For each student, the O&M specialist will complete and/or review current evaluations (O&M, FVE/LMA, ECC, and other relevant evaluations), including present levels of functioning. The O&M specialist will use evaluation results to complete the O&M VISSIT.
It is the underlying assumption that, prior to completing the O&M VISSIT, a thorough evaluation of student needs has been conducted.
The O&M VISSIT has three columns:
O&M Skill Area
Direct Instruction from the O&M Specialist
Educational Team Support/Collaborative Consultation
The first column (O&M Skill Area) lists the areas to be addressed. The remaining two columns are categories in which a value (number) representing individual level of student need for O&M service will be assigned to each O&M skill area and subsection. The values and value labels are:
0 = no need (no need at this time)
1 = low need (occasional support and maintenance of skills)
4 = medium need (needs skills but lower priority, generalization and fluency development)
7 = high need (priority-complete mastery of introduced skills)
10 = intense need (acquisition of new skills)
The descriptions of these values are listed under each type of service on the scale to help guide these choices. These two types of service are:
Direct Instruction from the O&M specialist that will typically be recommended for those areas that require the specialized skills of the O&M specialist to help a student acquire or maintain skills. Examples may include instruction in O&M-specific technology, critical thinking and problem-solving strategies, sensory efficiency, specific self-determination and self-advocacy skills, etc. The value assigned will depend upon such issues as:
Student need for acquisition or maintenance of skills
Skill complexity (e.g., how to use tactile map vs. an electronic GPS device)
Student learning style
Student and family priorities
Educational Team Support/Collaboration is the time needed by the O&M specialist to share strategies, materials, environmental modifications, and medical information and to model and monitor instructional techniques with the educational team, including family members. The value assigned will depend upon such issues as:
Experience level of team members
Complexity of adaptations needed
Presence of paraeducator, interpreter, or intervener
Number of staff who are interacting with the student
There are three factors that merit separate consideration in determining the intensity of services to be recommended. Contributing factors are variables not addressed by evaluation of the student’s present levels in O&M that may increase or decrease the numerical value of the intensity of service. These factors include:
Transition means a significant change in educational setting or instructors that may increase the need for O&M services (+ 10 points) (e.g., from home to school; from ECI to preschool; campus change; from school to homebound setting; from school to higher education, vocational placement, or community settings, etc.).
Significant Medical Status or Condition
A student’s medical status or condition may increase (+10 points) or decrease (-10 points) suggested O&M service intensity. A significant change in vision, including a sudden accident, may result in an increase in need for O&M services. On the other hand, the student’s medical situation such as fragility, stamina, chronic seizures, increased immune deficiency due to cancer treatment, and/or deteriorating health may limit the student’s ability to receive O&M instruction even though there is a need, which results in a decrease in need for O&M services at a specific time.
Time-intensive instruction is a contributing factor to the student’s educational needs to be addressed by the O&M specialist. The O&M specialist should add points (+10) to reflect an increase in need of a student who has time-intensive instructional needs related to O&M. Time-intensive instruction may include bus lessons, skills needed by someone with very recent total vision loss, or lessons that require a longer period of time to accomplish multiple objectives like traveling to a grocery store and shopping for a long grocery list.