Office of Children and Family Services

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A Guide to Services for Individuals Who Are Blind Pub. 505

Adobe PDF Pub. 505 (111k) Also available in Spanish, Chinese, Russian, and Arabic.



The New York State Office of Children and Family Services' Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NYSCB) provides rehabilitation services to residents of New York State who are legally blind. These programs include:

  • Training for Employment
  • Business Enterprise Program
  • Programs for Older Adults
  • Programs for Children

Services are coordinated by counselors and children's consultants located in the regional offices listed on the back of this brochure.


Any New York State resident who is legally blind may be eligible for services provided by NYSCB. Legal blindness is defined as:

  • A visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better or stronger eye with best correction, or
  • A restricted field of vision of 20 degrees or less in the better or stronger eye.

If you are severely visually impaired but not legally blind you may qualify for job save services.

If you are unsure if you are legally blind or whether you would qualify for job save services, NYSCB can assist you in determining eligibility.


A vocational rehabilitation counselor can assist you in obtaining your first job, returning to work or keeping your present job.

A trained counselor will help to develop an employment plan which can include training and/or education. There will be ongoing opportunities to review and adjust the plan.

Once the goals of the plan are reached, NYSCB will assist with job placement.


Services are also available for those interested in learning skills for independent home management. If you are 55 years or older (or under 55 and not seeking employment), programs are available to teach the skills necessary to maintain independent living. This includes kitchen safety, management of various household tasks and traveling safely in and around the home. In addition, social concerns can be addressed in order to remain involved with family and friends.


U.S. citizens who are legally blind may be eligible to operate newsstands, snack bars and cafeterias in government buildings. Management skill training, stock loans and necessary equipment are provided. NYSCB also furnishes continuing support services to program participants.


A parent or guardian can apply for services on behalf of a child who is legally blind. Working with the family, a children's consultant helps develop a plan to meet the child's needs. The plan may include services provided in the home, the community and/or rehabilitation agencies. The children's consultant may provide counseling and guidance to the family, advocacy services, service coordination, educational consultation and vocational coordination.


If you are interested in any of the programs or services offered by NYSCB and would like to receive an application, or if you require assistance in completing an application, please call the regional office located closest to you, or call the toll-free number listed on the back panel.

Buffalo Office:

295 Main Street, Rm.590
Buffalo, NY 14203
(716) 847-3516
TTY: (716) 847-3500

A. Jamestown:

(716) 512-1121

B. Dundee:
(607) 243-7596

C. Rochester:
(585) 238-8110
TTY: (585) 238-8104

Syracuse Office:

The Atrium, Suite 105

100 South Salina St.
Syracuse, NY 13202
(315) 423-5417
TTY: (315) 423-5426

D. Elmira:
(607) 737-1007

E. Utica


F. Binghamton

(607) 721-8292

G. Tupper Lake:
(518) 359-7936

Albany Office**:

40 North Pearl 15th Floor
Albany, NY 12210
(518) 473-1675
TTY: (518) 473-1698

White Plains Office:

445 Hamilton Avenue, Room 503
White Plains, NY 10601
(914) 993-5370
TTY: (914) 993-5327

New Windsor

(845) 567-1054

New York City Office:

80 Maiden Lane, 23rd Floor
New York, NY 10038
(212) 825-5710
TTY: (212) 825-7367

Harlem Office:

Elderly Services & Independent Living Services
163 West 125th Street, Room 209
New York, NY 10027
(212) 961-4440

Hempstead Office:

50 Clinton Street, Suite 208
Hempstead, NY 11550
(516) 564-4311
TTY: (516) 564-4325

** Mailing Address for Albany Office

Capital View Office Park
52 Washington Street
Rensselaer, NY 12144

Visit our website at:

For child care, foster care and adoption information, call:
1-800-345-KIDS (5437)

To report child abuse and neglect, call:

For information on the Abandoned Infant Protection Act, call:
1-866-505-SAFE (7233)

For information about services for the blind, call:
1-866-871-6000 (TTY)

State of New York

Pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, the New York State Office of Children and Family Services will make this material available in large print or on audiotape upon request.

Pub. 505 (4/2010)