The Wisconsin School for the Blind was originally founded in 1849 by members of the Janesville community. The State Legislature was so impressed by the accomplishments of the first eight students of this school that they allowed funding and expansion in 1850; which lead to the construction of a new building at this location in 1852.
This institution has always received immense support from the community during times of struggle. In 1874 there was an immense fire that contributed to the death of two individuals in the school. Many people and organizations came together to provide funding in order to rebuild and continue to support the visually impaired population of Wisconsin. Despite going through several name changes, vigorous campus building growth in the 20th century, and mounting threats of being closed, the Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired continues to exist today.