Categories of sessions:
Beyond Your Expertise: What’s Your Superpower? Concurrent Group A
Think outside the box. Discover ways to impact change. Develop proactive relationships with local traffic engineers or planners and identify accessibility concerns. Attend Metropolitan Planning Organization meetings or other planning meetings. Think about stepping out of your comfort zone and stretching the parameters of your skill set.
Changing your world, one step at a time: Practices for making a difference Concurrent Group F
Stephan Sauerburger and Dona Sauerburger
You know that something needs to change, but you feel powerless to do anything about it. We'll introduce strategies of psychotherapist Dr. Jean-Robert Bayard, who links activism with psychological well-being. Come and share your experiences, and apply some practices to the challenges you're facing in your professional or personal life.
Launching the Ship: Early Orientation and Mobility and Parent Centered Education Concurrent Group E
Lisa Lind, Pam Arbeiter, Ann Cummins, Shelley Donahue, Sara Bushland
Our COMS team offers an interactive evening of parent training. Families learn information about the foundation of Orientation and Mobility, beginning concepts and have hands-on guidance learning skills such as trailing and blindfold travel opportunities. We focus on a strengths-based approach to building comfort and setting families up for success.
- Research Validation of the Birth to 6 O&M Skills Inventory (B6OMSI) Concurrent Group C
Sarahelizabeth Baguhn and Dr. Dawn Anderson
The B6OMSI-Research Edition now has established content validity! This workshop will begin with a brief presentation of the research and its implications, followed by training on how to use the B6OMSI. Participants will leave with an understanding of how to use this assessment to document the development of O&M skills in young children.
- Literacy & Mobility: Engaging Learners by Pairing Orientation and Mobility Skills with Braille/Print Readiness Activities Concurrent Group F
This session aims to bridge the gap between developing fundamental braille (or print) techniques and O&M skills by incorporating fun, popular books with O&M lessons for young readers/learners. We will explore ways to merge sections of the Expanded Core Curriculum to produce activities that promote meaningful access to one’s environment.
- "Tapping" into Success Concurrent Group E
By thinking "outside of the block" O&M specialists can tap into creative and engaging school and community-based ideas that promote greater independence for students. Specialists will discover how O&M skills/concepts can easily be imbedded in teaching strategies that incorporate additional components of the ECC to also support language arts/literacy objectives.
- Little Locomotives - Ten years later Concurrent Group D
Alicia Pugh and Jennifer Jeffcoat
The South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind celebrates the tenth anniversary of Little Locomotives, the orientation and mobility program for children aged birth to three. Parents are the first mobility specialists and we work together with their children to encourage safe movement by providing services in the home and community.
- Barriers and Facilitators to ECC Instruction Reported by O&M Specialists Concurrent Group D
Nicholas Trotter and Susan Yarbrough
Presenters will share the results of a national survey of TVIs and O&M specialists and will focus a) frequency of instruction across O&M skills, b) barriers and facilitators to instruction, c) how O&M specialists teach ECC skills, and d) how to apply findings in practice to advocate for students’ needs.
Shared streets and sidewalks: Accessibility considerations and recommendations Concurrent Group A
Many cities are constructing shared streets and/or protected bike lanes at sidewalk level which results in pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicle drivers sharing the same space. O&M specialists may be asked to participate in planning sessions, so it’s important to share information and ideas to make these facilities usable and accessible.
Interactive web-based Apprentice Education: Heads in the Clouds Concurrent Group G
Today’s apprentices come to our programs from a variety of backgrounds. We seek people that have strong people skills and the ability to teach. This group of future GDMI’s look for more challenges and a higher degree of instructional latitude when learning guide dog work. The development of a web-based training program has allowed us to offer a more consistent method of knowledge transfer than the traditional program of senior instructors passing on techniques by word of mouth.
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor panel Concurrent Group F
This panel discussion will focus on apprenticeships, IGDF requirements, and how schools actually approach apprentice education.
Panelists will include IGDF assessors and members of the IGDF Development committee.
Motivation Mastery: Applying principles of game design to motivate your students or staff to achieve their best Preconference Workshops
Electronic game technology has become one of the most powerful learning and dissemination tools in history. Come learn to apply the principles of psychology which motivate players, to hook your own students or staff and inspire them, making them intrinsically eager to get to the next level.
New or innovative programs
Wheelchair Mobility for Guide Dog Users Concurrent Group A
Overview of a programme in the UK, working with wheelchair users who apply for a guide dog and how the training is adapted to meet the person’s needs whilst considering the challenges of the environment and how a dog can be trained to performed additional tasks related to physical needs. Opportunity for everyone to ask questions or look for suggestions about providing similar services in their own area.
Mobility, Multiple Disability and Mixtapes Concurrent Group D
Melody Brown and Christie Smith
Explore the changes in the population receiving O&M services, how we work together to provide relevant services and problem probing session.
Devices or tools for first 10 case studies received via email before conference date.
The FUNdamentals of Teaching Students with Deafblindness Concurrent Group F
The presenter will share her FUNdamentals of using adaptive cane techniques, teaching strategies, assistive technology, and touch signals with students who are deafblind.
The skills presented and discussed as a group will generally focus on students who do not have severe additional disabilities, but resources can be provided afterwards.
Orientation and Mobility for Children with Multiple Impairments Preconference Workshops
During this workshop, participants will learn the most common disabilities other than visual impairment the O&M specialist is likely to encounter, how they impact teaching, how they can be managed, and how the O&M specialist can modify instruction to accommodate these students with more going on than a vision loss.
Additionally, participants will review and shore up their knowledge of applied behavior analysis and effective behavior management, a critical tool in teaching children with multiple impairments.
An Alternative Model in Orientation & Mobility Concurrent Group D
Many people who are blind or visually impaired are unserved or underserved with O&M services. Learn about a model developed and utilized for over fifteen years. As caseloads increase and services are cut or left unfunded, learn how to collaborate through an accelerated model for teaching and learning O&M.
O&M Immersion Program with The Guide Dogs for the Blind Concurrent Group B
The O&M Immersion develops O&M skills important for guide dog mobility, (auditory, kinesthetic, intersection analysis, street crossings and time-distance estimation).
A student works one to one with an O&M Specialist over six days which results in an intensive immersion experience maximizing skill development in a relatively short amount of time.
You live where?!?! Ideas for maximizing O&M Services to reach remote areas or stretch your resources: Research and Practice Preconference Workshops
Dr. Amy Parker and Mary Tellefson
This session looks at the research and themes around providing and maximizing O&M services.
As part of on-going research, participants will reflect and give feedback on information provided, including models of distance consultation, role release and grouping strategies.
Data collected from this interactive session will be used in the research process.
Development of Tactile Encodings for Interior Maps Concurrent Group G
Attendees will learn about an encoding system for tactile maps and how it is helping blind and low vision users navigate interior spaces.
This presentation will showcase various maps, and an application that will allow non-technical users to create the tactile and haptic maps allowing them to be more accessible.
Designing Fun and Purposeful O&M Lessons Using the Geocaching App Concurrent Group B
This session will explain how to use geocaching activities to design fun and purposeful O&M lessons in my teaching practice with children and young adults.
The presenter will explain some of the basic terminology of geocaching and demonstrate the Geocaching app.
Participants will work in small groups to locate the nearest cache utilizing the Geocaching app using Zoom or VoiceOver on their personal devices (iPhones).
Climbing to Success Concurrent Group C
A unique sport for individuals with visual impairment is stair climbing. Transition students from Tampa Lighthouse for the Blind have participated in these events for the past five years and continually benefit.
Students report they like the challenge, working out, competing at the same level as others, and raising money for these charity events.
Training Guide Dog Teams to go on Exercise Runs and the Benefits of Empowering Consumers to Exercise More Concurrent Group E
Learn about Guiding Eyes for the Blind's Innovative Running Guides Program, training our dogs to guide their handlers through exercise runs. Traditionally, individuals who are blind and vision impaired experience logistical, self-imposed and cultural obstacles to exercise and fitness.
Hear the inspirational story of how this program began and stories of these specially trained guide dog teams.
Off-Road O&M Concurrent Group B
This session will tackle the unique challenges for orientation and mobility students and providers when there's no pavement beneath your feet. From hiking to kayaking to guidewires, ziplines, and riding lawnmowers, we'll discuss tips, tricks, and techniques for life beyond the sidewalk.
Reinventing the Goalball Concurrent Group D
Sue Glaser and Andrea Wallace
Goalball is not a sport that has been adapted for individuals with visual impairments. It was specifically designed for them. The size of the court and equipment needs make it difficult to play in the traditional sense, but a little resourcefulness can bring this sport, along with numerous O&M skills, to students of those willing to think outside the court.
Who Doesn’t Love Resources? Concurrent Group G
An interactive session of sharing resources on a variety of topics related to our field to include local, state, city, and federal resources, apps, etc. Participants are welcome to leave their business card/contact info as a resource. I will gladly compile the information to share.
Transitioning from Teaching Basic Echolocation to Advanced Echoidentification Concurrent Group A
Dr. Dawn Anderson and Sarahelizabeth Baguhn
Participants will observe, practice and be encouraged to teach the use of reflected sound to locate, track and identify objects in the environment. It is within an Orientation and Mobility specialist’s scope of practice to teach clients techniques for getting the most out of sensory information; echoidentification.
Partial occlusion tool: aiding in simultaneous instruction of low
vision and sensory skills Concurrent Group B
Never say "head up, or eyes of the floor" again! Participants will
participate in an interactive session demonstrating the use of partial
occlusion "dribble goggles" to aid in low vision mobility training.
Be sure to bring a cane if you want to try these on --
there will be enough equipment for 36 people.
Are We All on the Same Page? Using Traffic Sound for Alignment Concurrent Group G
Lukas Franck and Mickey Damelio
The use of traffic sound for alignment in travel and in particular in street crossings is fundamental to successful travel by people who are blind.
Yet, the presenters have observed that this knowledge is not universally in the teaching toolbox of all mobility specialists.
This presentation will discuss and encourage discussion of these fundamental techniques and propose a teaching sequence to encourage implementation.
Technology / Apps / GPS
Using Simulation Software to Teach Students How to Deal with Uncontrolled Crossings Concurrent Group C
Laura Zierer and Dona Sauerburger
Come and experience simulation exercises and learn about a process for instruction that you can use with your students! Session will briefly explain what Situations of Uncertainty are, why it is important to be able to recognize and deal with them, and then showcase a software that APH has developed.
Teaching techniques to increase drivers’ yielding to a student in a school setting Concurrent Group E
Driver yielding has been researched by Eugene A. Bourquin, Robert Wall Emerson, Dona Sauerburger, and Janet M. Barlow. I saw the importance and documented my 11-12 year old student learning these strategies and techniques over six months (separated by summer vacation). This is our experience.
What's New in the Field
Orientation through Technology Concurrent Group E
Sara Leal and Judy Porro
Using current technology participants will experience how easy orientation can be to new surroundings. Using 3D maps, exploration of public spaces enables users to discover buildings and common spaces to establish a route. Also, through the use of a beaconing system and a mobile app called RightHear, identifying locations is simplified using cardinal directions.
Technology for Training Apprentice Guide Dog Mobility Instructors Concurrent Group F
Amy Gunn and Kelly Chadwick
Learn about some high and low tech tools that are being used to teach apprentice instructors at Guide Dogs for the Blind. Includes a remote microphone & listening device, video footage and dog simulators.
Vendors' Highlights Sunday 11:30-12:15
- Have you heard about the exciting new Orientation and Mobility Specialists Association? General Session
Susan Langendonk, and
This session will provide details about the framework of this newly-established professional membership organization whose mission is to Shape and Advance the Profession of Orientation and Mobility.
A review of the organization’s mission, membership requirements, and governing structure will be explored.
This is your personal invitation to learn about and join the nationwide wave: an Orientation and Mobility Specialists Association.
New techniques and strategies in Orientation and Mobility Concurrent Group B
This presentation highlights the revised edition of Orientation and Mobility Techniques: A Guide for the Practitioner.
Presenter would like to encourage discussion of upcoming changes in the travel environment that may require thinking about and teaching in a different way, and how we develop and share innovative strategies in O&M.
O&M Career, College and Community Readiness Standards Concurrent Group A
Mary Tellefson and Dr. Kathryn Botsford
A 2018 Delphi study validated draft O&M Career, College and Community Readiness Standards that include 5 standard domains. Discover how the O&M CCCRS were developed, validated, how they can help justify a level of services that are age/grade level specific and how they will benefit children and professionals.
AER Accreditation Council (AERAC) and the Accreditation Program Concurrent Group C
Eileen Siffermann and Dr. Bill Wiener
What is the AERAC!
Discussion of the Accreditation Program which includes the accreditation of organizations including special schools serving those who are blind and those with low vision; and the higher education programs which prepare professionals to service those who are blind and those with low vision.
This session can give you a preview of what to expect in the exhibits, as each vendor gets a minute or two to explain what is at their table.
[Attendance provides 45 minutes of ACVREP-approved credit.]
A year working with patients with artificial vision through retinal prosthesis Concurrent Group G
Artificial vision is a technology that is emerging quickly for people with visual impairments; right now serving individuals with retinitis pigmentosa only, but soon being available to many people with visual impairments through implantation directly on the visual cortex. This past year Second Sight Medical Products hired a team of blindness rehabilitation professionals to work directly with their patients. This talk will discuss what we’ve discovered about this technology. I’ll teach our fellow professionals what to expect when they have a client that has a retinal prosthetic, and how they can best support that individual to reach their rehabilitation goals.
It promises to be an interesting and casual discussion about what artificial vision might offer our clients that are blind now from RP, and what may be available to many others with visual impairment sometime in the future through a visual cortex implant in clinical trials now.
Blindfold experience 5:30-5:30 Monday evening
Sam Picciano and Dona Sauerburger
Come join us for some blindfold experience and FUN! There will be 3 activities – you can participate in as many of them as you can in the hour that you’re there:
- Hunter & the Hound – a scavenger hunt game with your partner, focusing on sound localization;
- Kinesthetic exercises to help students improve their sense of distance and turns;
- Scanning for cars – experience the scanning technique required for people with restricted visual fields.