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Orientation and Mobility

Vision loss shouldn’t be a barrier to leading a fulfilling life. Independence and mobility give you the freedom to enjoy life, embrace new experiences and reach your goals.

Young girl with cane walking down rocky path

If you:

  • find it difficult to cross roads safely;
  • stay at home because you find moving around too dangerous and confusing; or
  • have difficulty judging the depth of steps and gutters,

Then help is available.

How can an Orientation & Mobility Instructor help?

An Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Instructor works with people of all ages who are blind, have low vision or are suffering with a vision impairment. Anyone who has a vision loss that is causing them to have difficulty moving around safely and confidently can receive an individually tailored Orientation and Mobility program. O&M instructors will come to you and offer training and mobility aids completely free of charge. Training programs are flexible and accessible to meet your needs.

Client with cane  Client with cane, crossing pedestrian crossing

O&M Instructors assist individuals with a vision impairment with:

Orientation: knowing where you are in the environment
Mobility:  moving from one point to another to get to a destination safely

An orientation and mobility program could include training in the use of:

  • A Guide Dog
  • Long cane or white cane
  • Support cane
  • Electronic devices eg Miniguide
  • Talking GPS
  • Low vision aids to enhance mobility
  • Safe road crossing strategies

Illustration of client and instructor, front view  illustration of client and instructor

An orientation and mobility program may assist with building the confidence of people with vision impairment, to travel to and move around in a variety of environments. For example:

  • From the bedroom to the lounge room
  • From the front door to the letterbox
  • From home to school, or to the workplace
  • Accessing the local community, such as the shopping centre
  • Travelling on transport independently, including buses, trains, ferries and taxis
  • Reducing the risk of a fall

Together, you and your O&M Instructor decide what type of training is needed. Training continues until you feel confident.

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