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Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children: Serving the Visually Impaired through History and Far into the Future


Since it’s founding in 1887, the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children has strived to provide individuals with visual impairment every opportunity to succeed. Our commitment to enhancing the lives of our boys and girls is unparalleled, as we join them on their journey from early intervention through adulthood.

Rooted in tradition, WPSBC looks to the future. Every day educators and therapists are seeking new and innovative ways to care for our special students. Dr. Heidi Ondek, our Executive Director and Superintendent notes “Many things have changed throughout the School’s history, but one constant has remained the same: our dedication to provide the very best educational opportunities for students with visual impairment. This commitment is unwavering.”

Classrooms never have more than seven students, guaranteeing individualized services each day. The classroom teams include a certified teacher of the visually impaired, behavior specialist, occupational therapist, orientation and mobility specialist, physical therapist, para-educator, registered nurse, and speech language therapist. It is important that we create this nurturing environment so our students are supported to reach their potential.

For students with disabilities, the school experience is critically important. WPSBC dedicates itself on being a multifaceted organization that provides our students with every opportunity to succeed. A typical week for students includes horticulture classes for sensory activities with our Horticulture Therapist, Adapted Physical Education and Adapted Aquatics, apartment class to practice life skills, and music, art and special performances on campus allowing our students to engage in the arts.

Through new techniques such as STEM learning, students can engage in hands on learning like never before. Whether learning about geography with topographic maps, or hydroponics with equipment uniquely adapted just for them.

WPSBC’s Oakland campus is a safe heaven for approximately 180 students who rely on these comprehensive services. Hundreds of other students throughout 33 counties in western Pennsylvania also rely on WPSBC to assist them through our Outreach Programs.

For more information, visit www.wpsbc.org.

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