Orientation and Mobility (O&M) services are provided to students who have a medically documented visual impairment and are determined to be eligible for services through the IEP process. O&M instruction teaches students who are blind or visually impaired to travel safely and independently in school, community, and residential environments at a developmentally appropriate level.
CASE Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists (COMS) provide the opportunity for each student to reach his or her independent travel potential and instruction is provided in the school, residential, and business environments. CASE instructors teach appropriate tactual, auditory, and/or visual travel safety techniques. Within the school buildings, students learn to travel safely between classrooms, locate common areas and follow emergency procedures. Some students may be taught to travel by cab, bus, train, or paratransit services.
CASE COMS also provide training in the use of tactile, print, and/or digital maps. They use many tools, including monocular telescopes, magnifiers, computers, white canes, transportation schedules, and maps (tactile, print, and digital). Students make use of iPad apps for travel, including but not limited to Google Maps, Apple Maps, Moovit, and Transit.
CASE COMS work closely with school staff throughout the year and provide ongoing coaching in adapting the classroom and school environments that allow each student to travel as independently as possible. They provide training specific to a student’s mobility needs as well as general trainings to nurses, administrators and other staff on Orientation and Mobility considerations for students with visual impairments.