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AFBAmerican Foundation®
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How Can Professionals Help Parents Reinforce Orientation and Mobility Skills?

Melanie White Listen to Melanie White's thoughts on the benefits of parent/professional collaboration on orientation and mobility skills.


My name is Melanie White. I'm a certified orientation and mobility specialist with the Bluebonnet Vision Co-op, and my office is in Weatherford, Texas.

I believe professionals could help parents by helping to educate them. They could be a good resource for the parents. Personally, I love it when parents come on O&M lessons. On my job, I'm not allowed to transport students, so I either have the parents transport the students and come on the lessons, or I have to take a school bus, and the school bus driver comes along with us.

I've been very fortunate because many of my parents have chosen to come with us. So on an ongoing basis, they're educated in 1) what their child can do, and 2) how they're actually doing it, and I think in seeing how a child can cross the street, and ride a bus, and plan a bus route, and then actually watch them do it helps parents believe in their kids. I think if you have the unknown and you don't know what your child can do, it's very scary to let them go. And so, you may want to be protective. But I think educating yourself and getting out there and going on lessons with your O&M instructor, and if you've got a situation you don't know how to deal with, ask them—that's what we're here for.

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JVIB Special Issue on Critical Issues in Visual Impairment & Blindness

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