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- developed by Diane Bames, O&M, ESC 13

The following are some sample activities which VI Teachers can use to screen a student In determining the need for a formal evaluation by a certified O&M Instructor. The activities address the areas of vision efficiency, body language, verbal skills, knowledge of eye condition, environmental awareness, negotiation and organizational skills as they relate to orientation and mobility. Use a rating system of 1 through 5, with 5 being most frequently observed and 1 being least frequently observed. Anything 3 and above indicates the need for a referral.


In the cafeteria, stand at entrance and ask student to scan and point to locations of the serving line entrance, soda machine, cash register, and where trays are placed after use; describe the location of a specific object and ask student to Identify It; have student to walk to a specific table that you Identify by row and table.

___ student used minimum head movement

___ student needed additional verbal prompts and cues

___ student points in general direction, but not directly at objects

___ student appeared to shuffle feet when walking

___ student failed to maintain eye contact With VI Teacher

___ student failed to stand at appropriate body space from Vi Teacher

___ student fails to position body in attempt to visually locate object


Walk with student out to the parking lot, and have him/her locate your vehicle (provide description of vehicle if necessary); have student read license plate number; unlock car, and have student walk to the opposite side, open door, and retrieve instructed Item; have student lead the way back.

___ student tended to cautiously or shyly walk behind VI Teacher

___ student hesitated or shuffled feet to locate curb or down ramp

___ student required further instructions student struggled to read license plate

___ student appeared insecure when walking around car

___ student fumbled or groped for door handle

___ student was awkward in retrieving item(s) from car

___ student required assistance (verbal or sighted guide) to reverse or walk alternate route back to specific area of building


While walking to the playground, ask student to verbally identify which equipment s/he enjoys; have student point to (from a stationary position) and walk (solo) to at least three specified pieces of equipment in the order designated by the VI Teacher.

___ student slides feet when walking on uneven terrain

___ student inaccurately pointed to equipment

___ student appeared hesitant in manipulating equipment

___ student bumped into obstacles

___ student appeared hesitant at shadowy areas

___ student had difficulty talking and walking simultaneously (while walking to the playground)

All students in the below categories should be referred:

  • student's primary reading media is braille or tape
  • student was receiving O&M from parent request
  • cane user
  • 3- year comprehensive assessment
  • student has had a vision decrease within a 1 year span
  • student's vision fluctuates under different lighting conditions

Additional areas to consider in determining need for 0&M referral:

  • student needs extra time to travel between classes
  • student hesitates to walk the middle of hallways
  • student hesitates to use alternate routes
  • student's programming includes community activities
  • student walks with a cautious or timid gait .
  • student requires verbal feedback regarding walking terrain
  • student walks with an adult to classes, cafeteria, playground.
  • student is not able to verbalize directions to his/her house
  • student required assistance in orienting himself to school campus
  • student is unwilling to use cane
  • student demonstrates inappropriate sighted guide techniques
  • student looks away when reaching for object