Teach blind people to walk and move unassisted, at home and in public.
What does an Orientation and Mobility Specialist do?
An Orientation and Mobility Specialist works with people of all ages who have visual impairments and need to rely on their other senses to move around and perform daily tasks. Canes, seeing-eye dogs, and a knowledge of the environment around them all help those who are blind or have difficulty seeing go about their daily business. Each day, Orientation and Mobility Specialists meet with these people and counsel them on how to navigate unfamiliar places, use public transportation, and ask for help when necessary.
For those who cannot see well, other senses become fine-tuned and work to make up for their lack of clear vision. With your help as an Orientation and Mobility Specialist, and through practice and training, your clients learn to move around without bumping into things or tripping. Aids like canes or seeing-eye dogs can help in these situations, but the clients still need to develop a new awareness of the world around them. Crossing a street, for example, involves learning to listen for cars to determine if it’s safe to proceed.
You work with people of all ages, from babies and children to adults and the elderly. Some have been blind since birth, and others have visual problems that started later in life. You identify the techniques that work best for each individual. One person may rely on hearing while another may rely more on touch.
In addition to working with clients, you also raise awareness about visually impaired people, and help implement rules to better equip public places to serve them.