and Mobility: The Forgotten Art of Traveling
is Orientation and Mobility? Why
is it considered a form of traveling?
Who uses this form of travel? and What benefit does it have to
those that use it?
is defined as the knowledge of oneís distance and direction relative to
things observed or remembered in the surroundings and keeping track of
these spatial relationships as they change during locomotion.
Basically when you are driving somewhere you may need a map to tell
you where to go. If you
donít know where you are going, you will not be able to get there.
Your orientation is your map of where you need to go to reach your
is defined as the act or ability to move from oneís present position to
oneís desired position in another part of the environment safely,
gracefully, and comfortably. Which
can basically be understood as your car.
It takes you from one destination to another safely and in a
graceful manner. When you put
Orientation and Mobility together you create a sense of totality when
accomplishing the task of getting to a new location from your present one.
Using your mobility (car) and your orientation (maps) together
allows you to reach the goals of traveling to various destinations.
One cannot be achieved without the other.
persons who are blind or visually Impaired, this concept of orientation
and mobility becomes there primary method of being able to travel.
Sighted people take for granted that they can jump in their car and
use it to take them exactly where they want to go and if need be they can
search around a certain area for a street name or address they are looking
for. Persons who are blind or
visually impaired do not have this luxury at their disposal at all times
so they need to learn alternative methods and skills to function in the
environment safely, gracefully, and most importantly, they need to do it
practice of orientation and mobility allows a certified professional,
Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Specialist, to teach persons who are
blind or visually impaired various skills pertaining to their independent
travel. Some of the things
taught include use of the long white cane, skills to use with dog guides,
sighted guide techniques, various types of street crossings, finding
addresses, and other skills which will allow them to find their existing
place in the environment and move to their desired destination.
Various already existing objects or concepts in the environment can
become something so significant in a route for a blind or visually
impaired person once it is pointed out to them and they learn how to look
for it. By learning
this level of skills it enables blind or visually impaired persons to gain
a sense of independence and a sense of equality.
They strive to learn these skills so they can live their life in a
manner they wish to live it in. Getting
to work, going to the grocery store, or shopping at the mall on a Saturday
are all things that sighted persons do regularly, and with a good positive
attitude and a O&M Specialist these are things a blind or visually
impaired can be taken for granted as well.
definitions were derived from Foundations of Orientation and Mobility by,
Blasch, Weiner, and Welsh.
you have any questions please feel free to call Blindness Support Services
at (909) 341-8025. Or, e-mail the Orientation and Mobility
Department at BSSmobile@aol.com
are blind or visually impaired and feel trapped at home or too dependent
on your family and friends look into Orientation and Mobility classes.
The skills taught will help you to gain a level of independence
that will allow you to feel free and in charge of your own life!
Travel Training program is a program to teach blind/visually impaired and
the disabled how to be independent. By
learning to utilize the fixed route, you learn to go just about anywhere
without having to be dependent on a loved one, family member, friend or
anyone else. You learn special techniques to get you where you would want
are taught how to get to a particular place individually with the
instructor or group manner depending if there is more than one student
going to the same particular place, how the students feel about working
together and if they all can correlate a schedule together.
The instructor will arrange an intake/interview and then set up a day to work on the fixed route buses. It can be the same day of the intake or at the studentsí conveniences. The instructor will work around your schedule! Schedules are made Monday through Friday 8am-4:30pm. Classes are held Monday through Thursday 8am-4pm.