Stauth Museum to explore low vision education with Helen Keller Exhibit

Vincent Marshall
Dodge City Daily Globe

MONTEZUMA — On loan from the Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind in Louisville, Kentucky, the Stauth Memorial Museum will hold the "Child in A Strange Country: Helen Keller and the History of Education for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired," exhibit, from Oct. 26 to Jan. 22, 2022.

According to Stauth Memorial Museum interim director Heather Urich, in 1891, teacher Anne Sullivan described her famous student, Helen Keller, "For the first two years of her intellectual life she was like a child in a strange country," wrote Sullivan, realizing that for Helen, no learning was possible until she could overcome the communication barrier posed by blindness and deafness.

A story made famous in books, movies, television and plays titled, The Miracle Worker, from Keller's autobiography.

For the exhibition, it will explore four primary subjects; reading, science, math, and geography by using Keller’s educational journey as a lens.

“Child in a Strange Country,” will uncover modern education for children with vision loss and the exhibit design will be fully accessible.

Each learning section will end with a sit-down touch table using interactive games and activities to use sensory imagination.

“Stauth Memorial Museum is excited to bring this exhibit for all ages to western Kansas,” said Urich. “This will be a great experience for children and adults to learn about adaptive education possibilities for those with vision impairments.”

According to Urich, in the reading and writing area of the exhibit, museum guests can write in braille by hand using a slate and stylus or use the Braillewriter.

"The Scientific Study panels include a tactile model of the human eye, a relief picture of the eye, and natural specimens that can be explored by touch," said Urich. "It also includes an APH Light Box which was invented for low vision students to help develop awareness of light, color and visual discrimination."

For the mathematics area, guests will use an abacus to add and subtract; stationary pins and rubber bands, geometric shapes can be constructed and a talking scientific calculator will provide examples of how technology plays an important role in helping blind and low vision students learn mathematics today.

For more information or to schedule a tour, call 620-846-2527.

Hours of operation for the museum, located at 111 N. Aztec in Montezuma, are Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4:30 p.m.

The museum is closed on Sundays, Mondays and all major holidays. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted to help with the costs to host this amazing exhibition. Visit the Stauth Memorial Museum website at www.stauthmemorialmuseum.org.

To contact the writer email vmarshall@gannett.com