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One supported the children's deaf culture, which they expressed through sign language.The other sought to assimilate them into mainstream society by teaching them to lip read and speak.He accepted children with intellectual disabilities into the school because he believed they had a right to an education and that the school was the best place for them because they were often blind, deaf or unable to speak.
Their education reflected the Institution's belief in the dignity of manual work and the importance of developing the mind.
Children who were blind learned knitting, net making, simple fancy work, the piano, history, geography, scripture, Braille, and Moon Type, a system of raised curves, angles, and lines, which was supposed to be easier to learn than Braille.
This left only two children with blindness at the Institution. Even so, the School for the Blind continued sporadically until it finally closed in 1972.
Many of the children at the school came from outside Hobart.
The Institution seems to have recovered both its finances and reputation by the 1930s.
It was incorporated by an Act of Parliament in 1933.
There was accommodation for the country children who attended the school on the site. The Institution had a welfare section, a school which opened in 1901, and a small factory.
The school had two sections, one for children who were blind and the other for those who were deaf.
In 1949, New Town Primary School introduced a special class for children who were partially deaf to prepare them to attend an ordinary school. The same year, Professor Alexander Ewing and Dr Irene Ewing visited.
They were Manchester University academics and advocates of teaching speech and lip reading.
In 1923, the Institution's financial difficulties led to an inquiry.