The mission of the Kentucky School for the Blind is to provide comprehensive educational services to all Kentucky students who are blind and visually impaired, birth to 21.
Empowering Students who are Blind and Visually Impaired to Command their Future
We believe students who are blind and visually impaired …
- can become college and career ready through world class instruction and services
- have unique needs that must be met
- have a right to knowledge, tools and relationships necessary to build successful lives
- deserve to be taught in a safe and caring environment by competent professionals
- are meaningful contributors to society
KSB was the third state-supported school for the blind established in the United States. The school’s founder was Bryce McLellan Patten who began teaching a class of six blind students in the summer of 1839.
Bryce Patten invited his brother Otis to teach at the institute in Louisville.In early 1841, in an effort to attain funding for a school for the blind, Otis Patten presented an exhibition of his blind students’ skills before the Kentucky General Assembly. Unfortunately, funding was not granted. Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe of the Massachusetts Institute for the Blind often traveled with his students to promote the education of blind children.
ThePatten brothers invited Dr. Howe and his students to Kentucky to make a presentation to the Kentucky Legislature. On February 5, 1842, the Kentucky Institution for the Blind was chartered with an appropriation of $10,000. The school opened in May, 1842, on Sixth Street in downtown Louisville.
In less than a year, the school outgrew its building. After outgrowing several buildings in the area, a permanent school home was built on Broadway Avenue in 1845. This building burned in 1851 and the decision was made to move the school out of the city. A tract of land known as the Frankfort Turnpike Road (now Frankfort Avenue) was purchased and a new school was built on it in 1855. In 1967, that building was razed to make way for a modern facility that would better serve students with visual impairments.
Today, KSB continues to help all Kentucky students who are blind and visually impaired to develop their talents, their skills and attitudes to become confident, competent, and independent adults.
Educational Services for Students
As the Statewide Educational Resource on Blindness, KSB offers a vast menu of services to meet the needs of all Kentucky students with visual impairments. These include:
Enrichment Opportunities for the Students
KSB offers students an array of extracurricular activities such as:
- Music ~ Choir, Band, Percussion Ensemble and Keyboarding
- Athletics ~ Wrestling, Goalball, Cheerleading, Track /Field and Swimming
- Bill Roby Track and Field Games
- Braille Readers are Leaders
- Braille Challenge Competition
- Braille and Low Vision Carnival
- Short Term Weekend Retreat
- Boy Scouts
- Venture Crew
Support to Parents and Families
The Family Support Center promotes and engages parents, caregivers and other family members as full partners in the education process. Outreach staff takes an active role in collaboration with other agencies in planning and hosting regional and/or statewide activities that promote family awareness and involvement in their child's education.
Support to School Districts
KSB Outreach supports proficient student performance by assisting local school districts in reducing barriers to learning associated with a vision loss and by providing students access to the general curriculum, the Program of Studies, Core Content, and Expanded Core Curriculum for Students with Visual Impairments including:
- Gateways to Independence Professional Development for Statewide Teachers and Service Providers
- Early Childhood and other Specialized Trainings
- Consultative Services
- Low Vision Clinic
- Braille Production
- Technical Assistance
Students who live beyond 50 miles and attend KSB full-time, and/or are attending the Short Term and Summer Programs typically reside on campus in dormitories. When the students are not in classes, they have many opportunities to engage in activities that promote independence and incorporate daily living and social skills in a safe and caring environment by qualified staff.