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Washington State School for the Blind

Did you Know?

WSSB began in 1886 with the establishment of the School for Defective Youth.


Completed 1906 - 1918. The building has undergone seismic and handicap access upgrades.


2214 E. 13th St., Vancouver
Directions to the school for the blind

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Washington State School for the Blind



Designed by state architect Julius Zeittel, the Washington State School for the Blind (WSSB) contains four buildings that are important examples of the classical revival architecture popular in the early 20th century. 

WSSB is significant primarily for its association with the educational and social history of the state. WSSB began in 1886 with the establishment of the School for Defective Youth, including the blind, deaf and mentally impaired. Its operation reflected the practices of the time of warehousing these groups. The school for the mentally impaired was removed in 1892, and in 1913, the departments of the blind and deaf were separated.

Over time, a number of changes on campus reflected changes in public policies. Dormitory housing was eliminated and students lived in cottages. Education and training came to more closely resemble mainstream education, with programs for both vocational and college preparatory tracks.

  • Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.
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