Orientation and Mobility in Puerto Rico The past, present and future of O&M in Puerto Rico. The players, the agencies and the consumers.
What got started, by whom and when • 1972 Department of Health and Social Services • Itinerant teachers who were blind with teacher aide escorts • NFB- a huge player with advocacy and dignity, 1977, 78, 79 • 1878 Deaf blind outpatient services, 25 kiddos • Maria Nevarez and the 2 ½ year O&M program • Dr. Santana, University of Puerto Rico and the first vision studies program
Current services Department of Education Vocational Rehabilitation Administration of the Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources Puerto Rico Blind Rehab Center Veterans Affairs Medical Center MIRADA (Movimientopara la Independencia y Rehabilitacino de Adulto de EdadAvanzada) MAVI (Movimientopara el Alcance de Vida Independiente) CEPVI (Centro Poncerno de Vida Independiente) NFB (National Federation of the Blind)
Overview of service providers and their training • Veterans Hospital • 3 COMS • 2 MS in O&M (1 is a COMS) • 1 Non-certified without degree • Vocational Rehab with the State • NFB and other advocacy groups • Department of Education • We need to find out how many are providing services • No MS, No COMS, No NOMCs
The next generation- O&M…… NOT Star Trek! • 1 just finished her MS in O&M, will be taking the certification exam for ACVREP soon • 4 others are currently enrolled in MS programs for O&M and should graduate in 2014 • This group will double the amount of COMS in Puerto Rico
Look into my crystal ball... It’s the future • O&M grant in Puerto Rico- a collaboration with the University of Puerto Rico and University of Massachusetts • University of Puerto Rico- International approach • DOE…… raising the bar!!!