​Those individuals housed in the dormitory units are consumers referred by the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation who need residential services to participate in training. 

Residential Housing Goal and Definition

  • To provide housing for up to 27 consumers during their participation in programs at the Charles W. McDowell Center for the Blind.
  • To provide access to training offered by the McDowell Center’s instructional unit.
  • To enhance the independent living of individuals served at the McDowell Center.
  • To provide adjustment services to individuals housed in the dormitory.
  • To enhance the social skills of individuals served at the McDowell Center.

Residential Housing Features

The McDowell Center dormitory rooms are arranged to provide a feeling of privacy and comfort. Bed linens and towels are provided, or consumers are welcome to bring their own.  Each room has a phone that can be used for local calls only.  If consumers need to make long distance call and do not have a personal cell phone or calling card, they need to see the Consumer Services Coordinator. The residential area can accommodate up to 27 consumers in the dormitory, at double occupancy. Each room includes two beds, 2 dressers, a desk, 2 night stands, 2 closets and a bathroom.  

A laundry room in the dorm area provides two GE washers and dryers, which are available for use throughout a consumer’s stay. FirstBuild/GE donated these accessible machines, which provide speech output on the settings and controls. 
Residential services at the McDowell Center typically close for three weeks in July, a few weeks during the Christmas/New Year holiday and for long weekends around other holidays.  Classes are dismissed and consumers return home or make arrangements for their housing during this time.  During long periods of closure, consumers are asked to take all of their personal belongings with them so the rooms can be thoroughly cleaned.
The McDowell Center has computers with internet access and JAWS/Zoom Text software that consumers can use in the evening.  Wireless internet is also available. Consumers can bring their own devices to be able to access the internet and must follow procedures established for wireless access.   

Other Features

  • ​Dormitory staff are present twenty-four hours per day, seven days a week while consumers are housed at the McDowell Center. 
  • Exercise room with elliptical machine, bike, weights and other equipment.
  • Common sitting and recreation area.
  • Cafeteria and vending area.
  • State-of-the-art fire/smoke alarm and security system.


Nutritious meals are provided each day at no cost.  Arrangements for individuals with special dietary will be made.  Evening snack is also available upon request.  Vending machines are located in the cafeteria for drinks and snacks at consumer cost.


Cable television service is provided in the recreational area on large flat screen TV.  Various games and crafts are also available in the recreational area.  There are multiple exercise machines and weights as well as a wall mounted TV in the exercise room.  Outdoor recreational options include covered patio, basketball goal, grill, firepit and various recreational games.  Occasional outings are planned with staff support however, consumers are also encouraged to explore the community independently or with other consumers.

​ Charles W. McDowell Center
8412 Westport Road
Louisville, KY 40242
502-429-4460 - Phone
502-429-7101 - Fax
1-800-346-2115 - Toll Free (Only in KY)
1-866-761-0818 - Deaf Services (Video Phone)