How does a student who is blind learn to navigate around campus?
Orientation and mobility (O & M) specialists work with individuals with visual impairments to help them learn how to safely navigate their environment. On a postsecondary campus, an O & M specialist could help an individual plan campus routes, apply techniques for safe indoor and outdoor mobility, and analyze intersections and traffic patterns. These services are typically available through state agencies that coordinate services for people who are blind. For a student registered with the campus disability services office, staff may help facilitate the acquisition of these services before classes begin.
Technology can also help, as there are growing numbers of talking GPS devices and applications. Bill Holton wrote an excellent article on this topic for the American Foundation for the Blind. See Smartphone GPS Navigation for People with Visual Impairments.
For more information about the specific ways orientation and mobility specialists work with individuals with visual impairments, visit either of the following resources:
- Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP).
- Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired
The following DO-IT Knowledge Base articles might also be of interest: