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Blindness and Infancy: The Promise of Learning and Growth (1971)

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired Museum

Sound | 1971

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  •  Paul and his mother play 
  •  Jamie plays a game 
  •  Karen practices standing  
  •  Paul’s father plays with his fingers so that his hands may become sensitive to touch 
  •  Karen uses her fingers to discover the quality of things 
  •  Jamie holds his own bottle while he drinks 
  •  Jamie feeds himself before his second birthday 
  •  Paul lays on his belly 
  •  Paul wriggles towards the ringing bell 
  •  Paul succeeds in crawling towards the ringing bell 
  •  Karen walks confidentially through her home 
 
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The Child Development Project at the University of Michigan produced this short documentary in 1971 with a grant from the United States Office of Education, Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Notable child psychoanalyst, author, and social worker Selma Fraiberg lead the project, researching the effects of blindness on infancy. The film follows three children with visual impairments for the first two years of life as they learn various skills. They practice crawling, feeding themselves, and using their hands to communicate and explore their surroundings.