Il pionieristico approccio educativo di Samuel Gridley Howe
Samuel Gridley Howe, the director of the first institute for students with visual impairments in the United States, the New England Asylum for the Blind, had a leading role in the international history of Special Education. The American physician and educator, through his revolutionary approach to visual impairment, offered interesting suggestions to the educational research of the early nineteenth century, which was oriented to ensure to persons with disabilities a decent life, and was strongly influenced by the principles of the humanitarian philosophy, the evangelical thought and the philanthropic movement. Howe strongly supported the idea that the education of persons
with disabilities should not be carried out in segregating asylums: his teaching methods and the success of his educational approach to the disability of Laura Bridgman, a girl who could only communicate through touch, attracted the attention of philosophers, theologians and writers of the time who saw in that sort of miracle “an object of peculiar interest”. His work, representing an interesting example of the educational challenge, led to the foundation of a new educational approach to persons with disabilities, anticipating the studies on the identification and development of different intellectual and vicarious skills.