This school was founded in 1852 as a private school in Keokuk. In 1862, the program was moved to Vinton. Originally known as the Iowa College for the Blind, now it serves children from birth to age 21 who are blind or visually impaired.
Mary Ingalls, sister of author Laura Ingalls Wilder, lived and studied at the school for a number of years after she became blind. She was first enrolled in classes in 1881.
Tours of the school are available by appointment. Group tours, concentrating on the Ingalls family history, are more readily accommodated in the summer time when less students are on the campus.
The first building on the campus, which was completed in 1862, housed students and had some classroom space. It is still in use today. The site now includes other buildings, some which provide small group living arrangements for boys and girls. Older students have the opportunity to practice living on their own in an on-campus apartment.
The school has a health center with a fully trained staff on campus 24 hours a day
The goal of the school is encourage independence of its students, both on the campus and through an outreach program.
Admission – None
Directions – turn right of U. S. Highway 218 on West 9th Street and then south on Avenue G
Hours – call for appointments
Phone – (319) 472-5221 or (800) 645-4579