Teacher of the Visually Impaired/Orientation and Mobility Services
Itinerant teachers of the visually impaired and certified orientation and mobility specialists (COMS) provide a wide range of services to students and school districts in compliance with local, state and federal legislation. The teachers participate with district evaluation teams in qualifying students under state guidelines, assist in developing program plans, provide direct and consultative services, and facilitate appropriate materials for individual students.
Butler County Educational Service Center's teacher of the visually impaired services:
- Interpret eye reports and conduct functional vision evaluations to help teams determine student qualifications and needs.
- Help school teams to better understand how vision impacts student learning and assist in developing effective program plans including evaluation team reports (ETRs) and individualized education plans (IEPs).
- Teach students braille and Nemeth Code.
- Teach students to use low-vision aids.
- Coordinate/order braille or enlarged materials for the district in the most cost-effective manner.
- Conduct workshops/inservices for staff on effective strategies for students with visual impairments.
- Refer to appropriate agencies for assistive technology evaluation.
- Teach children with varying abilities who are blind or have low-vision/deafblindness or multiple disabilities.
- Teach students daily living skills under the umbrella of the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC).
- Teach students about their visual impairments and how to advocate for their needs and accommodations.
- Collaborate with classroom teachers and other professionals to be sure students with visual impairments have access to all aspects of the curriculum.
- Communicate and work closely with parents of children with visual impairments so that they can become key players on their child’s educational team.
- Train district staff to use district-owned technology.
What does a certified orientation and mobility specialist do?
- Conducts orientation and mobility assessments to determine qualifications and needs.
- Teaches students how to move safely within their school and community using spatial and environmental concepts and information received by the senses (such as sound, temperature and vibrations) to establish, maintain or regain orientation and line of travel (e.g., using sound at a traffic light to cross the street).
- Teaches students to use the long cane or a service animal to safely negotiate the environment.
- Teaches students to use remaining vision and distance low-vision aids in order to travel independently.
- Teaches students to use GPS-assistive technology to assist in independent travel.
- Teaches students to use public transportation and alternative transportation.
- Provides sensitivity training to the public regarding visual impairment.
- Orients a student who is blind to locate classes, cafeteria and the library on campus.
- Teaches tactile map interpreting skills through a variety of methods including 3D print technology.