Orientation and Mobility
Orientation and Mobility (O&M) is possibly one of the youngest specialist professions we have at school, with its origin in the post World War Two rehabilitation of blinded soldiers. Since these times it has grown into an essential profession specialising in supporting people who have vision impairments to: cope with knowing where they are in any given situation (Orientation); and to move safely and confidently in and about their social environments (Mobility).
Sounds simple doesn’t it, but just think about how long it takes for your average toddler to learn to walk, run, skip and jump. Then add in a vision impairment and you begin to get a picture of how difficult and important this field is. Here at school of course our students have the additional challenge of overcoming sensory, processing and/or learning difficulties. We are very fortunate to have an exceptional specialist working on our team who has a wealth of proven knowledge, expertise and capability in supporting students who have special needs and up skilling staff to implement the programmes she designs to maximise all students orientation capability and mobility – both at school and at home.
These specialist programmes will include:
Spatial and Body Awareness
Self Protective skills
Long Cane Instruction
The O&M specialist works hand in hand with teachers, teacher aides and other therapists to assess, design programmes and advise on adaptations that need to be made to individual student’s opportunities and learning environments and in order to maximise their independence and skill acquisition. Like all clinical programmes, some may only be delivered by the specialist on a one to one basis but many will be taught on a daily basis by teachers and support staff following appropriate training and guidance.