Description of Orientation and Mobility
Orientation and Mobility services are primarily directed towards assisting blind and visually impaired individuals to achieve independent movement within home, school, work, and community settings. In the 1970's, Orientation and Mobility Specialists expanded services to include visually impaired children and youth in the public schools and individuals who have low vision. Orientation and Mobility Specialists today provide instruction to blind and visually impaired individuals of all ages, including individuals with multiple disabilities and other health impairments.
Orientation and Mobility Specialists provide direct instruction and consultation for young blind and visually impaired children (infants, toddlers, and preschoolers) and their families. Early Orientation and Mobility intervention may emphasize the following areas: sensory awareness, concept development, environmental exploration, and safe and efficient movement. In the public schools, Orientation and Mobility Specialists provide instruction in basic skills and protective techniques, cane travel, use of low vision devices, visual efficiency training, intersection analysis and safe street crossings, use of public transportation, and shopping skills. Adults who are blind and visually impaired receive training in similar areas and are taught to travel safely and efficiently in residential, rural, and urban environments as appropriate.