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February 1963

Blindness in an Institution for the Feebleminded

Author Affiliations

Wilmer Institute, The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1963;69(2):165. doi:10.1001/archopht.1963.00960040171006

A study concerning the ocular signs of mongolism at the Rosewood Training School (population 2,500, plus or minus) has provided figures regarding blindness and near-blindness in that population.

In Rosewood approximately 85% of the inmates are mentally retarded, and 15% are admitted on the basis of behavior problems; 30% are Negroes. In the largest group, custodial care is the principal responsibility; because of the rigid qualifications for admittance, few are discharged, and many have

grown old. The smaller group are unimportant as regards this report, since none were found to be blind or near-blind. If this study has any significance, it is only as regards institutions with similar populations.

Only 2 definitions are necessary for the purpose of this report. Blindness as here used indicates absence of light perception in both eyes. Near-blindness is not so easily defined, particularly in such a population. The inmates classified as "near-blind" are sufficiently

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