• About Orientation & Mobility

    The student will already have met the Blind/Visually Impaired criteria and they will then be referred. A student may exhibit behaviors such as:
    • Approaching very closely to materials, people, or areas within a room
    • Appearing NOT to visually notice specific individuals or be able to locate items
    • Walking behind others choosing not to ever take the "lead" or avoiding independent travel into unfamiliar areas
    • Walking more slowly, not running in physical ed class, or demonstrating a widened gait or shuffle
    • Bumping into objects or people or being startled at either floor surface changes (i.e., stair or ramp) or ground surface changes (i.e., curb cut)
    • Demonstrating hypersensitivity to lighting changes through behaviors and/or movements
    • Becoming disoriented or lost (especially in open areas)

    How is the student affected?
    The student may compensate for their visual challenges by:

    • Always walking with others (family or friends)
    • Needing much more verbal information to move to or through a route traveled
    There are drawbacks to these behaviors that will affect the child in that too much dependence may not permit the child to learn about their environment (orientation) and to move through it safely and independently (mobility). The lack of these independent skills may cause others to make false assumptions about the child and to either over help or to avoid helping due to the apparent over dependence of the child. The lack of these skills will prevent a child from growing into a safe and independent traveler.
    Next Steps
    • Discuss concerns with parents
    • Review student's past history (academic, medical, etc.)
    • Talk to previous teachers. Talk to counselors. Talk with the Blind/Visual Impairment teacher/consultant prior to referral for assessment
    • Follow school districts referral procedure