1. Till 17th c., work among blind was regarded as charity. Since then educ. of blind has become highly developed science. Special laws protect and provide for blind; increasing numbers of vocations are open to them. Institutions for blind originated early in 19th c.; various organizations and associations are dedicated to their care.
2. Of ca. 20 million blind, most live in undeveloped countries. Hence Christian missions paid special attention to work among blind, as in China, where religion forbade acceptance of blind girls into the family. In US, Christian churches, Jewish organizations, YMCAs, service clubs (Lions, Rotary, etc.) work among the blind. Helen Keller* esp. directed attention to the blind.
3. In 1900 five systems of embossed type were in use among blind in US. In 1933 Grade 2 was adopted as standard Eng. Braille throughout the world. The ch. also began with systematic organized work among blind not many yrs. ago. The Soc. for Promotion of Ch. Work Among the Blind was organized in Prot. Episc. Ch. 1903. John Milton Soc., inc. 1928, serves most Prot. churches; RC branch inc. 1908.
4. In 1923 the Mo. Syn. directed the Miss. Bd. for the Deaf to investigate possibility of pub. religious magazine in Braille. In 1926 first issue of Lutheran Messenger for the Blind appeared. Special Bd. of Miss. for the Blind was elected 1947. Since then work among blind has expanded considerably. LCMS now has one of largest religious libraries for blind. Over 1,000 Braille vols. have been transcribed by volunteers. Large talking book dept. has been added, including tape recordings. LCMS now pub. 4 magazines for blind: The Lutheran Messenger in Braille; The Lutheran Herald in Moon; Der Bote in Ger., and Teen Time, which appears in Braille and Sight Saving. Ca. 500 volunteer transcribers emboss into Braille S. S. materials, library books, music notations, and special requests. Through its Board for the Blind the LCMS is able to supply religious Braille material to for. missionaries in almost any language.
H. Best, Blindness and the Blind in the United States (New York, 1934); G. Farrell, The Story of Blindness (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1956).
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission
Internet Version Produced by
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod
Original Editions ©Copyright 1954, 1975, 2000
Concordia Publishing House
All rights reserved.
Content Reproduced with Permission