Blindness and the Blind in the United States

William Joseph Haley, Fordham University


In view of the size, age and social importance of the problems of the blind and the supposed acute interest always taken in them by both workers in the field and laymen alike, it was astonishing to the author to find how relatively small and limited the literature on the subject actually was. It has been estimated by one authority not to exceed three thousand volumes in all languages and covering all aspects of the subject, from the economic to the psychological. If this figure conveys no special significance to the reader, we may note in passing that there are supposed to exist more than five thousand items of commentary on the single play, Hamlet. Another authority on the literature of the blind has remarked that it is highly repetitious, new writers tending to cultivate old ground and to repeat the views already expressed by previous authors. This observer wishes to add that for a supposedly scientific literature, too large a portion of it appears to be pure speculation based largely on introspective data with no adequate experimental, clinical or statistical foundation in fact.

Subject Area

American studies|Disability studies|Social work

Recommended Citation

Haley, William Joseph, "Blindness and the Blind in the United States" (1953). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30557764.