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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

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Orientation and Mobility Instructors: Resources from the American Foundation for the Blind

male orientation and mobility instructor shows a woman how to use her white cane

According to the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP), Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists (COMS) "provide sequential instruction to individuals with visual impairment in the use of their remaining senses to determine their position within the environment and in techniques for safe movement from one place to another."

Instructional skills include but are not limited to:

  • Concept development (body image, spatial, temporal, positional, directional, and environmental)
  • Sensory and motor development
  • Use of residual vision and low vision devices
  • Human (sighted) guide techniques
  • Cane techniques
  • Route planning
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Techniques for crossing streets
  • The use of public transportation

Orientation and mobility instructors work in center-based, school, and itinerant situations. They are frequently called upon to assist public transportation authorities in environmental management planning, such as alleviation of dangers caused by complex road patterns (e.g., traffic circles, multiple street intersections) and selective installation of audible pedestrian signals.

The AFB Bookstore also offers a wide range of resources on the topic of orientation and mobility, and the AFB eLearning Center offers webinars and online courses related to orientation and mobility.

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