Vol. 1, Chapter 13

 Images from as early as the 13th century exist,
proving that people who were blind/visually
impaired have been traveling with dogs and canes
for a long, long time.
John Metcalf
Jacob Birrer (Germany)
 Germans pre-dated everyone in the dog guide business (WW I).
 John Metcalf (18th century) – Road builder who traveled with a cane “up
to his hat
 Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe (1800’s) - Founder of Perkins School f/t Blind
 Sir Francis Campbell (1800’s)- Teacher @ Perkins who was blind.
Informally taught O&M. Emigrated to England and founded the Royal
Normal College and Academy of Music for the Blind. His cane “had brains,
could almost talk, and ought to vote”. His daughter-in-law, upon viewing
the war blind program, said the program “resembled the work of her
husband’s father”.
 W. Hanks Levy (1800’s)- Originator of Touch Technique, but was “out of
 Dorothy Harrison Eustis – Co-founder of The Seeing Eye - 1929
Dorothy Harrison Eustis
Morris Frank
First formal mobility training in the U.S. 1929 (Dorothy Harrison Eustis,
Morris Frank)
More people
Dr. Richard Hoover – Former teacher @ Maryland School for the Blind, part of initial
War Blind Program @ Valley Forge Army Hospital, originator of the in-step Touch
Technique @ Valley Forge Army Hospital (Battle of the Bulge, Dec. 1944 - Jan. 1945.
17 blind soldiers arrived in one day.) “People say blind people in this country do a
good job of getting around. I don’t think they do a good job. I think they do a hell of
a poor job.”
Warren Bledsoe – Son of John Bledsoe (John studied under Michael Anagnos, who
taught Anne Sullivan, & was superintendent of Maryland School for the Blind), also
part of initial War Blind Program @ Valley Forge, perfected Hoover’s techniques,
used the blindfold to train trainers.
Russ Williams – Lost his vision after the Normandy invasion, student @ Valley Forge
and Avon, instructor at Valley Forge, chief of the program @ the Hines V.A., and
“father” to several techniques we use today, including: Guide Technique, Hines
Break, Protective Techniques, use of sound clues, projecting a line of direction, use
of Touch Technique all the time (was previously prohibited indoors), diagonal to
Touch Technique in the stairwell.
Father Thomas Carroll – Catholic Guild for the Blind, Chaplain @ Avon. Hosted the
Gloucester Conference (We’ll talk about that later).
 Valley Forge Army Hospital – site of original War
Blind Program. Housed veterans of the European
Theatre of war (Hoover, Bledsoe, Williams were all
instructors here.)
 Dibble Army Hospital - same as Valley Forge, served
veterans from the Pacific Theatre.
 Avon Army Hospital - abandoned the cane and
taught use of “facial vision.”
 Hines V.A. - 1st V. A. Program. Started when Army
“let go” of the War Blind Program.
Russ Williams on recruitment
of O&M personnel:
 “The formula is rather simple: someone who really
gets a sincere pleasure out of the growth of
someone else and who jus seems to have good
standards – good level-headedness about him.
There are certain guiding factors which are followed
by people who have respect for other people. These
are not the people who seem to live to depreciate
other people and seem to get a real satisfaction out
of it…I don’t think the center should be made up of
people who are very far out in any direction.” (1965)
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