The Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind was founded in 1858 in Talladega by Dr. Joseph Henry Johnson to offer instruction in farming, trades, home economics and humanities. 

Throughout its history, the Institute has received many accolades for its service to the sensory impaired.  Perhaps its greatest tribute came from Helen Keller herself, saying: “I cannot believe parents would keep their deaf or blind child at home to grow up in silence and darkness if they knew there was a good school in Talladega where they would be kindly and wisely treated.”  

Today the Institute consists of the Alabama School for the Deaf, the Alabama School for the Blind, and the Helen Keller School, which serves children who are both deaf and blind. Service to deaf and blind persons is also provided through nine AIDB regional centers throughout the state. 

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Encyclopedia of Alabama

Photos courtesy of: Alabama Department of Archives and History, Alamy