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Charles W. McDowell Center for the Blind

Charles W. McDowell Center for the Blind

The McDowell Center for the Blind is excited to offer the following engagement opportunities to any one interested in joining us.  All of the following are conducted via zoom – please email​ to receive link.

  • Living Blind will be every Tuesday and Thursday at 7pm and focus on topics for all consumers.
  • Working Blind will be changing to the second and fourth Wednesday of the month, at 2pm beginning 03/31/2021.  It will continue to focus on work related topics for consumers who are currently working or working towards employment.​
  • Golden Living will be offered on Friday at 11am and focus on topics for consumers who have reached the golden years.
  • Anything and Everything will occur on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 2pm.  January’s topic will be on budgeting and financial resources.
  • Leisure Hour with Ryan and Crystal will be offered every Monday at 7pm and focus on various leisure activities.​

Given the current pandemic and the increase in COVID -19 cases in the state, OVR will reevaluate Center operations for both Carl D. Perkins and the Charles W. McDowell Center for the Blind in 2021.  OVR is committed to protecting the health and well-being of our staff and the individuals we serve.  At this time both Centers are offering services remotely to meet the needs of individuals. If you have made the decision not to postpone your pursuit of employment or increasing your independent living skills, please consider taking advantage of all of our services and classes​​ which are now offered remotely, both over the phone and over Zoom.​

 About Us 

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)

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:\\ has been created to support the initiative.  The website offers answers to frequently asked questions and provides resources for quitting.

Service Animals

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.