Idaho Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired Title

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Orientation and Mobility at the ATC 

Orientation and Mobility often referred to as O&M or Mobility is a class designed to teach people how to travel independently.  The goal of this Mobility training is to give people who are blind or visually impaired the freedom to travel safely and effectively in any conditions, under any circumstance.  Initial instruction includes introduction to a white cane or alternate mobility device. When the student has learned how to use his or her cane, training is then broadened to include such issues as stairs, escalators, elevators, outdoor navigation, malls, stores and street crossings. Students are instructed on using cardinal directions (north, south, east, and west), landmarks, environmental clues, address systems and problem solving skills.  As a person gains more knowledge and confidence, training becomes increasingly independent. For example, the instructor will be farther away and eventually lessons may be completed independently, only meeting their instructor at a given destination. Often students will receive training on using the bus system or other forms of public transportation.  Instruction can be individualized to a person's needs addressing such things as how to travel in a new neighborhood, navigate a route to a work or college campus, or cross a street at a complex intersection.