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What is the role of the Orientation and Mobility Specialist?

Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists (COMS) provide sequential instruction to individuals with visual impairment the life span to present strategies and techniques for safe movement within their environments.
Some of the areas of expertise for an O&M Specialist includes... 
  1. Conduct O&M assessments and designing individualized programs for each individuals needs
  2. Provide instruction in O&M skills in a variety of environments such as school, community and work
  3. Familiarize clients to new environments          
  4. Teach the use of a cane, adaptive mobility device or electronic travel devices
  5. Consult with and provide in-service training to  staff, peers, and other team members 
  6. Informally review client progress
  7. Create long-term goals and short-term objectives 

Other concepts that may be part of O&M instruction may include......

Concept Development 
  • Body parts
  • Laterality 
  • Directionality
  • Quantative concepts
  • Following directions 
Campus/Work Environments 
  • Human guide techniques
  • Upper and lower protective techniques 
  • Locating dropped objects 
  • Seach patterns
  • Asending and descending Stairs
Distance Low Vision Devices
  • Instructional use of low devices such as a monocular 
  • Low vision 
  • Tracking and scanning skills 
Spatial Awareness
  • Route Planning
  • Execution of routes
  • Squaring-off
Cane Techniques 
  • Soliciting and decling assistance
  • Strategies for indoor and outdoor environments 
Basic Skills
  • Compass Directions 
  • Room Familarization
Residential Environments 
  • Identification of Traffic Patterns and intersections  
  • Strategies for crossing streets 
  • Problem solving
Small and Large Business Districts 
  • Environmental Analysis 
  • Strategies for utlizing Accessible Pedestrian Signals 
  • Strategies for travel in small and large business
    districts and mall travel
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