Our programs for adults cover a wide range of opportunities, including employment training and on-the-job support, evaluations for low vision, access to adaptive aids and technology, and many opportunities for recreation and socialization.

Supported Employment
Cleveland Sight Center’s comprehensive employment services prepare working age adults to either enter the work force and work with sighted coworkers or return to a job after experiencing vision loss.

Blind or visually impaired residents of Northeast Ohio between the ages of 23 and 55 are especially fortunate because the Cleveland Sight Center is the only vision rehabilitation agency in the United States offering vocational services that have been rigorously measured and tested to confirm their effectiveness.  Our comprehensive services are provided from the Williams Career Development Center, which testifies to the potential of persons with disabling conditions. The Center was founded and is maintained through the generosity of Clyde E. Williams Jr., who graduated from law school and became a partner of a major Cleveland law firm, despite a severe visual impairment.

We call our services “evidence-based supported employment” and what sets our model of services apart from other programs is the decades of research behind it to evaluation effectiveness. 

We begin by identifying a person’s strengths, the skills that need development, and the specific occupations that reflect his or her interests. With that information, we can teach the skills that are required for the job our client prefers. For many the training includes mastering the computer: composing documents, sending email, and using the Internet. Several of Cleveland Sight Center’s finest instructors are totally blind or have severe vision impairments. If a client gets discouraged, there’s always someone nearby who has experienced the same frustration and can offer reassurance that the road will get easier.

Our vocational services don’t stop once a person accepts a job offer. If the requirements of a job change or problems arise that hamper performance, we address them with on-the-job technical assistance and coaching. For those who are receiving income or healthcare benefits from Social Security or the Veterans Administration, we offer expert advice on how to protect those benefits while they’re working. This level of support has no time-limits.

If you would like more information on “supported employment,” please call 216-791-8118 and ask for Joel Zureick. 

Call Centers
Providing expert service and advice to customers phoning a call center for help has become increasingly popular employment for persons with severe vision loss. We teach the specific combination of computer and telephone service skills that produce quality customer service and improve one’s ability to find employment. For each trainee we design an individual package of assistive technologies that will minimize the impact of their particular vision loss. All trainees receive four weeks of hands-on work experience, which means our graduates’ resumes include actual work experience that impress potential employers.

Our exceptional vocational services led InfoCision Management Corporation, one of the nation’s leading teleservices companies, to designate Cleveland Sight Center as a “preferred recruitment source.” Once hired by InfoCision, individuals may work from their home or in our own call center at Cleveland’s University Circle. At InfoCision, employees work in the company’s Volunteer Recruitment Division, which helps national non-profit organizations recruit volunteers for fundraising events. The company has agreed to employ twenty-five of our call center training graduates by September 30, 2011.

Candidates for call center training must type 30 words per minute with 95 percent accuracy, demonstrate proficiency with computers and assistive technology, and complete a vocational assessment that indicates customer service is an appropriate job. The skills to receive call center training can be learned in our “supported employment” program. For more information about call center training please visit this overview or phone 216-791-8118.

Adaptive Technology
The Storer Center was established in 1984 as one of the first of its kind - a place for Specialized Training, Rehabilitation, and Electronic Resources.  The Storer Center is the Cleveland Sight Center's assistive technology toolbox.  Assistive technology is the high-and-low tech hardward, software, and internet tools that people who are blind or who have low vision use to access information, achieve productivity, and increase their quality of life.

The Storer Center provides services to the following groups:
  • youth, working age adults, and seniors
  • businesses
  • schools
  • practitioners (vocational rehabilitation counselors, teachers, case managers, service providers)
  Services We Offer:
  • Evaluation - finding the right tools
  • Training and education
  • Sales - one stop shopping for assistive technology
  • Engineering - creating solutions
  • Computer lab - ten accessible workstations
  • Helpdesk - technical support by phone or e-mail
For more information, please call 216 791-8118 and ask for Jassen Tawil.

Low Vision Clinic
Our professional optometrists help employment candidates who have a visual impairment use their remaining vision as effectively as possible. In our specially equipped clinics, optometrists trained in low vision will evaluate a client's vision and prescribe specific assistive technology, sometime called “aids and appliances” that may include special glasses, various types of magnifiers, special lighting and other optical tools.

Coping with Vision Loss
An adult who loses all or most of his vision during his prime working years - either suddenly in an accident or gradually as the result of disease - often feels isolated, fearful, depressed, anxious, helpless and lonely. Some even feel shame or guilt. Family, friends and caregivers may be sympathetic but may need support and guidance in learning how to assist.  Our professional staff and trained volunteers do understand and can help!

If you know someone who has recently lost vision and who would like to talk to a person who shares that disabling condition, we can arrange an introduction and a phone call. If a person needs more than a phone conversation, we can add that person to a group of individuals who have recently lost sight and meet weekly with a professional who helps each member cope with their loss.

Self Help Groups
For many, the best source of empathy and practical advice is a local support group whose members include clients and volunteers who meet regularly to share experiences, insights and the special camaraderie of those who have lost vision. These self-help groups meet in apartment buildings, libraries, churches, temples, and senior centers.  Click here for a list of Self Help Groups.

Enjoying Life
Losing vision doesn’t mean you can’t play golf, bowl, bike, dance, enjoy the theater, join a book club or take the helm of a yacht and sail Lake Erie. Our recreation programs offer sheer enjoyment and pleasure, but they also help our clients become more comfortable with their vision loss, and more involved with their families, friends and community. Recreation empowers independent living and mobility skills, builds self-esteem and confidence. Click Recreation Programs and be surprised at what’s available. 

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