Digital Commonwealth

Physical Education at Perkins School for the Blind

Perkins School for the Blind

Perkins School for the Blind pioneered the first physical education program in the United States for students with blindness or visual impairment. When Samuel Gridley Howe opened the school's doors in 1832, he was immediately troubled by his students' poor health. In that era, children who were blind were customarily treated as invalids and were prevented from doing anything for themselves. Fearing they might be injured, their families discouraged them from enjoying physical activity. As a result, children who were blind were often weak and vulnerable to every illness (McGinnity, Seymour-Ford, Andries, 2004). This collection is divided into five sets and includes images from three different campus locations of Perkins School for the Blind in South Boston, Jamaica Plain and Watertown, Massachusetts.

Rights and Permissions: All images in this collection are the property of Perkins School for the Blind. Use of these images requires written permission. For more information, please contact the Research Librarian at

Note: Some of the images have been enhanced to improve visibility, such as brightness and contrast, or to remove dust and scratches.

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Source: McGinnity, B.L., Seymour-Ford, J. and Andries, K.J. (2004) Sports. Perkins History Museum, Perkins School for the Blind, Watertown, MA.

Locations in this Collection: