Orientation and Mobility for Children

Orientation and mobility specialists working with children also assist children with visual impairments to attain the skills they need to live successful lives. The orientation and mobility specialist's responsibilities center mainly on skills such as independent travel and daily living skills. In addition to the typical orientation and mobility sequence, orientation and mobility specialists working with children help children learn fundamental skills that support independence such as gross and fine motor skills, auditory skills, concept development, exploration and curiosity, problem solving and environmental experiential activities.

The majority of clients on an orientation and mobility instructor's caseload tend to have some remaining vision. It is also common for children with visual impairments to also have with additional disabilities such as traumatic brain injury, hearing impairments, physical impairments, or cognitive impairments. Many professionals in the field are members of the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired and are certified by the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals that are professional organizations that govern the field. Certification allows an orientation and mobility specialist to work with people across the lifespan, from infants to senior citizens.

For information about the teaching children with visual impairments program or the orientation and mobility program for children, contact Dr. Dawn Anderson at dawn.l.anderson@wmich.edu or (269) 387-5944, or Dr. Robert Wall Emerson at robert.wall@wmich.edu or (269) 387-3072.