Main content

Alert message

Required Qualifications

Bachelor’s and/or Master’s degree Certification from the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP)

Preferred Qualifications

Experience with school-aged children, including infants and preschoolers Experience with children with multiple impairments Experience working with teams

Job Summary

     Orientation and mobility (O&M) is that part of the educational process that prepares students with visual impairments to travel independently and safely. O&M is one of the nine areas of the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) required to be evaluated for students with visual impairments.  The itinerant O&M specialist travels to the students’ assigned schools and/or home to provide direct and/or consultative services relating to the visual impairment. These services enable the students to travel safely, efficiently, and independently in their home, school, and community environments. The students range in age from birth through 21 years.  The students may or may not have additional disabilities. The cognitive levels of the students range from severely impaired to gifted and talented. Many students with visual impairments are totally included in their neighborhood schools. Others are in special programs in their neighborhood schools or at various campuses throughout the district. Community-based instruction is assumed and a critical component of the O&M program.  It is often necessary for instruction to occur off-campus, so the need for transportation for this community-based instruction is important.

Major Responsibilities and Duties

Assessment and Evaluation

Perform orientation and mobility evaluations that focus on long- and short-term needs of the student for new referrals and at intervals as designated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Identify the needs and strengths of the student and an estimate of the length and frequency of service necessary to meet determined needs and include such information in the assessment report Contribute to other appropriate portions of the IEP, such as goals and recommendations Provide consultation and support services to parents, educators, other team members, and students’ sighted peers Confer regularly with parents, classroom teachers, physical education teachers, physical therapists, and other school personnel to assist in home and classroom modifications to ensure reinforcement of appropriate O&M skills that will encourage the student  who is visually impaired to travel independently in these settings and in the future Work with the teacher of students with visual impairments to conduct the functional vision assessment as it relates to independent travel Evaluate the student’s progress on an ongoing basis and keep progress notes on each student

Appropriate Learning Environments

Instruct students with visual impairments in skills and knowledge that enable them to travel independently based on the IEP Teach students to travel with proficiency, safety, and confidence in familiar and unfamiliar environments Prepare sequential and meaningful instruction geared to the student’s assessed needs, IEP goals and objectives, functioning level, and motivation level Be responsible for the student’s safety during O&M instruction and in other environments while fostering maximum independence during O&M lessons Prepare and use equipment and materials, such as tactile maps, models, optical devices, pre-canes, GPS devices, and long canes for the development of O&M skills Provide orientation of new buildings and new class schedules to students with visual impairments as needed, including those community settings where students receive instruction

Instruction in the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC)

Concept development Gross motor skills Visual efficiency skills (with and without optical devices) Sensory efficiency skills Cane skills, including adaptive mobility devices Map skills Social skills Self-determination Independent living skills Recreational leisure skills Outdoor travel skills Residential Commercial Public Transportation Personal safety Support Services Provide assistance to the students with visual impairments in understanding their attitudes and those of others concerning their visual impairments Emphasize social integration with peers and facilitate opportunities for interaction Administrative/Record Keeping Duties Submit requests for instructional materials, conferences, and reference materials Be knowledgeable of community-based resources that may be available to and useful for students with visual impairments Provide in-service training to general and special education personnel, administrative personnel, sighted peers, and parents concerning the O&M needs of the student and appropriate methods for interacting with the person who is visually impaired that will foster maximum independence and safety Participate in parent conferences and meetings as well as teacher staffing meetings related to students with visual impairments Maintain adequate records on all evaluations, IEPs, and progress reports/data collection Provide progress reports to parents Arrange and prepare paperwork as appropriate and attend all staffing meetings on students with visual impairments as they relate to O&M Communicate with specialists in low vision, ophthalmologists, and optometrists concerning exams, and attend exams when appropriate Liaison between Community and School Provide information about the vision and O&M programs to the schools and community Professional Standards Maintain a reference library of current professional materials Maintain current certification Acquire information about current research, development, and technology by attending conferences and workshops, and by reading journals in the field of visual impairment

Evaluation

The supervisor, typically a special education administrator, will evaluate performance. Individual(s) knowledgeable in programs for students who are visually impaired should complete evaluation.