The vision of the McDowell Center is to provide high quality services and resources to Kentuckians who are blind or visually impaired in order to prepare them for employment, economic self-sufficiency and independence with complete integration into society.
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)
• Frequently Asked Questions about the Center
• Directions to the Center and Tours
• Consumer Guide
• Center Brochure
The McDowell Center is named for Charles W. McDowell, a former leader of the Office for the Blind and champion for services to blind and visually impaired Kentuckians. The McDowell Center is a 44,000 square foot facility located in Northeast Jefferson County, and includes a dormitory wing, classrooms, computer lab, cafeteria, auditorium, and recreation and exercise areas. The McDowell Center was formally part of the Office of the Blind, however in October 2018 the Office of the Blind merged with Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) and now the McDowell Center is part of OVR’s Blind Services Division.
The McDowell Center for the Blind is committed to maintaining an environment that is safe and contributes to individuals’ ability to learn, develop positive attitudes about blindness, and grow personally. The training opportunities at the McDowell Center are designed to help individuals reach their own career and personal goals.
Consumers may live in the dormitory or can attend as a “day student” and commute to the McDowell Center scheduled for classes. The dormitory is staffed with Residential Aides from 4pm-8am weekdays as well as 24 hours on the weekends. Residential Aides assist consumers with various tasks as needed, and ensure safety for consumers and facility. Transportation services may be available on an as-needed basis.
Important Notice in Regards to Tobacco
No tobacco products and e-cigarettes are allowed in state owned and leased buildings, vehicles, and most state property. As of November 20, 2014, all consumers, staff members, and visitors will not be allowed to use tobacco products in the main/auxiliary buildings, on campus grounds (including parking lots), or while riding in Center vehicles. Smoking cessation is highly encouraged and supported. A new website, Tobacco Free Kentucky (https:\\tobacco-free.ky.gov) has been created to support the initiative. The website offers answers to frequently asked questions and provides resources for quitting.
Service animals, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, are welcome at the McDowell Center. Service animals should display appropriate identification (e.g. vest, harness, etc.). Domesticated pets are not allowed at the McDowell Center.