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Former Wisconsin School for the Blind changing its name—again

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Gazette staff
June 4, 2012
— The school once known as the Wisconsin School for the Blind is going through another name change.

The Wisconsin School for the Visually Handicapped will officially change its name Friday to the Wisconsin School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.


This is the fourth name change since the school was founded in 1849, according to a news release from the state Department of Public Instruction, which runs the school.


The public is invited to attend a renaming ceremony Friday. The event will feature alumni who will reminisce about the past 80 years of the school's history. Representatives of the Legislature, the state Department of Public Instruction and organizations of the blind are expected to attend.


In 1850, after operating as a private school, the Wisconsin Institute for the Education of the Blind became the first state-supported educational institution in Wisconsin.


The name was changed to the Wisconsin School for the Blind in 1885. It was renamed the Wisconsin School for the Visually Handicapped in 1945.


A fight over a proposal to close the school in the late 1990s led to legislation that established the Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, headquartered on the Janesville campus, which oversees outreach efforts to visually impaired students throughout the state.


The legislation also preserved the school.


IF YOU GO

The Wisconsin School for the Visually Handicapped's renaming ceremony begins at 9 a.m. Friday in the school's auditorium at 1700 W. State St., Janesville. The public is invited.


A reception after the ceremony will feature cakes with the various names of the school. Graduation exercises for the Class of 2012 will begin in the auditorium at 10:30 a.m. Diplomas or certificates will be the first to display the school's new name. Graduating will be Letrehl Howard of Milwaukee, Paul Kowald of Appleton, Anna Liacopoulos of Kendall and James Parker of Elkhorn.



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