In 1837, the Ohio government established the Ohio Institution for the Education of the Blind. This institution was the predecessor of the Ohio State School for the Blind. It was the first public school for the blind in the United States. The school opened its doors in 1837, and it was located in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Any blind children residing in Ohio could attend the institution. Eleven students enrolled at the Ohio Institution for the Education of the Blind this first year. In 1839 the first school building was constructed & initially had a maximum capacity of sixty students, but upon moving to a new building in 1874, more than three hundred students could attend at one time. Between 1839 and 1901 2,058 students enrolled at the Ohio Institution for the Education of the Blind, with 339 attending in 1901 alone.
In the early 1900s, the Ohio Institution for the Education of the Blind became known as the Ohio State School for the Blind, and the Ohio Department of Education assumed control of the school. In 1953, the school moved ten miles north of its original location to its present home. In 2005, 126 students enrolled in the Ohio State School for the Blind. Students as young as three and as old as twenty-one years of age attended the school. Students could receive their entire education—kindergarten through high school—at the institution. In addition, the Ohio State School for the Blind offers vocational training for its students.
This Moment in Time is a book created with support from OSSB art teacher Rachelle Smith and artist Claudia Retter, which includes artwork and stories written by OSSB students, plus quotes and reflections from current and former staff and students during the historic time of 2020 and 2021. This Moment in Time is available to preview or purchase in hardcover, paperback, and PDF download.