Orientation and mobility specialists teach people who are blind or have low vision to move around their environment safely and with confidence. They usually work on a one-to-one basis.
Personal requirements for an Orientation and Mobility Specialist
- Good physical health
- A desire to work with people with disabilities
- Observant, patient and reliable
- Strong communication skills.
Duties & Tasks of an Orientation and Mobility Specialist
Orientation and mobility specialists may perform the following tasks:
- Teach people who are blind or have low vision to use their remaining eyesight and their other senses (sound, touch, smell and the sensation of body movement) to detect landmarks and reference points and move safely through their environment
- Instruct and assess clients in the use of mobility aids such as long canes, which give information to users about the surface over which they are about to walk
- Instruct and assess clients in the use of electronic travel devices where appropriate (these devices give off vibrating or audible signals when obstacles are ahead)
- Work with parents of young children and infants who are blind or have low vision to encourage the development of skills and concepts related to their bodies, their environment and the wider community
- Provide advice/consultation related to the needs of people who are blind or have low vision about access to the built environment, access and use of public transport and finding information e.g. accessible maps
- Consult with other professions, groups or individuals
- Work as part of a team of specialists to provide a range of services for people who are blind or have low vision, which might include occupational therapists, diversional therapists, physiotherapists, optometrists, orthoptists, doctors or teachers.