Special Education 659

EDSP 659: Orientation and Mobility for Students with Visual Impairments

Two (2) credit hours

Prerequisite: EDSP 650

Provides the foundation for understanding the components and essence of Orientation and Mobility.  Establishes how the need for independent travel in the blind population created the field of O&M.  Explores the philosophy and history of orientation & mobility including cane instruction, dog guides and methods of travel. Addresses techniques in developing orientation skills and basic mobility instruction. Motor and concept skill development are emphasized.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

This course as described above will include the following topics:

· The legal framework/historical and curricular foundations for the field of Orientation and Mobility (O&M)

· Cultural social-economic factors and beliefs affecting students with visual impairments and other concomitant disabilities

· The philosophy of instructional practices in O&M

· Federal entitlements

· Typical development of concepts and O&M skills

· Development of basic concept skills for a student with visual impairment

· Development of pre-cane mobility skills

· Structure and function of the eye

· Basic terminology and travel implications of disorders of the visual system.

· Audition and O&M

· Role of perception

· Effects of medication

· Impact of vision loss on the family

· Role of incidental learning

· Recommended adaptations that address vision loss

· Demonstration of how orientation and mobility skills increase career and vocational opportunities  for individuals with visual impairment

· O&M skills needed for smooth transition from school to work.

· Introduction to social and recreational skills and materials for assessing and teaching activities of daily living related to orientation and mobility

· Strategies to teach pre-cane mobility skills

· Strategies for teaching basic concepts

· The long cane

· Dog guides

· Electronic travel aids

· Optical and non-optical aids

· Ambulatory aids

· Advantages and disadvantages of mobility systems


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Learning activities in this class will include the following:

1. Class lecture, discussion, and participation via at least six web-conferences/videoconferences and one weekend-long intensive training session

2. Video and other relevant interactive media presentations

3. Study and independent research

4. Application activities, including field-based assignments

5. Written responses to discussion questions posted on Blackboard.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

This course is part of the Virginia Department of Education approved licensure program in Visual Impairment and is offered through the Statewide Training Consortium in Visual Impairment.

Goals, objectives, and assignments in this class address NCATE Standard 1c Professional and Pedagogical Knowledge and Skills. The following CEC and VDOE standard areas area also addressed:

· CEC Knowledge and Skill Base for All Entry-Level Special Education Teachers of Students with Visual Impairment (VI) Standard #1 Foundations

· CEC Knowledge and Skill Base for All Entry-Level Special Education Teachers of Students with Visual Impairment (VI) Standard #4: Instructional Strategies – in particular, VI4K11

· Virginia  Department of Education Teacher [VDOE]Licensure Standards  

· Visual Impairment PreK-12 requirements in Understanding of service delivery, classroom and behavior management, and instruction

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

1. Demonstrate knowledge of the background of the field of orientation and mobility and describe the legal, historical and curricular foundations of O&M.

2. Demonstrate knowledge of the implications of blindness/visual impairment and deaf-blindness upon development and orientation and mobility skills acquisition.

3. Demonstrate knowledge and skills of the major teaching strategies for orientation and mobility skills development.


Assessment Measures

1. Participation in a minimum of six on-line discussions.

2. Attendance at an intensive weekend training session and participation in simulation and demonstration activities.

2. Development of a parent guide to facilitate gross motor development in a child with visual impairment.

3. Development of a teaching guide for concept development and independent travel across the lifespan.

4. Completion of a field-based assignment requiring assessment of at least three traffic-signal controlled intersections.

5. Completion of a short research paper on a mobility system used in the field of orientation and mobility.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

2/27/09        New Course        Elizabeth Altieri