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Olmsted Center for Sight - AFB Directory Profile

General Information

Olmsted Center for Sight
1170 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14209
(716) 882-1025 (Local)
(716) 882-5577 (Fax)

Brief Description

Olmsted Center is a non-profit organization under the guidance of Tammy Owen and Milissa Acquard. Olmsted Assistive Technology Services (known internally as OATS) is a program of Olmsted Center.

Olmsted Center has been a provider of quality services for individuals who are blind or visually impaired since 1907. Located in midtown Buffalo, New York, the organization offers many services to the visually impaired and/or physically disabled population throughout the eight counties in Western New York.

Statler Center, a program of Olmsted Center 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 360 individuals from 30+ states as well as several other countries. Approximately 82 percent 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 Low Vision Rehabilitation Clinic at Olmsted Center provides vision rehab services including a physiatrist, nurse practitioner and occupational therapist in addition to the optometric, rehabilitation teaching, social work and orientation and mobility instruction. Treatment will address not only vision loss but other physical, cognitive and emotional issues which may relate to visual impairment.

In 2011, Central Referral Services, Inc. (CRS), administrator of 211 WNY, merged into Olmsted Center. Since 1985, CRS has given individuals free and confidential referrals to Western New York health and human service providers. In 2007, CRS’s information and referral service became known as 211 WNY, and acts as the regional administrator of the national 211 program. 211WNY links 50,000 - 55,000 customers a year to more than 3,000 organizations and over 12,000 services. The vision of 211WNY is to provide all individuals and organizations with human service information delivered in a manner which meets personal and collective needs.

Other Olmsted Center programs/services include:
• Early Education Program
• Employment/Placement
• Guild Care
• Housing
• Manufacturing & Document Shredding
• Rehabilitation, Social Casework, Orientation & Mobility
• Senior Vision Services
• VA Switchboard Operations
• Regional Action Phone (subsidiary company)

Hours of operation: Mon.-Fri. 8:00 AM-4:30 PM (variable for client needs)
Number of staff: 160
Geographic area served: Primarily the eight counties of Western New York; job training programs via Statler Center reach an international audience; assistive technology services available in all of New York State.


700 Sweethome Road
Amherst, NY 14226


Milissa Acquard, COO/CFO, (716) 882-1025,
Liz Aebischer, Vision Clinic Office Manager, (716) 888-4556
Tom Constantine, VP of Administration & Finance, (716) 882-1025,
Renee DiFlavio, Senior VP, Development, (716) 888-4627,
Teresa Doermer, Director, Preschool Services, (716) 836-7556,
Dan Genco, Director of Manufacturing, (716) 888-4678,
Jeffrey Hirschfelt, VP Academic Services & Workforce Development, (716) 888-4631,
Michael Jackson, Director of Properties, (716) 888-4506,
Krystle Januale, Job Developer,
George Lama, Information & Assistive Technology Manager, (716) 882-1025,
Sarah Marche, Director, Human Resources, (716) 882-1025,
Tamara Owen, President/CEO, (716) 882-1025
Hope Santonocito, Director of Contact Center Services, (716) 842-2630,
Sheri Shaw, Director, Vision Services, (716) 888-4578,

Services Offered

Services for Adults

  • Assistive Products
    • Distributes adaptive nonoptical devices (braille, large print, talking equipment, books, games). Products for sale on site.
  • Community Outreach Programs
    • Operates in-house agency-wide outreach program.
  • Computer Training/Assistive Technology
    • Offers computer training.
  • Counseling
    • Individual and group counseling offered through clinical licensed Social Caseworker
  • Daily Living Skills/Independent Living Skills Training
    • Provides Rehabilitation Teaching, Orientaion and Mobility Instruction, Social Casework and clinical services including low vision, occupational therapy, diabetes education and adaptive training with diabetic equipment and rehabilitation medicine through our Physiatrist
  • Employment/Job Training
    • Job readiness and placement services offered through the rehabilitation deptartment. Training and placement services in the hospitality field all over the United States through affiliated National Statler Center for Careers in Hospitality Service, a subsidiary of the Olmsted Center and is devoted to hospitality employment training. One of the first projects of its kind, Statler Center provides physically disabled, blind, or visually impaired individuals with the right tools for successful careers in this rapidly growing industry.

      The National Statler Center has teamed with the Lighthouse of Central Florida to train and employ blind and disabled workers for the hospitality industry. The program is designed to prepare visually impaired individuals for careers in the hospitality/tourism and customer service industries.
  • Housing Services
    • Affordable housing options available for tenants with visual impairments and/or physically different abilities and incomes in the Buffalo Metro area. Each unit has been specifically designed to offer truly exceptional quality of life for each resident. Each complex has 24 units with a mix of one- and two-bedroom units that are all wheelchair accessible.
  • In-Home Services
    • Provides extensive senior services to residents of Erie County age 60 or over, including nursing, home assessment, outreach, information and referral.
  • Information and Referral
    • Provides information about numerous local services for persons who are blind or visually impaired.
  • Low Vision Services
    • You can find the help you need at Olmsted Center's Vision Rehabilitation Clinic. We address not only vision loss but other physical, cognitive and emotional issues related to vision impairment. You can meet with a Physiatrist who will document your history, listen to your concerns, and create a plan of care just for you using our entire team of specialists. You may begin with our Certified Low Vision Optometrist, who will give you a comprehensive eye exam to assess your remaining sight. Then you will receive a demonstration followed by prescription of the right optical devices to maximize your sight and make your daily life easier. Our nurse practitioner will help you adjust to your new vision devices and make sure they’re working well for you. We also may meet with you to talk about some of the other health issues you’re experiencing that relate to your vision loss. Perhaps your diabetes is affecting your vision and you could use some information in monitoring and controlling it. At Olmsted Center's Vision Rehabilitation Clinic, we look at medicine from a vision perspective. Whatever assistance you need, we’re ready to create a plan to deliver it. Please give us a call for more information at 716-882-1025.
  • Services for Seniors
    • Seniors are served through a variety of programs on site at the Vision Rehabilitation Clinic providing Rehabilitation Medicine from a Vision Perspective. The Physiatrist, Low Vision Optometrist, Nurse Practioner, Occupational Therapist and Social case worker provide services to address all of vision rehabilitaive needs. Follow-up in client's home is done to help accomplish them their goals and keep them independent.
  • Travel/Orientation and Mobility
    • Provides orientation and mobility training.

Services for Children

  • Assessment
    • Early Intervention Core Evaluations, CPSE initial evaluations, supplemental evaluations, and full education and vision assessments provided in the preschool program.
  • Early Intervention/Infant Services
    • Community based team in place for early intervention services.
  • Education Services
    • The Olmsted Early Education Program offers services in integrated and center-based classrooms as well as in the community.
  • Employment/Job Training
    • The Statler Center offers specialized career training for visually impaired or physically disabled adults.
  • Preschool Programs
    • Olmsted Center's Visually Impaired Preschool is a unique program for children with vision impairments and other disabilities. We offer services in our integrated and center-based classrooms as well as in the community.
  • Support for Parents
    • Preschool program has an on-site nursing care and parent group.
  • Travel/Orientation and Mobility
    • Orientation and mobility training provided in the preschool.

Ongoing Events/Programs

Visually Impaired Preschool

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