Orientation & Mobility (Travel Skills)
The goal of the Orientation and Mobility Program is to instruct consumers in safe, efficient, and independent travel. Clients learn how to move about in different environments by employing a variety of adaptive techniques in conjunction with any remaining sight or hearing.
Following a comprehensive assessment, an individualized plan is designed with safety as the priority. Training may employ standard procedures used for training blind individuals how to navigate, but require specific adaptations for individuals with hearing as well as vision loss. For example, due to the inability to localize sound, a client who is deaf-blind learning cane travel may need to hold up a card soliciting assistance at a street crossing.
A certified instructor provides orientation and mobility training in such areas as:
- Strategies for using remaining vision, hearing, and other senses
- Safe guide techniques (skills for a sighted person accompanying someone who is blind)
- Orientation to the Center, home, and community
- Use of a white cane for identification and independent travel
- Route planning
- Bus travel
- Use of assistive devices such as compass and global positioning equipment
- Preparatory training required by dog guide schools and follow-up reinforcement