Cal State L.A. Prepares Fulbright Scholar to Teach Travel Skills to Korea's Blind Population
Los Angeles, CA - November 23, 1998 - Addressing the critical shortage of specialized services for blind individuals in Korea, Cal State L. A.'s Orientation and Mobility Specialist Training Program is hosting Hoyeon Kim, a Fulbright Scholar from Dankook University in Seoul, Korea, in a one-year training program. Within the Division of Special Education, this master's degree and credential program prepares specialists to teach independent movement and travel skills to children and adults who are blind or visually impaired.
According to Ms. Kim, there are approximately 250,000 people to date in Korea who are legally blind, and only one orientation and mobility specialist who is qualified to teach independent movement and travel skills. In an effort to increase awareness and sensitivity to the needs of individuals with visual impairments, Kim served as a lecturer and researcher at Dankook University for five years. Recognizing that her country's needs were greater than her individual efforts could address, Kim left her husband and parents behind in Korea to travel across the world for training at Cal State L.A.
Upon return to Korea after her training, Kim's ultimate goals are threefold: to prepare additional specialists in orientation and mobility; to establish a nonprofit foundation to provide independent travel training to visually impaired persons; and to initiate a research institute at Dankook University focusing upon the needs of individuals who are blind and visually impaired.
The Orientation and Mobility Specialist Training Program at Cal State L.A. is currently recruiting candidates with a bachelor's degree who have a strong desire and demonstrated ability to work with people. Federal grants provide living stipends, full registration, and books to qualified candidates.
For more information, contact Diane Fazzi, associate professor and program coordinator, or Patricia Montes de Oca, recruitment coordinator, at (323) 343-4411.