Founded on 21 August 1866, the Victorian Asylum and School for the Blind began operating in November of that year, with nine blind children admitted to rented premises in Commercial Road, Prahran. Land on St Kilda Road was purchased in 1867 and the children were transferred to a new building in May 1868. A workshop added to the site in 1870 was the first of several that provided graduates from the school with work opportunities in areas such as broom and mat-making, some of which was exhibited at the 1888 Exhibition. Teaching in Braille commenced in 1873 and the Braille Library was established in 1903. The organisation, known as the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind (RVIB) since 1891, raised £5745 through its first public appeal conducted in 1897. The current major fundraiser, Carols by Candlelight, started in 1938 and total responsibility for the annual fund-raising event passed to RVIB in 1969. The institute produced the first of what became a statewide network of talking newspapers, including a number in languages other than English in 1983. Victoria's leading supplier of education, employment and support services to the blind and vision-impaired, RVIB amalgamated with Vision Australia and the Royal Blind Society of New South Wales in July 2004.