Orientation and Mobility, commonly referred to as, “O&M” helps people with vision loss learn to navigate in their homes, workplaces, and neighborhoods in a safe and independent manner.
Orientation is the ability to make a “mental map” of where you are and where you want to go. Mobility is the act of actually getting there. For most of our lives, we apply these skills unconsciously whenever we have somewhere to go. But people with vision loss must both develop and learn to apply new orientation and mobility skills. These skills can include walking with a human guide, the use of a long white cane or dog guide, and techniques for applying memory and the other senses.
Orientation and Mobility Specialists teach the skills and concepts that people who are blind or legally blind need in order to travel independently and safely in the home, neighborhood, work environments and in the community.
They teach safe and independent indoor and outdoor travel skills, including the use of a cane, guide stick or guide dog.
Travel techniques will include:
- Methods for gathering information from your surroundings that may have been gathered previously by just looking around
- Methods for making your home safe
- Techniques for climbing stairs, avoiding falls and injuries, crossing streets, travel within your community, riding public transportation.