The Mission of the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children is to nurture the unique abilities of individuals with blindness and visual impairment through educational excellence and a lifetime of learning. We envision Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children as a global leader in education and advocacy for individuals with blindness and visual impairment.Located in the heart of Oakland, Pennsylvania, the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children is a one-of-a-kind educational facility committed to training visually impaired students with additional disabilities. The School also provides vital early intervention and outreach services to visually impaired students, with or without additional challenges, throughout western Pennsylvania.
Founded in 1887, no other agency in the western half of the Commonwealth is better equipped to care for and educate blind children with severe concomitant disabilities than the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children. Our unique facility and programming are tailored for boys and girls who require distinct educational and supportive services to realize their full potential.
As a private institution chartered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the School educates approximately 180 enrolled students annually from 242 school districts within western Pennsylvania. Students may enroll at age three and they can continue until 21.Our students benefit from the experience and expertise of staff who focus on helping students use their “residual” vision to the best of their ability. The curriculum emphasizes the acquisition of life skills. Certified teachers of the visually impaired and qualified therapists and health professionals collaborate on planning and implementing effective, individualized educational programs.The School accepts students as young as age two, though many enroll in later years. A student can remain until the end of the school year when he or she turns twenty-one. Seventy-five percent of those who enroll will complete their education at WPSBC.Residential facilities are available for those students who live in outlying districts. Some pre-school age students have the single disability of blindness and their early training will prepare them for eventually completing their education in a public school. All programs and services are available without charge to parents of enrolled students. The School receives an annual appropriation from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with additional funding from foundation and corporation grants, individual contributions, and the income from endowment and similar funds.In addition, the School serves hundreds of blind and visually impaired students that attend their local public schools within western Pennsylvania through our Outreach Programs. Collaborating with parents and educators, our Outreach Department provides a full menu of resources and services designed to help all visually impaired youngsters reach new levels of independence.