What Do O&M Specialists Do?

The ability to move independently, safely and with confidence through the environment is an essential element in human development and independence for all people. Orientation and Mobility (O&M) specialists teach children and adults who have visual impairments the specific orientation skills used to find one's way in the environment and the mobility skills needed to travel safely and efficiently at home, school, work, and in the community.

Instruction is usually provided one-on-one and can include skills such as how to use a long cane, the operation of low vision devices and electronic travel aids when appropriate, how to orient oneself to new environments, navigate public transportation systems, how to cross streets safely, and traveling by using hearing, remaining vision, and other senses.

In addition, O&M Specialists help children to develop fundamental skills such as fine and gross motor skills, concept development and problem solving skills. Adult clients can also benefit from an O&M specialist evaluating their current use of travel-related skills, discussing their future goals, and helping them select a program of instruction that will allow them to reach their greatest travel potential.