Catholic Guilds for the Blind in the United States: A Survey of Eleven Diocesan Agencies for the Blind, 1936-1959
The history of blind beggary goes back into the centuries before the coming of Christ. Gabriel Farrell states that the begging of ancient and medieval times was caused not alone by the destitution of the blind but was also an accepted outlet for the compassion of seeing people who wanted to help the blind. By common consent, the gates in city walls and the steps of churches, considered choice locations for begging, were reserved to the blind. However, there were not enough of these favored locations to go around, and the majority of sightless people wandered about in misery and neglect. During the Middle Ages, many of these wanderers became the minstrels who transmitted news from place to place. In nearly every Christian, Moslem, and Buddhist country, blind bards, often led by dogs with bells around their necks, found favor as they sang the praises of heroes and rulers. Naturally, with the coming of printing, minstrels became less and less useful as carriers of information, and blind beggars became a scourge. It might be noted that even today, sightless persons are often thought of as having a special gift for music.
Disability studies|Social research|Social work
Sauerland, Paul Joseph, "Catholic Guilds for the Blind in the United States: A Survey of Eleven Diocesan Agencies for the Blind, 1936-1959" (1959). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30557785.