ASSOCIATIONS FOR HELPING THE BLIND 6gi
Saxony has been the place where this excellent idea has not only been fully grasped, but where the inspector and the teach- ers of the central institution made it their duty to organize a real system. It is true, what the Germans pay for their poor people, even for their blind, is much less than what the Ameri- cans do; but the advantage of the German method is that it is much more centralized. They must consider : How can we arrange best with the little we have at our disposal? And besides, when all is in the hands of one great committee that can give commands, they have the power to carry out their deci- sions. And everything they arrange is done in a more central- ized manner than if done by separated committees, and thus the small sum the Germans dispose of can often do just as much good as the greater gifts of America.
It is not an easy task to form a connection between all the blind tradesmen of one kingdom and their superintendent. These blind people have not very high education, and thus often do not risk stating their demands, and the less modest ones request things which one would call superfluous. But also on this side a very ingenious arrangement has been made. Each blind tradesman has his guardian, who is usually a rich gentleman a manufacturer or merchant who is not too proud to care continu- ally for one or more blind persons. Whenever they have a request for an expensive tool, a new coat which they cannot pay for themselves, they tell their guardian, who, after examining the request, will write a word to the institution and is sure that the want will be met. The father-like friendship of a wealthy and well-educated gentleman will keep them from mingling with bad society ; and this happy arrangement costs nothing at all.
We hardly need to add that the institution at Dresden is anxious to spread more and more among the public the knowl- edge of what the blind can do, by lectures, exhibitions of their work, and articles in the papers. In other German countries this system is more or less completely introduced, and these ideas are spreading outside of Germany. Committees consisting of benevolent seeing people and better-educated blind ones