West Virginia School for the Colored Deaf and Blind (Charleston)

  • Established 1919

  • Integrated with the West Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind (Romney), 1955


In West Virginia, until 1919, African-American children who were blind or deaf attended the Maryland Institution for Colored Blind and Deaf-Mutes. Their tuition was paid with money from the budget of the West Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind in Romney. Three African-American legislators pushed for the creation of a separate West Virginia school. The legislature approved their request in 1919, but failed to appropriate funding for seven years. Finally, in 1926, the West Virginia School for Colored Deaf and Blind opened in Institute, near Charleston. Following the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954, the school at Institute was closed and black deaf and blind students were sent to the school in Romney to begin classes in the summer of 1955.