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The Role of Orientation and Mobility inGross Motor Development and Sensory Integrationin Students Who are Visually Impaired
BESB, Department of Children’s Services
Related Services Unit
Orientation and Mobility Group
Orientation and Mobility, or O&M, is made up of two pieces.
The “Orientation” piece is knowing where you are, where you want to go, and how to get to there.
The “Mobility” piece is getting to where you want to go safely and as independently as possible.
Let them know you are there,
Keep “in touch”,
Expose them to stimuli,
Encourage their curiosity,
Get ‘em going,
Keep ‘em safe,
Refine their techniques,
Expand their knowledge,
Expose them to real world situations,
Teach them to make good judgments and choices,
Teach them to be problem solvers.
Many variables will affect the type and duration of training in orientation and mobility. The most significant factors will be age of onset, severity of vision loss, and the presence and type of additional disabilities.
Two enormous factors affecting the rate of acquisition of skills and ultimately the level of independence are, family involvement and Team involvement.
Unintentional, counterproductive, adaptive techniques:
What is straight?
White cane (long cane) or pre-cane
Crutches, Walker, Wheelchair, Motorized device
1. Solid, level surfaces
2. Uneven surfaces (e.g. grass and sand)
3. Changes in elevation
4. Ramps, driveways, and inclines
5. Stairs (ascending and descending)
Levels of Independence
1. Age appropriate activities
2. OMS pulling back as much as possible to allow individual to function on their own
1. Tipping board, air disc, foam roll
2. Lunch tray with tennis ball
3. Postural lessons
4. Going where your nose takes you
Developing trust and rapport for facing the fear in some activities
Support from family, peers, and the Team
Does everyone want the same outcome?