Employment Support

Entering or re-entering the workforce can be challenging.

Olmsted Center’s employment staff includes: Vocational Evaluators, Career Counselors and Placement Specialists that help to better prepare individuals who are blind or legally blind for employment.

In addition to our employment services additional supports including:

job coaching, orientation and mobility, rehab teaching/work site adaptations, assistive technology, computer software training, academic instruction and adjustment counseling may be made available in order to maximize the consumer’s development and potential.

All of our employment related services are supported by the New York State Commission for the Blind and prior authorization is required.  Contact your rehab counselor or Olmsted Center for more information.

For more information on employment opportunities for young adults, click here link to youth programs

Work Experience Trainings

GOAL Referred clients will participate in a time-limited experience which:

  •    Provides the consumer with; an understanding of the work environment, work-related behaviors, work skills and valuable work experience
  •    Provides NYSCB with information on how the consumer preformed in the training experience

Host employers are identified by OCS staff and the consumer is placed based on employment interests, abilities and in line with their vocational goal.

Clients participate in a thorough assessment process that determines their readiness to participate in the training program.

This includes:

  • ability to perform the necessary job tasks
  • ability to travel to/from the work site (appropriate orientation and mobility skills)
  • ability to participate in the training program
  • identifying any potential barriers to employment

Work Experiences are supported by NYSCB.  For more information, contact your vocational rehabilitation counselor or Olmsted Center at 716-882-1025.

Job Coaching

GOAL is to provide support in the work-place.

A job coach offers

  •    guidance with regards to task and time management
  •    suggestions and/or recommendation for performing tasks
  •    guidance in appropriate inter-personal skills, self-advocay
  •    support in overall soft skills needed to be successful in the workplace.

Job coaches report the progress and areas for improvement back to Olmsted Center staff.  In addition, progress, or lack of, is shared with the consumer.

Work Readiness

GOAL is to provide participants with the necessary skills to obtain/retain employment.

Program components include;

  •    Effective communication skills
  •    Functioning as an effective member
  •    Understanding your responsibilities as an employee
  •    Balancing work and private/family life
  •    Developing a work/life budget
  •    Personal appearance and hygiene
  •    Workplace culture – fitting in
  •    Need for a strong work ethic
  •    Introduction to job seeking skills
  •    Employer contact
  • Mock interviews with “real” employers
  • “Real employers” discuss what they’re looking for in an employee

This program is most advantageous when offered in a group setting but the staff is also able to provide one on one training if needed.

Diagnostic Vocational Evaluations (DVE)

GOAL is to objectively measure client’s interests and abilities to help determine an appropriate career path.

In the Diagnostic Vocational Evaluation, a trained specialist helps clients determine their vocational potential by assessing their aptitudes, interests, academic achievement, skills, and work tolerance.

This evaluation is then used to help identify a vocational objective and in conjunction with the NYSCB counselor, establish a service plan.

Placement Services

For individuals seeking permanent, competitive employment, Olmsted Center staff, in conjunction with the New York State Commission for the Blind, offers individual placement services.

Placement Assessment – Prior to receiving Placement Services, clients are objectively evaluates on their interests, abilities and readiness to actively participate in the necessary tasks leading to community-based, non-subsidized employment. The outcome of this assessment will determine that the client is either ready to move forward with a plan for development or would better benefit from additional training such as a work experience or partaking in a Work Readiness group.  The Placement Specialist, client and NYSCB counselor work together to develop a plan for employment in accordance with the consumer’s interests and abilities.

Placement Development – Services are intended to prepare clients to participate in the job search process. These services may include: resume development, application training, job seeking skills, interviewing skills and job retention training. Participants take part in a minimum of three interviews with a goal of being offered a permanent position.

Placement Involves working with the client in terms of job site support including but not limited to orientation and mobility instruction, the provision of adaptive techniques and regular follow up to ensure job retention.

If you are blind or legally blind and would like to inquire about any of the employment services offered at Olmsted Center, please contact us 716-882-1025 or call your NYSCB counselor/office.