Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Changing perspectives on the value of literacy to blind persons as reflected in the production, dissemination and reception of publications in raised type in Britain, c.1820-1905
Author: Oliphant of Rossie, John Philip
ISNI:       0000 0004 2704 2331
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2011
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
This study examines historically the provision of literature to Britain's blind community. It addresses issues relevant to present debates on the blind person's right to equality of access to information, and the state's responsibility to ensure this. Changing perceptions of blindness and blind people's needs are traced through hitherto neglected primary sources, including institutional records, government reports, conference proceedings and journals. The legacies of individuals who invented reading systems and of institutions and associations that shaped attitudes and practice are evaluated. There follows a critical account of the prolonged 'Battle of the Types', when contending systems were promoted as the universal method of instruction, creating duplication and waste. The achievements and shortcomings of charitable institutions and associations are discussed and comparisons are made with nations where the State played an earlier, more substantial role. Recent findings in the history of education, debates on the history of the book and alternative interpretations of charity are incorporated to introduce new perspectives on early blind education and publishing. The thesis examines 'improving' initiatives, such as the foundation of Worcester College, which sent blind youths to university, and the British and Foreign Blind Association, conceived and run by blind men, which revolutionized publication. The success of certain school boards in integrating blind children, and the Royal Normal College's effective training of teachers and musicians promised a new dawn. Utilitarian influences proved stronger, however, and the 1889 Royal Commission report's recommended continued voluntary control of institutional education and publishing. In new suburban institutions built for the twentieth century, the culture of the workshop largely prevailed over that of the word. Launched in 1898, the Blind Advocate nonetheless exemplified the liberating power of literacy and auto-didacticism by giving a voice to radical blind workers, inspiring a questioning spirit and foreshadowing later examples of protest literature.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available