing so 
should like to congratulate the Conference Committee on their 
most happy choice in the writer of the paper and the opener of 
the discussion. It is a matter for congratulation not only to us 
who have had the privilege of listening to them, but to all the 
teachers who will look forward to learning from the Conference 
Report what has been said here. I should like to speak first 
about the transfer of pupils from elementary schools, because I 
find from Lady Camjibeirs paper that I am in general disagreement 
with other teachers. I think the children ought to be kept in 
the elementary school until they are sixteen years of age because 
of the extreme importance of an educational atmosphere between 
the ages of fourteen and sixteen. It would be an exaggeration 
to call some of our apprentice shops or schools of technology 
educational. Motive counts for something in the creation of an 
atmosphere, and I think that in some cases the motive for tacking- 
on English subjects to the end of a six or seven hours' day of 
manual occupations has been financial rather than educational. 
The reason why objections have been raised to taking the children 
away from the elementary school where it has not been connected 
with an over-sixteen department has been that the manual side 
of the education would suffer. The moral side counts more than 
the manual side, but taking it on its own merits I do not think 
that the facts of the case can bear out this contention. I do not 
think anyone can point to a school worked with an over-sixteen 
department which can produce, or is producing, better handwork 
than the two residential schools for boys and girls under the 
London County Council. 

With regard to our belief or disbelief in the visualising powers 
of those who are born blind or who have lost their sight very early 
in life, I do not think it matters much. We are all agreed that 
the more vivid we can make our descriptions the better our 
teaching is, but we are also all agreed that descriptions should 
not be resorted to till the appeals to sense have been tried and 
found impossible. I want, too, to disagree, if Lady Campbell 
will not think it impertinent, with the opening sentence of the 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

paper. The tilings enumerated here, the heads of Mr. Stainsby's 
most vahiable paper, are not the principles underlying the educa- 
tion of the blind. I should say that the principles underlying 
the education of the blind are those principles which are common 
to the education of the seeing and the blind, and if we want 
education and instruction in these we must not go to a consensus 
of opinion of our colleagues, but to the professors of education 
in our universities. To some — it may bo, of course, a very small 
minority — but to some who are approaching the " sere and 
yellow leaf" the crime of being young is an unpardonable one; 
but "there is no standing still in education"; we must go on. 
In the hands of the " college-trained infants," and nowhere else, 
lies the future of the education of the blind. 

Mr. Preece * (London). — Although I have not been directly 
associated with the elementary education of the blind, yet for 
twelve years before I went blind I was a lecturer on English 
Literature and Constitutional History in King's College, London, 
and if I may be pardoned a modesty almost Aberdonian, many 
of the students who passed through my hands now occupy very 
distinguished positions. Nothing struck me more in that work 
than the fact that in training young men for competitive examina- 
tions like that of the Civil Service the most progTessive and 
reliable text-books and books of all descriptions are necessary. 
Now there is a great shortage of such books in schools for the 
blind. I have been making some inquiries on the subject. I have 
two boys at the present time at Highgate Grammar School, and 
I went through the various text-books used there in history, 
geography, reading, and one or two other subjects, and I found 
that not one of these is available at the present time in our elemen- 
tary schools for the blind. That is a national scandal which I 
hope, under recent developments, will be remedied. I may say 
that I consulted lately some of the headmasters of schools for the 
blind under the London County Council, and with one or two 
exceptions the books I refer to were not available. Through 
the magnificent labours of Mr. Pearson we all hope that this 
state of things will soon be rectified. And if I may make a 
suggestion to superintendents and teachers engaged in the elemen- 
tary education of the blind, I would recommend that they send 
to him at the National Institute a list of the particular books that 
they want in training their children, so that at an early date we 
may get a reliable set of text-books, primers, and maps. 

Now I want to strike a new note. I have listened to all that 
goes on in the curriculum of our schools, but I think we want to 
train the pupils to reaUse that they have to take a practical 
working part in the work outside the school waUs. 

We are looking forward in this country to the extension of 
national and municipal control, and I think we want to teach the 
yoimg blind children something of citizenship in this country. 
Now that we have so many educated and briUiant blind men, we 
look forward to seeing more of them in councils and in Parliament. 
I hope a book will be put into Braille so that teachers may teach 
the difference between rates and taxes, the functions of different 
Government departments, and the functions of the exercise of the 



vote. If tliat sort of instruction is necessary for boys who can 
see, it is just as necessary for blind boys. And not only blind 
boys, but blind girls also, because I am an enthusiastic advocate 
of more electoral responsibilities for our women. 

The Chairman. — I am afraid that is not in order. 

Mr. Preece. — I do suggest that a book on citizenship should 
be given to blind children who are being trained to fulfil their 
duties in their future life. I have suffered from this lack of 
books myseK as a public lecturer, and I do wish that some- 
thing could be done to improve matters in this respect. During 
the last few weeks I have spoken to some large audiences in the 
North, and have referred to the struggles and difficulties we 
meet with in our world. I do wish we could send round men 
like Mr. Disson and Mr. Layton, so that the pubUc might realise 
what a good education may do for a blind person. I hope we 
shall all combine for a common purpose, so that we may train 
our children more and more effectively for the battle and the 
competitive struggles of life. 

Mr. Stainsby (London). — I should Hke to remind Mr. Preece 
that a book on Citizenship, by Oscar Browning, is in the Book 
Committee's- hands, and is being issued in the School Magazine. 
I agree that it is a subject of vast importance. 

Mr. BuRRiTT (Pennsylvania). — I like your English method of 
sending up a card. It enables a man to calm himseff during the 
waiting period, and very often some of the things that would be 
said are wisely left unsaid. I should like to say a word about the 
transfer of children at the age of sixteen. But I must confess 
that I am not familiar enough with your methods to speak directly 
to the point. As I am touching on it to-morrow in my paper, I 
will only say now that we believe we must deal with each pupil 
as an individual, and that sixteen years or fourteen years are 
merely suggested ages. 

With regard to question 4 — " To what extent should household 
duties be taught to our female pupils ? " — may I omit the word 
" female " and say that the latest institution in America takes 
into account the utility of household duties for all pupils. Now 
the boys in the rebuilt Perkins Institution in Boston thought they 
would not take kindly to this household work, and this meant 
that leadership was necessary on the part of teachers and all 
officials to secure the right atmosphere. But I believe we are 
heading right. The schools in Maryland and Baltimore are taking 
a large account of the abilities of the pupils to contribute to the 
daily routine of the school, not to say the expense — though that 
is not to be sneezed at, as we say in America — but the two import- 
ant things are, first, that the pupils may learn by actual contact 
with life that you cannot get something for nothing in this world, 
and, secondly, that as he is most capable who learns by doing, 
we want to give our pupils the opportunity to learn how to do 
things, even though they may be humble. In America the large 
majority of our pupils come from homes that are poor, where every 
economic factor is needed, and we feel we are only giving them the 
opportunities they deserve. You will, I am sure, pardon a 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

personal word, but the most valuable part of my own education 
was the work I had to get up and do before I went to school ; 
it was very important in character training, and I beUeve it is 
beneficial to our pupils. 

With reference to the point on p. 273 with regard to Nature 
study, one of the best things we have is not only school gardening, 
but boxes in the class-rooms. You have all those things here which 
the children can observe under the supervision of the teacher — 
the plants in the windows, and school gardens, and walks twice 
a week with the teacher for the purpose of observing various 
things in Nature in season. 

The feeling with us in regard to educating the blind and deaf 
together is decidedly against that principle. We have in 
many instances had to do it, for the reason that both classes were 
small, but just as soon as the numbers warrant, separate 
institutions are provided. 

With reference to that section of the paper dealing with serious 
defects in the present education of the blind, etc., the lack of 
blind teachers on the staff was spoken of. Some of our schools 
in America have unfortunately come to feel that blind teachers 
cannot do the work in schools for the blind, but I am glad that is 
not the opinion of all our schools by any means. 

A word with regard to the selection of teachers. I had ten 
years' experience in i)ublic school work before I took up the work 
for tlie blind, and in selecting teachers in public schools and in 
schools for the blind the same principles must apply. The 
teachers must be wisely sympathetic and well trained, no matter 
whether they are in a normal school, at college or in a university 
— it is the personality that counts. AVe go where we can find 
teachers, and we spend more time in seeking out good teachers, 
blind or seeing, than on almost any other part of our work, so 
important do we consider it. 

A Voice : Would the last speaker tell us whether the recon- 
struction of schools was paid for by the State ? 

Mr. BuRRiTT. — ^With regard to the two instances referred to, 
in the case of the Perkins Institution at Boston the cost of recon- 
struction was paid entirely out of private funds, and in the case 
of the Maryland Institution this was practically, though not 
entirely, so. 

Mr. H. M. Stone (Edinburgh). — I wish to speak about books. 
We have been told frequently that there is a dearth of books, 
and that we want more books. We have had a speech this 
morning, a splendid advertising speech, on the subject of books. 
Now I would really like to understand what you mean by books. 
Remember that we are discussing the elementary, not the second- 
ary or university, education of the blind. Do we want text-books 
in our elementary schools ? I say '' No ! " They are the most 
abominable things ever invented. The innate capacity which 
children possess of discovering facts for themselves, and the 
judicious guidance of that capacity by well-trained teachers, 
is worth all the text-books in the world. If you mean by books 
school reading books of a literary nature, I agree, and I hope we 



shall get them — I think we shall. If you mean such things as 
School History Readers or Geographical Readers, I hope and 
trust you will not get them. They may be Readers, but they are 
certainly not histories or geographies. More misconcejitions of 
history are due to these «mall history books than can be well 
imagined. To my mind the comparative scarcity of books for 
school i^urposes is a distinct asset. This may appear to some of 
you a paradox. I will explain. It is commonly remarked that 
the children in our schools possess good literary taste. The 
reason for that is that their taste is not defiled and contaminated 
by the rubbish in common circulation. If we have not much, 
what we have is thoroughly good. But we really have a great 
deal if all the available sources are made use of. The senior 
children in my school were asked by an inspector a month ago 
what books they were reading, and they replied " Romola," 
" Barchester Towers," and " The Mayor of Casterbridge." When 
I came away they were reading " Strife," by Galsworthy, and 
" Atalanta in Calydon," by Swinburne. When teachers speak of 
a dearth of books I ask them if they subscribe to the National 
Lending Library, and their usual reply is that they do not. If 
you are teaching literature what better books can you use than the 
English " Men of Letters " series edited by Lord Morley ? Now 
nearly all this series is to be found in the catalogue of the National 
Lending Library, and what is not to be found there is obtainable 
from our Library at West Craigmillar if you will join the Central- 
isation Scheme. 

We have been told by Mr. Preece what we ought to teach, and 
that we ought to teach Citizenship. We really feel very humble 
people and we accept his advice gratefully, but most of us have 
been teaching Citizenship for many years. At the recent examina- 
tion of the College of Teachers, one of the best lessons given was 
on this subject, and it was given in such a way that it was quite 
evident that the teacher was in the habit of regularly giving such 
instruction. We have heard, and heard with much humility, 
that a beginning is to be made with education. Good 
gracious ! Have those who talk in this manner never heard of 
Henry Stainsby, of Sir Francis and Lady Campbell ! Have they 
never heard of Mr. Buckle, of York, and the men of his day 1 
These are the men who made the beginning, and right well they 
made it. We have gone a little way further. We have not 
reached the end, and never shall, biit we are making progress. 
Ladies and gentlemen, the state of the education of the blind in 
this country at the present time is thoroughly sound. I do not 
speak merely as a teacher of the blind. My exjierience has been 
chiefly among the seeing, and I say that the standard of education 
in our schools for the blind is a higher standard than in the schools 
for the seeing, and that it is the same all over the country, from 
that splendid little Day Centre in Aberdeen to the school at 
Exeter. If you doubt what I say, go and look at the London 
County Council exhibit downstairs, and see if anything can be 

May I say one more word '? I have been chairman of the Asso- 
ciation of Teachers of the Blind for a year, and I should like to 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

assure Lady Campbell tliat slie has not only our deepest respect 
and veneration, but tlie love and gi-atitude of the teachers of this 

Mr. Barker (Gorleston-on-Sea). — As a learner in the education 
of the blind, I do tender most sincere thanks to Lady Campbell 
for her valuable paper. It has been most inspiring,' and so was 
Mr. lllingworth's paper on Friday. Again as a learner I hesitate 
to utter one syllable of anything like criticism, but I would say 
in all earnestness a word with regard to the East Anglian Institu- 
tion for the Blind and Deaf. I fully understand Lady Campbell's 
caveat with regard to the mixing of these two classes, but I learn 
that there are only three such schools in this country, and therefore 
our experience has not been a very extended one, and there may 
be something in it after all. We have found a good deal in it, 
both for the blind and the deaf. I am not dogmatising : we are 
still learning. There is nothing in common between the two 
classes, and their training is different in the class-room, but out 
of the class-room they have a good deal in common. The blind 
are not all totally bUnd. It has been said that the blind children, 
in talking to the deaf, contract facial exaggerations. I have not 
seen it. Then we are told that the bad speech of the deaf is 
imitated by the bhnd children. I should Hke to say with all 
respect that I do not believe it. Of course it is cheaper for them 
to be together, but I do not want to touch on that, and I should 
like to say again that we are certainly finding something of gi-eat 
educational value to both classes of children. 

A Voice : Wliat do you find ? 

Mr. Gray (Montreal). — I am sure many of you must envy me 
for being the principal of the School for the Blind in Montreal 
after you have heard that I am under Mr. Layton. There are 
just two or three points I want to deal with. Fust of all with 
regard to domestic training. I think it is always good to get 
different people together and to hear them talk about what they 
are actually doing. In the city of Montreal in the new school 
established there through Mr. and Mrs. Layton's efforts we have 
many things that are unique, or, at any rate, unique as 
regards the average school. Now we take the domestic 
training of the girls. There, first of all a girl comes along and 
lays a clean white table-cloth. She puts a flower-vase in the 
centre. She sets glasses round about for each person. She puts 
down forks and spoons exactly as in a restaurant. Serviettes 
are folded by these gu-ls, and everything is in keeping Avith what 
we might like to find in a well-equipped home. Now I am sure 
that the one reason why that is possible is because the school is 
small. We could not possibly do it in our larger schools. Then 
as regards the dusting and cleaning, even to the cleaning of the 
windows, our girls are taught to do that as well, and if it is not as 
clean as we should wish, the maid or porter is asked to finish the 
work. As regards ear training I was very interested in what 
Lady Campbell said about this. Mr. lUingworth could have told 
us that in the School for the BUnd at Edinburgh he used to have a 
device with about two octaves of hand-beUs supported a little 



above the floor, and balls were rolled along to hit the tongues of the 
bells, and pupils were asked to tell the particular note struck. 
I think that was a great help in training their ear. Points were 
given to those who succeeded. It was also a help in selecting the 
music pupils, which is often a great difficulty, for it does not 
always appear in the early stages of a pupil's training whether he 
is suitable to be trained in music. It is a good idea, too, to line 
up the pupils in a large field ; go to certain points in this field, 
call the names of the children, then blow a whistle, change the 
whistle to a bell, etc. ; sometimes a child goes backward instead 
of forward. 

I was pleased to hear Mr. Siddall mention that too often the 
four walls of the institution were looked upon as the horizon of our 
schools. Now I think I heard Mr. Guy Campbell say that blind 
people should not walk in the streets alone. Of course I raise 
my hat to Mr. Campbell, but we find in Montreal that our pupils 
are very anxious to explore for themselves. We are right away 
out of the city. They will do anything if we will only allow them 
to go out in play hours. They discover more Nature knowledge 
in a few minutes than by all your teaching inside. At any rate, 
the two combined are certainly good. Now a word about 
museums for the blind. In the city of Montreal it is not possible 
to get at a museum, but we made love to a taxidermist and asked 
him to give us week by week models from his collection. This 
he has very kindly done, so that we are able to get what we want. 
We keep the models for a time and then return them. We find it 
is a very great help. 

Mr. Guy Campbell. — I did not say that blind people should 
not walk in the streets alone. I think that the idea of the blind 
going about by themselves should be encouraged wherever 
possible, but not in dangerous places. 

Mr. Brown (Worcester). — I did not intend to speak on this 
paper, because I have not been connected with elementary educa- 
tion, and I must say I do not understand what it means in view 
of the paper and discussions. I recognise the reason tor the 
primary, secondary, and university education, but I cannot see 
why an elementary education for the blind should be continued 
to the age of sixteen. It seems to me that elementary education 
does not mean education proper. At the College for the Educa- 
tion of the Blind boys have been sent to me who have received 
an elementary education in institutions, and they come to me at 
the age of sixteen, and they cannot rank in a class which their 
age justifies us in expecting to be able to place them. They have 
to take their place with boys twelve and thirteen years of age. I 
think this is a very great pity. As the blind are so handicapped, 
they ought to have the very best education possible. 

With reference to what Lady Campbell says about the present 
early age of transfer from the primary to the secondary school, I 
consider fourteen to be too late. If the boy or girl has to make 
proper progress in all the subjects now necessary for education 
it must be made at an earlier age generally. 

Then there is the point of the efficiency of the education of the 

C.B. 305 X 

The Elementary Education of the Blind 

blind at the present time. 1 am the correspondent who required 
a, work on " pedagogy " written by an expert in blind affairs. 
At jnesent the methods employed iu the education of the blind 
appear to me to be too empirical. It should be based more on 
sound theory. I think it is a most pressing want. The writer 
of the paper says much may be obtained from the ordinary works 
on psychology. I suppose every teacher knows that, but the 
fact remains that all sound teaching is based on psychology, and 
that nothing less than a complete work MTitten for teachers of the 
blind is sufficient. Moreover, to my way of thinking the Psycholo- 
gies now in existence are wrong. I know it is impudence of me to 
say so, as I have only been connected with blind work for eighteen 
months, but writers on psychology touching on blindness are 
sometimes in seiious error. 

I must just refer to the question of marriage. I am afraid 
Lady Campbell must have misquoted me owing to my bad writing. 
In any case I can answer her from her own paper. Speaking of 
pianoforte tuners, she said they ought to be free from peculiarities 
which so many of them possess. I suppose that such a man as 
that is not the man likely to be married, and therefore it is no 
g'ood preparing him for a trade where marriage is essential. It 
would be of no use putting him into a grocer's shop. 

With regard to books, I know the crying need there is for these. 
Text-books may not be wanted in primary schools, but in secon- 
dary schools they are very essential. We must have text-books, 
and it is a very crying need. 

At present boys have either to be taught too much orally, 
which is like being fed with a spoon, or to write out from dictation 
books that they need. No one would think of carrying on secon- 
dary education in the seeing world without text-books. They are 
equally essential to the education of the blind. 

Mr. C. Arthur Pearson * (London). — I endeavour to practise 
as many as possible of the Christian virtues, but I am not good 
at turning the other cheek. I most cordially agree with what 
our most courteous Chairman said the other day with regard to 
personalities, and I think it is a great pity that they should be 
indulged in at meetings of this kind, but when Mr. Stone went out 
of his way to talk of newcomers into the blind world and accuse 
us of casting slurs on the work of our predecessors, I think a reply 
is called for. I yield to no man in my admiration of the work of 
Dr. Armitage, Sir Francis Campbell, and particularly of Lady 
Campbell, whose personal work I do not think has been sufficiently 
realised. And I object most strongly to being told that I and 
those with me have said or are likely to say anything in depre- 
cation of that noble work. Mr. Stone stated that there was no 
need for more school-books. Let me say that I have in my 
possession letters from school teachers in all parts of the United 
Kingdom complaining most bitterly of the need of more text-books. 
I have letters from Miss Ellis, of Leeds, Mr. Maddocks, of Sheffield, 
and many others. And I may further say, though I do not know 
that I ought, that at the last meeting of the Inter-Departmental 
Committee on the Blind, of which I am a member, Dr. Eichholz, 
whom you all know and who is an authority at least equal to Mr. 



stone, stated in iei>ly to a question wliicli was put to him by the 
Chairman, and not by me, that the great and crying difficulty 
with regard to the education of blind children was in his opinion 
the inadequate supply of suitable books. 

I want, if I may be allowed, to say something which I hope will 
remove a misapprehension. It is not exactly bearing on the 
question. There seems to be a general impression that the work 
of the National Institute has to do only with the matters of 
amplifying and cheapening literature for the blind. At the 
present time that is so, but the day will come when the National 
Institute will go on to other branches of work to benefit the blind 
community. I may say that this has already been done to a 
considerable extent. For example, on May 17th last I went to 
Bolton to open the new workshops there. I asked them how they 
stood financially and was told that the workshops cost £4,600 and 
that they had raised £4,100 towards this amount. I said, " Let 
us raise the £500." The Hon. Secretary said, " It cannot be 
done. We have squeezed Bolton dry already, and furthermore 
we have an ai)peal on foot for the erection of a new infirmary, 
which is to cost £25,000." I said we would try. I called at the 
office of the Bolton Evening Newspaper and secured the co-opera- 
tion of the editor and proprietor. I then wired for three of our 
blind organisers and speakers. I set the ball going in my speech, 
and the £500 was in the hands of the committee within eleven 
days. I say that not in the least in a spirit of self-glorification, 
but because I want to do everything possible to remove the 
impression that the National Institute exists for one thing only, 
which many of you, I believe rightly, think is not in the very 
forefront. But we must do two things. First we must set the 
house in order, and secondly we must begin at the beginning ; and 
education is the beginning of all progi-ess. 

Miss ROTHWELL (London).- — There are several points in con- 
nection with the elementary education of the blind on which I 
should like to touch, and, as one's time is limited, I have written 
down my remarks in order to get as much as possible into the 
allotted five minutes. 

First with regard to specialisation under the age of sixteen. 
Most strongly would I endorse Lady Campbell's remarks " on the 
need of constant variety and advance in the handwork course, 
until the time arrives when the aim is to acquire speed and dex- 
terity in some special form of manual work." But I am strongly of 
the opinion that this time does not arrive before the age of sixteen. 
Modern education, in adapting itself to the needs of the present 
age, is tending more and more to delay the time for specialisation 
for the seeing child. Does not this apply even more forcibly to the 
blind child "? — for we want our children to be alert, intelligent, 
and adaptable, and in order to obtain this we must bring them 
into contact with as many forms of handwork as are compatible 
with thoroughness during their elementary course. More and 
more do we need, especially with our older pupils, a liberal curri- 
culum such as will provide increasing opportunities for the 
development of thought. Life means more than earning 
one's living, and education has not fulfilled its aim when it has 

307 X 2 

The Elementary Education of- the Blind 

turned out our cliildren as wage-earuers ; it must prepare them 
for the right use of their leisure hours, and for this reason I should 
lay great stiess on the lessons which help them to appreciate the 
beautiful in literatiue and. music. 

And now some points dealing with the status and work of our 
teachers. It goes without saying that they must be men and 
women of Uberal culture and of broad and sympathetic interests, 
and for them it is essential that there shall be a sufficiency of free 
time when they can develop those interests and keep in touch 
with the larger world outside school. Are we likely to attract 
the best members of the teaching profession into our work when 
in so many cases we make it practically impossible for them to get 
the mental and physical refreshment necessary for their success 
as teachers ? Several times of late years the resident post at 
Elm Court has fallen vacant, and I have been confronted with 
applications fi'om third and fourth-rate people, while there has 
been a noticeable dearth of first-class candidates. Over and over 
again I have approached fine teachers whom I knew to be inte- 
rested and desirous of taking up our work, but who could not be 
persuaded to enter it because of the small chance of promotion and 
of the residence, which inevitably means narrowing. And what 
are we doing to equiji the recruits who do enter our work ! 
Generally speaking they take the place of fully qualified teachers, 
and during their learning period often do untold harm to their 
children from lack of experience and knowledge of right methods 
of dealing with the blind. By aU means let us have for our 
children teachers who have had experience in ordinary schools, 
but do let us insist on our education authorities making it 
possible that new-comers should have a period of observation and 
training before being responsible for a class. 

Let the College of Teachers of the Blind see to it that their 
examination is really an educational one ; that the papers set 
are not given primarily for the purpose of " catching " candidates, 
but of ascertaining whether they possess the right equijjment for 
their work. Let the examiners in all subjects be experts in their 
particular subjects and not merely be chosen because of their 
prestige as administrators of institutions. 

As teachers of the blind we must keep in close touch with the 
teaching in the best ordinary schools, and wherever possible 
adapt any new development to our needs. For this reason I 
think it is good for a blind school to be in touch with an ordinary 
training college. 

Now a word on the vexed question of Eesident versus Day 
schools. There is no doubt whatever that the many resident 
institutions for the blind have done good work, but from my 
unique training, and many-sided experience in schools for day 
pupils only, resident pupds only, and for the last few years at Elm 
Court (where we have now forty resident and twenty-seven day 
girls), I am strongly of the opinion that to achieve the best results 
we must have day rather than resident schools. Where homes 
are absolutely impossible, board the children out, as has been done 
so successfully in London. In our day schools we have now the 
possibUities of medical inspection, cleansing and feeding, and our 



time tables include rest intervals. Our hours could be the same 
as those of the London County Council open-air schools if desired, 
where the children are in good surroundings for the greater part 
of the day. I take it that our aim is to make our children as 
much as possible like normal children and to train them to take 
their place in the ordinary life of the world. Are we doing our 
best for them when for so many years of their lives we are cutting 
them off from ordinary home life f Had time allowed I might 
have offered applications drawn from my own exijeriences in 
dealing with jiarents and children, but as we hope to have the 
opportunity of welcomiug some members of the Conference at 
Elm Court School to-morrow afternoon, may I say that I should 
be glad then to discuss this matter with any of the visitors. 
In conclusion may I bring forward the fact that our poor law 
children are now being largely boarded out instead of being 
placed in resident institutions and that there is a movement in 
the same direction in the case of industrial children. And are so 
many of our children still to be limited to the kind of life con- 
sidered too narrowing for the children I have mentioned "? 

Miss EosE Petty (London). — Miss Rothwell has just men- 
tioned the question of Day Schools versus Residential Schools, 
and has referred to the boarding out of pupils. For the last 
fourteen years I have been connected with this work. I do not 
think it is at all an easy job to find the right sort of homes for the 
children. We have been exceptionally fortiinate, but you want 
a very intelligent woman to understand a blind child and take the 
necessary trouble with it. It can be done, but it is not easy, 
and I have been very gi'ateful to the London County Council for 
not making me responsible for the boarding out of girls over 
thirteen. I do not think the day classes can ever completely 
cut out the residential schools, because we feel that the discipline 
of the latter is in some cases more suitable. 

With regard to the question of domestic work for blind children, 
I have always tried to impress that on our foster-mothers, so that 
if it is not done in school it may be done in the home. 

As to the blind teachers, several of our sighted teachers have 
said that their gi'eat value to them was that they had a blind 
educated person on the spot to consult. With regard to the 
question of recreation and games, no one has mentioned dancing 
in this connection, and our exjierience is that not only do the 
children love it, but that it improves them physically. It is also 
a mental exercise. It is wonderful to see the totally and partially 
blind children dance the " lancers." It must have been a con- 
siderable mental effort for them to remember all the figures. 

Several of our children have gone away with the Coimtry 
Holiday Fund, and in one case they went to the village of Ashford. 
It is astonishing to read the letters that they write . about the 
things they have noticed — the growth of plants, etc. The chil- 
dren's letters were so good that they were awarded several prizes 
by the Children's Holiday Fund. We had rather an amusing 
experience with one of the children invited down among others 
to spend a holiday in the country. The people were milking the 
cows. One of the children said, " Do you know I never knew 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

where the milk came from ; I always thought it was scooped out 
of a hole iu its back." That shows how difficult it is to understand 
how often the children cannot visualise things, and that we cannot 
do too much in the way of teaching them everything and showing 
them everything. 

Miss Bell* (Norwood). — There are several points on which I 
should like to speak, but I will confine myself to three. The 
first is the age at which blind children shoukl be transferred from 
elementary to special or secondary schools. I will only speak 
on the latter. I think children should be transferred at the age 
of fourteen. The course provided at the elementary schools is 
complete in itself, but does not lend itself to have other difficult 
courses fitted to it. If the pupils go to a secondary school they 
should go before they reach sixteen. 

Then in regard to models for the blind. I think they are most 
essential. I do not think that those who have had the education 
of the blind in hand have realised what our pupils lose from the 
non-use of pictures, and how little raised pictures suggest to their 
minds. I quite sympathise with the gentleman who said he could 
hardly distinguish an angel from a leg of ham. You give a child 
a model, however, and it very soon forms a good idea of the 
object. I know that the National Institute has done something 
in the preparation of paper models. I wish they would supply 
models of common objects, siich as houses, cathedrals, the principal 
bridges, etc. It adds to the interest of the children if they can 
have models to feel; and as you know, if you buy them privately, 
or such as you get when visiting places of interest, it runs into a 
great deal of money. It would be well if some institution would 
provide them at a low price. 

May I also speak of the great need that we blind schools expe- 
rience in obtaining a supply of proper maps. I am sure that the 
blind, and probably the sighted, will endorse my words. AVe 
are very much in need of simple maps that have not much detail 
in them and can be purchased in such a manner that each child 
can be supplied with one. 

May I just add that I should like to suggest that in the pre- 
paration of the maps and models there should be some committee 
consisting of blind and sighted persons to inspect the things 
prepared and to make suggestions ? 

Miss Holmes (Boundary Lane School). — I ought to apologise 
for taking up any time, especially at this late hour, but at the same 
time I feel that a word perhaps from one who is at the day schools 
may be appreciated by some. Personally, I thank Lady Campbell 
for her paper, and Miss Garaway for her remarks, because they 
were so helpful and inspiring to day teachers as well as those 
connected with residential institutions. Of course, we gi-eatly 
appreciate our totally blind assistants. After twenty years of 
experience — about ten in residence and ten in day schools — I can 
say that I value their assistance more than I can tell, and also 
their practical work, and I am glad to say that my blind teachers 
have always known what they can teach best and what they had 
best not teach. 



The two points I wish to mention in connection with Lady 
Campbell's paper are these. We heard from Professor Adams 
on .Saturday about theory and practice. Some of us have many 
fine theories but cannot put them into practice. Many times I 
have planned a series of lessons for the improvement of the 
children's hearing, but with motor buses passing every few seconds 
I found that we could not do much in that way. Then as regards 
children having free play. We could do much more, and would, 
if we were not relegated to the corner of a playground iised also 
by 500 other children. As to taking children into the country 
and making them observe things, I quite appreciate this, and so 
do my children. A little girl in my school greatly ai)preciated 
'walking round a big Alderney cow lying in a field belonging to a 
lady who has a farm where we took a number of our children last 
summer for the day. We have a number of stuffed birds, but I am 
sorry to say we have nowhere to put them, as space is a great 
consideration with us. 

Lady Campbell. — Before replying I should like to say that 
Mrs. Charles Campbell is at the door, and will be very pleased to 
receive orders for the pictures taken on Saturday. 

Mr. Wade spoke of a challenge, but he missed the point of my 
remarks. It was for training the hearing of young children I 
pleaded ; I know the hearing of the adult blind is generally very 
sharp, but I want these little children to become expert in this 
respect. It will save them from many mistakes. 

The very fact that the London County Council transfers the 
children at the age of thirteen from a day centi-e to residential 
schools proves my point. Sir Francis always urged that a change 
should be made at thirteen, as it was then possible to form an 
opinion as to the child's future. What about the children who ai"e 
musical "? If music is to be the future means of livelihood, the 
training should begin before sixteen if the blind musician is to 
rise above mediocrity. A good foundation must be laid in child- 

With regard to text-books, publishers will find the selection a 
difficult matter. In some schools for the seeing the books are 
changed with each removal of a pupil from one form to another. 
Dr. Kimmins, of the London County Council, read a useful paper 
on that subject a few weeks ago. 

In regard to training the blind and deaf together, I think the 
impression made upon the blind is the thing we have to consider. 
If they are educated together the public confuse the defects of 
one class with those of the other. A lady came once to the 
Perkins Institution for the Blind and listened with great admua- 
tion to the singing of the pupils. Afterwards she said : " Dr. 
Howe, it is a wonder how you taught those poor deaf and dumb 
creatures to sing so beautifully " ; and that was the result of 
having only one deaf and dumb person in the institution. 

The Chairman. — There is just one thing I want to add. I 
think Miss Petty omitted to say that in regard to the London 
County Council and the question of blind teachers a resolution 
was passed by the sub -committee of which I am chairman that 


The Elementary Education of the Blind 

tliere should always be a blind teacher in each of our day schools. 
I think there is much help to be derived in the training of blind 
children by having with them a teacher who is herself suffering 
in the same way as her pupils. I say this so that no misappre- 
hension should arise with regard to the matter. 

Mr. H. J. Wilson (London ).^ — I am sure you would not wish 
our Chairman to go away without a hearty vote of thanks being 
accorded to her for presiding over this meeting. Some of us in 
London know what good work Mrs. Wilton Phipps has done in 
connection with the London County Council schools, and I can 
assure you that I was very much pleased when she consented to 
take the chair. We could not have had a better chauman. I 
hope you will accord her a hearty vote of thanks. 

Mr. Illingworth. — I count it a privilege to second that 
resolution. W^e have aheady had many pleasant meetings in 
connection with this Conference, but I think you will all agree that 
none have been more pleasant than this morning, and this has 
been a good deal owing to the presence of such a delightful chair- 
man. I am very pleased indeed to second the motion that a 
hearty vote of thanks be accorded to Mrs. Wilton Phipps. 

Monday Afternoon. 


Between 2 and 3 p.m. five char-a-bancs started from the Church 
House to enable visitors to inspect the undernoted institutions in 
the Central London area, but owing to the distances involved 
some were unable to cover the whole round. On anival at Swiss 
Cottage the visitors were kindly provided with refreshments by 
the committee of the institution : — ■ 

Association for Promoting the General Welfare of the Blind, 
Tottenham Court Eoad, W.C. 

Barclay W^orkshop for the Blind, Edgware Road, W. 

The National Institute for the Blind, Great Portland Street, W. 

National Lending Library for the Blind (Incorporated), Queen's 
Road, Bayswater, W. 

London County Council School for Myopes. 

London Society for Teaching the Blind, Swiss Cottage. 

There was no afternoon session of the Conference. 


Some Suggestions on Massage by the Blind 

Monday, June 22nd, 1914. 

Chairman : Mr. Henry J. Wilson. 

The Chairman. ^ — ^I am sorry and very much disappointed 
in consequence of the arrangement with regard to the 
chairman for this evening having fallen through. Let me 
crave your indulgence and ask you to put up with me. Mr. 
Marriott's paper will now be read. 

Mr. Marriott* (Harrow).' — I am a very, very poor Braillist, 
so Mr. Abseil will read the paper for me. We need plenty of 
light on this subject of massage, and I hope the discussion 
which follows will be red hot. As a rule students have plenty 
of gas, but what we want is more light. I have not had very 
much time to throw that broad flood of light on this work 
which I think it needs, therefore I hope you will forgive the 
brevity I have adopted. I hope points will come out in the 
criticism that I have been obliged to omit for want of space. 




Massage is now recognised as one of the most vulii;il)k' 
adjuncts to the remedial agencies at the service of the 
medical world ; in fact, the general i)ractitioner and surgeon 
can really find no better remedy for the remoA'al of adhesions, 
dejiosits, and effusions. In the exercise of this profession 
the blind can not only equal, but even surpass the sighted 

Afflicted Nature, in her compensations, endeavours to 
sustain a law of balance. This law, as evidenced in the case 
of the blind, imparts to the minds of the sighted public an 
extraordinary appreciation of the qualities displayed by the 
sightless ; it is imperative, therefore, that we blind people 
should justify these conceptions by the successful results of 
the exercise of our profession. It does not require a great 
effort of the imagination to realise why the blind can really 
equal the sighted masseur, for the dactylic faculties, the 
developed perception, and the quickened hearing, all lead to 
this result. 

In this work noble deeds may be done, self-sacrifices are 
to be made, and suffering is to be alleviated ; the masseur 
has to be the pilot of health, the helmsman of hope — hence 
only the good men and true are fitted to follow this high 

I would like to claim your interest by describing a few 
of the advantages, intermingled Avith a few ideas that might 
be adopted and serve a useful purpose, and I will be as brief 
as possible. 


Some Suggestions on Massage by the Blind 

Moral Effect of the Blind upon Patients. 

Neurasthenia. — In their efforts to arouse patients from 
the apathy and self-centring morbidity that usually accom- 
panies the above nervous disorder, doctors are often at a 
loss to know what course to pursue, in order to dissolve these 
unhealthy characteristics, and this is Avhere the blind 
operator can rise superior to the difficulty. A patient has 
been informed that a sightless masseur has been engaged, 
this invariably excites a burning curiosity in the mind of 
the patient to see how such a person can perform such work. 
The moment the masseur enters the bedroom, the patient's 
eyes watch him with keenness, all his movements are 
observed with concentrated attention, from the hand- 
washing to the manipulations. The operator is introspected 
as to his methods in travelling, his home life, his reading, 
etc. ; the morbidity is broken, an outside interest has been 
created, and the doctor in charge is amazed at the change 
in his patient. The foregoing is not an exceptional, but a 
general effecL I have often heard the following expression 
used by patients after treatment : " Well, if you can com- 
mand so much fortitude under your affliction, I must 
attempt to do likewise." 

The Eye and the Touch. 

In comparing the differences in value of the touch and 
the eye, no further proof is needed to establish the powers of 
the blind. In the human organism, the duty of the eye is 
to perceive colour, to reflect the symmetry and expression 
of form, and to assist in directing the hand to a given point. 
In the same field tiie touch analyses temperature and blood 
pressure, locates deposits, adhesions, effusions, etc., tells 
the condition of the pulse, the quality of the muscles, and 
the value of any movement. Intensified through the loss 
of the optic, the aural medium interprets changes in the 
character of the breathing, and the voice, and notes any 
nervous arti^ulsttiotlis -and refie::J£€s of the patient. 


Some Suggestions on Massage by the Blind 

Qualities that Constitute a Good Masseur. 

Good massage can only be accomplished through the 
agency of the hands, head, heart, and a strong physical 
constitution. Keen perception, brightness of demeanour 
and an optimistic temperament are of the utmost import- 
ance ; furthermore, a fair level of education is a necessity. 
The heart must be sympathetic, a strict sense of morality 
must be cultivated, the hands must be mobile, free from 
excessive moisture and from superfluous hair. The face 
should be free from blemishes that are unsightly, or it would 
surely offend a sensitive patient. The blind should never 
work upon commiseration, but prove their strength of 
character by ignoring their affliction. Finally, neatness of 
attire and cleanliness of person are, of course, essential. 

Work and Profit. 

Two hundred a 3 ear should be well within the reach of a 
good masseur, but this is only obtained by foraging and by 
harrying the doctors ; therefore, individual effort must be 
made in this direction ; too many of us rely upon others 
to do everything. After passing his examinations, every 
masseur must be prepared to face the first j^ear in the open 
field with practically no returns ; it is hard to make a name 
known, and work is difficult to obtain at first ; the beginner 
will have to call upon a thousand and one doctors and not 
be discomfited by rebuffs, for surely there will be these in 
plenty, and they must be met with sangfroid. The masseur 
who can get about unaccompanied is the one to get most 
work, for patients often consider attendants a hindrance, or 
find it extremely awkward to accommodate them. 

No faith is ever placed in cheapness ; inferior work usually 
accompanies cheap fees, so that I would urge masseurs to 
charge the proper fees when patients can afford it. Not 
a day's march from Marylebone there is an institution that 
professes to aid masseurs to obtain work, but save me from 
their methods. This institution arranges and cuts down 
the fees to an alarming extent, and, furthermore, charges 


Some Suggestions on Massage by the Blind 

10 per cent. I emphatically assert that this demoralises 
and weakens the independence of masseurs ; the whole 
concern needs to be better organised and wants better 
business concentration. 

Training of Blind Masseurs. 

Under normal conditions it is extremely difficult to retain 
the complexities of anatomy, and grasp the intricacies of 
physiology; therefore it is not easy to realise the intense 
mental labour required by the sightless to obtain a true 
conception of thevital forcesthat govern the human organism. 
Sighted students have access to carefully prepared diagrams, 
also to the dissecting room or the museum of the College of 
Surgeons, thus enabling them to study under easier condi- 
tions. The most important training school for massage in 
the British Isles is that of Dr. Fletcher Little. He does his 
best for blind students, and that is a great deal, but more is 
necessary. What is really required is absolutely individual 
attention. Over and over again I have found colleagues 
sitting alone trying to wrestle with the apparent intangi- 
bilities of anatomy without any help, except, perchance, the 
casual assistance of senior students. It is expected that 
these students will assist them, but they have to fret their 
own minds to grasp knowledge, therefore it is not fair to 
expect too much from them. Only those who have had years 
of experience, or the blind themselves, can truly appreciate 
what is adequate to their needs. For this reason I believe 
that it would be far better to train blind masseurs in a 
central part of London, giving them access to medical 
colleges, also selected examinees from the medical world. 
I should further advise that a skeleton should be arranged 
with detachable muscles made of rubber ; these could be 
made, by a sculptor ; the initial cost might be rather expen- 
sive, but would be cheap in the long run. Models of various 
organs could be made on a larger scale than the normal, 
which would allow of analysis in detail. The main trunks of 
the systemic circulation could also be arranged on a frame- 
work corresponding with the natural position in the human 


Some Suggestions on Massage by the Blind 

body. Embossed diagrams of small organs, nerves and 
lymphatic tubes should be made ; also diagrams of exercises, 
Swedish, Danish and others, would be better comprehended 
if sewn with macrame thread upon rag paper. I sincerely 
trust that the foregoing will not displease instructors of 
massage, for, as regards the welfare of blind masseurs, I have 
a crystal conscience. 

Masseurs in the open field have to treat patients whose walk 
in life is upon a highly cultured plane, manifestly, therefore, 
they must converse from an intellectual standpoint. Culture 
could not be expected to place faith in Illiteracy. Yet blind 
men are being trained who are totally unfitted for masseurs, 
men who would do well, if given the opportunity, in work 
better suited to their attainments. It brings a tear to the 
eye to see these unfit becoming derelicts, for they never can 
and never wdll succeed at massage. To train such persons 
is an injustice to them, and a blockade to the fit, for once a 
doctor has employed one of these unsuitables, it is with 
difiiculty that he can be induced to try a better man. 

If these few expressions should give umbrage, may I plead 
forgiveness on the ground that in the matter of massage, we 
blind excite more than ordinary attention, thus giving rise 
to the expectation that that which we attempt we shall in 
reality be fitted to perform. 

Cure of Incurables by the Blind. 

In placing the few following facts before you, and to 
obviate any lurking scepticism you may entertain, I would 
say that anyone desiring to do so can interview the patients 
mentioned. Their addresses will be supplied by the author 
of this paper. 

Mrs. W. W., wife of a well-known composer, w^as stricken 
with paralysis two years ago, and no hope of recovery was 
entertained by three specialists. She htis now practically 
full use of her limbs, and can raise a glass of Avater to her 
lips without spilling a drop. 

Mr. D. G., well-known in the motor world, had not been 
able to use his limbs for seventeen and a half years ; can now 


Some Suggestions on Massage by the Blind 

get about anywhere, has travelled to South Afriea alone, and 
is draughtsman to a large engineering company. 

Miss W. had not walked for seven years, and was in the 
Home for Ineurables at Ciapham ; can now walk two miles 
with fair comfort. 

Miss G., suffering from spinal curvature, was pronounced 
hopeless after three years' treatment on a spinal carriage ; 
can now walk ten miles, rides a bicycle and is working in a 
drapery establishment. 

Sir H. W., a well-lvnown musical conductor, suffered from 
a severe nervous breakdown eight years ago ; was cured by 
nine months' massage. 

Mr. D., suffering from severe arthritis in every joint, is 
now quite free. 

Others there are, but I do not wish to tire your interest. 

It must not be supposed that the foregoing cases are 
examples of extreme skill. It would be folly for us to 
presume to usurp the place of the doctor ; he really has not 
the time at his disposal to devote what is necessary in such 
cases. They are simply examples of perseverance. 

In conclusion, may I express the hope that this great 
Conference will be the means of bringing into existence better 
conditions for study, of introducing better men into this 
honourable field of labour, and of throwing light upon the 
best means of obtaining work for those fitted to perform it. 


Some Suggestions on Massage by the Blind 


Tlie Chairman. — ^ is the first time I have seen that paper, 
or heard it read, and I wish to say emphatically that if I had seen 
that last sentence on p. 316 before this evening I should certainly 
have tried to persiiade Mr. Marriott to withdraw it. It is a great 
pity to attack any institution or any individual on an occasion like 
this. That might be done in some other way, and I regret that 
that sentence is there. 

Dr. Cantlie (London). — I believe I am only allowed about five 
minutes, so I will try and say what I can in that time. The reason 
I am here to open this discussion is because of the experience I 
have had in the various departments of massage and its practice 
by the blind. I spent ten years in the East, where massage was 
first introduced. In Japan almost all who practise massage are 
blind. Japan and China were the home of massage, from which 
our European nations have gathered their knowledge. It was 
known three thousand years ago in China. Were I to read a 
Chinese translation of the movements, etc., in massage and get a 
modern masseur to put them into practice, one would find the 
exponent would be following the modern movements we are 
acquainted with. 

I had two Japanese masseurs in Hong Kong ; one had his sight 
and the other was blind, and I preferred the blind one. Why 
did the man who was not blind come to me ? Because he could 
get no work there as they preferred the blind. Why was he 
trained as a masseur i Because he was a soldier and they had 
to have masseurs with the army who could see ; but all the work 
in civil life and during time of peace is given to the blind because 
the people prefer them. So my man came to Hong Kong because 
he had left the army and could not get any work in Japan. My 
other justification is that I work at the Seamen's Hospital, and 
we have Mr. MacKechnie as masseur, and he is as good as we can 
have for the work there. The injmies we meet with at the Docks 
are anything but slight^ — a man tumbles down the hold of a ship 
and breaks a number of bones. There you find that you require 
real strength for the various injuries the sailors suffer from. We 
appreciate Mr. MacKechnie's work very much. I often see him 
going down, and sort of pity him because of the level crossings 
he has to get over. I take hold of his arm sometimes, but he 
rather resents it, I think. It is marvellous to see him going over 
the crossings among the network of railway lines, and it is the 
greatest test I ever knew for a man situated as he is to get about. 

I have also met in private life a Mr. Mackenzie. He does 
excellent work although blind. His hand and touch are very 
gentle. I have known the same patient to have two masseurs. 
The first one had his sight, and then I recommended Mr. Mackenzie, 
and the patient told me afterwards that he much preferred 
him to the other. 

The next experience I have had is that I have for two years 
been examining in anatomy and physiology in Dr. Fletcher 
Little's school, where many of the students who have sent in their 


Discussion '^' 

papers were blind, and I can see no difference in their knowledge 
of anatomy and the knowledge of those who are able to read. 

I therefore think from my own observations (I am only 
telling you of my own ex^^erience) that it matters not whether a 
man can see or not in regard to his work as a masseur. It is not 
a case of preference, but I do think that the blind man has his 
energies concentrated in his fingers, and it is by concentration 
that the work is done. I can easily imagine that the blind man 
has more in his fingers than we have in our general senses diffused 
over a large area, and I have no hesitation in saying that blind 
masseurs are quite equal to, and in some instances better than, 
those who are endowed with sight. I think a central organisation 
for blind masseurs would be most iiseful, but I will not suggest to 
the blind here present that they are not fit to get aboiit. That 
is the last thing they would stand. It would be a great pity if 
they did not go about, because it develops their intellect. To 
bring the people to a house where the blind could do massage 
upon them would, I think, be a very detrimental agency, for the 
mental faculties of those afflicted with blindness are wonderful, 
and I am not sure that they are not better when they are getting 
about alone as I see them do. 

Mr. John Tennant (London). — I very much regret that my 
friend Mr. Marriott did not see me or the secretary of the National 
Institution for Massage by the Blind before he made that rather 
unkind reference. Unkind, because not only is it founded on a 
misapj)rehension, but because it has reference to an institution 
which in many ways has been the pioneer of massage by the blind. 
And not only that, but it really indirectly misrepresents its object. 
(A voice : " No.") Allow me to explain what I mean. In the 
first place it is not true that we have any standard fee for our 
masseurs, but it is true that what I may call the standard fee at the 
institution itself, the scale of charges for massage at the institution, 
or for masseurs sent directly thence, is a little lower than the highest 
fees charged in London. Seeing that we are fighting our way into 
a new sjihere, I think it is arguable whether that is not a right 
thing to do. As to the commission, the charge used to be 10 per 
cent. We do not charge anything of the kind at the present 
moment, but for a short time it was suggested that, like the seeing 
institutes, when we got work for a blind person a charge should 
be made, but it was never enforced. It was suggested that they 
might pay that sum as a little return for their training. The 
young ladies at Smedley's Hydro never paid it. But I fail to see 
how that undermines the independence of the blind ; as a matter 
of fact one man insisted on paying something, as he wanted to be 
on the same level as the seeing. 

The great difficulty in the way of the blind is imperfect training. 
There are, I am afraid, blind masseurs who have had an imperfect 
training. Our object was to make sure that we got hold of the 
right people and trained them in a good school. To do that we 
have a paper to be filled up which you will see downstairs ; it 
refers to good character, good health, refined appearance, the pro- 
mise of local help from friends (which is very important), aud a 
knowledge of Braille. Then Di. Metcher Little only charges 

C.B. 321 Y 

Some Suggestions on Massage by the Blind 

half fees to the blind ; he gives a fortnight's training gratis to test 
whether the candidates will become good masseurs. That is the 
function of our institution, to try and turn out men and women 
who are fully equal to their work. 

Now I will leave that subject to make one or two observations. 
Dr. Cantlie has said so much about the excellence of the blind 
that I hardly like to add anything. But massage is the one 
occupation which a man going blind between the ages of 
twenty-five and forty can take up with any reasonable hope of 

I will now take up the question of disappointments. It is 
quite true that there are several whom we have trained and who 
are unfortunately not successful. I want you all to realise that in 
this matter we are not like Japan. In England the blind masseurs 
are pioneers of the blind in a new world, and the difficulties are 
very great. We have to consider that the seeing people hold the 
field. The doctors have many of them got their own operators, 
and naturally do not care to give them up ; moreover, trained 
nurses are largely taking up massage, and that produces great 
difficulties, especially for our masseuses. Altogether it is a very 
difficult job. Then the blind man has to have a guide, and his 
poverty is often a severe handicap at starting. Yet men make 
good even under the gi-eatest difficulties. I know two cases which 
after their training have actually begged for alms on the London 
bridges, but who are now absolutely successful. One was taken 
by friends to a great watering place, and the other was not helped 
at all, but by his own perseverance has pushed on till he got a good 
suburban practice. 

I want to say a word about the future. What can we do ? 
In the first place I am very much obliged for the excellent 
suggestions of Mr. Marriott as to a model. He seemed to think^ 
that that would hurt his trainer's feelings. On the contrary, 
Dr. Fletcher Little agrees with me that the idea is admirable. 
I think the friends of the blind ought to help to provide such a 
model, and I myself am willing to contribute liberally towards the 
cost if it is provided. I think the model ought to be in the 
possession of the National Institution for Massage, and should be 
lent to the trainers for the time being. I want starting scholar- 
ships for the blind. Poor men have a fearful struggle at first. 
If they had a little to fall back upon it would be a gieat help. If 
the institutions which can pension the young would make use of 
their funds to give a man a scholarship for three years instead of 
a pension for life, it would be a very good thing. 

Mrs. McNicoll is not very strong, and it would be a great thing 
if I could get some one to help her. She took the poorest of 
our girls tc Bouinemouth, introduced her to doctors, and placed 
her with the Yoimg Women's Christian Association. She got 
together a practice worth 30s. a week, and now is happily married. 
Such a success could be repeated elsewhere if more volunteer help 
was forthcoming. Now for one last word. I hope the Depart- 
mental Committee will try and ensure that in the public institu- 
tions of the country massage is the monopoly of the blind. They 
are thoroughly efficient. 



Mr. Ben Purse.* — ^I am not going to attempt a sj)eecli. I know 
too well my own limitations in i'esj»ect of this business. 

I want to ask the reader of the paj)er if he has any reliable 
statistics as to the number of people trained and the success they 
have attained. My reason is that in another place a few days ago 
a very eminent gentleman told us that he was afraid massage was 
in such an experimental stage that it could not be recommended 
with any degree of certainty. It would help some of us very 
considerably, if we could have the information, to know that a 
decent number of persons who have been trained have attained a 
certain measure of success. 

The Chairman. — Mr. John Tennant will probably be able to 
give you the statistics required almost better than Mr. Marriott or 
anyone else. 

Mr. M. JoNKER* (London). — In the first j)lace I want to thank 
Mr. Marriott very much for his valuable paper, with which I agree 
in every point. I took up massage in October, 1913, and finished 
my course in January, 1914. Since then I have frequently 
visited the school and come in contact with many old blind 
students. They have told me their experiences, and my own 
experiences have taught me that at present massage is unsuitable 
for the blind. Not because they cannot do it ; I agree that they 
can do it equally as well and perhaps better than the seeing. But 
they have to struggle with the prejudice that exists among the 
doctors. I knew a blind gentleman who holds Dr. Fletcher Little's 
certificate and the certificate of the Incorporated Society of 
Trained Massems. He applied for a post at a hospital. He was 
told he would have to work in two wards connected by a corridor 
a quarter of a mile long, and they were afraid he would not be 
able to do it, so he did not get the position. A little later a doctor 
telej»honed to the place for a masseur. This same gentleman's 
name was given. He was asked to call or telephone. Unfortu- 
nately he called. The doctor said : " I did not know you were 
blind ; I am not sure whether the patient will agree to have a 
blind masseur, but I will let you know." He has never heard 

I think it is evident two things are necessary — -in the first place, 
that all those connected with the blind, if they should meet any 
blind person who is intending to take up massage, should advise 
him not to do so, and, secondly, that a central bureau should be 
established to try and get work for blind masseurs. This bureau 
ought to be established, if possible, at the National Institute for 
the Blind in Great Portland Street, because we know there are 
men there like Mr. Pearson and Mr. Stainsby, and, though we 
may not always agree with them, we know that if they take the 
matter in hand they will give their whole heart to it. The work of 
this birreau should be to try to persuade the committees of hospitals 
hydros, etc., to take blind masseurs ; further, to send circulars 
again and again to doctors, pointing out the advantages of a 
blind masseur. They should also advertise constantly in medical 
papers, and I trust that in that way the condition of blind masseurs 
may be improved. 

323 Y 2 

Some Suggestions on Massage by the Blind 

Dr. RocKLiPPE (Hull). — Mr. Marriott commenced by saying 
that lie wished for criticism. As I have only a few minutes, I will 
not waste time by making a lot of preliminary remarks, but will 
say at once that I consider massage to be a most sxiitable occupa- 
tion for the blind. I speak with a certain amount of experience. 
Not only do I represent the Hull Blind Institution, but I have had 
the privilege also of training three blind masseuses who were the 
first three to obtain the certificate of the Incorporated Society of 
Trained Masseuses. To succeed in the work the masseur must be 
of good moral character ; he or she must be exceptionally 
intellectual, free from all peculiarities which so many blind people 
possess, such as twitchings of the face and body, etc. In fact, 
they should be exactly as sighted persons in their manner. If 
they have to wear coloured glasses and their eyes are absolutely 
no use to them, I advise that they at once take steps to have them 
removed and that artificial ones be worn. From experience I 
know that this is an excellent suggestion. When a blind person 
has been treated in this way, people come into the room and say, 
" I did not know she was blind." But if there is anything repul- 
sive in the appearance of the masseur or masseuse, people do not 
like it. They say, " Of course it is very sad, but I cannot stand 
her about me." These are facts, and this advice is the practical 
result of experience. As to education, it is no good beginning at 
the bottom of the tree and trying after a little instruction to come 
to the top. She has to begin at the bottom and work gradually 
upwards. In regard to dress and appearance, she should be 
dressed exactly like a hospital nurse, with collar, cuffs, apron, etc., 
all scrupulously clean ; also the hands and nails : there must be 
nothing objectionable about her. If there is anything offensive, 
it should be attended to, or she would never do as a masseuse. 

As to fees, the gentleman, I think, is rather under a misappre- 
hension, for only a good worker can demand good fees. 

I may say two of our masseuses are succeeding. One is not 
doing so well because she ought to have had a pair of glass eyes. 
The first two are intellectual girls of pleasing appearance, and are 
earning from three to six guineas a week. The other has a pair 
of glasses and twitching hands. 

Then, again, as to the medical man and the fees to charge. I 
think we have a very good arrangement. We fix a price at so 
much — I think 5s. — and we say to the doctor : "If your patient 
cannot afford it, what can she pay ? " I am a medical man 
myself, and can assure you we all have the greatest interest in our 
patients, especially our blind, and we assist them all we can. It 
then depends upon the masseuse herself, and if she is competent 
she will quickly go to the top of the tree. 

The practical training should begin early. The students should 
have all the bones and everything else possible before them, and 
after each lecture someone (in our case the matron of the Home 
for Blind Women in Hull) should read to them the anatomy and 
physiology upon which they have been lectured, while they take it 
down in Braille and study it afterwards. By this means also 
they compile a valuable library for future reference. 

Miss Ethel H. Smith (London).^ — -There are one or two subjects 



I should like to mention. The first is the question of fees. I do 
feel that the fees of the competent blind masseuse and masseur 
ought to be kept up. If they habitually charge reduced fees it is 
bad for themselves and bad for the profession generally. They are 
looked upon as incompetent if they ask low fees. Another matter 
I may also touch upon is that it has been suggested to me that it 
would be a good thing if a post-graduate course were started for 
the blind, to be taken once or twice a year, to keep them acquainted 
with the ordinary up-to-date ways of treating by massage, and if 
possible exercises, which I think Mr. Marriott touched upon. It 
might be arranged that a certain fee should be promised to a really 
competent lecturer, and there should be a class of not less than 
twenty so as to help pay it. I thought that at first the National 
Institute might perhaps guarantee the lecturer's fee, and then 
find out how many operators would avail themselves of the 
opportunity. I do think it important to keeji up to date. 

I may add that I have had a great deal of help from Mr. Stainsby 
who has been most kind in having papers and letters Brailled for 
a masseur I am interested in, and I am always glad myself to help 
the blind. We have very good lectures, and I thought it possible 
that some of these might be printed in Braille, so that they could 
be sent about among the blind. 

Mr. MacKechnie * (London). — I was very pleased to hear 
Mr. Marriott's paper. It is a very able and a very interesting 
one. There have been remarks about the low fee charged at the 
institute, but you will find that the low fee is quite equal to, and is 
larger to some extent than, the fee that Dr. Kockliffe mentioned. 
Five shillings is the lowest fee we charge. I may tell you I have 
worked for much less, and will do so again, not because I like 
working for small money, but because it is not always advisable 
or even reasonable to stick out for the full price. 

Now I am limited to a very short time, but I woiild like to 
mention that all the people who go in for massage at the institute 
have, nowadays, no money to pay in the way of commission. 
That was done away with four or five years ago. Also, after they 
leave, they have a training in the Temperance Hospital for a fort- 
night or three weeks, which helps to give them experience. 

The other remark that has been made with regard to finding 
money to keep the ojierators in respectable clothing, etc., till they 
have a connection was quite true. I think that is a very sensible 
suggestion. I would never recommend a man to go in for massage 
unless he has some money behind him. He would probably do 
better as a pianoforte tuner, which is a better occupation for tho 
blind. Every blind man can be a piano tuner, and work is more 
easily obtained ; then if he feels like it he can go in for massage 

Mr. Ernest Greek * (London). — I must first of all take excep- 
tion to Dr. Kocklifl'e's assertion that blind people should have 
their eyes out if they cannot see. He says if a person is blind and 
has to wear blue glasses he should have his eyes removed and 
replaced by artificial ones. I am to all intents and purposes blind, 
but I can see light, and should be very sorry to lose that light. It 


Some Suggestions on Massage by the Blind 

helps me a good deal. Apart from that it is rather cruel to think 
of a man having his eyes taken out when science is making such 
advances and he might have his sight in a few years. I went in for 
massage two years ago, and fortunately have a piano tuning con- 
nection which is able to keep me. I perhaps have not put as much 
energy into massage as I might, but I feel that massage should be 
more reserved for those who lose their sight after the age of twenty- 
one. There are many blind men aiad women who are cultured 
people and yet have to sit down to do basket-making ; now I 
think that massage is an occupation suitable for these. I also think 
that those who have other occupations in their hands might take 
it up. Then, again, as we have no funds to back us, I think the 
position of those who go in for massage should be a little more 
carefully looked into when they leave the massage institute, to see 
whether they have any means. Friends always help you before you 
get your certificate, but afterwards they find it more difficult. It 
should be ascertained whether the person has money or friends to 
keep him in clothing and food till he can get work. I was trained 
at Dr. Fletcher Little's place, and I must say that 1 had a very 
fine training. 

Mr. Marriott * (Harrow). — There are one or two things I 
left out that I thought would be fired at me in the criticisms. 
First, with regard to diseases. I will foreswear that diseases 
are not given in the training as they ought to be. My advice 
is to have models of slipped cartilages, malformations, etc. They 
should be made of rubber and plaster. I could not get that into 
my paper. 

Captain F. Peirson-Webber * (Ettington).— I hope you 
will excuse me if I do not follow the letterpress of my paper 
word for word. It is simply because I never can write a 
paper as I am going to speak it. I want to speak it freely, 
to rub it home, but I hope you will find that I do not miss any 
essential point. If I do, please ask questions and I will reply 
to the best of my ability. 



As an Aid for the Blind to Healthy 
Independence and Good Citizenship 


I HAVE the honour to place before you this evening, for 
your fair consideration and support, the practical importance 
and far-reaching advantages of " Scouting " as an aid to 
prosperous independence and good citizenship. Let it be 
clearly understood that " Scouting " is not intended simply 
to impart a soldierly aptitude, as so many suppose, but 
essentially to develop a manly citizen, well skilled in some 
useful craft, according to his liking and opportunities, and at 
the same time so well versed in scoutcraft generally that he 
is in a position to defend his home and country, and if 
necessary protect his trade in a manner suited to the occasion. 

Now, let us see how this training can be applied to the 
blind. Why, in this way ! Do we not all know, who have 
tasted it, how hopeless, how impossible, and how forlorn the 
outlook of life is for a start, nor will such a frame of mind be 
altered to any practical extent until a scheme of life is 
introduced that carries with it helpful information of a daily- 
Hfe nature, that leads us with interest to acquire resourceful 
initiative, tactful consideration, and such an appreciation of 
the need of the moment that we can take life to advantage 
without fuss, and develop passing opportunities to such 
success that we gain self-reliance without conceit. 

In Scoutland, we look on all self-made men, whether 
traders, service men or politicians, as true scouts ; but to 
appreciate fully how scout-training makes its own success, 
we must talk to the lads themselves, and see them at work, 



and test their efficiency by giving them work to do, suited to 
their qualifications, and then judge the true vahie of such 
training by results. 

Someone might very naturally say, " That's all right for 
sighted scouts, but what about the blind, what can they 
do ? " To this I reply that, with but few exceptions, blind 
scouts will be able to pass nearly all the tests for sighted 
scouts, as a qualification for " badge " distinction to warrant 
their efficiency. Just see how this will break down the 
barrier that at present exists, and widen boundaries of work 
for the blind, for assuredly as soon as blind scouts acquire 
such distinction in craftsmanship brother scouts of the 
sighted brigade will at once give suitable opportunity for 
work, and in the success and prosperity of such work shall 
every man find his greatest happiness, so that in time he will 
forget all past trouble in the busy pleasure of working out his 
own salvation. 

Scouting for the blind is at present in its infancy, never- 
theless a capital start has been made by Worcester College 
for the Blind, Avith two patrols under the Principal, Mr. 
Brown, as scoutmaster. At the Wavertrce Institute for the 
Blind, Liverpool, we find besides four strong patrols of Boy 
Scouts, two most efficient patrols of Girl Guides, under the 
captaincy of Miss Allen, Lady-Superintendent of the Institute. 
Newcastle is starting a patrol of scouts, and the Institute at 
Birmingham is also considering the question, and we hope 
in a very short time to find scouting for boys, and guide-work 
for girls, taken up by all institutes for the blind, not as a 
taught subject, but as a bond of union and good fellowship, 
worked up by the lads themselves, on principles of scout-law, 
introduced to them by their leaders. I hope to see the day 
when it will be looked on by all as a signal honour to be 
invited to become a scout, so that the brigade of blind scouts 
may work up to the highest efficiency and to the honour of 
the institutes they represent. 

If it is wished to form a troop of scouts, all one has to do 
is to obtain a copy of that most interesting and compre- 
hensive book, " Scouting for Boys," from any bookseller, and 



follow up the simple regulations. They are expressed so 
clearly as to be readily understood. It is then recommended 
that suitable portions of the book should be read aloud to 
classes of an age likely to appreciate such interests, and then 
by subscribing to The Scout, and having reading seances with 
fitting regularity, it will be found that the lads will soon take 
to the pleasures and realities of scouting, and in working 
their gardens, or poultry, or joinery, or other pursuit by 
" patrols " they gain a practical appreciation of the value of 
co-operation which will stand them in good stead, maybe, in 
later years. 

I am pleased to say that the National Institute for the 
Blind will shortly issue a Braille edition of " Scouting for 

It seems to me that it is everything to teach a youngster 
to be a successful independent worker with tact and ready 
resource in any phase of life best suited to his opportunities 
and natural ability, and, I believe, if only scouting can be 
introduced, we shall find many a lad show proficiency in 
ways at present obscure owing to lack of opportunity. 

Such surely is the very essence of scoutcraft, and in 
bringing such suggestion forward, it is hoped not -merely to 
rub home a truth of economic importance, but also to further 
a movement that may well be expected to help the blind to 
help themselves to a greater extent than is at present possible, 
by opening up wider fields of work for scouts worthy of the 




Mr. Brown (Worcester). — I liave to thank Captain Peirson- 
Webber very sincerely for being tlie first to perceive what scouting 
will provide. I can realise what valuable work he has done after 
fourteen months with my boys. Now, scouting itself is too well 
known to need any comment, but I will just mention one or two 
points. The most valuable point, I take it, is that it makes them 
members of a great brotherhood of sighted boys. They mingle with 
them, and work with them, and contest against them, and they learn 
more thoroughly what are the capabilities and limitations of those 
boys as well as of themselves. I will give you some idea of what 
our boys have done in fourteen months. We started with three 
and now have got twelve. They have passed all the tests to make 
them what we call " tenderfeet." Of these twelve one-half are 
second-class scouts. We have not any first-class scouts, but we 
have four boys who are only waiting to be able to do fifty yards in 
the swimming baths, and then they will be ready for the test. 

Then Captain Peirson-Webber has mentioned proficiency tests 
which are wanted. I make it a point for every boy on becoming 
a " tenderfoot " to start at once to train for the second-class test 
and the ambulance badge. It is the easiest for him to work for, 
as well as being very valuable. And you must remember that 
so far the tests have not been modified in the least for the blind 
boys — they are exactly the same as for the sighted, and they have 
actually got tlie ambulance badge and the fireman's badge, and 
we are now saving up money to buy a hydrant so that we can help 
the village fire brigade if necessary. Some of our men have passed 
the musician, others the dairyman, and others the pioneer test. 
We are prepai-ing for many others. The last time we took the 
tests in Worcester there were some six hundred Scouts in the city. 
In the fireman's test there is a certain complicated knot — it is 
called the " chairman's knot." It is not absolutely essential, I 
believe for the badge, because several who cannot tie the knot 
have the fireman's badge. All our boys tied it correctly the first 
time, and the fireman said that was the first time it had been done 
in Worcester. With regard to other tests we have in view, I 
may say that I have the authority of the Chief Scout to assist 
others who are trying to adapt several tests for the blind — to 
see that certain modifications are made for blind boys to take 
other tests, such as signalling. The Chief Scout suggested that 
we should leave out the semaphore, but I put it to the boys and 
they did not want to get the badge on easy terms. The test will 
be very severe in order that they cannot get badges on easy 
terms. I had a very interesting experience at ^Miitsuntide. I 
took my boys into camp for the first time. We went with 1,400 
scouts, and it was invaluable for my boys to rub shoulders with 
them. At first all the other scouts came up to see the blind boys 
and assist them, but it only required a very few hours — certainly 
only a day — for them to find out what our boys were made of. 
They took sentry duty and patrol duty. We gave a display on 
WTiit-Monday of gymnastic work, and I am glad to say we are 
supposed to have given the best show of the afternoon. The 



few instanoe.s I have given you will show that the blind, with their 
exceptional keenness, profit much by joining the scouts. It is very 
easy to work with blind scouts, and I have not the least doubt that 
when we come to take the first-class test we shall have as much 
success as in the other tests — at least I hope so. 

Mr. Tate (Bradford). — Will Mr. Brown please explain whether 
his boy scouts are totally blind or only partially 1 

Mr. Brown (Worcester). — In answer to Mr. Tate, exactly one- 
half of our scouts are totally blind. Three can distinguish between 
light and darkness and the other three have fair sight. There are 
twelve altogether. 

Mr. Guy Campbell (Norwood). — I only want to congratulate 
Captain Peirson-Webber upon having brought this scout move- 
ment so much to the front. I do not think this scouting prepara- 
tion includes first aid, does it *? 

Captain Peirson-Webber.* — Yes, Sir. 

Mr. Guy Campbell.— It is only a partial test, I think, not the 
whole of the St. John's Ambulance test. We have passed a great 
many pupils through the St. John's Ambulance work, and we have 
found nothing that has been so interesting to either young or old 
pupils as the triangular bandage, the roller bandage, and the 
carrying work, and it seems to me it would be well to carry out 
those two things side by side, not only the scouting work, but a 
thorough course of the ambulance work. At the Crystal Palace 
once we used the roller bandage, and bandaged a boy from the 
top of his head down to his toes, and the doctor said he had never 
seen it better done. The one who did the bandaging is here to-day 
— it is Mr. Snow, and he is the finest blind bandager I have ever 

Mr. Barker (Gorleston-on-Sea). — Since Captain Peirson-Webber 
has asked to know what other schools are doing, I would like to 
say that in March we started with twenty boys, including three 
blind. I raised the point just now of totally blind as compared 
with the sighted. I take it that in speaking of the blind you speak 
of the whole of your children, some of whom may be sighted. We 
have ninety-two children in the movement (blind and deaf together) 
to be enrolled before the end of the term, inchiding thirty blind. 
So we are touching again the point of mixing the blind and deaf. 
This scouting and other out-of-door activities are most beneficial 
to both classes. We have a totally blind boy now applying for 
his swimming badge ; he plunges from a boat into the open sea, 
and swims more than six hundred yards. 

Mr. G. H. Gadsby (Swiss Cottage). — I have risen to say that at 
Swiss Cottage we have formed two patrols of boy scouts. One of 
these patrols h-as passed the tests for second-class scouts, with the 
exception of cooking. They hope to go in for that shortly. They 
have taken a great deal of interest in bandaging, and it is one of 
the things they do best. Of the sixteen scouts we have in the two 
sections seven are totally blind. Three who are totally blind 
attended the Queen Alexandra Parade at the Horse Guards 
Parade on Saturday week, and took part in the ambulance section. 



Captain F. Peirson-Webber* — I would like to say, Mr. Chair- 
man, how gratifying it is to find that ti'oops of scouts exist that we 
have not had reported to us before. I do so hope that those 
interested in this movement and those who may have become a 
little interested this evening will make themselves known to me 
so that we may put it on a business footing. I will do all in my 
power to make it good and secure some practical result. These 
Conferences are grand for talk, but let us have a practical result 


* * * 

The Chairman,' — The Assistant Secretary will now read 
the paper on Uruguay. Seiiora T. Santos de Bosch has come 
from Uruguay and cannot speak Enghsh. 



Delegate of the Government of Uruguay. 

Were I, in this comraunicatron, to make a psychological 
or pedagogical study of the blind, I would certainly con- 
tribute no new light to their cause, nor obtain any benefit 
on their behalf, for wiser voices than mine have already been 
heard, and will still be heard ; and other observations of a 
more scientific kind will be made than those inspired by my 
humble knowledge. 

I shall, therefore, limit myself to giving a brief outline 
of the history of the protection accorded to the blind in my 
country, the Oriental Republic of the Uruguay. 

Eighteen years ago the late Dr. Luis Piileyro del Campo, 
an extremely philanthropic gentleman, added to the 
Foundlings' Home a class for the blind. 

This class had a short existence, and ceased for want of 

Later on, six or seven years ago, the illustrious oculist, 
Dr. Joaquin de Salterain, suggested to Congress a scheme 
for the formation of a Normal school for the blind, which 
scheme was indefinitely postponed at the time for want of 

In the month of October of the following year I had the 
opportunity of making a journey to the Argentine RepubHc, 
and, amongst several visits to the different charitable 
institutions in Buenos Aires, I made one to the National 
Institute for the Blind, Avhich is eiitirely under the manage- 
ment of an Uruguayan lady, Miss Eva San Roman. 

The sight of such a place was entirely new to me, and I 
must admit my astonishment at the intelligent perspicuity 
of those whom I had considered relatively inept. 


Work for the Blind in Uruguay 

Touched to the innermost part of my being I thought with 
I^ain of those of my compatriots, the Uruguayans, who, 
deprived of the sight of the sun, were still in lack of a similar 
institution in which they might find the privileges of an 
instruction administered with love and kindness. And 
there arose in me the firm determination of founding in my 
own country a home for the blind. 

I started at once an active propaganda by means of the 
Press, Avhich kindly accorded me wide and generous assist- 
ance. With the co-operation of the Directress of the 
Argentine Institute, I arranged a visit of the whole school 
to Montevideo, to Avhich the Government of the sister 
Republic readily consented. A touching and never-to-be- 
forgotten festival was held in one of our principal theatres. 

The programme was entirely carried out by the blind, and, 
as the prices of admission were low, both the people and the 
better classes had the opportunity of seeing and being con- 
vinced of the justice of my fervent wish. A spirit of 
enthusiasm sj)read itself amongst them in a noble and sincere 

I visited His Excellency the President of the Rej^ublic, 
who showed himself favourably interested in my scheme, 
and I found in his worthy consort, Madame Battle y 
Ordonez, the most noble ally to my cause. 

I held several interviews with the Minister of Public 
Works, an intelligent and progressive gentleman, who 
accorded me his most determined and efficacious co- 

Society, which in my country is exceedingly beneficent 
and altruistic, received my proposal warmly, and three 
months later I was able to account for 300 members, with 
a monthly subscription of 5 francs each. My work was 
generously subsidised by the Government with 1,000 francs 
per month, and thus came into existence the " General 
Artigas Institute for the Blind," named after the Chief of 
the Uruguayans, who said : " Let the Uruguayans be as 
intellectual as they are brave." 

The institute founded through my initiative, and with the 


Work for the Blind in Uruguay 

generous co-operation of society and the Government, 
possesses to-day a capable staff, who are sincerely fond of the 
work entrusted to them. It occupies an extensive and 
hygienic site, with beautiful and pleasant gardens. It 
shelters, free of all charge, seventeen blind members of both 
sexes, all of them Uruguayans and less than twenty-five 
years of age, who are under the supervision of the lawyer 
Professor Clemente Colling, himself blind from birth. 

For those who care to know something about the internal 
management of the establishment and its methods of 
teaching, the copy of regulations, which I have the pleasure 
to send, will provide sufficient information. 

Intelligent, fond of study, gifted generally with an excep- 
tional memory, eager to see with the light of the spirit, the 
blind deserve special protection on the part of competent 
authorities, and this great work of love and piety should be 
included amongst the greatest works of human philanthropy. 

The erection of homes for the blind where life may be made 
to them more noble, where they can be initiated into the joys 
of the spirit by means of the cultivation of their intellect, 
and where they could be provided with occupations which 
would enable them later to take part in the fight for life, is a 
duty that cannot be overlooked. 

As the blind, therefore, are beings capable of appreciating 
the highest manifestations of intellect and of sentiment, 
their education and instruction ought to be obligatory, as it 
is for those who are not blind. 

In the name of the Government of the Oriental Republic 
of Uruguay I have the honour of giving my most enthusiastic 
support to the International Congress for the Blind- — an 
event which speaks forcibly to my heart of the charity and 
altruism of the great English nation. 


Work for the Blind in Uruguay 

The Chairman.' — ^Senora T. Santos de Bosch has told me 
what they do in Uruguay. She thinks it a good idea, and 
would like to throw it out as a suggestion. She says that on 
Christmas Eve the wives of all the doctors go round asking 
for money for the blind, and on December 24th last year 
they collected no less than 4,000 francs. She also says that 
nobody is asked to give more than a penny, so you can 
imagine what great efforts must have been made to get 
together so large an amount as 4,000 francs. I should like 
to thank her in your name for the paper she has prepared. 
I am sorry to say that Mr. Best will be a little late. He had 
unfortunately booked the appointment for Friday instead of 
for to-night, but he is on his way here. I will therefore ask 
Mr. Walker to read his paper on " Work for the Blind in 




Secretary of the British Syrian Mission, 
Grosvenor House, The Ridgway, Wimbledon, S.W. 

The lot of the blind in a Christian land, with its many 
ameliorations, with the many aids which a scientific and 
sympathetic study of their needs has produced, is still one 
which draws forth our utmost compassion, and, as we realise 
the deprivation which they suffer, our hearts go out in 
intense pity to those bereft of the blessings of sight. But if 
this is true of the blind in a land where Christianity reigns, 
how immensely magnified are the disabilities under which 
they labour in the non-Christian countries of the East. 
Surely their lot is pitiable, and its contemplation should draw 
forth our warmest sympathies and help. 

A review of the question shows how little is being done for 
the sightless in Mohammedan and heathen lands, and what 
little has been effected is almost entirely due to the missionary 
agencies of the Christian Church. Here and there the call 
to minister to the helpless ones has come with compelling 
force to the servants of Christ, to the followers of Him who 
caused the blind to see. It was such a call that led to the 
foundation, forty-six years ago, of the Industrial School for 
Blind Men and Boys at Beyrout. 

Those who have visited Oriental lands do not need to be 
told of the frightful ravages of ophthalmia, of the widespread 
prevalence of blindness. The hundreds of sightless beggars 
and outcasts to be seen in any of the cities of the Near 
East is one of the saddest memories brought back from 
journeys, otherwise full of colour and interest. 

Oppressed by the hopeless condition of the blind in Syria, 
Mr. Mentor Mott (one of the founders of the British Syrian 
Mission to Women and Girls), in 1868, started a small 

C.B. 337 z 

Work for the Blind in Syria 

industrial school for blind men and boys in Beyront. It was 
then, and still remains, the only effort of its kind in the whole 
of Syria. The school, Avhich is "situated in a corner of the 
compound of the Mission Training College for native girls, 
affords accommodation for about twenty inmates. The 
men are taught various manual trades, such as mat-making, 
chair- caning, the manufacture of whisk brooms, baskets, 
etc., to which has lately been added the weaving of the rush 
mats in such general use throughout the country. 

In addition to the industrial training, some instruction in 
general elementary education is given by means of raised 
maps, etc. ; an effort is made to widen the men's knowledge 
and interest — Ottoman and Arabic history has proved full 
of fascination. But, above all, they are taught to read God's 
Word in their own tongue- — Arabic. In the case of the older 
men Moon type is used, Avhilst within the last few years the 
Braille system has been introduced with the most satisfactory 
results, the younger men and boys being able to write as 
well as read, affording much encouragement to their teacher, 
Miss Thompson, who, upon her retirement from the principal- 
ship of the Girls' Training College, learned Braille during 
a stay in England, and, returning to Syria, has devoted 
herself to passing on to others the knowledge she acquired. 

The majority of the men belong to the poorer classes, 
and, but for the agency of the school, would be beggars and 
outcasts, regarded by their families as an intolerable burden 
and turned out to make their own living, or, it may be, 
perish in the attempt. After being trained in the school, 
however, many of the inmates are able to return to their 
villages and families quite capable of supporting themselves, 
whilst, in other cases, although they may not have advanced 
so far towards self-support, yet possessed of such a measure 
of industrial efficiency as to render their lives much more 

But of much greater moment than mere attainment of 
manual dexterity, is the effect on the minds and lives of 
those brought Avithin the influence of the school ; they are 
a cheerful little company, and a busy one. Brightness takes 


Work for the Blind in Syria 

the place of lethargy, whilst depression and sorrow are dis- 
placed by hope and joy. An oculist who knows the country 
well and has had long experience among the blind in the 
land, speaking of the hopelessness of their outlook and the 
listlessness characteristic of their condition, marvelled at the 
change so apparent in our men. One of the most delightful 
experiences is to watch the faces of the poor fellows as they 
light up at the story of Divine Love, as they grasp the great 
truth of the existence of a God full of compassion. 

Many of the men return to their villages true missionaries 
to their own people, carrying with them the Word of Life, 
from which they read (with, as the Syrians say, " Eyes in 
their fingers "), to interested groups, the Message of Salva- 
tion. One of our ])ast inmates is now engaged as an 
evangelist and Scripture reader in connection with the 
work of the mission at Tyre, and has proved himself a most 
valuable and acceptable worker, cordially received into the 
native houses, cafes, and other places in the city and sur- 
rounding villages, and not alone received, but gladly listened 
to as he reads and speaks about the things of Christ. 

Perhaps one of the most striking features of the school 
is the variety of nationalities and sects gathered within its 
walls. It is nothing unusual to see Moslems, Jews, Druses 
from the Lebanon, Bedouin Arabs and Oriental Christians — 
Greeks, Maronites, etc.- — men between whom, under ordinary 
circumstances, there exists a continuous race enmity, a 
perpetual blood-feud, here joined together in the greatest 
friendliness, their voices raised in song, or sitting quietly 
listening to the Gospel story, or amicably discussing amongst 
themselves the message which they have just heard. How 
thoroughly they have grasped- — in part at least' — the Gospel 
spirit is shown by the existence of a little box in which small 
coins (metaliks and nahassies) are saved up, with great self- 
denial, from their food money, that they may have the joy 
of helping others even worse off than themselves. 

With a view to helping the largest number, no attempt is 
made to retain expert workmen in the school ; after attaining 
efficiency the men return to their own villages and homes, 

339 z 2 

Work for the Blind in Syria 

making room for others. This, of Course, lowers the earning 
capacity of the school, as it reduces both the quality and 
quantity of the work available for sale, but, on the other 
hand, it greatly increases its usefulness by rendering it 
possible to extend the benefits of training to a larger number. 

It may be of interest to mention that the school is an 
adjunct of the British Syrian Mission, which provides the 
house in which its work is carried on. The administration 
is in the hands of the ladies on the Beyrout staff of the 
mission, and, in addition, the committee of the mission are 
responsible for the finding of about £150 a year, the cost of 
the school over and above the amount realised by the sale 
of the articles made by the men. Towards this sum some 
friends in England contribute, but the committee would 
gladly welcome further help to enable them to extend the 
benefits of the school beyond the present limited number of 
its inmates, a limit solely set up by financial considerations. 

The effort is an unpretentious one ; it makes no claim to 
originality in conception or subsequent development, but it 
is a very real effort to meet a very real need, and one which 
might be repeated in hundreds — even thousands — of places 
throughout the non-Christian world, bringing to those " in 
the dark " not onl}'^ physical and social improvement, but 
a blessed message of joy and hope. 




Mr. Walter Dixson* (Oxford). — I do hope that I am not 
intruding between you and a delightful paper, but it seems to me 
that it calls for some remarks, partly of thanks to one of the workers 
in the field and partly to arouse the public conscience on this 
subject. It seems to me that we who are interested in the work 
for the blind in progressive countries oiight to take far more 
interest than we do in the condition of the bhnd in backward 
countries. (Hear, hear.) Now, Mr. Yoshimoto, of Japan, de- 
serves very great credit for the attitude he has taken up on this 
subject. Here you have a country like Japan as soon as it has 
learnt something- from the West passing it on to other Eastern 
countries. He said to me years ago : " My object is to benefit 
first the blind of Japan, and then those of China and Corea." 
Well, some months ago he found that he had to return to Japan. 
He was living in Oxford at the time, and he called together the 
educated blind in Oxford and said to them : " Now what are you 
going to do for the blind of the East ? " I said : " What do you 
want us to do ? " He said : " We want to do some work in China, 
and we want you to back us up ; we want to know that we have 
your support." I said : " Well, of course our duty is to that 
great country in the East whose population forms at least two- 
thirds of our Empire — India ; but if there is any help in the way of 
information and of support in any of your schemes we will give it." 
I solemnly promised him that I would not rest until this Conference 
had considered the question of the blind of the East. Now there 
is another thing I wish to mention. AVliile we admire the 
missionaries for the work they have done and are doing, I think 
they ought to tap foreigners — Orientals and others — and try to 
rouse their consciences on this subject. It seems to me that this 
would greatly strengthen the hands of the missionaries, because 
they would not then feel that the work they are doing is a droi> in 
the ocean. With regard to the East, I understand that a work is 
being done not merely in Syi'ia but somewhere in Palestine. We 
know from what we heard the other day that something is being 
done in China. We shall presently discuss India. I have referred 
to Japan, and I suppose when the Cape to Cairo railway is con- 
structed we shall have to consider a great part of Africa. I do 
hope that the Governments of the British possessions in Africa will 
some day be roused to do something for the blind natives as well 
as the blind white people of those countries. 

Miss Isabel Heywood (Manchester). — I have been most 
terribly anxious to bring this subject before the Conference, and 
at last there are just a few minutes to give to this enormous 
subject. I think it is one which ought to be put before all the 
workers for the blind in England, so that they may not selfishly 
think only of those at home, but also of the millions in heathen 
countries to whom we ought to stretch out a hand to save them 
from the awful, cruel, and terrible conditions in which they live. 
I have spent about two years in writing to the different missionary 
societies to get information as to what has akeady been done. It 
is only like a drop in the ocean. You little know the letters I 


Work for the Blind in Syria 

receive describing the awful state in which these people live. I 
have had this short paper printed, and it will be distributed at the 
door. If you will kindly take it and read it you will see what 
needs to be done. I told my own blind people at home about it, 
and said I wanted them to be the first to start the enormous fund 
which we require to invest so as to have a permanent income with 
which to assist the schools and institutions already begun under 
Christian supervision. I said to them, " I want you to be the 
first to start this enormous fimd." Every one of them said, 
" You want us to give now ? " and I said " Yes." Most of them 
are poor, but they rained their pennies and even sixpences into 
my hand. I took them and said, " It is the foundation of a fund, 
and we will carry it on." To this foundation have been added 
sums given without being asked, and we now have about £233 in 
the bank. It is a nucleus. I have been trying to get a large sum 
from some rich person who could quite as easily give a quarter of 
a million as we could give sixpence. (Laughter.) I have written 
to sixty-three millionaires, and have asked them of their charity 
to give a large sum because our missionary and blind societies do 
not wish subscriptions to be asked for in the ordinary way ; but 
these sixty-three wealthy people made no response, except one 
who sent two guineas and one who sent five. However, I am still 
hoping that God will raise up some millionaire who will give the 
money. The scheme is on foot, and we shall keep working at it 
imtil we build up a fund from which grants can be made (like 
those from the Gardner Trust) for the heathen blind. In the 
Indian Empire there are about 600, UOO blind people of the lowest 
classes living in destitution and misery. In China there are more 
than 500,000, in Japan the blind number at least 100,000, in Egypt 
150,000, in Syria a terrible amount, and in all places most inade- 
quate little beginnings have been made. If the Government were 
to realise it, they might do much to improve matters. In many 
parts of the East 90 jjer cent, need not have been blind. It is to 
the missions we must look for improvement. Protection and 
education will do a great deal, but Christianity alone will trans- 
form this enormous mass. If you will take this paper and 
consider and pray over it, I hope we may without delay get the 
state of the blind in the East remedied. 

Mr. SiiAir (Calcutta). — -The subject of the paper is the blind in 
heathen lands. From the paper itself I understood that Syria 
was the only country referred to as a " heathen land," but after 
listening to my predecessors I find that China, Japan, India, and 
others are included. I come from one of them — India. 

I have a paper to-morrow on India, when you will hear what 
I have to say about it. At present my only object is to urge you 
to let lis have a bit more of Christian large-heartedness, and not 
to use, please, the word "heathen." (Hear, hear.) It is most 
offensive to the people for whom it is intended. Your intentions 
are very good and we are thankful to you. I am a Christian, but 
I know the minds of my brothers in India. The word " heathen " 
is most offensive. It is like the " Gentiles " as used by the Jews, 
or " barbarians " as used by the Romans. So please do not use it. 
We prefer the word " non-Christian " or " backward." We are 



willing- to be called backward, but please do not use . tlie word 
" heathen." 

Mrs. Albrecht (India). — -I am astonished that the great country 
of India has sent no delegates to this Convention. We have 
delegates from foreign and colonial Governments, but not from 
that great country which should have had a delegate in London 
to-day. After spending twenty years in other work in India I 
felt constrained to commence among the Tellagoos in India, and 
if I had known that the Government would not send a delegate 
from India I should have spoken personally before leaving to the 
heads of the departments there and asked them to send a special 
representative here for the whole country. I have only one thing 
to say this evening, and that is that I have been overwhelmed by 
the great amount of work done for the blind in this land, and 
especially here in London. And I would like to refer to an old, 
old story written in an old, old Book. There was at one time, 
many years ago, a place in the desert where many people had 
nothing to eat. And there was somebody there who had a little 
bit of bread and a few fishes, and so they were sent round. Twelve 
men were appointed to feed these people, who were sitting on the 
grass in rows. And having read this old story I was just thinking 
how it would have been when these twelve men were going round 
distributing the food if the peojile in the front rows had taken it 
all, or if these twelve men had gone again and again to see that 
the front rows had all they could possibly eat, and never went to 
the back rows at all. If all these people sitting in the back rows 
were crying " Come and give us some too," and those who were 
distributing the food had said " No, we must give it all here," 
what would have been the comment of Him they had followed 
into the desert ? 

One thing called this to my mind to-day, on the 'bus. A young 
blind girl said, " I have learned to work in London, but have very 
little hope of getting a position." Now there are many positions 
open in India. 

Rev. W. E. Lloyd* (Brighton). ^ — ^I want to say just one 
practical word. We all feel very, very keenly the things we have 
heard about the misery of our blind fellow -creatures in other lands, 
and we all feel that it is the special duty of the blind to do some- 
thing for them. I have often thought that if we had lived in this 
land of ours a hundred years ago we should have been extremely 
miserable. Most of us would have been beggars. And we should 
not even have been able to read in the streets. But even so we 
should have been far better off under such circumstances than are 
the blind people to-day in those non-Christian countries. I want 
to make a practical suggestion, because we do want to have some 
practical outcome to show. The blind want to help, but do not 
know how. I heard of a scheme the other day which I think 
ought to commend itself very forcibly to us. It was the idea of 
forming a Birthday League. It was in connection with a very, 
very irecessary and useful society. I will not mention the name, 
as I do not think it would be wise for the idea to be spread about 
too much. But I think it would be very acceptable now if some 


Work for the Blind in Syria 

one would undertake to form a Birthday League for the Blind and 
ask all the blind they can get hold of to join. They would give 
their names and addresses- and the date of their birth to some 
responsible person, and every year that person would send them a 
letter wishing them many returns of the day and reminding them 
that they owed some sort of a thank-offering to Almighty God for 
their preservation for another year, and ask them to send a little 
present to their fellow-sufferers. I am certain there would not be 
one out of a hundred who would refuse to join such a league. 
Even if they only sent sixpence or a shilling it would be something, 
and some would give more. But above all, the best thing to do, 
and one of the most necessary things, is to get the blind clergy 
into touch with the movement. As we know, there are thirty or 
forty blind clergy, and surely it is om- duty, if it is anybody's, to 
see that something is done, and I hope this scheme may commend 
itself to all. 

Miss H. E. BooRD (London). — After what the last speaker has 
said I just want to say that there is a Light in Darkness League 
in connection with Miss Askwith's blind school in India, and I am 
the hon. secretary of it. I have thirty members, all blind, and 
should be very thankful to get more. 1 got my first sixpence from 
a poor blind woman in the workhouse. I am very anxious to get 
this league better known. It has been a very great sorrow to me 
to have lost one member this year. Of course, we are very anxious 
not to lose members, and we are always very glad to hear of people 
wanting to help. If anyone would care to join I should be very 
glad to hear of them. I will leave my address with the Chairman. 
It is^ — -Miss H. E. Boord, 8, Stanley Gardens, Notting Hill, 
London, W. 

The Chairman. — I will now ask Mr. Best, who is the 
Managing Director of Messrs. Selfridge & Co., Limited, to give 
us his address on " Salesmanship." 



p. A. BEST, 

Managing Director, Messrs. Selfriclge & Co., Limited. 

I AM sorry that through a misunderstanding I had 
booked this engagement for Friday instead of this evening, 
and I must apologise for my late arrival. 

I am asked b\ the organisers of this meeting to have a few 
words with you on the prineiples of selling. 

Well, I hap]ien to make my living by selling goods — in 
rather a broad sense, possibly ; but all my life I have been a 
salesman. I started selling goods in a draper's shop ; I have 
sold goods through the medium of the Press, I have sold 
goods as a specialised salesman, and because of this 
experience your organisers thought I might be able to give 
you some hints that would be useful to them in their work. 

I take it the great idea is to inculcate the science of selling 
in the minds of your organisers, or that part of them who 
are occupied in selling goods made in your institutions. 

First of all, the science of selling — and selling is a science 
— is to create a demand. The second point in selling is to 
fill a want. Let us assume that you are trying to create a 
demand for your particular line of merchandise. If you 
have merchandise which is not on the general lines offered 
for sale^ — that is, merchandise in competition with other 
merchandise- — you have to convince your prospective 
customer that your goods are desirable by virtue of one of 
two things or both, by virtue of novelty or value. 

The second line of resistance, if you can call it such, is, if 
you are filling a want it is no earthly use trying to sell 
merchandise that pleases only yourself. If you are making 
goods that look very nice and you are very proud of them 
but nobody wants them, then you are building up a stock 
and investing dead capital. 



I do not know whether you sell by advertising or by 
personal contact. Let us assume you do it in both directions. 
If you sell by description — that is, by pamphlet or by list 
or by advertising in the Press or in magazines' — then you 
must illustrate your special lines. 

You know, ladies and gentlemen, that ladies are, after all, 
90 per cent, of the prospective purchasers of general com- 
modities, and they like to see what they are expected to buy, 
so if you are going to advertise pick out your best lines — 
those which your common sense and the criticism of your 
customer tells you are the best lines- — and illustrate them. 
Carefully describe the article as well, and then put in those 
other items which in your opinion come second, third, and 
fourth. But because the illustrated line strikes the observer 
(the lady immediately looks at the illustration), if you have 
wisely picked the sprat to catch the mackerel she judges all 
your other items by the illustration. 

Now if you arc going to sell j'^our goods by personal 
contact, then you open up a tremendous field. In my opinion 
there is nothing more delightful than selling goods by 
personal contact. 

Having decided to sell your goods by personal contact by 
opening stores, or by obtaining selling space in some general 
organisation, you have to remember this, that your sales- 
people are your pioneers for that particular proposition. 
You must select your sales-people from amongst the most 
pleasant of your co-workers. They must be people who, 
even if they are afflicted, are brave and keep their chins up, 
for nothing damps the ardour of an intending purchaser 
more than an unpleasant sales-person. 

I will give you a little experience that I had of what I call 
the negative side of selling. I went into a store to purchase 
a collar or dress-bow in a hurry — we have to do these things 
in a hurry sometimes- — and I said tb the salesman, " I want 
a collar," or a dress-bow or whatever it was. He handed it 
to me and said, " You don't want a dress-shirt, do you ? " 
(Laughter.) It was utterly absurd ; the man told me I did 
not want it. (More laughter.) I have frequently had men 



say to me in stores and in shops, " You don't want this, that or 
the other, do you ? " Of course you do not ; the man has put 
the word into your mouth. Therefore tell your sales-people 
not to make what we may call the " negative approach." 

If the man I was telling you about had said to me, " Do 
you want a dress-shirt ?■ — new style here ; it is most 
accommodating ; you don't have to put it over your head 
after you have done your hair (laughter) ; you put it on like 
a coat," I should have been interested at once, because it 
was a novelty. By the way there is such a shirt, and you 
do not need to pull it over your head after you have brushed 
your hair, and if he had said that it would have appealed to 
me immediately. 

Now you see my point. Your sales-people must be so well 
versed in the needs of the public as to be themselves an 
advertisement for the particular line of merchandise you are 
offering for sale. 

Suppose it is a soiled-linen basket, then they should explain 
that the hinge is such that the lid does not fall over sideways 
when you open it. There is such a basket in my dressing- 
room ; it has only one clip, and when you open it the 
lid falls over lop-sided ; if it had two, the lid would fall 
over backwards. Those are all selling points, and you 
can apply them to evciy line of merchandise you make. 
First of all make sure that you have good goods to offer, that 
the value is the best. I do not say cut your prices, but when 
I say best I mean that there is no value to beat it. Then see 
that your merchandise has all those little novelties that 
appeal to the public, and instruct your sales-people in those 
little selling points that go right home to the appreciation of 
the purchaser. 

Now the personal touch. You know I am connected with, 
in fact I am the responsible manager of, 3,500 people, and I 
think 1,600 of them are sales-people, and they give me more 
anxiety than I care to tell you, because very few realise that 
" selling " means the cultivation of the best attributes God 
has put into anybody. 

Selling by personal contact means pleasing the person who 



has come to buy. If it is only a packet of needles it does not 
matter. First of all you have to create a pleasant atmo- 
sphere round the transaction so as to get the mind of the 
purchaser into a pleasant groove. 

Now there is a difference between " selling " and " ser- 
vice " ; I guarantee that very few ladies and gentlemen 
present, unless they are, like myself, in the selling profession 
• — and I call it a profession — appreciate the difference 
between " selling " and " service." Let me illustrate my 
meaning. I go into a shop and say " I want a dress-bow for 
Is., and I want that one." The salesman takes that dress- 
bow, wraps it up, and takes my shilling. That is not " sell- 
ing " ; that is " service." That is simply giving me some- 
thing I asked for. It is very necessary work. I am not 
depreciating it, but it is not selling. Now you want to take 
your future sales-people and teach them to discriminate 
between " selling " and simple " service." You cannot sell 
without giving service. But if you create a demand and then 
exchange your merchandise for the customer's money, you are 
"selling" as well as rendering a service. You wrap the 
goods up, take the name of the customer and the address to 
which the goods are to be sent ; that is all service, but you 
have sold the goods by creating a demand, whereas in the 
case of the dress-bow the man simply handed me something 
I asked for. 

When once you get into the minds of your sales-people the 
important difference between service and selling you whet 
their appetite. In my early days with my present organisa- 
tion I used to have " selling talks " and speak to the various 
people as I walked round. I Avould ask, " What have you 
sold to-day ? " And they would reply, " I have sold this, 
and that." I have then asked, " Did you create a demand ? " 
And they have looked at me as though I were a genial idiot. 
(Laughter.) I said, "What happened? Did the lady ask 
for this pair of boots or this blouse? " or whatever it was. 
They said, " Yes." I said, " I'm very glad, but that is 
not my point ; that is service ; it is not selling." Selling is a 
different thing entirely ; you create the demand first of all 



by the novelty or value of the article you offer, and by the 
pleasant atmosphere you introduce around the transaction. 
If a customer comes to you and says " I want that for 4s." 
and gives you the money, you can then with a pleasant 
personality and voice inquire if there is anything else she 
would like to purchase. There is more joersonality in a voice 
than in anything else. A raucous voice is unpleasant, and 
there is nothing worse than a raucous voice for putting off a 
purchaser ; but if your salesman is pleasant and always 
reaidy for service he attracts attention. 

My attention was once attracted in that way, and I spent 
a penny on a box of matches I did not want. (Laughter.) 
I was Avalking along, when I heard a pleasant voice say, 
" Will you please look at this box . . . ? " I turned and 
saw a blind man holding out a box, and as I turned he com- 
l^leted his sentence with the words "... of matches." I 
gave him the penny. That was a selling voice. If he had 
said in the usual whining voice, " Buy a box of matches," 
I should have taken no notice. That illustrates that a 
pleasant voice and a careful method of approach make 
all the difference. He was original, and used an original 
method of attracting passers-by. He caught my attention 
and won a penny. 

Now I think I have said enough. Instil into your future 
sales-people the points I have raised. Make them enthusias- 
tic — enthusiasm is the finest thing in the world ; make them 
enthusiastic, believing in their merchandise and in them- 
selves, and help them to cultivate those splendid attributes 
that God has given them. A pleasing voice is one of the 
most valuable, and with that you can endeavour to create a 
pleasant atmosphere. Do that, and I am confident you will 
be successful in the sales department of your organisation. 
(Loud cheers.) 

Miss Douglas-Hamilton. — Will the gentleman tell us 
how best to approach the buyers of large establishments ? 

Mr. Best. — You mean when you want to sell goods to a 
store for them to jretail again ? 



Miss DouGLAS-HAivnLTON. — Yes. 

Mr. Best. — Well, first of all don't go into the store Avith 
your arms loaded with merchandise ; you will frighten 
them. I used to make that mistake myself. In the end I 
used to select just one little tit-bit of the best possible value 
and keep it behind me. You go into the place with a 
pleasant smile and make the buyer interested, tell him what 
fine work you are doing, what splendid merchandise you are 
turning out, and (producing the article), " Here is a sample." 
(Laughter and cheers.) 

The Chairman.- — I am sure we ought to thank Mr. Best 
very much indeed for that very excellent address, 

Mr. Best.- — It has been a great pleasure to me. I feel that 
I have done very little, and that I ought to have done a lot 



J. Da S. MELLO, 

Hon. Director of the " Instituto Benjamin Constant," 
Rio de Janeiro. 

In the name of Brazil, which has been, officially invited to 
be represented at this International Conference, and of the 
National Institution for the Blind of Rio de Janeiro, of which 
I am the director, I thank you, Mr. President, for the invita- 
tion which has been sent to us, and for the opportunity given 
to us to make known in Europe the procedure and efficacy 
with which Brazil has treated this branch of special educa- 

More than sixty years ago. Gentlemen, Dom Pedro II., 
Emperor of Brazil, granted his high patronage for the 
foundation of a school for the education of the young blind 
of Rio de Janeiro. That took place on September 12th, 
1853. In attaining this object, as in all that relates to 
literary instruction, our model has been France — that 
intellectual mother of the Latin world. It is France that 
has given us the Braille system, the first reading books, the 
pedagogical implements and the first Director of the 
Institution, which is called " The Benjamin Constant 

This Institution, immediately after its establishment, was 
legalised by a decree of the National Legislature. Since then, 
the Government of Brazil has regarded the " School for the 
Instruction of the Blind " as also the " School for the Deaf 
Mutes " as public establishments of the State, 

The administrative staff, the professors, the masters, the 
doctors, food and clothing, arc paid for monthly at the 
National Treasury. The buildings and the gardens of the 
Institution were built and are maintained by the State, on a 


Work for the Blind in Brazil 

large site beside the sea, which was the gift of His Majesty 
the Emperor of Brazil. 

Immediately after the foundation of the Institution for the 
Blind, an Imperial decree instituted an endowment fund on 
which the interest at 6 per cent, payable half-yearly is 
immediately converted into stock of the Public Debt. This 
fund, which amounts to nearly £100,000, was formed by 
personal donations, and is augmented each year by the 
profit on the objects manufactured by the working scholars 
of the Institution. When three-fourths of the interest in the 
fund are sufficient for the expenses of the Institution it will 
be freed from the tutelage of the State, and become an 
autonomous institution.* 

The Institution admits pupils gratis, of Avhatcver 
nationality they may be, subject to a simple proof of poverty 
before a magistrate of the place of residence of the applicant 
for enrolment. 

Pupils who complete the literary course of eight years 
without any bad report in the examinations, acquire the 
right of " Aspirants to the Professorate " of the Institution, 
with permission to remain in the Institution as pupil 
teachers, and receive a salary of 60 fes. a month, with food, 
clothing and medical attendance. 

Aspirants showing a decided vocation for teaching may 
under certain conditions attain to the employment of 
" Repetiteur " and even to that of Professor with salary of 
£560 per annmii. 

In the event of competition between sighted and the 
blind under equal conditions of ability and character, the 
latter are given the preference for the post of Professor. 
The post of " Repetiteur " can only be filled by the blind. 

The education of the blind in our Institution consists of a 
literary course, a musical ccan-se, and of several handicrafts, 
according to the aptitude of each pupil. 

The literary course comprises elementary instruction 

* This fund is managed, by an administrative council nominated by the 
Government of the Republic. 


Work for the Blind in Brazil 

(Braille system), arithmetic, algebra, elementary geometry, 
geography, history and the French language. 

The musical course comprises elementary music, instru- 
mental and vocal, piano, organ, harmonium, harmony, and 

The professional course, comprising various trades, is given 
to all students simultaneously with the literary and musical 

Piano repairing and tuning is taught. Recognising that 
the latter trade is one of the most advantageous for the 
blind, the Institution has devoted a special section to it, 
managed by a master tuner, and supplied with the proper 
assistants. Boys and girls meet three times weekly in the 
gardens, and practise Swedish gymnastic exercises. Solo 
and choral singing is practised thi-ee times weekly by all the 
students together under two professors. 

In order to provide practice for the students in public 
gatherings and exhibitions, in which they will one day take 
part as musicians, frequent concerts are organised either in 
the large hall of the Institution or in the theatres of the 

With the exception of Aspirants and " Repetiteurs," who 
are all blind, nearly half of our professors are also blind, and 
old students of the Institution. 

There, Gentlemen, you have a summary of what our 
Institution has been for the blind, what it is, and what it 
hopes to attain in the future. 

On the initiative of blind professors a " Protecting Society 
for the Blind " was founded, of which I am the honorary 
president; this association has by means of a public sub- 
scription obtained the necessary money for the foundation of 
" The Professional School for the Adult Blind," that is to 
say, for those who on account of their age or on account of 
some other defect could not be admitted to the " Instituto 
Benjamin Constant." A year after the foundation of this 
new school the Federal Government, recognising the use- 
fulness of this establishment, which among other uses had 
that of taking in various blind persons who were wardering 

C.B. 353 A A 

Work for the Blind in Brazil 

about the streets as beggars, allocated 40,000 fes. a year in 
the Federal Budget for the assistance of the new school. 
There are in this house not only old students of Benjamin 
Constant, from all parts of Brazil, but several blind people who 
had been reduced to poverty through old age and illness. I 
must add, Gentlemen, that the directors of this working home 
(husband and wife) are really two old students of our 
Institution, where, to our credit, they are regarded as being 
among the cleverest of our professors. To terminate this 
little digression let us add that Providence has blessed this 
union of devotion and work with a large family of fine boys 
and girls, who, together with their parents, form an admirable 
example of the value of education of the blind. This is not 
the only example of the excellent results of our Institution. 
There are others not less eloquent. 

At Pernambueo one of our young students has established 
a small school, which on account of its success has earned a 
grant from the State. Our Institution gave it the fu"st 
machines and all the books which this new centre of instruc- 
tion for the blind required. A young blind man of St. Paul, 
after finishing his education at our Institution, was admitted 
to the Academy of Law upon his return to his native town. 
Accompanied by his secretary (he is a rich young man), who 
recorded the lessons for him, this plucky j^oung fellow has 
just obtained the degree of " Bachelor of Law and Econo- 
mics"; his brother, who was also blind, and a pupil in our 
Institution, has distinguished himself in music, and coming 
to Europe to continue his studies at Brussels, won the violin 
prize there. 

A German child, barely ten years old, coming from Rio 
Grande with his father, a poor drunkard who made him 
play in the streets of Rio, taken in by our Institution, has 
become such a good pianist that we are very often unable to 
-satisfy the requests of friends who want him to play at their 

We could give you more examples like these of the 
magnificent results obtained by our Institution in this 
campaign for the victory of the blind in Brazil. 


'Work for the Blind in Brazil 

My presence here, and the visits I am to make to the 
bhnd schools of France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, 
Austria and North America are a fvirther proof of the 
attention given by the Brazihan Government to the educa- 
tion of the bhnd. 

It is a pity that the resolution of the Brazilian Government 
• — to appoint me delegate of Brazil to this Conference — was 
made at the last moment before my departure from Rio de 
Janeiro. Otherwise I should have had the pleasure of 
bringing you a few things made by our blind folk. 

Besides, the principal object of my trip is to visit the 
European schools, of which this Conference should be a 
summary both of the results obtained and of new ideas. 

Europe has been and will always be the inexhaustible 
source of civilisation and well-being for the rest of humanity 
all over the world. From all parts we are marching towards 
this refreshing spring, which we left a long time ago. From 
this perpetual movement and renovation progress results. 

It is the progress and advancement of the education of 
the blind of Brazil that I seek. It is that which I seek from 
you who are united here — For the Interest, for the 
Education, the Instruction, the Employment and 
General Well-being of the Blind. 

^55 A A 2 

Work for the Blind in Brazil 

The Ch: AIRMAN.' — I am sui-e we are all very grateful indeed to 
Colonel Mello and are very glad that he read his paper in English. 
It was wonderfully well read. 

That concludes the business for this evening. 

Mr. Guy Campbell (Norwood). — -Nothing now remains except, 
according to ancient custom, to ask that Mr. Wilson will accept 
a hearty vote of thanks at our hands, and to add to that the 
hope that he will enjoy a good night's rest. 

The Chairman. — I thank you very much indeed. 

Tuesday, July 23rd, 1914. 


Chairman : Sir Melvill Beachcroft. 

The Chairman. — I have to declare this eighth session of 
our Conference now open. As I have already presided on 
two occasions, I do not think it necessary to trouble you with 
any remarks this morning, and I will therefore call upon 
Mr. Miles Priestley to read his paper. We have dealt with 
child life among the blind, and now we are to deal with the 




Manager and Secretary, Royal Institution for the Blind, 

The importance of this subject will be better understood 
when it is fully realised that 90 per cent, of the blind popula- 
tion are over twenty years of age. In England and Wales 
that percentage represents 23,582 persons, in Scotland 2,937, 
and 4,143 in Ireland, making a total of 30,662 adult blind 
persons in the United Kingdom. During the past twenty 
years, but more especially since 1902, the education and 
technical training provided, largely at the public expense, 
has increased the demand for subsequent employment far 
beyond the total accommodation of existing institutions 
for the blind. There has, however, been an increase of 
478 blind persons employed at institutions in England and 
Wales since 1902, viz., from 1,243 to 1,721, and the number 
of institutions has increased from forty-three to fifty-two 
in the same period. Unfortunately, though well trained 
and qualified, blind persons cannot obtain employment in 
sighted workshops. 

Whilst it is gratifying to note that the proportion of the 
blind to the whole population has steadily decreased during 
the past fifty years, it must not be forgotten that the total 
number of blind persons has been steadily increasing during 
the whole of that time. In England and Wales the pro- 
portionate decrease has been from one in 979 in 1851 to one 
in 1370 in 1911. The increase in the total number, however, 
is from 18,306 in 1851 to 26,336 in 1911, or 8,030 more blind 
persons than fifty years ago. 

Notwithstanding all the preventive means that have been 


Blindness in Adult Life 

taken, the increase during the last decade was 1,019. That 
fact alone is a strong reason for a better provision both 
in regard to employment and maintenance. The adult 
blind of working age, say from the age of twenty to fifty- 
five years, number 12,088 in the United Kingdom. 
Mr. Henry J. Wilson published returns in 1911 which showed 
that the following numbers were employed in institutions, 
viz., England and Wales, 1,721 ; Scotland, 514 ; Ireland, 
202 ; total, 2,437, or 20 per cent, of the 12,088 blind persons 
who are estimated to be of working age. 

When making inquiries upon this subject, I sent out a 
list of nineteen questions to sixty-three institutions or 
societies for the blind. In reply I received a mass of informa- 
tion which is briefly summarised as follows, and to all niy 
correspondents, both at home and abroad, I desire to tender 
a grateful acknowledgment. 

Partially Blind. 

Approximately, 30 per cent, of the persons in institutions 
for the blind possess some degree of sight. In many of 
these cases the amount of vision is sufficient to enable the 
persons to travel without the assistance of a guide, but not 
sufficient to obtain employment in a sighted workshop. 
Some of these men and women are usefully employed in 
doing the more skilled work in trades generally practised 
by the blind. There has been a large increase in the number 
of partially blind persons admitted to institutions for the 
blind since the Employers' Liability Act was passed in 1897. 
Employers of labour will not now take the rcsjionsibility 
of employing persons with defective vision, because of their 
supposed liability to accidents. , 

No satisfactory definition of blindness for the admission 
of applicants to institutions and societies has yet been 
accepted. There is urgent need for such a definition, so 
that for registration, training, employment and pensions, 
uniform action may obtain. In some cases persons who are 
able to read a newspaper without the aid of glasses are 
employed, and paid at the same rates of wages as those who 


Blindness In Adult Life 

are totally blind. On the other hand, a short time ago, 
a clergyman refused to sign an application form for a pension 
because the applicant had a glimmer of sight. Unless some 
recognised standard of vision be adopted for the partially 
blind, such persons may be admitted to the benefits of 
institutions and societies to the exclusion of those who are 
totally destitute of sight. Now that " myopes " arc in 
many cases admitted to schools for the blind, there is urgent 
need for special consideration of this important question. 


The wages of those employed in institutions vary from 
Qs. to 305. per week for men, and 4s. to 12s. for women, 
according to the skill of the workers. A statement of the 
average wages of blind persons is not of much value, because 
they are employed under such varying circumstances, and 
possess different degrees of ability. Moreover, some have 
other employments, and only work at institutions to occupy 
their spare time, whilst others are weakly persons and 
attend at irregular intervals. 

Minimum Wage. 

The opinion as to the merits of a fixed minimum wage is 
evenly divided, but there is a unanimous opinion in favour 
of piecework rates being sufficiently high to enable the 
workers to earn a living wage. My own experience has led 
me to believe that the system of piecework loses much of its 
value when supplements are given, yet the fact must be 
recognised that the blind, as a class, cannot ever become self- 
supporting by their own unaided efforts. Therefore I 
strongly recommend that, for every blind or partially blind 
person admitted to an institution for employment, the rate 
of remuneration should be sufficient for full maintenance, 
and, in connection with it, some further form of supplement 
that will act as an incentive to industry and will encourage 
the workers to put forth their utmost effort and skill. 
Notable instances could be mentioned of blind persons who 
have, by indomitable pluck and determination, swept 


Blindness in Adult Life 

difficulties out of their way, and have made remarkable 
progress both as business and professional men. These 
ought to be a constant inspiration to high and noble aims, 
to treat the minimum as something to be left behind, and to 
be more anxious about the maximum of their mental and 
physical powers. 


In some trades practised by the blind the actual value of 
their labour is considerably less than it was fifteen or twenty 
years ago. The introduction of machinery into sighted 
workshops where similar articles are produced, the system 
of employing female and boy labour at, say, one-third of 
the rates of wages formerly paid to men, have made it 
essential for supplement in some form to be added to the 
actual wages now earned by the blind. In different parts 
of the country there is great variation in the amount of 
supplement and the method of administration. The 
financial position of the institution is generally the 
determining factor in deciding this matter. Wages are 
augmented from 12 J per cent, to 50 per cent, above the 
standard rates paid to sighted persons for similar work. In 
many eases money grants, insurance premiums, payments 
for holidays, free dinners and other benefits are given in 
addition to the supplement added to wages. To give a 
few instances by way of illustration, I may say that in 
Birmingham the augmentation is a fixed sum irrespective 
of the weekly earnings. The amount varies from Qd. to 
6s. per week for men and 1*. Sd. to 4s. per week for women, 
and is based on the actual trade earnings for six months 
prior to a given date. 

In Manchester (Henshaw's) they have a system as 
follows : — Men : the augmentation is fixed at 4s. per week, 
irrespective of W'ages earned, in addition to one suit of clothes 
and boots, and 30*. for holidays each year. Women : 
25 per cent, on earnings at trade rates and free dinners five 
days per week ; minimum payment, including augmentation, 
12*. per week. 


Blindness in Adult Life 

There is much to be said in favour of the Stockport 
system, where the totally blind, both men and women, 
receive a supplement of lid. per hour, and the partially 
blind 1^/. per hour, which is equal to 6*. per week for the 
totally blind, and 45. per week for those who have some degree 
of sight, for a week of forty-eight hours. That system 
encourages punctuality and regular attendance. 

The scale of payment at Glasgow, as printed in the Annual 
Report, is somewhat as follows :■ — Fixed wages : men 
commence at 11,9. per week ; wages are increased by yearly 
increments to 21s. per week in the tenth year ; women 
commence at 95. per week and increase to IO5. 6d. in the 
seventh year. 

Payment for holidays is made at standard graded set 
wage rates. In cases of sickness, allowances are made at 
the rate of two-thirds of the wages received from the institu- 
tion up to the maximum of 14.s'. per week for men, and the 
payment for women is 85. per week. Workers retire on 
attaining sixty years of age, when an allowance may be 
granted at a rate not exceeding 145. weekly. 

The scale of payment in Edinburgh is similar to the 
above-mentioned at Glasgow. These systems are excellent. 
If the maximum payments could be reached in, say, seven 
years they would be ideal, and worthy of the emulation of 
every other institution for the blind. 

New Trades. 

Amongst trades recommended for the employment of 
the blind other than those usually practised are bass 
dressing, boot repairing, cabinet making, clog making, 
carpet beating, farming, hair teasing, hassock making, 
netting, poultry keeping, polishing, rope making, telephony, 
umbrella mending, upholstery and willow peeling. 


There is a general opinion that the poor circumstances of 
many blind persons lead to the loss of physical strength and 
unfit them for doing satisfactory work. 


Blindness in Adult Life 


In connection with the suggestion of providing more 
accommodation for employment, there is a consensus of 
opinion in favour of the extension of existing institutions 
wherever possible, and the erection of new ones where such 
extensions cannot be made. Home industries can only 
be recommended in cases where it is impossible to gain 
admission to an institution. The wages earned in home 
employment arc less than half the amount earned in 
institutions Avhere assistance and supervision are provided. 

Training Fees. 

The amount paid on behalf of blind persons resident in 
institutions for training, or for providing a home, varies from 
about £13 to £39 per annmn. In this matter there is great 
need of a more uniform system. When full board, lodgings 
and clothing are provided, the payment should not be less 
than 15.S-. per week or £39 per annum for each person. 

Foreign Institutions. 

Judging from replies received from foreign institutions, 
the provision for " after care " and employment is very 
limited. Materials and necessary tools are sometimes 
provided to commence work at home. In some cases the 
institutions assist in the sale of articles made in this way, 
but generally they have to be sold by the blind themselves. 
Where workshops are provided the wages paid are small. In 
connection with the Commission for the Blind, Columbus, 
Ohio, industrial work was commenced about two years ago. 
A few men are now employed in making whisk brooms and 
baskets. Average wages are |7 per week. Wages less than 
$6 are augmented by one-half the difference between the 
actual wages earned and $6. Minimum payment, $2 per 
week. Six hundred men and women are assisted by the 
Commission. Samples of work done, including home 
industries, are on view in the exhibition. There are about 
5,000 blind persons in Ohio. The Commission receives a 


Blindness in Adult Life 

State grant of £7,000 a year to prevent blindness and give 
industrial aid. 

Mr. Edward B. Allen, Director, Perkins Institution for the 
Blind, Massachusetts, strongly recommends day workshops 
in preference to residential institutions. 


The adult blind naturally fall into the three following 
divisions, viz. : (1) learners ; (2) workers ; (3) incapacitated. 

It is a matter for deep regret that such large numbers of 
blind persons have been trained in some handicraft or 
profession and then left Avithout any further provision. It 
appears to have been assumed that, by a course of training, 
a sightless man could take his place in the world of industry 
alongside other men who have no impediment. An assump- 
tion of that kind is very wide of the actual facts, and can 
only lead to confusion and disappointment. 

In providing for adults, it is not so much a question of 
developing character as of trying to fit habits of long standing 
into new and sometimes very different moulds. Men and 
women who have commenced the second half of life's journey 
find it difficult to start again to learn new occupations, 
details of which must be mastered in total darkness. The 
first trade was difficult to learn with eyes to see, but, alas ! 
what progress now ? 


Thanks to the local education authorities for their liberal 
interpretation of the Secondary Education Act, 1902, 
Part II., grants-in-aid for classes in technical instruction 
and maintenance scholarships for blind students, where 
necessary, are given at many institutions. There is, there- 
fore, considerable opportunity of obtaining good technical 
training or higher education for young blind persons when 
leaving school, and also for those who become blind in later 
years. The Board of Education recognise existing institu- 
tions for the blind for this purpose under their Regulations 
for Technical Schools, chapter 3, and under article 42 


Blindness in Adult Life 

of the same chapter. Government grants up to £3 may be 
paid on account of each student. Occupations usually 
practised by the blind are recognised by the Board of 
Education as approved subjects for such classes. Where 
it is not practicable to organise such classes students may 
be sent to residential institutions where such training is 
carried on, and the Avhole cost defrayed by the education 
authority. In the event of any difficulty arising in 
connection with payment by the education authority the 
Board of Guardians have ample provision for that purpose. 


It is well known that for many years education and 
training for blind persons have been much easier to obtain 
than to provide for their subsequent employment. 

The difficulty is generally a fuiancial one, and here, again, 
I suggest that, when private philanthropy is proved to be 
insufficient, an appeal should be made to the proper local 

The guardians have large j^owcrs under the present Poor 
Law in this direction, as per particulars printed in the 
Appendix at the end of this i>aper. 

On the completion of technical or higher education tbe 
earning capacity of each student should be carefully ascer- 
tained. In the event of the student's circumstances being 
such as to require financial assistance beyond the value of 
his labour, an application should be made to the guardians 
for relief, such relief to be paid through the institution to 
the person concerned, so that it would not be necessary for 
him to attend personally at the Poor Law union office. If 
a number of blind persons at one institution should require 
such relief, an annual grant might be paid by the guardians 
according to the requirements of the case. For assistance 
of this kind a comparatively new and small institution at 
Wakefield provides a notable example. At that institution, 
established in 1901, ten blind men are employed at basket- 
making and four women in knitting hosiery, etc. During 
the period of training the guardians pay the full cost of 


Blindness in Adult Life 

board and lodgings provided by the institution. They also 
pay to the institution a subscription of £20 a year for the 
training of each pupil, out of which the institution grants Ss. 
or 4s. per week to the pupil for personal expenses After 
training the first batch of pujiils, it was ascertained that 
they were unable to earn sufTicient wages for their proper 
maintenance. Application was made to the guardians for 
financial assistance, because, by reason of their affliction, 
the blind were incapacitated to such an extent that the 
highest monetary value of their labour was not sufficient 
to make them self-supporting. After carefully considering 
all the circumstances connected with the case, the guardians 
agreed to pay a subscription of £30, which was subsequently 
increased to £100, per annum on condition that the institu- 
tion raised a similar amount in voluntary subscriptions. 
Surely there is no reason why such assistance should not 
be obtained throughout the whole country. Financial 
responsibility need not be very great, and the joy of wage- 
earning employment would be a great boon to the blind 
people so helped. 

For linking up the different classes of blind persons the 
method adopted at Bradford has been highly recommended 
by H.M. inspectors, and was also specially referred to by 
the Parliamentary Secretary to the Local Government 
Board (Mr. Herbert Lewis), when speaking on behalf of the 
Government in the House of Commons on March 9th, 1914. 
The system has worked remarkably well for a number of 
years as follows : — From five to sixteen years of age the 
elementary education is provided by the city council at 
the Carlton Street day school. A residential school is now 
in course of erection. At sixteen years of age the boys and 
girls are transferred to the Royal Institution for the Blind, 
where a five years' course of technical training is given. 
During that time each pupil receives a maintenance scholar- 
ship of £10 first year, £12 second, and £15 third, fourth and 
fifth years. The cost of training and scholarships is borne 
by the city council. After the period of training, the pupils 
are regularly employed as ordinary workers at the institution. 


Blindness in Adult Life 

By this arrangement the expenditure for augmentation, 
supervision and other charitable purposes has grown far 
beyond the ordinary income. On that account the 
committee of the institution apphed to the guardians for 
financial aid, and, after careful consideration, the guardians 
granted a sum of £500 to meet the deficiency caused by this 
extraordinary expenditure to December, 1912. If necessary, 
the application will be renewed yearly on behalf of blind 
persons who are unable to earn sufficient for their support, 
and the guardians have promised that relief will be granted 
according to requirements, after taking into account the 
income to the institution from every source. It will be 
realised that this assistance prevents the blind persons 
referred to from becoming directly chargeable to the 
guardians for relief. For those who have not suitable homes, 
or for other reasons require such assistance, the guardians 
co-operate with the institution in making adequate provision. 
Separate residential homes for men and women are provided. 
The whole cost of maintenance and administration is 
defrayed by the guardians. When necessary, " out-relief " 
is given according to the needs of each case. It may be 
repeated that without financial assistance the blind as a 
class, including those with very limited capacity, cannot 
ever become self-supporting under the ordinary competitive 
system. And why a person without sight should be con- 
sidered self-supporting on less than one-half the amount 
paid to another person at the same trade, who has sight, is 
beyond the Avit of man to explain. 

A man may be said to be self-supporting when, in return 
for certain services rendered, he receives at least sufficient 
remuneration for proper maintenance. May the day 
speedily come when the bhnd will be self-supporting in that 
sense. Adult blind people who have been trained in some 
handicraft or profession rightly crave for suitable employ- 
ment and some system of payment which is not a charitable 
dole. If they be employed at " piecework " rates of pay, 
the rates should be special and sufficiently high to justly 
meet the needs of the case. Institutions provided for their 


Blindness in Adult Life 

reception should be institutions for making the best provision 
for the bhnd, and not necessarily commercial establishments. 
To devise a really satisfactory system of payment is a difheult 
task, but, in any case, the minimum should be at least 
sufficient for the proper provision of food, clothing and 

I suggest that the minimum payment should not be less 
than fourpence per hour for men, threepence per hour 
for women, and, in cases of married persons with depen- 
dent children, an extra payment of 2s. per week for the first 
child and Is. each for others. If such payments could be 
guaranteed from public funds, there would remain a great 
work to be done by voluntary associations. Every sightless 
person needs at least one friend who can see, and who is 
willing to be a helper and a moral inspiration in giving 
consolation and hope in all that concerns the development 
of a good life. 

Much has been done in past days by men and women of 
devotion, affection and enterprise, and, in S23eaking of the 
future, it is safe to say that the blind will not rise beyond 
the ideals of the friends who are responsible for their instruc- 
tion and oversight. Voluntary agencies have raised the 
blind from being looked upon as a helpless people to their 
present status, and have proved to all the world that they 
can be usefully employed in many walks of life, 

A careful inspection of the articles displayed in the 
exhibition at this Conference will be sufficient proof of the 
great variety and excellent quality of articles produced by 
blind labour. When it is realised that about 3,000 blind 
persons are employed in institutions and in their own homes 
in the production of these goods, there is no reason to doubt 
the great work done and the progress made by voluntary 

The Incapacitated. 

The problem of the infirm and incapable blind is entirely 
different to the learners and workers previously mentioned 
Their number represents approximately 50 per cent, of the. 


Blindness in Adult Life 

blind population. Many of them became blind too late in 
life to learn a new trade and engage in some industrial 
occupation. Some are men who have served an apprentice- 
ship as sighted artizans, supported a Avife and family by 
the proceeds of their labour, and were looked upon as being 
in comfortable circumstances. The new condition of things 
for such men is very hard to bear. It is not only a personal 
deprivation, but the thought of wife and children being 
thrown into abject poverty is a bitter sting which affects 
every relationship in life. A large percentage of the adult 
blind suffer other afflictions in addition to loss of sight, and 
therefore, in addition to a weekly grant of money, good 
nursing and medical aid are often necessary. There are 
numerous cases where loss of sight has come to single persons 
at an age when the question of learning a new occupation 
could not be entertained. Many of them have drifted to the 
workhouse to be dependent on such crumbs of comfort as 
may occasionally fall to their lot. 

In Poor Law unions there is a growing desire on the 
part of the guardians to abolish the pld workhouse system, 
and, in place of it, adopt a method of classification that Avill 
permit a larger measure of comfort for the deserving poor. 

It is more than likely that the guardians would appreciate 
and approve a well-considered scheme for making suitable 
provision for the blind in workhouses, and others who have 
no satisfactory home accommodation. 

A system of " boarding-out " might be adopted as in 
Nottingham, where technical pupils are provided with 
board and lodgings in several houses, because there is not 
room for them to reside in the institution. 

Separate homes for men and for women might be estab- 
lished, where the blind could have the joy of association 
and companionship, and also be employed at some useful 
occupations that would help to make the time go smoothly 
and produce some income towards the expenses of the homes. 
Considering that, out of 1,210 blind persons in the metro- 
politan workhouses in 1911, only 143 were under forty-five 
years of age, it is very evident that the provision required for 


Blindness in Adult Life 

them is not one for employment, but one of suitable homes. 
I am well aware that the assistance here mentioned would 
not meet the requirements of all cases. For some a pension is 
the very best form of relief, and such assistance might be 
granted by the local society or by one of the London pension 
societies. Now that State pensions are granted, under 
certain conditions, to persons who have reached the age of 
seventy years, it is much easier to obtain pensions for 
younger blind persons. 

No scheme will cover all cases. While a general scheme 
should be designed to meet the requirements of the greatest 
number, separate or individual treatment is often required, 
because of the varying degrees of incompetence, partial 
blindness, physical debility, previous training, etc. 

In connection with literature for the blind, I would 
recommend the system in operation at Bradford as being 
worthy of extension. In that city the Free Libraries 
Committee have established a branch library at the Royal 
Institution for the Blind. The books are in Braille and in 
Moon's types. The library is open from 5 ]).m. to 6.30 p.m., 
Monday to Friday, in each Aveek. The librarian, who is 
blind, receives a small salary from the Free Libraries 
Committee. He is also employed as Braille teacher to the 
adult blind, in their own homes and at the institution. 
This work is recognised b}^ the local education authority, 
and they give a grant to defray the expenses. There is not 
any difficulty in obtaining a good supply of literature 
for all the blind readers in Bradford. The Free Libraries 
Committee purchase nine monthly magazines and other 
books as required. They also pay the necessary sub- 
scriptions for forty books every two months from the 
National Lending Library, London, and for twenty-four 
books per quarter from the Manchester and Salford Blind 
Aid Society. The scheme works remarkably well and gives 
great satisfaction. 

C.B. 369 B B 

Blindness in Adult Life 

Prevention of Blindness. 

The circular issued by the Secretary of the Local Govern- 
ment Board covering a General Order, making ophthalmia 
neonatorum compulsorily notifiable in every sanitary 
district in England and Wales from April 1st, 1914, was a 
very beneficent act. As a result of this step a large propor- 
tion of the blindness contracted in childhood will certainly 
be prevented, and, therefore, many who would otherwise 
swell the ranks of the adult blind Avill have the priceless boon 
of sight preserved. 

National Health Insurance. 

Adult ])lind persons have received great benefits from the 
National Health Insurance, and probably some will take 
adA'antage of the disablement benefits after they have made 
104 weekly contributions. Many institutions pay the whole 
of the insurance premiums for blind workers. 

Mental Deficiency Act. 

The Mental Deficiency Act will doubtless do something 
towards making provision and solving a difficult problem in 
regard to a certain number of the blind. 

The Departmental Committee recently appointed by the 
President of the Local Government Board to consider the 
present condition of the blind in the United Kingdom, and 
the means available for their industrial or professional 
training and their assistance, and to make recommendations, 
have assigned to them a very important task. Every 
member of this Conference Avill wish them God-speed in their 
beneficent work. The Bill now before Parliament for the 
education, training, employment and maintenance of the 
blind is approved by a very large majority of societies and 
individuals who are earnestly working for the general welfare 
of the blind. I suggest that this Conference should 
recommend the Departmental Committee to consider this 
Bill as a basis for legislation, in the hope that great success 
will attend their efforts to evolve a national scheme for the 
whole care of the dependent blind. If the work done by the 


Blindness in Adult Life 

National Committee for the Better and more General Employ- 
ment of the Blind, and by other special committees who have 
worked in various ways, have resulted in the appointment 
of the Departmental Committee, and if the outcome should 
be a satisfactory solution of this difficult problem, it will 
be an abundant reward to all friends of the blind for their 
valuable and continued services in this great cause. 

In conclusion I recommend the following chief points as 
worthy of consideration in the discussion which my friend 
Mr. Colin Macdonald will open. 

1. Of the 12,088 blind persons estimated to be of working 
age in the United Kingdom, only 20 per cent, are at present 
employed in institutions. 

2. Assuming that one-half of the remaining 80 per cent, 
are employable, what steps should be taken to provide em- 
ployment for them ? 

3. The necessity of reserving work required by Govern- 
ment Departments, and Public Authorities, in which the 
blind may be usefully employed. 

4. A uniform definition of blindness. 

5. Rates of pay. Piecework or fixed wages. Minimum 
wage, augmentation. 

6. Assistance for the incapacitated : 

(«) Relief in their homes or in lodgings, say up to 105. per 

(&) Residential Labour Homes with provision for full 


I trust the discussion will be helpful, and that out of it 
may develop a better and more complete provision for the 
training, employment, and maintenance of the adult blind. 

371 B B 2 

Blindness in Adult Life 


The following tables, which have been extracted from the 
Census returns for 1911, will form a useful reference for 
particulars relatiiig to the blind. 

Number and Proportion of the Blind at each Census 

FROM 1851 TO 1911. 

Number of Blind. 

Persons living to 
One Blind Per.son. 



























































Table showing the Number of Blind Persons at various 
Ages from Infancy to Old Age. 







Under 5 years of age 





From 5 to 10 





, 10 „ 15 





, 15 „ 20 





, 20 „ 25 





, 25 „ 35 





, 35 „ 45 





, 45 „ 55 





, 55 ,, 65 





, 65 „ 75 





, 75 „ 85 





85 and upwards 











Blindness in Adult Life 

Table showing by Sexes the State of Marriage and 
Ratio of Blind to the Population. 







Number of per- 

sons returned 

as totally blind 















Ratio to the popu- 


1 in 1,370 

1 in 1,435 

1 in 1,018 

Males : 





Married . 


lars of 






Females : 

not stated 



in re- 


Married . 


turns for 






Occupations of the Blind, aged Ten Years and 


Figures for England and Wales relate to present occu- 
pations, and those for Scotland and Ireland relate to present 
or former occupations. 


Present or Former 

tion — 






Total employed males . 




1. WilloAv, cane, rush work- 

ers ; basketmakers 




2. Musicians, music masters, 





3. 3Iusical instrument 

makers (including 





Blindness in Adult Life 

Occupations of the BhiNn—continued. 

tion — 


4. Brokers, agents, factors 

5. Matmakers . 

6. Grocers ; tea, coffee, 

chocolate dealers 

7. Brush, broomniakers ; 

hair, bristle workers 

8. Farmers, graziers . 

9. General labourers . 

10. Clergymen, priests, minis- 

ters, missionaries, scri])- 
ture readers, itinerant 
preachers . 

11. Boot, shoe makers. 

12. General or unclassified 

shopkeepers, dealers . 

13. Agricultviral labourers 

14. Schoolmasters, teachers, 

professors, lecturers 

15. Coal, coke merchants, 


16. Costermongers, hawkers, 

street sellers, including 
newsboys, vendors 

(street or undefined). 

17. Rope, wire, and cord 


18. All other occupations 

Total employed females 

1. Willow, cane, rush work- 

ers ; basketmakcrs 

2. Hosiery manufacture, 


3. Domestic indoor servants 

4. Brush, broomniakers ; 

hair, bristle workers . 

5. Musicians, music mis- 

tresses, singers . 

















Present or Former 

Scotland. Ireland 





















Blindness in Adult Life 

Occupations of the Blind — continued. 

tion — 

Present or Formej 





6. Schoolmistresses, teach- 

ers, professors, lecturers 



7. Fancy goods (textile), 
smallware, etc., manu- 



8. Brokers, agents, factors . 


9. Costermongers, hawkers. 

street sellers 



10. Lodging-house, boarding- 
house keepers 



11. Upholsterers 

12. Shirt makers and seam- 







13. Canvas, sailcloth and net 





li. All other occupations 




In the returns for Ireland it is more apparent than in the returns for 
Scotland that the former occupations were given. 


Blindness in Adult Life 

The Unemployed Blind. 




Total unemployed 




885 ^ 





1. Retired . 




lars are 

2. Pensioners 






3. 01d-a,£fc pensioners 


(()ccu])ation or 





former oceui^ation 





not stated) . 


4. Private means 







5. Others unemi^loyed ] 

. (ineludinfT scholars 




and students) . . 






Institutions for the blind in Ireland have accommodation 
for 767, and contained on last Census night 599; 416 of these 
were supported by Poor Law unions. 

In addition to the number of totally blind in Ireland, 
1,309 — 618 males and 691 females — were returned as partially 

Blind persons in workhouses : 274 males, 369 females; 
total, 643. 

Three thousand three hundred, or "JC'S percent, of the 
total, were aged fifty years and upwards. 

Six hundred and forty-one, or 14*9 percent, of the entire 
numbers, were eighty years old and upwards. 

In Scotland 181, or 5' 5 per cent., were returned as being 
blind from infancy, and 3,136, or 94*5 per cent., as afflicted 
with acquired blindness. 

Two hundred and thirty-eight, or 7*2 per cent., were 
enumerated in institutions for the blind. 


Blindness in Adult Life 


By 14 & 15 Vict. c. 105, s. 4, the guardians of any union 
or parish may, with the consent of the Poor Law Board, pay 
out of the common fund of such union, or, in the case of a 
parish, out of the funds in hand of such guardians, any sum 
of money as an annual subscription towards the support 
and maintenance of any pubHc hospital or infirmary for the 
reception of the sick, diseased, disabled, or wounded persons, 
or persons suffering from any permanent or natural infirmity. 

By 42 & 43 Vict. c. 54, s. 10, this section is extended to 
authorise the guardians with such consent as is therein 
mentioned, to subscribe towards any asylum or institution 
for blind persons, or deaf or dumb, or for persons suffering 
from any permanent or natural infirmity, or towards any 
other asylum or institution which ajjpears to the guardians, 
with such consent as aforesaid, to be calculated to render 
useful aid in the administration of the relief of the poor. 

Provided always, that nothing herein contained shall 
authorise any subscription to any asylum or institution 
unless the Local Government Board be satisfied that the 
paupers under the guardians have, or could have, assistance 
therein in case of necessity. 

It is held that this section allows guardians, with the 
consent of the Local Government Board, to subscribe any 
reasonable weekly sum for a case so long as it is maintained 
in an institution. 

30 & 31 Vict. c. 106, s. 21, provides that :— 

The guardians may provide for the recej^tion, main- 
tenance, and instruction of any adult pauper, being blind, 
or deaf and dumb, in any hospital or institution established 
for the reception of jiersons suffering fr(nn such infirmities, 
and may pay those charges incurred in the conveyance of 
such person to and from the same as well as those incurred 
in his maintenance, support, and instruction therein. (As 
to bUnd children, see 56 & 57 Vict. c. 42, s. 15.) 


Blindness in Adult Life 

The Chairman.' — Mr. Priestley has given us a most 
interesting and instructive paper, and you will not be sur- 
prised that I have received the names of a great number Avho 
wish to join in the discussion. I rarely have heard a paper 
read that commanded such universal approval. 


Mr. Colin Macdonald (Dundee). — -One appreciates the diffi- 
culty the writer has liad in treating the subject. The problem has 
for long engaged the attention of experts and has been approached 
from all aspects, but so far no definite and permanent solution has 
been reached. As the result of much research and with an inti- 
mate practical knowledge, Mr. Priestley has furnished us with a 
mass of interesting facts and opinions, and his paper, with the 
appendix of statistics, forms a valuable contribution to the 
subject. He has discussed the subject under all the old familiar 
heads. If no new aspects of the problem are suggested, he has 
focussed all available information and expert opinion — gathered 
from the most reliable sources — into concrete propositions, and 
made important deductions worthy of the consideration of this 

Mr. Priestley asks for a luiiform definition of blindness, but does 
not venture to suggest one. The scientific definition, it has been 
said, is the absence of light perception, and the practic(d definition 
a state in which no occupation can be followed for which vision is 
required. Of course the ordinary conception of the term is total 
blindness. A working definition is desirable as doctors differ as 
to when a person with defective sight is a subject for our workshops 
and institutions. 

We have known cases admitted to institutions on an oculist's 
certificate to be subsequently dismissed on the score of too 
much sight. 

There is no question as to the totally blind ; the fact establishes 
a prior claim, but the parVudly blind are often rejected by sighted 
workshops because of insufficient vision, and as often excluded 
from workshops for the blind because of having too much. That 
30 per cent, of the so-called partially blind are in our institutions 
to-day, and that their number is increasing, demands the adoption 
of a guiding working definition. 

The question might well be raised here : Would it not be 
advisable to have separate workshops in which this rapidly 
increasing class could be dealt with % They could be adjunct 
to existing institutions and under one governing body. New 
departments of industry might be found and classes of work 
attempted in which the jtartial vision of the worker could be 
profitably utilised. 

I might here remark, as an illustration of how some of the totally 
blind view the matter, that there have been cases where the latter 
resented a partially blind person being admitted on the same terms 
as himself. Someone has said that a blind person prefers that his 



companion on the " plank " or " bench " be similarly handicapped. 
When so related and with equal capacity there is a healthy rivalry 
engendered. In the other case the totally blind, when ont-distanced 
by the visually more fortunate workman, is inclined to be dej)ressed 
by the fact rather than stimulated to increased exertion. It is 
a fact, however, that the blind are ever ready to help one another, 
and the successful achievement of one gives satisfaction to the 
whole workshop. Every encouragement should be given to the 
blind to develoj} their gifts. 

There are cases where a trained blind workman makes an 
efficient instructor to blind ai)prentices, his personal knowledge 
of the difficulties to be encountered making him often more suc- 
cessful than a sighted instructor. 

We are told that only about 20 per cent, of the 12,088 employ- 
able blind in the kingdom are being now provided for in institu-, 
tions and workshops. That such a large number should be 
standing in the market-place waiting to be hired and made useful 
is surely not creditable to British ingenuity and enterprise. 

It is gratifying, however, that in the last decade there has been 
a considerable increase in the number employed and that addi- 
tional workshops have been established, but the proportion is 
infinitesimal compared with the large number mentioned. But 
assuming that the vast army of unemployed were trained and 
made producers, the question wovild arise : Wliere is a market 
for their accumulated produce ? 

As matters stand in most of our workshops, this problem is at 
present operative and is the despair of the managements. Mr. 
Priestley suggested that Government departments and public 
authorities, by reserving a sliai-e of their orders for the blin^i,, 
would employ a great many. If this were effected — ^and it is 
not outside the sphere of practicability — and there was a more 
general bestowal of the patronage of the jjublic, the problem 
would be largely solved. The welfare of the blind is best secured 
by giving them work and, I would say, wages. Work is the 
" modern majesty," as Carlyle described it, and there is no mental 
or physical satisfaction where it is not enjoyed. " Absence of 
occupation is not rest." It spells in every case real discontent, 
whilst employment, more than almost anything else, makes 
supportable the heavy handicap of blindness. In this connection 
one reads with interest the Report of the Metropolitan Poor Law 
Inspector's Advisory Committee, that a remarkable decline has 
taken place in the number of persons found homeless and in 
shelters in London (and I believe this is the case in every other 
large centre of population), due, it has been suggested, to the 
operation of the Old Age Pension Act, the National Health Insur- 
ance Act, and labour exchanges. To our adult capable blind and 
partially blind the provision of employment with adequate 
remuneration to furnish the means of decent existence is the 
certain panacea for the misery, ennui, and discontent so prevalent 
amongst the idle and uncared-for blind. Even for the incompetent 
blind the provision of some kind of work is desirable. To sit with 
"folded hands " doing nothing, even apart from the calamity of 
blindness, is surely a most jiitiable condition. The Royal Com- 


Blindness in Adult Life 

mission on the Blind in 1886, referring to the difficulty of providing 
work for the adult blind, said " it may be more just to the blinii 
quite independent of economic grounds to be kept out of work- 
houses " ; and we indorse their dictum. Dr. Samuel Johnson 
said : " A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilisa- 
tion." And shall we not say that to ameliorate the lot of the 
blind poor is a test of our humanity ? 

Mr. Priestley submits for discussion a number of interesting 
points on which he invites the decisions of the Conference. They 
are : — -Rate of Wages ; Minimum Wage ; Augmentation ; Pen- 
sions ; Labour Homes. 

He gives valuable information and makes suggestive comments 
on these topics. In anticipation of the recommendations with 
regard to impending legislation on the subject a deliverance by 
this Conference is desirable. 

The blind in this country and all workers in the cause hail with 
lively satisfaction the appointment by Parliament of a Depart- 
mental Committee to inquire into and make recommendations 
with a view to the solution of this perplexing problem. We 
commend to that committee the study of Mr. Priestley's paper. 
The wealth of information brought together, the ascertained 
expert opinion, and the comprehensive treatment of the whole 
question at issue should be of great value in their deliberations. 

We are all agreed that the claims of the blind to an opportunity 
of raising their status by honest laboui' to the platform of inde- 
pendent subsistence- are paramount, and I think there are indica- 
tions that we are on the way to their realisation. 

Mr. Bell (Baltimore). — I have come 3,000 miles to this Con- 
ference, and I feel at least for my part that those who have sat in 
darkness have seen and are seeing a great light. From childhood, 
of course, I have been familiar with the fact that a stone thrown 
into a mill-pool will send its ripiiling waves to the farthest shore, 
and I am confident that this C^onference will not be like a single 
stone in a mill-pool, but rather like an avalanche of stones thrown 
out by the gi-eat Vesuvius or Pelee ; and that it will be found 
exerting its influence not only in Australia, oin- Antipodes, but 
in every part of the civilised world. More than that, I may say, 
in view of the message our sister brought from the Chinese, it will 
be carried to what we have so long considered as the heathen 
world. I am here largely as a learner. I am not prepared to 
add anything to the splendid thoughts our speaker this morning 
has suggested. All the papers have been most excellent. There 
can be found no fault with any of them in regard to its true value 
to the cause of the blind. But I want to say a word or two on 
behalf of Maryland, and its workshoi) in particular. We have 
but recently got into the work for the adult blind. We were five 
years old last November. Our workshop was the result of a 
recognised need. The directors of our school for the blind (in 
existence for sixty years or more) found that they must deal with 
this question, and so the matter was taken to the Governor of the 
State, who admitted that he found, as you have found, that the 
adult blind were greatly in the majority. There was no provision 
made for them in any way, and therefore something must be done. 



The Commission for the Blind suggested a workshop. Our work- 
shop has done a great deal of good considering the limited time 
we have had at our disjjosal. I am not going to give figures. 
I did think I would, but after that cyclonic message from Sydney 
I feel we should be so overshadowed that I will leave it to you to 
read our reports and find out something about the statistical side. 
Our plan has been to take in men and women and teach theni to be 
independent up to the capabilities of a blind person. We have 
been enabled to teach some trades that they have been able to 
take home with them to their different sections, but of course our 
conditions in the United States are different from those in England. 
We have a wider area to go over. As far as possible our men 
have been encouraged to learn trades at which they can work in 
their own home in city or country, so that many have been able to 
establish themselves successfully in a profitable business. My 
friend Profesor Latimer is qualified to speak on the educational 
side of the question ; he is also conversant with some facts 
regarding men who have gone home and done well in business, 
one of his classmates having made a great success of the business 
he undertook. We have striven to give our people the oppor- 
tunity of being among their friends, among those who know them, 
among those uijon whom they have some claim, and who are 
ready to help them and therefore patronise them. We feel that 
only by associating with the seeing, and not by segregating them- 
selves, can the blind reach their highest development. We have 
been able to give them the means of eai-ning something, of being- 
independent, and in some cases, especially among our tuners and 
telephone operators, we have been most successful. I thank 
you for giving me this opportunity of speaking and for your 

Dr. RocKLiFFE (Hull). — I should like to congratulate Mr. 
Priestley and Mr. Macdonald on the most excellent paper we 
have had this morning. Very much has been said that 1 should 
have liked to speak about, but as the time is so remarkably short 
I will confine myself to statements in pal'agraph 6 with reference 
to the " definition of blindness." 

My definition of a blind person is, " One who is unable to 
differentiate, that is, to distinguish and count fingers, at a greater 
distance than three feet." 1 divide the defective-sighted into 
three — first, those with no perception of light ; secondly, those 
who cannot differentiate, that is, those who can see an object like 
the hand moving, but cannot distinguish the upheld fingers at 
any distance, these I consider blind ; thirdly, those who can 
differentiate, that is, count fingers at a distance, and it is with 
this class that we draw the line, according to their inability or 
ability to count fingers at a greater distance than three feet. 
The former I classify as " blind " and the latter as " partially 
blind." I base the suggestion on the grounds that, assuming 
an augmentation or bonus is given in proportion to wages earned 
to two men of equal powers, the least deserving will receive the 
larger share, owing to his having earned the more because he 
could see the rods or other material witli which he is working. 
I thi k this, should not be so. Again, no census of the blind is of 


• Blindness in Adult Life 

any value without some such definition. Further, many societies 
disti'ibute funds to those who are totally blind, and in justice to 
themselves they demand a definition, but I Avill say no more on 
this latter subject. I, however, quite endorse what Mr. Priestley 
states in paragraphs 7 and 8. 

Now, with regard to those able to count fingers beyond three 
feet, whom I caU ijartially blind. I limit this class to those who 
can read " six sixties " (g%), that is, who with or without lenses or 
spectacles can only see at twenty feet what a normally sighted 
person can distinguish at two hiindred feet. In Hull we treat 
the partially blind in this way : Everybody is examined by myself, 
and if I classify him as partially bUnd he is admitted into the 
workshops and works and is paid as a sighted journeyman. In 
addition, at times we grant him general relief from our funds, and 
he participates in the Christmas festivities and summer outing 
and benefits in other ways, but he does not participate in the 
bonus given entirely for tlie blind. Of course, the imrtially 
blind vary in amount of defect of vision, and if they are nearly 
blind we make allowances, and we do not draw a hard and fast 
line at exactly three feet. 

To sum up, my definition of blindness includes — (1) those with 
no perception of light ; (2) those who see objects moving, but 
cannot differentiate ; (3) those who can differentiate, but at no 
greater distance than three feet. The remainder of the so-called 
blind I term partially blind, and divide them from the blind 
because they can differentiate beyond three feet but are unable 
to see at twenty feet what the sighted can see at two hundred feet. 
Those with more vision I think have no claim to the benefits 
intended for the bUnd. I feel that if when the next census is 
taken a notice to this effect were printed on the form, the value of 
the statistics would be much enhanced, and I commend this 
suggestion to the institutions and Union of Unions. 

Definition of Blindness. 

1. No perception of light . . . . '; 

2. Cannot differentiate . . . . • f jjij^jj 

3. Can differentiate, but are — I 

(«) unable to count fingers beyond three feet / 

(b) able to count fingers beyond three feet, ) partially 

but not more than 5*^, . . . ) blind. 

{c) Defect of vision less than jfh ■ • ■ ^o* blind. 

From Avhat I said yesterday, some people seem to think that 
I advised the removal of the eyes of a masseuse, even if she can 
see a little. I should be the very last to suggest excision to any- 
one who possessed the least possible amount of sight. What I 
wished to convey was, that only those whose eyes were admitted 
to be of no value should have them removed and replaced by 
artificial ones. 

Miss CocKBAiN (Bradford). — I want to plead for the women of 
our institutions. I have more to do with them, and I think, 
though they do theii- very best, if you wUl look at the statistics 



of the wages you will see tliat tlie men as a rule get from 6s. to 30s. 
and tlie women from 4s. to 12s. We know that even among 
sighted women it is extremely difficult to subsist on 12s. per week. 
For those living in institutions it is easier, but those living in 
their own homes and in lodgings are very much worse off. Think 
of the number of things that a sighted woman can do for herself, 
such as washing and mending and making her clothes, but that is 
of course out of the question for a blind woman, and unless she is 
living with someone who will do it for her those extra expenses 
must be added. I do hope that, if the institutions can supplement 
the earnings a little further, special consideration will be given 
to the supplementing of women's wages. Their work is splendid. 
It is no less capable than the men's work, but it goes on different 
lines ; for instance, the very best knitting cannot be paid at the 
rate paid to the men, because we have to keep to market prices 
in selling the goods. 

Mr. C. Arthur Pearson * (London). — I should like first to 
congratulate Mr. Priestley upon his able and sympathetic paper. 
If I were a blind workman I should like to work under his guidance, 
and I think that Mr. Priestley's knowledge and judgment will be 
of the utmost value to the Departmental Committee. 

Now I want to say a few words on the important question of the 
augmentation of the inadequate wages of blind workers. Blindness 
is a national defect and should be made up for nationally as far as 
possible. How can this bsst be done *? The one great difficulty is 
that just discussed by Dr. Rockliffe, namely, the degree of blind- 
ness. But that is not, I think, insuperable. My view is this. 
You are John Smith, an inmate of a blind workshop. Because 
you are blind you are only, so far as your handiwork is concerned, 
50 per cent, or 60 per cent, of a man. I will take 50 per cent, 
because it gives easier figures. You, John Smith, if you were a 
sighted workman at the same trade, could earn 30.<f. a wee-k. As 
you are blind, you can only earn 15s. if you work hard and well. 
Very well, if you earn that, the State gives you another 15s. If 
you earn only 10s. the State gives you 10s. If you earn 2s. 6d. 
the State gives you 2s. 6d. It simply doubles your wages, and 
obviously the superintendent of the workshop will see that you do 
your work fairly and honestly. And I think that same system 
might be pursued with advantage in the case of the home worker. 
Such cases are difficult from the point of view of skilled super- 
vision and advice, but they should be extended to those who work 
at home, and there should be no difficulty in securing the services 
of an appraiser whose word would be accepted as to the value of 

On the question of marketing the goods made by the blind, 
why cannot those who have the disposal of these goods band 
together and arrange some common trade mark, as I believe is 
done in the case of Irish industries — something that means 
quality 1 The public must have good quality. They will not 
buy things because they are made by the blind, but I am qixite 
certain that they will buy things made by the blind if they are just 
as good as those made by other people. The thing wants putting 
before them. I am sure that in very many towns tradesmen 


Blindness in Adult Life 

miglit be induced to give shop window space in good thorough- 
fares. If this could be arranged — and I do not think there are 
insuperable difficulties — and if the goods could have a distinctive 
trade mark meaning quality, and no goods go out of a blind institu- 
tion without it, I think a good deal of the difficulty in the way of 
disposing of the goods would disappear. 

Now, ladies and gentlemen, I have made these remarks with 
gi'eat diffidence. As I was reminded yesterday, I am only a new 
comer, and I do not pretend to be an authority. I am trying to 
throw out a suggestion that has occurred to me as an ordinary, 
plain, and I hope fairly sensible, business man. 

The Chairman. — I am sure we are all most grateful to Mr. 
Pearson for giving us such straight advice. 

Mr. W. H. TiiURMAN (Birmingham). — Mr. Pearson has told us 
that he is a new-comer into the blind world, and of coixrse we 
welcome him most heartily. We should, I am sure, welcome him 
more heartily if he could influence the adoption of the suggestion 
he has just put forward. (A voice : " He will.") I hope he will. 
I will emphasise this: "A man earning 15s. a week would get 
that amount jilus another los. a week because he was a 30s. a week 
man before he became blind." Again : "A man getting £300 a 
year when taken with blindness would have his earnings of £150 
made up to £300." Truly a Utopian idea ! Now we have during 
the last four years gone into the question of the augmentation 
of blind workers' wages, and the scheme now in force at Birming- 
ham has given the workers the greatest satisfaction. I wish that 
all institutions for the blind would adopt the same principle. I 
can strongly recommend it. What we do is to collect money in 
factories or workshops, and, assisted by voluntary subscriptions, 
a fund has been established to augment the wages of the blind. 
Every penny that is contributed to this fund is given to the blind 
workers by way of augmentation. In that way we collected 
nearly £1,400 last year. It was during Mr. Stainsby's time that 
this fund was first established, and I believe it was nearly £1,000 
the first year. 

Miss Cockbain will be glad to hear, as will all of you, that we 
have made a special point in regard to the women workers. We 
have recently increased their rate of augmentation. They now 
get a maximum of 5s. per week. Now I consider that this subject 
is quite equal in importance to that of educating the blind, even 
if it is not more important. What is the good of educating the 
blind if, when their training is completed, they are turned adrift. 
I say it is wrong, decidedly wrong, and never ought to have been 
possible. Mr. Macdonald has said that he would like the Depart- 
mental Committee to have a copy of Mr. Priestley's paper ; I 
agree, and hope the authorities wiU take care that the paper is 
sent to them. 

This important subject of the adult blind is extremely interest- 
ing, and if any of you doubt it, go to a large town and visit their 
homes as I have done. In October last I started to visit all the 
adult blind on our list, not only those in their homes, but also 
those in the workhouses, and it took me to the end of February to 



to do so, although I bicycled. I visited 373 (124 in workhouses 
and 249 in their own homes or lodgings). You will be surprised, 
as I was, to hear that the blind in the workhouses in the Birming- 
ham district are extremely well looked after, and so far as Birming- 
ham is concerned I refute the statement that the blind are not 
well cared for in the workhouses. I have been to see, and I know. 
Of totally blind there were 118 out of 223 living in their own 
homes, of blind and deaf twenty, of blind and mentally defective, 
seven. In the workhouses there were twelve blind and deaf and 
twelve blind and mentally defective. 

It is not a sine qua non that a man of fifty-five and upwards is 
untrainable. I have had a man thirty-one years of age whom we 
taught brush-making in eight weeks. He was earning 1 5s. in 
his ninth week, and now he is earning over £1. It is only 
a few months since he started. I will finish by telling you that 
my committee think this subject of such great imi)ortance that 
they have established a permanent committee to deal with it. 

Mr. SiDDALL * (Rochdale). — I cannot commence my remarks 
without thanking Mr. Priestley for his excellent paper, and I 
should like to say that we who are blind thank the heads of the 
different institutions for the work they are doing. It is useless 
to say they are paid for it. Anyone who works among the blind 
for his wages alone is no good, and therefore I think from the 
results we know that they are doing more than the mere 

Now the only point that I want to speak about is that in Mr. 
Priestley's paper there is nothing about home industries. I am 
not going to run riot and say that we all want home industries. 
We know that it is impossible in the great majority of cases. I 
quite agree, but there are blind people who by some freak of 
nature have a certain amount of brain power of their own. 
(Laughter.) Now on behalf of those I think it is only just that 
they should have a little bit of their own independence. (Hear, 
hear.) I should like to see that independence encouraged in 
every way, but with judgment. I quite agree that that is 
necessary. It should be remembered that those people are not 
receiving any subsidy, and I hope that when these subsidies do 
come along the home-workers will be considered and greatly 

Another point I thought worth mentioning. If the Govern- 
ment are going to make a grant of money, why not also a grant of 
situations "? I say, ladies and gentlemen, with such an illustration 
as our friend Mr. Myers in taking down all these remarks, surely 
the Government could find room for a blind typist. Then, again, 
in the next room there is a blind telephone operator. Miss Nichol- 
son, who by the way is employed at the present time as a typist 
and not as a telephone operator, and is here through the kindness 
of her employers, Messrs. Kay and Co., Worcester. Possibly the 
Government might be induced to give a situation to a blind 
person as a telephonist. 

I do hope now that higher occupations are taught to the blind, 
it will be remembered that we do not only seek for work that 
brings in the lowest wages, but we also seek, or at least sopie of us 

c.B. 385 . c C 

Blindness in Adult Life 

— I have referred to tliem before as the freakish ones — for other 
and better situations. 

I will not occupy further time, but would like to mention one 
industry which I think suitable for blind women, and which I do 
not think is on Mr. Priestley's list. It is one that goes to the 
credit, I believe, of Mrs. Greg and Mr. Hilton, of Bolton — I refer 
to the knotting of fringes round table-cloths, quilts, etc., which, 
I think, they are finding a very pleasant and remunerative 
employment for blind women. You will find that it is a very 
suitable industry for them and one they can do and thoroughly 
enjoy doing. I do not want to take more time, but I could not 
resist the opportunity of mentioning these few things. 

Mr. Ernest Littlewood * (London). — I do not claim to be an 
authority on the industrial question, but I do think that, as our 
last speaker has said, the higher employments of the blind should 
be taken into consideration, and also the interests of those not 
necessarily employed in any special occupation but receiving 
help from their supporters and guardians. I have been privileged 
to take part in Mr. Pearson's campaign, and have come into 
contact with those connected with people who have become 
blind in adult life. A workman whom I met was speaking of his 
blind wife. He said she had been blind fourteen years, and that 
she really now only wanted to die. That is a very shocking 
condition of things. He said : " She imagines I am selfish 
because I cannot do more for her." My reflection was : " What 
are we to do with such a case as that ? " He is a workman, and 
she does not want to earn money really ; he as her husband is 
her supporter, and she is living with her daughter. They have 
lived with one another so long that at last it has become unbear- 
able. Think of the influence not only on the daughter, but upon 
the whole family, of that blind woman who is unable to occupy 
her time. The attitude of the children as they grow up will be to 
avoid as far as possible any association with the blind. I felt 
at once that the need of literature to help, comfort, and console 
her was most necessary here — that she ought to be trained to read 
if possible. We know, of course, that it is not given to every man 
to read with his fingers with rapidity. Those engaged in trades 
find it difficult. But at the same time much must be done, and I 
have recently been working with a blind young fellow of about 
twenty-five. He is not totally blind, and will, I think, interest 
himself in poultry farming. I have taught him Braille, and he is 
very interested in it, but he must have something outside his work 
to take from him the consciousness that his sight is defective. 
In dealing with defective sight we have to know whether by reading 
one will injure the sight one has. In this particular instance this 
young fellow can read print, but if he does it means that he will 
lose his sight altogether, so that is a big point to take into 
consideration. ' 

And then I want to come to the question of institutions. May 
I say that I have been for twenty years brought up outside 
institutions, and I know the benefit of being educated among 
sighted people, but I quite realise that there are conditions under 
which a man must enter an institution. "What has struck me in 



this Conference, in the speeches made and in the course of 
conversation, is the wish of the blind to associate more with the 
seeing, and I think, as Carlyle says, " We can hold fast by the old 
and admit the minimum of new." 

I think our institutions might take a lesson from the accumu- 
lated experience of the blind, and give chances to those who can 
to associate with the seeing by having times when they can meet 
them and know the world as it really exists. 

Mr. Isaac Dickson (Queensland). — The question before us, to 
my mind, is the most important that has yet been discussed, in 
so far as it is simply a matter of bread and butter. The children 
will be all right, but the question of finding employment for adults 
is very important, and I think we should come this morning to 
some definite resolution in order to press home to the avithorities 
the fact that something must be done soon with regard to the adult 
blind. Mr. Priestley has done very great service to the cause 
in Britain by gathering together all the information contained in 
his paper this morning, and I feel deeply grateful, for it will be 
useful to every one of us. 

Now I would like to correct one impression that has gone 
abroad with regard -to Australia being a Utopia for the blind. 
I represent Queensland and South Australia, and can assure you 
that it is not. Numbers of the blind there are very dissatisfied, 
just as they are here. (Laughter.) I think that one great defect 
in the management of most institutions is that the management 
is not entirely sympathetic ; then we get dissatisfaction. I can 
say this for Queensland, that we have perhaps one of the most 
kindly institutions in the way of management in all Australia. 
With regard to treatment and wages, I find that the Glasgow 
institution stands perhaps ahead of any institution I know in the 
world. We find, however, that it takes too long to get up to the 
maximum, and if they could make that five years they would 
stand ahead of all other institutions. The reason that Australia 
is so good with the blind is that the Government is so very good 
for all charitable purposes. Take the invalid pension. Every 
person from the age of sixteen and upwards may receive 10s. as an 
invalid. The institution may pay 15s. and the Government 5s., 
so that no person need receive less than £1. Some people say 
that the cost of living in Australia is very high. I refute that. 
I say that necessaries are quite as cheap as in England, but not 

Well, Mr. Chairman, the question raised by Mr. Priestley is a 
very important one, and I do not know that you are pressing- 
forward in this country as fast as you ought. I know in Queens- 
land we cannot make goods fast enough. We cannot get blind 
people in sufficient number to carry out the orders. We have 
only a very small population — only about half a million — yet 
our turnover was something like £11,000 last year. Out of 300 
blind in the last census in Queensland we can account for about 
250. That is a very good average. 

With regard to libraries, Australia stands very well. At the 
dinner the other night a Britisher said to me : " Look here^ yoxi 
Australians are the greatest (I will not say it) — the greatest 

387 C C 2 

Blindness in Adult Life 

braggers that I know." Now I do not like to be called a braggart. 
(Laughter.) The other day 1 simply gave facts ; 1 tliink that the 
blind in Australia, taking the institutions and the liberal Govern- 
ment assistance into, consideration, are most prosperous; but all 
the same, in the streets of Melbourne and Sydney you will find 
hiindreds of blind beggars. If 1 had my way 1 woxild sweep every 
blind man off the streets, because they have a means of living 
provided by the institutions and the Government. In Queensland 
the Government say : " You must take in every blind man and 
woman who applies to you ; we treat you liberally, and we expect 
you to do the same." 

Mr. C. W. Harris * (Newport). — As a worker among the adult 
blind in Monmouthshire I woxild like to say a word or two in 
defence of the home-worker and on behalf of the system by which 
the home-worker might still be retained in his home. The 
excellent paper we have heard this morning deals chiefly with 
institution life, but there is a class of people throughout the 
country who do not wish to enter institutions. (Hear, hear.) 
They do not wish to leave their comfortable homes and their home 
surroundings. Many of them perhaps are living in healthy 
country places, and they do not wish to be concentrated into 
busy cities. It means either they must go in as residents or must 
go into lodgings as near the institution as they can get, or perhaps 
it means that their families must remove from the district where 
they have been living and go and live in the noisy streets of the 
city. I think it is a great mistake for us to advocate wholly and 
entirely what I may call an institution system. 1 think that no 
system of helping the blind will be adequate or satisfactory unless 
it does assist these home workers to work in their own homes. 
I would remind you that many of them perhaps have lost their 
sight late in life ; they know the district where they live, and are 
able to get about there and get their exercise and fresh air 
with freedom and ease ; but if they have to go and live in busy 
cities, all that is taken from them and they have to be led about 
by guides. 1 am speaking now, of course, of those who lose their 
sight late in life and who cannot adapt themselves to the con- 
ditions of blind life. 

There is another point which has perhaps been lost sight of to 
some extent, and that is with regard to the Insurance Act. Under 
the new Insurance Act when a man loses his sight he becomes what 
we call " totally disabled," and he is allowed the 5s. per week 
disablement money. What are we going to do with such indi- 
viduals if they start to work and earn money ? Will not that 5s. 
per week to which they are entitled under the Insurance Act be 
taken away from them as soon as they begin to earn and prove 
themselves not to be entirely disabled t Then, again, there is the 
question of the man who is in receipt of compensation for accident. 
Many men, perhaps, at the present time are receiving a small 
amount of compensation. As soon as they begin to work and earn 
something the question arises whether they are still entitled to 
that compensation. I do hope that the authorities in any scheme 
which they may be putting forward will take the home-worker 



into consideration, so that we may not be compelled to drive all 
the blind into the institutions. 

Mr. W. H. iLLiNGWORTir. — I want to say just one word in reply 
to the last speaker. I do not think it is the wish of any of those 
who are in positions of responsibility in the blind world to drive 
blind workers from their homes into institutions or workshops. 
If they are content to receive the wages they can earn in their own 
homes they are at liberty to remain there, but if they want to 
earn such good wages as are to be had in workshops they must go 
to them. They must take just the same responsibility as sighted 
people. If a labourer in his own village can earn 1 5s. or 18s. a 
week and his brother prefers to go to a town where he can earn 
30s. a week, the one who remains at home cannot expect to make 
as much money. 

With regard to the partially sighted (the myopes), I think we 
must begin at the beginning, and if blind schools and institutions 
accept the responsibility of educating the myopic children— 
which I hold they ought not to do — then we must be prepared in 
om- workshops to accept the responsibility of employing myopes 
or short-sighted workmen, often to the exclusion of the really 
blind for whom the institutions were provided, which is not right. 
My view is that the education of the myopes should be considered 
apart from our blind schools. Let it be a separate thing, and, if 
necessary, let separate workshops be established for myopic men 
and women. 

Mr. W. H. DixsoN * (Oxford). — Mr. Isaac Dickson's remarks 
reminded me of some lines by an Australian poet as follows : — ■ 

'' Although with patriotic pride my soul was all aglow, 
" I remembered Trollop's parting words, " Victorians do not 
blow.' " 


One of the objects we ought to have in view in dealing 
with those who have lost their sight in later life is to bring them 
into touch with life. We want everybody to earn a living if they 
cannot do so at present. We want everybody to support himself, 
but there are some who perhaps cannot now and never will be able 
to do so. We are tempted to concentrate our attention on those 
who can be taught and rather neglect as hopeless those who 
cannot. I am not accusing anybody, although I am really 
accusing myself and everybody else. Take the case of a man I 
know who lias lost his sight. He is paralysed also, and is therefore 
unable to do anything. Ilis wife goes out all day to work and he 
sits in the house with his hands in front of him doing nothing. I 
wish that luore people would come and help to bring that man 
and others who are similarly situated into touch with life. After 
all, if you can make these people feel that they have not altogether 
ceased to be as other men, and that the time has tiot come for them 
to seek the grave, as Mr. Harris put it, you will have done a very 
great deal. 

Mr. John Keir * (Aberdeen). — I am very glad to have the 
opportunity of saying a word on what has been described as the 


Blindness in Adult Life 

most important subject that has been discussed. We all recognise 
that however important education may be, whether in residential 
schools or day classes, after all these systems must be regarded 
as a means to an end, the end being the earning of a living. I 
quite agree with Mr. Macdonald that work is really what is wanted. 
And there is a gieat deal more truth in the dignity of labour 
than is always realised. I am quite satisfied that nothing will 
give more satisfaction to any kind of man than employment, 
either working by head or by hands. I know exactly what 
employment means. I used to work very hard as a basket- 
maker and enjoyed it, although I have not made a basket for 
some little time now. I daresay there are some here who have 
never worked ; they have no idea of the pleasure to be had from 
employment, and I would recommend that they should try, for it 
is absolutely good to do it. 

I want to say a word with regard to Mr. Pearson's suggestion 
about a fixed wage — doubling the earnings. That is all right so 
long as you do not come too far down. I am quite willing for 15s. 
to be increased to 30s., but I am wanting a minimum of 15s. Mr. 
Pearson came down to 5s. No man can live on that ; you must 
be prepared to find a reasonable minimum, and I think that 
minimum should be at least 15s. We cannot justly ask any man 
to come down below a subsisting Avage. Now, with regard to the 
Bill before Parliament. I wish here to express my feeling of 
gladness that the two competing Committees have agreed and 
have presented a joint Bill. I am not one who complains as to 
who does the job, so long as it is well done. I think that the 
Employment Committee and the Committee of the National 
League have shown great sense, because when a house is divided 
against itself it cannot stand. The first time that I attended a 
conference on this subject was twenty-four years ago at Norwood. 
The advice and guidance of Sir Francis Campbell, whose illness 
and absence we all regi-et, were then most valuable. At that 
time things were in rather a lackadaisical state. I was a good 
deal younger then, and it appeared to me at that time that the 
blind must always be maintained in residential institutions— 
" the poor are always with us " sort of spirit. The feeling to-day 
is absolutely different, and the atmosphere of this Conference is 
most inspiring. I am quite sure that the mere fact that this 
question has been brought to the attention of the House of 
Commons and received such a sympathetic hearing in the debate 
on March 11th has given an impetus to this movement which 
affects the whole country. I am satisfied that we shall go forward 
and overcome all the difficulties before us. And I do hope that 
the march of progress will continue " o'er moor and fen, o'er crag 
and torrent," and not be hindered or stopped till the class to 
which we belong have their lives made much brighter and better. 

Mr. Frew Brtden (Glasgow). — ^May I recall the Conference 
to one or two figures '? There are 34,000 blind persons in the 
coimtry — 12,000 employable blind, of whom 2,437 are employed. 
That is a fact on which I wish the attention of the Conference to 
be fixed. It means that outside 2,437 blind people who are 
employed you have a kind of terra incognita of blind people you 



know little about, how they live and move and have their being. 
I wish the Conference to get into their minds that the problem of 
the blind from now onward is the problem of dealing with that 
large niimber of the blind in the community. Again, as one 
connected with a society dealing with the blind outside of institu- 
tions, I wish to point out that it is well for us to keep in mind that 
there are possible openings for the blind outside the institutions. 
I also wish it to be kept in mind, not only to-day and now, but 
always when the question of the blind is dealt with in this country, 
that the blind who can really be trained in institutions are only 
those up to a certain age — suppose we say forty. Something like 
50 per cent, lose their sight over that age. Now my point is, 
what are we doing for that 50 per cent. ! When this bill is passed, 
how is this 50 per cent, to be dealt with ! And this brings out 
another point. A clause in the Bill provides that to those who 
cannot be employed a pension of 10s. a week is to be given. I am 
very glad that this clause has been introduced into the Bill. I am 
glad that in this respect the influence of the National League has 
told, and that a section of the blind will now receive attention 
from the State in this way. 

In connection with employment, the Bill does provide for 
certain training, but it is to be recognised that there is a certain 
number who cannot be trained but can yet be employed. There 
is a large number of blind people engaged in trading in various 
ways, some selling tea — ^a humble employment not to be despised — • 
in which respectable and self-respecting lives have been lived with 
a freedom that cannot always be had in connection with institution 
life. Now I wish to ask those who are considering the Bill that 
they should keep this side of the question before them. Even 
when they have to face the question of whether one should enter 
into an institution, they might also consider whether they cannot 
open up even a better sphere of independence. Provision is 
made in this Bill for the augmentation of those being trained and 
employed in institutions. What of the man wishing to live a 
self-respecting life outside an institution ? I trust the Committee 
appointed will keep in view that any man or woman making an 
honest effort to trade on his own account shall also be fairly 
dealt with when augmentation is required. 

Mr. C. W. Stevens (Bristol).^ — I would like to draw your atten- 
tion to the methods we employ at Bristol, which is one of the two 
oldest institutions in the coimtry. We take children from the 
age of five into the elementary school, they pass on through the 
technical school, and then, provided we cannot see an opportunity 
for them to earn a reasonable living in their own homes at the 
trade they have learnt at school, we take them into the workshop 
and employ them. Our workshops are intended chiefly and 
mainly for ex-puj)ils, and for those ex-pupils not able or who have 
not the opportunity of doing well in their own homes. Bristol, 
as you know, has a fairly large population, but it is also the centre 
of a large rural district. Many of our pupils go back to their 
homes after they are trained, and we help them from time to time, 
first by starting them in business and then from time to time by 
such grants as we are able to make. We recommend that system 


Blindness in Adult Life 

of treatment for yoimg people, and should they fail in their own 
homes our workshops, I hope, are always open for them to come 
back. When in the workshops they find constant employment, 
and there is no dismissal except for very bad conduct. 

A Voice : May I rise to a point of order ! ' I believe the question 
we are now dealing with is that of people in adult life. 

The Chairman. — I think the speaker is rather wandering from 
the subject. He has only a few minutes. 

A Voice : I have questions to ask and the time is being mono- 
polised in advertising an institution. 

Mr. Stevens. — Many of our people are not receiving large 
wages, but we have various means of augmenting them. The 
guardians of the poor give us relief in individual cases, and it is 
paid through me at the institution. 

A Voice : You take that out of the wages. 

Mr. Stevens. — The efforts of the Committee and the manage- 
ment are on behalf of the betterment of the blind, and we are 
trying to do as much as we can for as many as we can. We do not 
set up any standard of proficiency for admission, and prefer to 
employ those least able to help themselves in otlier ways. We 
pay them as much as we can and get such outside assistance as is 

Mr. Hedger (New South Wales). — I have to thank Mr. Priestley 
very much for his paper, with all the various interesting facts and 
plain statements of the case in England. It will save me a deal of 
trouble in getting information that I wanted. In reference to 
my paper Air. Dickson very kindly gave you some side-lights on 
our modern Utopia. Well, I said in my paper it was sad to know 
that with all those benefits there were many blind people who 
were not availing themselves of the privileges, and in explanation 
of that I might say that unfortunately some blind people prefer 
to beg rather than to work. (A Voice : " We do not." ) In addition 
to that I might say that the parents of the young blind are in a 
great majority of cases at fault. We get them in the institutions 
and teach them music and singing and give them all the recreation 
we can, and then the parents take them around the streets and 
hotels begging. This is a great shame. As to the adult blind, 
something has been said about the guardians of the poor helping. 
I would like to suggest that you wait till the Government comes 
forward with legislation. If you have to tell the Government 
that you get assistance from the guardians, the Government 
perhaps will not help to such a great extent as it otherwise might. 
In benefiting the blind om- institution loses £1,500 a year on its 
manufacturing account, and we make that up from a Government 
subsidy and public subscriptions. Maniial training and intellec- 
tual activity, thus enabling them to contribute to their own 
support, is their best help. The Government should do for the 
blind the same as for the seeing — teach them to read and write, 
train them in industries, and help them to live by those industries. 
Sympathy with the blind is universal, but I hope at the same 
time that the Government will make it practical. They will thus 



transfer tlie blind from the loss side of the balance-sheet to the 
gain side and make them an asset to this great country instead 
of a liability. That, I am sure, would prove to be sound political 
economy and sound Christianity. 

Miss Edith Bainbrigge (London). — A good deal of what I 
wanted to say has already been said by Mr. Frew Bryden, Mr. 
Siddall, and Mr. Harris, but I want very much to emphasise the 
fact of how much help is wanted for the blind in country districts, 
and I do hope that the Departmental Committee will be urged 
very strongly to take up their case. There is a very large number 
who cannot be moved to institutions even if they were young 
enough. Take, for instance, a man of thirty -five with a wife and 
children. It would be cruel to take him away, and it would be 
very bad when he came back home after learning his trade. 
People living in his neighbourhood are interested in him at the 
time, but afterwards he has lost touch with them and perhaps 
even with his wife. Then I also want to refer to what Mr. Dixson 
says. It is not only the blind who c(m be employed that we 
should think of, or at least we who belong to the home teaching 
societies. When we talk of the adult blind we mean also those 
who lose their sight at the age of sixty or even later, and unless 
they are dealt with satisfactorily and thoroughly by home teachers 
they become utterly miserable. I am going to tell you one story ; 
it is out of the Torquay and South Devon report. I could not 
get the writer to come and tell you himself. There was a very 
old man in an out-of-the-way place who lost his sight. He was 
utterly miserable and did not know what to do or how to move 
about. His wife was as ignorant as himself, as she had had 
nothing to do with blind people. One night, she heard him 
praying, and this is what he said : " O God, if you have no time 
to help me yourself send an angel to me." And the next day the 
home teacher went to him. 

Mr. Kelly * (London). — I should like to say a word in favour 
of the admirable paper Mr. Priestley has read and the excellent 
speeches that have followed. I only want to emphasise one point 
which has not been touched upon by any speaker within my 
hearing. That point is this, and I will come to it at once. (Ap- 
plause and laughter.) Really, Sir, this is my first ai^pearance in 
the capacity of a public entertainer, but I am not wanting to 
waste time or excite hilarity. What I want to say is this. 
(Laughter, and cries of '' Hurry up.") I would urge u^jon all 
those who are connected with Institutions that come in contact 
with the adult blind, to find those adult blind at the time they 
are leaving the hospitals, and impress ujion them the fact that 
although they may be coming away sightless from the hospital 
where they entered with sight, there is a prospect for them, even 
in the blind world. 

My own experience is this : When I was leaving the hospital 
and knew I was blind I asked the matron in charge : " What on 
earth am I to do f " She shook her head and said : " I do not 
know ; if you were a child you could go to an institution, and if 
you were a basket maker or a mat-maker you could go to a 


Blindness in Adult Life 

worksliop, but I do not know what you are to do." I did not 
know myself, but if that good lady had been told by somebody 
that there was Braille to be learnt and so on I should have come 
away with very different feelings. As a matter of fact there was 
an interval of ten years between the time I left the hospital and 
the time I took up Braille. (Shame.) I mentioned this to Miss 
Austin, and she took certain steps tliat all the hospitals within 
her ken should be informed on the point. (Cries of " Hear, hear." ) 
Now I take this opportunity of asking those connected with 
institutions all over the country to give an eye or an ear to those 
who go into hospitals and are likely to come out without their 

The Chairman. — -We are very grateful to Mr. Kelly for sticking 
to the point. 

Miss Gilbert (Wickham Bishops). — -Mr. Priestley in his most 
interesting paper advocates the extension of free libraries of 
embossed books. I quite agree. Every free library in the 
British Isles should have Braille and Moon books. But as 
secretary of the Home Teaching Society for the Blind which has 
taken books to the blind pooi- for more than fifty-eight or fifty- 
nine years, I am of opinion that the best way to provide these 
people with books is to take them to them and not rest content 
with placing the books in libraries. In and around London, 
where so many libraries do cater for the blind, of the 1,428 persons 
visited by the blind men employed by the Home Teaching Society 
only 235 could send to the libraries. Therefore I say take the 
books to them in their own homes, and I would add that thereby 
you can give employment to blind people. 

Miss Wright (Midland Counties' Union). — Mr. Priestley put 
several questions, one of which is that as only 20 per cent, of the 
blind are at present employed in institutions, what steps should be 
taken with regard to the rest ? My work has been very much in 
some of the wide country counties, where the blind are scattered 
about at great distances and are unable to reach the large City 
institutions. Many large institutions there are that educate 
them, but when they come out they are often isolated up and 
down the country. It is a most difficult thing to know how to 
get employment for them and how to help the " scattered blind " 
in these wide districts. I will tell you of one case. I was asked 
to go and see one girl who had been taught and was a clever, 
capable teacher, and I had to travel ten miles by motor bus and 
then walk three miles. I saw her, and to get back again, I had to 
be driven five miles to a railway station in another direction. 
She said to me : "I have had eleven years training ; but what is 
the good of all the money spent, and all the training, when I can 
do nothing in this isolated spot '? " May I make a suggestion "? 
Working up and down the counties as I have been doing during 
the last eight years in the work for the two unions of the Northern 
and Midland counties, the fact is forced home to me more and 
more that what is needed is a half-way house between theinstitu-. 
tions they cannot reach and the work in their homes which they 
cannot do without supervision. AMiat I think is needed is a centre 



for work in every county — call them workshops if you like — so that 
the blind can live in their own homes with all the independence 
that they and we love, where they can have a sympathetic, 
competent professional teacher to help them with Braille and 
emiiloyment, and with fresh industries by which they can earn 
something. Even if they earn only a little there is always a 
feeling of ijidependence in knowing that they can earn something. 

Mr. John Tennant (London). — I want to say one thing in 
connection with the adult blind that is not mentioned in the paper. 
I think it is sometimes possible for them to continue the occupa- 
tion that they carried on when they were sighted. I may say 
that for some time I have been connected with a society in London 
which holds classes and visits the blind poor. There was one case 
known to Mr. Stainsby of a carpenter who went blind in adult 
life and did not know the possibilities of blindness. The blind 
instructor from our society soon convinced him. He told him 
that it was possible for him to stick to his own business, and I 
believe that carpenter was a most efficient one. I knew another 
man who was a chaff cutter but was crushed by the Workmen's 
Compensation Act. Now that Act is of vital importance to the 
blind and is a real difficulty in their way, and I would like to make 
a suggestion to the DejDartmental Committee. It does not only 
affect such rare cases as I have mentioned ; it affects tuners, 
masseurs working on their own account, and others. I suggest 
that the blind in that respect should be put on an equal footing 
with the seeing, and I think it can be done this way. If the 
Government said to the insurance companies, " You insure the 
blind on the same terms as you do the seeing, and at the end of 
five years we will see what extra compensation you have paid and 
will bear your loss, allotting money in proportion, so that you 
may not be a loser," that would get rid of this serious difficulty. 

Miss Lyall (Aberdeen). — We have heard this morning about the 
difficulties of home-workers, and particularly women home- 
workers. The most difficult problem is that of work. I have in 
my parish, if I may so call it, sixty-three workers in their own 
homes, and fifty -nine of these have fairly constant work. I will 
just instance one who last year earned £20 in her own home for 
work sold by our association. This does not include all her work, 
as she secures orders for sales of work, bazaars, etc. I mention 
this to show the ability of the women workers when given con- 
stant employment, and hope it may stimulate and encourage 
others. The work in which she is engaged is light basket work. 
Then I have the suj^ervision of the blind in Orkney and Shetland. 
Last year we were able to sell for four blind women in Shetland 
work to the value of £80. (Hear, hear.) This I also mention, 
not to show that they are self-supporting, but merely what they 
are able to earn with a little help if they still have the comforts 
which are necessary for them to live in. 

Mr. Ben Purse * (London). — I am sure we were all very 
interested in the definition which Dr. Eockliffe endeavoured to 
give of blindness. I hope he will be able to reduce that definition 
into more concise terms and to submit the same in another place. 


Blindness in Adult Life 

May I, however, call attention to some of the points raised in 
the admirable paper submitted to us by Mr. Priestley ? I join 
issue with him when he suggests that 4tL per hour should be 
regarded as the minimum amount to be obtained. Su^jpose we 
begin with the superintendents of institutions for the blind. It 
w6uld be an admirable start. I quite realise, and I think most 
of my friends here realise, that our requirements are very much 
the same as theirs. If it is a" good thing that they should have 
decent remunerations for their labour, it is equally good for us, 
and no reasonable person will suggest that 4f2. per hoiu' can be 
legitimately regarded as a reasonable sum for decent services 
rendered. Of course, I recognise that Mr. Priestley suggests 
that this amount should be added to by some form of subvention, 
but even if Mr. Pearson's theory of 50 per cent, be considered the 
maximum obtainable, even then I say that, having regard to the 
value of money, Gd. per hour is not a reasonable amount for a 

Now I want to say a word also with regard to the statement 
made by Mr. Thurman. I think it is most regrettable that so far 
as we are concerned advertisement should be given to the jioor 
law union as a home for the blind. (Hear, hear.) It is suggested 
that these people are well cared for within the union workhouse. 
I am not concerned with that, but I am concerned that provision 
shall be made by which it will be lu) longer necessary for our 
people to enter the union workhouse. Why, Sir, the other day in 
the House of Commons Mr. Herbert Lewis, in speaking of the 
number of the blind in London, told us it was true that 1,210 were 
in the metropolitan unions and said that this had to be remedied. 
Eight hundred and sixty of these were persons over sixty ; that 
is the very reason why they should not be incarcerated in work- 
houses. With reference to the admirable speech we heard from 
Mr. Bryden, I am quite convinced that the point he raised is 
provided for by the Education, Employment and Maintenance 
of the Blind Bill. I feel sure that if he will read it carefully he 
will agree with me. But I quite realise that even when we have 
got this Bill — ^if we get it at all — we shall still have an enormous 
amount of work to do, and some of us, although we have accepted 
the compromise, are rather anxious that, having registered this 
Bill, like Oliver we shall ask for more. 

Mr. Gribben * (Paisley). — I am not a delegate ; I am here as a 
private member. I have come from Paisley — you know where 
that is — and I have come as a private member entirely at my own 
cost and trouble. Three times I have sent up my card to the 
Chairman, but this is the first recognition I have received, and 
now I am told that I have only two minutes. I have not a word 
to say to the Chairman, but I think there is somebody at fault 
that such should be. Mr. Priestley's paper is most admirable, but 
I disagree entirely on the point that the average earnings of the 
blind are not of any particular conseqiience. Since I left home I 
visited one institution and inquired of a worker what wages he 
could earn, and I was told that he could earn 6s. or 7s. a week. 
Now, ladies and gentlemen, the institution system has been in 
existence for more than a century. Some of the institutions are 



more than a century old. And is this the result of a century of 
labour by those who are making the work of the blind and the 
condition of the blind the study of their lives ? I trust that I 
shall more and more see this a Conference, not on the Blind, but 
a Conference of the Blind. Mr. ('hairman I appreciate, and I will 
not stand aside for anyone in my appreciation of what the blind 
owe to sighted experts, and to sighted paid officials, if you like me 
to put it in that way ; I appreciate what they have done, but the 
time has come when the blind are able to administer for the blind, 
and I think it would be well for them if the opportunity were given. 
Before you ask the Government to give us situations as well as 
grants, ask the institutions and societies, ask agencies for the 
blind, to trust educated blind men in responsible positions. Are 
you going to send a man like me to make baskets at 10s. or 15s. 
a week "? If Mr. Pearson wants a job, are you going to send him 
into an institution ? You know better. You know he is worth 
a great deal more in other lines ; and why should you not give us 
the opportunity of proving that we are worth being trusted in 
responsible positions. Mr. Chairman, I thank you. I am only 
Sony I have not half an hour to talk. 

The Chairman. — I am sure you will all regret quite as much as 
the last speaker that he has not another half -hour, and I am very 
sorry to have to bustle on the speakers, but you will readily 
appreciate that it is quite impossible to do otherwise when the 
time is so short. 

Mr. Miles Priestley. — ^Nothing would please me better than 
to continue this interesting discussion during the whole of the 
afternoon. (" Hear, hear.") And it would give me great joy if I 
had as much time to talk about the discussion as I had for the 
paper itself. I do not mind telling you a secret now that I was 
going to mention tg Mr. Bryden yesterday, but I thought it better 
not to do so — that my plan on this occasion has answered admir- 
ably. I found that if 1 wrote what I wanted to say about all the 
subjects it would take a whole day instead of half an hour to read 
the paper, and it was a question of what to leave out. I thought 
of Mr. Bryden, and knew he would speak about helping the blind 
in their homes much better than I could. I tried to hurry through 
the paper as much as I could, and am afraid even then I exceeded 
the time limit. The short time limit often prevents full discussion. 

A question of this kind is not in any sense a question of Work- 
shoj)s versus Home-Teaching. It is not a question of those inside 
and those outside institutions. It is a question of helping those 
who become blind late in life ; and I think at most institutions, 
whether they are cajiable of work or whether they are too old to 
learn any kind of occupation, the committee would never for a 
moment favour one class to the detriment of another. It is a 
question of need, and I believe the need is supplied as far as 
possible. I wish more institutions would follow our example in 
Bradford. I have noticed that at this Conference we all praise our 
own little shop. (Laughter.) I will say this candidly and con- 
scientiously — that at the Bradford institution we take into con- 
sideration the needs and requirements of every person, and the 


Election of Conference Committee 

question of inside