Leeds Society For Deaf and Blind People - History


In 1866, the Vicar of Leeds, Revd D. R. Atley, convened a public meeting to form Leeds United Institution for the Blind and the Deaf and Dumb (later renamed Leeds Incorporated Institution for the Blind and the Deaf and Dumb). A public appeal was launched in 1873 by the Mayor of Leeds, Mr H. R. Marsden, for funds for premises which led to the Albion Street premises being opened in 1876. The new building incorporated workshops for blind people, a service chapel for deaf people and areas for socialising. (Located at the site of corner of Albion Street (westside) and St Anne's Street (northside). This site has demolished in early 1970s, had been since undergo redevelopment, recently been converted of the present K2 building of luxury apartments.)

In 1917 the organisation became a registered charity and its Memorandum and Articles of Association were approved. In 1976, following the purchase of the former Leeds Public Dispensary, Centenary House was officially opened by H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh on 13 February.

More recently, in 1996 the name of the Society changed to Leeds Society for Deaf and Blind People. In 2004 Shire View Resource Centre for Visually Impaired People was welcomed under the banner of the Society. In 2008, Leeds Society for Deaf and Blind People took over the management of the city’s only braille and large print unit from Leeds City Council.

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