Work started in Fife in the 1860's with part-time missioners coming from Edinburgh to supply scriptures produced in moon embossed type. In 1864 a public meeting was convened by the Provost of Kirkcaldy Burgh, Patrick Don Swan that resulted in the formation of a branch of the Edinburgh Society. By 1865, under Provost Swan, an independent Society was formed of which he was President. The Society was known as "The Fife and Kinross Society for teaching the blind to read in their own Homes."
Provost Swan died in 1890 and was succeeded in 1891 by Sir M B Nairn, Bart., of Rankeilour. With his election began a connection with the Nairn family spanning three generations. At that time the Society operated from 27 Kirk Wynd, Kirkcaldy and from this base provided materials to home workers to make products, which were also sold from the Society's premises. Ladies Auxiliary Committees were started in the early 1900's to give assistance at social gatherings, sales of work and such like.
The Blind Persons Act (1920) provided for financial aid from the "Scottish Board of Health". A joint committee of the local authorities "charged the Society with responsibility for undertaking welfare work among the blind on their behalf".
As the sale of goods increased a shop was acquired at 37 Whytescauseway, Kirkcaldy and was used until 1 Townsend Place was acquired in 1927. By 1928 the Society employed a Superintendent and three home teachers; and had already established an arrangement for Ophthalmologists to examine possible blind persons in the Region. Kinross was transferred to Perth County in the 1929 Local Government re-organisation so the Society became the Fife Society for the Blind. Talking book machines were introduced into Fife in 1936 together with Wireless for the Blind and from this time on a regular pattern of visiting, teaching and general welfare work was established.
In 1958 the Society joined with the RNIB in a unified collection agreement, which meant that the RNIB raised funds in Fife and the Society received a share. A larger hall was added to 1 Townsend Place in 1966 to provide more space for craft teaching and other classes. At that time there were around 700 blind and partially sighted persons on the register. The number of persons registered blind or partially sighted has grown consistently since then to over 2,000 in 2003. As more people live longer the number is set to grow and it is currently estimated that more than 8,000 people in Fife have a registerable sight loss.
Alan Suttie was appointed to the post of Superintendent (later Chief Executive) in July 1986 and in January 1987 the Executive Committee agreed to undertake a full review of services. A development plan was published in October 1988 resulting in two major changes; the creation of the Visual Impairment Programme and a refurbishment of the premises at 1 Townsend Place. The Visual Impairment Programme provided for a close working partnership between the Society, the Social Work Department, Education Department, Fife Health Board and the Employment Services.
In May 1992 the Executive Committee, with financial support from Community Business Fife and Fife Regional Council, brought in Dr Graham Lomas to review the way in which the Society was organised to provide professional, social and recreational services.
Following on from his report, the Society decided to leave the partnership in fundraising agreement with the RNIB and since 1994 has been responsible for its own fundraising activity.
In April 1996 the Society formally changed to become a Company Limited by Guarantee. Having outgrown the premises in Townsend Place the Society looked for alternatives, which resulted in the establishment of the Fife Sensory Impairment Centre. With a grant of nearly £700,000 a former residential care home was purchased and converted to form a base for a number of organizations providing services to those having a sensory impairment. The Society moved into the new premises in January 2000 and the building was formally opened in May 2001.
In 2002 the Society formed FSB Enterprises Ltd to undertake trading activities including transcription, provision of sensory impairment awareness training and building access audits. This trading company has continued to develop as a ‘Social Firm’ providing employment opportunities for people who are blind or partially sighted.
In 2004 the Society created a service delivery arm under the name: Insight, Making Life with Sight Loss Easier.