Orientation and Mobility

Skills to orient children who are blind or low vision to their surroundings and travel skills to enable them to move independently and safely in the environment include:

  • Human guide techniques (also known as a sighted guide)
  • Using standard and adaptive canes
  • Recognizing cues and landmarks
  • Moving through space by walking or using a wheelchair
  • Requesting assistance

What is Orientation & Mobility

Two students holding canes facing teachers. 

Orientation and Mobility and the Expanded Core Curriculum

What Is Orientation & Mobility (O&M)? This area of the expanded core curriculum (ECC) focuses on two broad, interrelated components: orientation (knowing one’s position in relation to other things in […]

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Two students outside,  holding canes with an Orientation and Mobility instructor standing behind them. 

Orientation and Mobility Assessment

An orientation and mobility (O&M) assessment examines a child’s ability to travel safely indoors and outdoors, with or without assistance. An O&M instructor, a professional with specialized training in teaching […]

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Two students with canes walking in the hallway with a teacher.

Working with Your Child’s Orientation and Mobility Specialist: 8 Questions to Ask

Who Is the Orientation and Mobility Specialist? The orientation and mobility (O&M) specialist is a professional who has extensive training in teaching children to travel at home, at school, and […]

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A young man sitting on a park bench

White Cane Safety Day

White Cane Safety Day in the U.S. White Cane Safety Day was first officially observed when President Lyndon Johnson first proclaimed the day in 1964. White Cane Safety Day is […]

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Beginning O & M Skills

A baby laying on a blanket outside looking off to the distance. 

Orientation and Mobility for Babies and Toddlers

What Is Orientation and Mobility? Orientation and Mobility (O&M) includes the skills needed to orient to surroundings and to move independently and safely in the environment. To learn and master […]

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Toddler exploring concrete wall with white cane.

Mobility Devices for Young Children

What are Kiddie Canes, Pre-Canes, and Alternative Mobility Devices? The long cane used by some people with blindness or low vision has a white shaft, a black handle, and red […]

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A young girl sitting at a table with her cane folded up.

Orientation and Mobility Activities at Home for Young Children Who Are Blind or Low Vision

By Marjorie Wood Here is a list of fun activities you can do with your young child, and as a bonus, reinforce their orientation and mobility training. Feel free to […]

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Young boy walking outside with a white cane.

Orientation and Mobility for Preschoolers

What Is Orientation and Mobility? Orientation and Mobility (O&M) teaches concepts, skills, and techniques needed to orient to surroundings and move independently and safely in the environment. To learn and […]

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A preschooler walking in the hall with a cane and her Orientation and Mobility instructor.

Helping Your Preschooler Practice Orientation and Mobility Skills

As your child becomes increasingly active, you’ll want to help them practice different ways of getting around safely and encourage an awareness of the environment. You’ll also want to reinforce […]

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Young child in a wheelchair holding a tablet and wearing headphones.

Orientation and Mobility for Your Child Who Uses or Will Use a Wheelchair

Perhaps you are here today with apprehension or concern, eager to learn how your child will travel when blind or low vision and using a wheelchair (full-time or part-time). You […]

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Individual using a white cane with a marshmallow cane tip

O&M: What’s in a Tip? A Cane Tip that is…

I recently met with a first-grade student for our second orientation and mobility (O&M) lesson. He had been issued a cane and tip by a previously certified orientation and mobility […]

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Round compass in child’s hand on green grass background. 

Using Compass Directions in Orientation and Mobility

By Scott Truax If I tell you my house is on the right-hand side of the street, you will only find me if you come from the same direction I […]

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Developing O & M Skills

A girl wearing glasses sitting on the floor in a classroom.

Orientation and Mobility for Grade Schoolers

What Is Orientation and Mobility? Orientation and Mobility (O&M) is the teaching of concepts, skills, and techniques needed to orient to surroundings and to move independently and safely in the […]

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Two boys playing a game of large floor checkers.

Orientation and Mobility Activities for Families of Children Who Are Blind or Low Vision

By Marjorie Wood Here is a list of fun activities you can do with your young child, and as a bonus, reinforce their orientation and mobility training. Feel free to […]

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A student walking with his cane in an office area with his mom and sister.

Helping Your Child Who Is Blind or Low Vision Get Oriented to a New School Building

By Scott Truax Starting a new school year is always both exciting and nerve-racking. When a child who is blind or low vision goes to a school building for the […]

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A tactile map and someone adding a square to represent a building.

Creating a DIY Tactile Map for Your Child or Teen Who Is Blind or Low Vision

By Samantha Kelly As parents, we are always looking for strategies to increase the independence of our children who are blind or low vision, no matter the area of the […]

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Red fire alarm system component on wall of a school. 

This Is Not A Drill! School Fire Safety Recommendations for Children with Blindness or Low Vision

We likely all have memories of the fire drills during our elementary school days. The alarm blared through the school, and our teachers asked us to “calmly” line up and […]

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2 students with canes and an adult walking in hallway

Orientation and Mobility for Teens with Recent Blindness or Low Vision

If your teenager has just been diagnosed with blindness or low vision—whether from a condition such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP), Stargardt’s disease, or because of an accident or other trauma—or […]

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White shoes on a sidewalk with a cane in front of them.

Orientation and Mobility for Teenagers Who are Blind or Have Low Vision

What Is Orientation and Mobility? Orientation and Mobility (O&M) teaches concepts, skills, and techniques needed to orient to surroundings and move independently and safely in the environment. To learn and […]

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Wooden directional sign post displaying the compass points North, East, South, West.

“Never Eat Soggy Waffles”: How to Master Cardinal Directions

By Samantha Kelley There is no doubt that cardinal directions are an important tool for traveling as a person with blindness or low vision, but most people struggle with determining […]

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Camera resting on a suitcase and backpack on the ground against a brick wall.

Five Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Skills to “Pack” for College Life

It’s here again –summer! Many students are excitedly anticipating and planning for the possibilities that the next couple of months may hold. Freedom from the usual routine and deadlines. A […]

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