The Origins of the Ulster Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, and the Blind, established in 1831
By H Dominic W Stiles, on 15 January 2016
Formed from a society founded in April 1831 after a public lecture, the Ulster school began the following year in the retiring-room of an Independent Chapel in Donegall Street (Some information etc, p.9). It was initially a day school only. When the school moved to King Street in 1833, there were only eight pupils in attendance. A new teacher, Mr. Collier, was appointed in October 1834, and shortly after the first blind pupil was taken on. More money was required for a proper institution building, so in April 1835 a further public meeting resolved to raise the necessary funds, and as soon as February 1836 the new building, in College Street, was completed (ibid p.10). Within five years they had outgrown this building, and the foundation stone for a much grander establishment was laid on 31st August, 1843. Shortly after, an agreement was arrived at with the Claremont School in Dublin, that they would withdraw from Ulster (ibid, p.11).
Below we have a picture of the Institution, a manual alphabet illustration, type used by the blind pupils, and the ground plan, all taken from Some information […] published in 1846.
The Ulster Society for Promoting the Education of the Deaf and Dumb, and the Blind. Some information respecting the origin, constitution, object & operations of the Ulster Society for Promoting the Education of the Deaf and Dumb, and the Blind; especially designed for the use of the Society’s auxiliaries. Belfast, the Society, 1846. (Our copy was owned by Charles Rhind).
Quarterly Review of Deaf-Mute Education, 1891, 2, 262-69, 289-95.