Throwback Thursday Object: Perkins-Binet Intelligence Test

Our object this week is an intelligence test adapted forblind students at the Perkins School for the Blind in the 1960s and 70s andpublished in 1980 by Dr. Carl Davis. Intelligence tests have been used inschools since the early 20th century to predict aptitude. Theblack box includes all sorts of blocks and small toys that go along withvarious tasks the test asks the student to complete. The sciencebehind intelligence tests is complicated, but they try to compare the abilitiesof the test taker to other kids of the same age, and assign a score based onthat comparison. The available pool of students that were blind orvisually impaired was never really large enough to allow test designers toestablish what “normal” was, so these kinds of tests fell out of fashion. But it is a good example of how researchers try to adapt materials developedfor sighted learners to the blind community. Ralph Bartley, our formerhead of educational research, told me that when he was at the Kansas School forthe Blind, he would routinely add 20 points to any IQ score in a blind child’sfile to get an accurate idea of the student’s abilities.

Photos: I included pictures of the black fiberboardbox that holds the test components, a bag of blue wooden beads in differentshapes, a toy coffeepot with lid, and a bag holding a small box, a pair ofsmall scissors, and a plastic dog.

Micheal A. Hudson
Museum Director
American Printing House for the Blind

Stan Greenwood
A humble human, who is always found working on something or drinking coffee. A perfect introvert who talks barely anything but shares a lot through his blog posts at FredForum.

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