The Origins of Institutional Care for the Blind
First attempts to enable school education to blind children in our area happened in the first half of the 19th century, with blind children being sent to the "Imperial-Royal Educational Institute for Blind People" in Vienna. It was not until the end of the 19th century that more favourable social conditions incurred, appropriate for the realization of the idea about a methodical education of blind people. Education of blind children in regular schools referred solely to individual cases up to then, and they also depended on the teachers' good will, or on an intervention from the side of an influential person. The Law on management of primary and teacher training schools in Croatia and Slavonia from October 14th 1874 provides a regulation to exclude children with any form of physical disability from regular schools, but also to give future teachers, where possible, necessary trainings about educational work with blind and deaf-mute children.
After the publication of Theory of pedagogy by Stjepan Basariček in 1876, which demonstrates problems arising from education of children with physical disabilities, interest in education of blind people suddenly increases. More and more articles appear about the life and problems of blind people. However, it is Vinko Bek who was the first to realize the idea about organized care, and it is then that the new era in the history of education of blind people in our country begun.