Olmsted Center for sight vocational Training

See our team in action and hear from students who have gone through our vocational programs!

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

Elizabeth Schmidt



(716) 888-4638

Karla Manzella



(716) 888-4526



“From the bottom of my heart, thank you and the entire staff. I have learned so much from this course, and I appreciate it all so very much! Here’s to the next step!!!”


Palmdale, CA

“Navigating life after vision loss hasn’t always been easy. Yet, programs like Olmsted’s give those of us with disabilities the opportunities we need to see beyond our perceived limitations and to readily succeed. The training helped change my life.”


Middletown, NY

Get To Know UsInitiative:

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 Olmsted 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 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 your options:

Below are offered at no cost or commitment — just a chance to fully explore your options:

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

To schedule a “Get To Know Us” appointment, please contact

Karla Manzella

Admissions Coordinator

716.888.4526 or kmanzella@olmstedcenter.org

We look forward to working with you!


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.


Founded in 1907, the Olmsted Center for Sight has long served the needs of blind and visually impaired persons with the goal of supporting their highest level of independence. In 1999, OCS established a vocational training program dedicated to serving a national population of blind and visually impaired persons seeking employment-focused training and placement.

This program (formerly named the Statler Center) is celebrating its twentieth anniversary! To celebrate this milestone, OCS has revitalized our courses and admissions processes to further meet the needs of participants and workforce demands to create a winning combination.

In 2017, OCS introduced a robust online training platform to complement our onsite programs. In 2019, the online programs were re-designed to be 100% remote instruction opportunities with flexible/rolling admission start dates.

In addition to offering rolling admissions throughout the year, OCS has added curriculums approved by the New York State Office of Child and Family Services-Commission for the Blind and New York State Education Department.

Focusing on developing the technical skills of participants while addressing occupational demands and workforce trends, OCS unveils the following programs as we enter our third decade of vocational training skills programs.

Vocational Training — Courses 

Professional Career Development

Customer Service Skills

Computer Skills Reinforcement

Computer Usage and Software Basics

Hospitality and Customer Service Skills Training

Office Software and Communication Skills


General Transcription Pilot*

Online Course Offerings

  • Prospective students and counselors considering the on-line learning option should contact the 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 Olmsted 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 Olmsted 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.

Apply Online

Inquire Online