What is Orientation and Mobility (O&M)?

Orientation and Mobility (O&M) can give a person who is blind or vision impaired the skills and confidence  to move about their home and community safely, effectively and independently.  O&M is an internationally recognised body of knowledge, that incorporates methods, concepts and techniques, which have been designed specifically for people who are living  with blindness or vision impairment.

Orientation is knowing where you are in relation to a reference point/s e.g. where you are going, where you have come from, a landmark, or a compass point.  Mobility is the ability to move from one location to another safely and effectively.  So, when combined, orientation and mobility is the ability to keep track of where you are, in relation to reference points, as you safely and effectively move from one place to another place.

Generally, people with reasonable vision rely on their sight, to maintain effective orientation and safe mobility.  In contrast, people with impaired vision will generally need to acquire a range of additional skills and strategies, to be able to move around safely, effectively, efficiently, and independently.  A proven way that this can be achieved is through a personalised program of O&M assessment and instruction, delivered by a qualified O&M Specialist. 

An O&M Specialist is a qualified and experienced professional, who is able to assess and instruct people of all ages, with different types/degrees of vision impairments, in the skills, knowledge, techniques, strategies and equipment of O&M.  O&M Specialists are the only allied health professionals qualified to provide O&M assessment and instruction to children, adolescents and adults who are blind or vision impaired.

If you would like more information on O&M please contact us.

Image Description: Client learning to use white mobility cane to detect stairs going down with O
Image description: Client walking across a wooden bridge using a white mobility cane with O
Image description: Client walking across a bridge in a park independently with a white mobility cane
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