Orientation & Mobility

Orientation is to know where one is in space. It is the ability to use one’s senses to understand current location in their environment at any given time. Mobility is the ability to travel from point A to B. Essentially, it is the ability to move from one place to another. An Orientation & Mobility (O&M) Specialist teaches the concepts, skills, and techniques necessary for a person, with a visual impairment, to travel safely through the environment.

IMG_4287EditRGBKBA’s O&M Specialist works with individuals to attain their mobility goals. This may be traveling throughout their home, walking outside to get their mail, taking a walk around the block, or getting on a bus and going to work. It may include walking with a walker, cane, using a monocular for distance viewing, providing sun lens for glare protection, or protective techniques. It may be working at their home, school, or out in the community, and may include learning how to cross streets, using public transportation, climbing steps, walking at the mall, or maneuvering through the local grocery store. Frequently, it includes re-enforcement of skills with employers, teachers, or family members.

We have contracts with several schools in Mercer, Beaver, and Mahoning (Ohio) counties.  We provide O&M lessons to school-aged children from elementary through high school.  We see the children on a weekly, monthly, or consult basis, depending on their current needs. We work closely with the individual school districts to address the needs of each visually impaired child. All lessons are school-based, and IEP goals are set up together with the staff, parents, and O&M Specialist.

Our adult clients are referred to us from a variety of sources including family members, assisted living staff, work situations, or themselves. After an initial evaluation, we assess their needs and work together to create a realistic plan to address their current and long-term goals. Adult training takes place at their home, workplace, on public transportation, or in their local community setting.

For more information about the Orientation & Mobility services offered at KBA, please contact O&M Specialist Luann Cade at 724-347-5501 ext. 236 or luann@keystoneblind.org.