ORIENTATION & MOBILITY (O&M)
By: Carmen Willings
It is critical for students with visual impairments to learn to move safely, efficiently and as independently as possible through all environments. One of the primary areas that the Orientation & Mobility (O&M) will focus on is alternatives to using sight for safe and independent travel purposes. The student will be taught trailing techniques, search patterns, sighted guide techniques, use of vision for travel and orientation, use of the long cane, and independent travel in a variety of environments. Students are typically taught to use a long cane and techniques for using any remaining vision that they may have such as the use of optical devices (telescopes or monoculars). The student needs to learn how to move safely in both familiar and unfamiliar environments. The O&M will assist the student in the following areas.
A student may at times move throughout their environment using a guide. Using proper guide techniques is important for the student to learn, but it is also important for those who will be with the student. This page provides guidelines in proper guide techniques.
It’s essential to teach students who are blind or visually impaired to not only navigate safely from one location to another, but know where they are. This page provides suggestions for helping to orient a student to their environment. It also provides suggestions for encouraging environmental awareness and exploration
Orientation and Mobility (O&M) is a critical area for students with visual impairments as it is essential for the student to learn to move safely and efficiently and as independently as possible through all environments. The O&M will teach the student to move safely and efficiently through their environment.
Students who are blind or visually impaired and will be independent travelers will need to learn strategies for accessing transportation, planning a route, and traveling.This page provides strategies and suggestions in teaching students skills in traveling independently.
Dog guides are assistance dogs trained to lead people who are blind or visually impaired. Dog guides can be helpful for many, but not appropriate for everyone. The person who uses the dog guide must have excellent orientation and mobility skills. This page provides information on who is a good candidate for a dog guide and the skills needed.
This page contains a list and description of resource books specific to instructing students in Orientation & Mobility.
Help students relate transition to time of day and how long the activity will be. Identify time on clock and/or set timer to denote time. Talk to the student before touching or lifting/moving him/her to transition. This will help the student anticipate change. Before you touch a student with a visual impairment, make sure he is aware of your presence. Try not to surprise the student by poking or sudden loud talking. This may frighten or startle him/her. For students that are not mobile, provide the student with warnings prior to transfers. Address the student by name, letting them know that they are to be “part of the action.” Even though words may not be understood, the sounds and your tone establish a relationship.
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TVI's Guide to Teaching the ECC: An Activities Based Curriculum for Teaching Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired
Written specifically for fellow itinerant Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI’s), this book consists of over 400 activities and topic areas of discussion for instructing students in the Expanded Core Curriculum. The activities are age-neutral and multi-sensory and therefore can meet the needs of the broad range of students served on an itinerant caseload serving. The activities can be individualized to the students various learning modalities and scaffold in order to challenge students but ensure success. Select those activities that align with the student’s learning objects based on the student’s unique visual needs and academic and developmental level.
The core activities listed in the Activity section can be adapted to each thematic unit. These include:
In addition to the core activity areas, each of the 32 Thematic Units incorporates additional unique ECC concepts and skills providing you with a years’ worth of activities. These units are cyclical and can be used repeatedly to help students build on prior knowledge and develop a deeper understanding of concepts. Each unit includes suggestions for activity adaptation associated with the unit. These include lists of objects, possible community based experiences, environmental print, poems, children & young reader books, children's songs, pop culture songs, movies, and websites.
Unique Concepts within the Units include:
Although the intended audience of this resource is fellow Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments, special education teachers may find these activities beneficial to the students in their classrooms as the activities are multisensory and include life skills and concepts needed by all students. This resource, however, is not intended to take the place of a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI). Readers are advised to consult their own TVI’s regarding instruction in the ECC and the unique visual needs of the student’s served in their programs.
Note: This curriculum is a digital pdf download. Once you make your purchase you will be directed to an order confirmation page where you will find the download link. This download will also be included on the receipt sent to the email address you provide. The pdf download can be found directly under the order number.
Each download is intended for single instructor use per copyright. Thank you for helping me preserve the content and not distributing copies to third parties.
Digital pdf download: 364 pages (11 pt font)
Publisher: Teaching Students with Visual Impairments
Author: Carmen Willings