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Institut National des Jeunes Aveugles

Institut National des Jeunes Aveugles, (National Institute for Blind Children or Royal Institution for Blind Youth), in Paris, was the first special school for blind students in the world, and served as a model for many subsequent schools for blind students.


The INJA was created in 1784 by Valentin Haüy.

It was not until the late 18th century that society began to take an interest in the education of the blind. Until that time they were considered mostly uneducable and untrainable. One of the major figures in the movement to educate the blind was Sébastien Guillié. He established the first ophthalmological clinic in France and became director of the school in Paris.

Louis Braille, the inventor of the braille system, attended the school in 1819 and later taught there.

Organ class

The first organ class for blind students was established at the institute in 1826 and by 1833 no less than 14 blind students held organist positions in the churches of Paris. The institute continued to produce large number of successful organist such as André Marchal, Jean Langlais and Gaston Litaize.[1]

Effect on other schools

Perkins School for the Blind, attended by the famed American deafblind woman Helen Keller, was founded after Samuel Gridley Howe visited the INJA.


  1. ^ Jean Langlais: The Man and his Music, Ann Labounsky 2000, pages 30-47

Further reading

External links

Coordinates: 48°50′51″N 2°18′56″E / 48.84750°N 2.31556°E / 48.84750; 2.31556{{#coordinates:48|50|51|N|2|18|56|E|type:landmark_region:FR |primary |name= }}