This year is the 20th anniversary of the Statler Center and many new and exciting changes are on the horizon.

Please contact us directly with any questions or for more information on available classes and course dates.

Elizabeth Schmidt


(716) 888-4638

Karla Manzella

Admissions Coordinator

(716) 888-4526

Statler Center Quarterly Newsletter

February 2019

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Get To Know Us


One of the secondary barriers to employment for persons with blindness and low vision is simply not knowing what program choices are available. At the National Statler Center, our goal is to have a 50 state presence by 2020, whether by vendor contract or partnership. To meet this goal and to initiate familiarity with our staff and programs, we offer a “Get To Know Us” initiative.

The “Get To Know Us” program is our way of reaching out to senior staff to answer questions about Statler and to explore the possibilities of working together.

Depending on a proven vocational trainer with decades of educational and technical experience allows your staff and clientele to succeed without investing the resources for a new program start-up. The steps in the “Get To Know Us” program below are offered at no cost or commitment — just a chance to fully explore the Statler option:


Get To Know Us” Steps: 

Below are offered at no cost or commitment — just a chance to fully explore the Statler option:

  • Schedule a 45 minute conference call with Statler staff via phone or video.
  • Receive materials for pre-call review.
  • Call with Statler Admissions, Program Manager and Employment Specialist with your senior staff.
Follow Up Option 1

Join us in an online tutorial to experience our online platform

Follow Up Option 2

Join us in an online tutorial to experience our online platform and schedule a secondary call with field staff

Follow Up Option 3

Join us in an online tutorial to experience our online platform and request a presentation and/or schedule an onsite tour.

To schedule a “Get To Know Us” appointment, please contact Admissions Coordinator, Karla Manzella at 716.888.4526 or

We look forward to working with you!


  • Established in 1999 as a unique concept in employment training for those who are blind/visually impaired or physically disabled
  • Vocational training program of the Olmsted Center for Sight, located in Buffalo NY
  • Instruct physically disabled, blind or visually impaired individuals on career-based skills needed to achieve integrated, competitive-wage career employment
  • Long-term employment is our training objective
  • Work closely with state vocational rehabilitation agencies and vocational rehabilitation counselors to address all areas required for successful employment
  • Provide written mid-point and final evaluations toward goals, as well as frequent conferencing with our staff so progress is measurable
  • Follow measurable goals to ensure a successful employment placement
  • Empower our students to handle the life challenges that may impact their economic independence.


Upcoming Classes 

Openings exist for the Business Fundamentals, Hospitality Training Foundations and Telecommunication Foundations programs either in-house or online. If you or someone you know can take advantage of our unique training opportunities, NOW is a great time to contact us. Please click the link above to see a detailed schedule of upcoming classes.


Statler Center offers three programs in two presentation options: in-house or online.

Our in-house classes are provided Monday-Friday from 9am-4pm.

Our online courses are organized by instructor with due dates and deadlines to keep students on track with their work flow

Business Fundamentals

The Business Fundamentals training program offers students an opportunity to develop skills needed to transition to a variety of vocational opportunities or to higher education with a skill set for success. A required general education pre-employment course, Business Fundamentals can be taken as a stand-alone course or in conjunction with one of the customer service classes: Telecommunication Foundations or Hospitality Training Foundations.  A few goals of the Business Fundamentals curriculum are:

  • Increase competency in computer literacy
  • Advocate and utilize adaptive technology in training
  • Refine and improve verbal and written communication skills
  • Search job opportunities and build a professional network using web based programs
  • Prepare and practice interviewing skills via taped, mock interviews
  • Remediate math skills
  • Improve professional conflict management skills
  • Gain exposure to behind the scenes venues and employers’ points of view


Hospitality Training Foundations

The Hospitality Training Foundations program focuses on learning the standards of the broad hospitality industry, such as hotels, travel & tourism, office, medical, food and retail.  Students receive specialized instruction in administrative procedures, reservation services, marketing, banquet, audit, customer service skill development, sales, and property management. Our training assists in developing the essential face to face customer service skills by way of relevant hands-on experiential learning.  A few goals of the Hospitality Training Foundations program are:

  • Acquire the customer service standards of the hospitality industry
  • Use and navigate property management systems found in a majority of venues
  • Learn from industry professionals as adjunct instructors
  • Develop face to face customer service skills and techniques
  • Be exposed onsite to a variety of employment options in the hospitality industry
  • Obtain relevant hands-on training experience to add to a resume

Telecommunication Foundations

The Telecommunication Foundations training program provides students with transferable skills for customer service positions that require phone-based, computer-based or other remote client service skills. This program generates superior customer service representatives who may apply for employment opportunities either in brick-and-mortar facilities or as a part of the growing demand for remote agent opportunities. The Telecommunication Foundations course can be taken in-house or online.  A few goals of the Telecommunication Foundations program are:

  • Obtain customer service skills via phone and software usage (CSR training)
  • Learn to use soft phones, multi-line phone systems, multiple screen navigation, and dual headset technology
  • Make and receive inbound/outbound calls
  • Gain targeted training of script delivery, adherence to script, timely response and minimum after call work
  • Acquire digital capture skills
  • Earn hands-on experience to add marketable skills to a resume
  • Be exposed onsite to a variety of employment options in the telecommunications industry

Online Course Offerings

As of spring 2017, online courses are now available for Business Fundamentals, Hospitality Training Foundations and Telecommunication Foundations for students who may benefit from studying at home.

  • Prospective students and counselors considering the on-line learning option should contact the National Statler Center Admissions Office to inquire if this is the correct choice.
  • The program, approved by the New York State Department of Education, is specifically designed to encompass our traditional course content.
  • Students who enroll in online learning are required to complete all coursework as outlined by the National Statler Center program and instructors.

Please click below to receive additional information about our online courses, as well as the technical requirements and frequently asked questions (FAQs) about distance learning.

  Distance  Learning Info

Technical Requirements


Counselors Seeking Information

Is your client ready for our program? The Statler Center program is the step directly prior to employment. We ask counselors to keep in mind that applicants should be motivated and have actively worked toward an employment outcome by engaging in activities such as (but not limited to) placement, job readiness, job clubs or education.

Applicants should have an “everyday” use of technology skills, and feel comfortable operating their specific assistive technology in order to ensure success. Over the years, our staff has recognized some critical areas for counselor and client to be mindful of so that the experience is maximized to their benefit and employment success. Please click below for further information about our program requirements, and “Best Practices.”

Counselor Info

Openings exist for each of the upcoming programs.

If you or someone you know would be able to take advantage of our unique training, NOW is a great time to contact us.  To request a current course catalog and pricing information please inquire here.


Licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department

Elizabeth Pierce Olmsted, MD Center for the Visually Impaired