Olmsted Center for Sight

General Information

Olmsted Center for Sight
1170 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14209
(716) 882 1025

Brief Description

Olmsted Center for Sight (OCS) is a non-profit organization under the leadership of Tammy Owen.

OCS has been a provider of quality services for individuals who are blind or visually impaired since 1907. Located in Buffalo, New York the organization offers vocational,educational and rehabilitation services to the visually impaired and/or physically disabled population.

Statler Center, a program of OCS developed in 1999, provides career training, placement and advancement service for individuals who are visually impaired and/or physically disabled. Statler Center has graduated more than 600 individuals from 35+ states as well as several other countries. Approximately 76% of Statler grads have successfully procured full or part time employment in hospitality or equivalent fields of customer service. Most earn wages significantly above the federal minimum, receive employee benefits and are eligible for career advancement.

The Vision Rehabilitation Department provides comprehensive programs and services to help maximize independence, safety and quality of life for individuals of all ages. Our Vision Clinic, with locations in Buffalo, Orchard Park and Tonawanda, offer specialized low vision evaluations to help maximize functional vision via the use of high-powered lenses, magnifiers, telescopes and lighting. Additional Rehabilitation services include: skills in daily living, safe/independent travel, counseling and linkages to resources.

Other Olmsted Center for Sight programs/services include:
• Early Education Program
• Employment/Placement
• Housing
• Assistive Technology
• Manufacturing
• Comprehensive Vision Rehabilitation Services
• Senior Vision Services
• Support Groups
• VA Switchboard Operations
• Youth Programs
• 211 WNY
• Distance Learning


Esther McDonald, Medical Administrative Assistant, visionclinic@olmstedcenter.org, 716 888 4556

Dan Genco, Director of Manufacturing, dgenco@olmstedcenter.org, 716 888 4678

Renee DiFlavio, Senior VP, Development, rdiflavio@olmstedcenter.org, 716 888 4627

Danielle Vacco, Director, Human Resources, dvacco@olmstedcenter.org, 716 882 4532

Kim Kuzara, Director of the Early Education Program, kkuzara@olmstedcenter.org, 716 836 7556

Sheri Shaw, Vice President of Vision Services, sshaw@olmstedcenter.org, 716 888 4578

Franca Trinica, Chief Financial Officer, ftrincia@olmstedcenter.org, 716 882 4530

Patricia Dibble, Senior Property Manager, pdibble@olmstedcenter.org, 716 888 4689

Kelly Dodd, Director of Contact Center Services, kdodd@olmstedcenter.org, 716 842 2608

Chaunci Hinton-Thomas, Director Statler Center, chinton@olmstedcenter.org, 716 888 4629

Allan Rinard, Director of IT & AT, arinard@olmstedcenter.org, 716 882 4644

Tamara Owen, President/CEO, towen@olmstedcenter.org, 716 882 1025

Rashada Stewart, Job Developer, rstewart@olmstedcenter.org, 716 888 4526

Brooke Kibrick, Public Relations & Communications Specialist & Event Coordinator, bkibrick@olmstedcenter.org, 716 888 4564

Tom Ayers, VP - Business Development, tayers@olmstedcenter.org, 716 888 4502

Elizabeth Schmidt, Admissions Coordinator, eschmidt@olmstedcenter.org, 716 888 4638

Services Offered

  • Computer Training/Assistive Technology
    • We offer entry level training for eligible candidates in computers as it relates to their education or vocation goals.

      Participants enrolled in our Statler Center will be instructed in Microsoft Office Suite including, Word, Outlook and Excel programs.

  • Counseling
    • Social casework provides adjustment to vision loss in both individual and group setting. As well as linkages to community resources for things like housing,finances,medical and transportation needs.

  • Employment/Job Training
    • Olmsted offers individual and group programs to assist clients in preparing to enter or to re-enter the workforce.

      Vocational evaluations can assist with identifying personal interests and abilities in order to identify a potential career path. Work readiness training is available in a small group setting to best prepare you for all aspects of the upcoming job hunt.

  • Information and Referral
    • Provides information about numerous local services for persons who are blind or visually impaired.

  • Community Outreach Programs
    • Olmsted Center provides outreach to better educate professional and the general public on programs and services related to vision impairment.

      We offer presentations,tours and educational opportunities with local organizations, businesses and senior services including but not limited to assisted living communities, senior centers and medical/community professionals.

  • Daily Living Skills/Independent Living Skills Training
    • Our Vision Rehabilitation Therapists(VRT) provide individualized instruction to help maximize safety and independence in our clients homes, workplace and/or educational environments.

      These daily living skills may include meal management,financial management, communications, home care and personal/family care.

  • Travel/Orientation and Mobility
    • The ability to get around, and to do so safely, whether indoors or out, is a key element of independence for individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

      Olmsted Center for Sight employs a team of professional orientation and mobility instructors who work one-on-one with clients to set and meet their mobility goals. Some may need to get around their own homes or workplaces; others may need or desire to travel outdoors in business or urban settings.

      Through a variety of methods such as use of residual vision, a sighted guide, long cane, guide dog or current technology, an individual with any degree of visual impairment can learn to travel with confidence.

  • Low Vision Services
    • If you or someone you know is experiencing vision impairment due to Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy, Glaucoma, stroke or sudden trauma, or if pharmaceuticals, surgery or lenses are no longer beneficial, the low vision clinic within the Olmsted Center for Sight may be able to assist in maximizing remaining vision, resulting in increased independence and/or quality of life.

      Optical devices including special lenses, magnifiers, telescopes and assistive technology are often found to be beneficial in enhancing one’s remaining vision.

      Living with low vision doesn’t have to mean a diminished quality of life. We teach you how to make the best use of your remaining sight so you can accomplish nearly everything you did before vision loss–just in a different way.

      A Comprehensive Vision Evaluation is provided by the Center’s Certified Low Vision Optometrist to assess the patient’s functional/remaining sight.

      We accept most major insurance plans including Medicare and Medicaid.

  • Housing Services
    • Housing options available for people with visual impairments and/or physically disabilities. There are six buildings located in Erie and Niagara Counties. Each complex has 24 units with a mix of one- and two-bedroom units that are all accessible.

  • Education Services
    • The National Statler Center program is a New York State Department of Education licensed private business school which was established by Olmsted Center to meet the needs of blind and visually impaired clients seeking career based skill training and competitive wage employment. Individuals enroll with Statler to seek our expertise in the areas of Business Fundamentals, Customer Service Hospitality and Customer Service Telecommunications training. Our technical training is regarded as the gold standard of services for those who are visually impaired and seeking employment based skills. The classrooms are equipped to meet individual consumer needs whether in AT or other accommodations. We pride ourselves on serving the needs of a diverse group of learners in an integrated classroom setting which mirrors a modern day workplace. The National Statler center has launched its Distance Learning Program and now offers both In-House and On-Line courses with a hybrid presentation- meaning there is a small on-site requirement. Our placement team at Statler Center works diligently to assist you in landing permanent competitive employment. At this time the placement rate nationally for our graduates is 76% after ninety days employment in minimum wage or above wage positions.