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Kentucky School for the Blind

Kentucky School for the Blind (KSB), located in Louisville, Kentucky, serves blind and visually-impaired students from local education agencies (LEAs) throughout the state. Its stated mission is to provide comprehensive educational services to Kentucky students who are blind and visually impaired, birth to 21. Started as the Kentucky Institution for the Education of the Blind, the Kentucky School for the Blind (KSB) is the third state-supported school for the blind established in the United States. It was founded by Bryce McLellan Patten who became interested in the education of blind children because of his visually impaired brother, Otis Patten. In early 1841, Bryce Patten began his effort to attain funding for a school for the blind by presenting an exhibition of his blind students’ skills before the Kentucky General Assembly to no avail. Later on February 5, 1842, the Kentucky Institution for the Blind was chartered with an appropriation of $10,000 and two months later in May 1842, the school was opened in downtown Louisville. After its start, the school outgrew several buildings and a permanent school home was built 1845. When this building caught fire in 1851, a decision was made to move the school out of the city. This led to the purchase of a tract of land known as the Frankfort Turnpike Road (now Frankfort Avenue) and a new school was built on it in 1855. In 1967, the structure was razed to make way for a modern facility that would better serve students with visual impairments. Presently, KSB continues to help blind and visually-impaired students develop their talents, their skills, and attitudes to become confident, competent, and independent adults. The programs of KSB include K-12 Academic Program, Short Course Program, Athletic programs, The core of KSB’s full-time center based program is academics and the program follows the state’s Program of Studies. Along with the basic academic subjects, students also take courses that help them develop alternative skills. The school works in partnership with the Special Education Cooperatives to facilitate expansion of regional services and outreach programs.