Orientation & Mobility
We provide specialized Orientation and Mobility and Low Vision Services for adults with developmental disabilities and vision loss in the Department of Developmental Service (DDS) – Metro Region.
- Individuals with total blindness, legal blindness, low vision or a question of vision loss are eligible for services.
- Individuals are seen at work, day programs, residential programs, family homes, nursing homes, etc.
- Our service model is based on a three-tiered approach, which involves: direct services, consultative services, education and advocacy
HOW WE CAN HELP
Direct services are provided on a referral basis or as recommended in the consumer’s Individual Support Plan.
Direct services include providing the individual with ASSESSMENTS to establish recommendation for additional services and training. Assessments offered include: Orientation and Mobility (O&M), Low Vision, Environmental, and Transportation Access.
Following the assessment, our certified orientation and mobility staff will establish a PLAN OF ACTION to achieve independent travel potential. An individual’s mobility program may include training with appropriate travel device, teaching orientation skills and strategies, as well as coordinating adjunct services to aid visual needs.
In order to successfully facilitate orientation and mobility skills and travel goals, TRAINING is offered to providers, families, direct service staff, and others in the individual’s support network.
Consultative services are geared toward training the support network in understanding the needs of the individuals with vision loss and developmental disabilities. Through training, participants become more empathetic and knowledgeable in how they support individuals with vision loss. With a better understanding of visual impairment and eye conditions, the support network can better assist an individual’s independence by providing a safe, comfortable environment, utilizing assistive techniques that empower the individual with vision loss, and encouraging independent movement when appropriate.
Training and consultation are provided for both person-specific and general issues. Training for family, friends, and support staff includes, but is not limited to:
- LOW VISION AND BLINDNESS SENSITIVITY TRAINING: Blindfold and vision simulator experiences, working on communicating with an individual who has vision loss, environmental travel hazards, specialized equipment, and resource materials.
- O&M TECHNIQUES AND ADAPTIVE TRAVEL SKILLS appropriate for travelers with developmental disabilities including sighted guide, orientation strategies, cane or adaptive mobility device, and trailing skills.
- EYE CARE RELATED TOPICS that include: “How to make the most of an ophthalmology visit,” “Appropriate use and maintenance of eyeglasses and sunglasses,” and “Preparation for Eye Surgery.”
- METHODS TO SUPPORT TRAVEL GOALS include providing information and training to support network on safe, consistent, and constructive ways to help and individual achieve mobility goals.
- COMMUNITY RESOURCES on talking books, large print books, support groups, and descriptive video service.
- EDUCATION AND ADVOCACY are actively promoted through our CLINICAL TRAINING SERIES. Clinical Trainings related to vision loss are offered quarterly. Look for upcoming training on the DDSTraining Calendar and website bulletin board.
For further information regarding our services, please contact:
Bianca Fillion, M.Ed, COMS
Director of Orientation and Mobility Services – Metro Region