Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired

Orientation and Mobility Services

Two men are crossing the street using a cane.DBVI O&M specialists teach adults who are blind or visually impaired the skills and concepts they need in order to travel independently and safely in the home, college, community and city.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Orientation and Mobility (O&M)?

Orientation and mobility (O&M) training helps children and adults who are blind or visually impaired know where they are, where they want to go (orientation) and how to get there safely and independently by walking or using transportation (mobility)

What services are provided by the DBVI O&M Program?

The Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired offers travel skills assessments and training, orientation technique training, and instruction in how to get around independently, to include:

  • Using hearing, touch and smell to gather information about the world
  • Learning spatial concepts to understand the relationships that exist between objects in the environment
  • Using the cane to clear a safe path and locate objects along the way in both indoor and outdoor environments
  • Asking for or declining assistance
  • Independently finding your destination
  • Techniques for crossing streets, such as analyzing the shape of an intersection; determining if traffic is controlled by a stop sign, yield sign, a traffic light, or no control
  • Problem-solving skills to determine what to do if you are disoriented or lost or need to change your route
  • Using public transportation and transit systems
  • DBVI O&M Specialists provide services to adults in a variety of community-based and rehabilitation settings

Where are O&M services provided?

Orientation and Mobility services are provided in your home, college, community, city and work site. Orientation and Mobility is also taught to those who attend a program at the Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Vision Impaired.

How can I, as a blind person, be oriented to my new job site?

You can contact your closest regional office and ask to speak with the regional manager. See the list of regional offices for locations and contact information or you can call our toll free telephone number (800) 622-2155.

What are the qualifications of DBVI O&M specialists?

The Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired requires its Orientation and Mobility Specialists to hold a professional orientation and mobility certification from either the "Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals" or "National Blindness Professional Certification Board."

How can I get O&M services?

If you qualify, you can receive orientation and mobility services from a qualified orientation and mobility specialist who is employed in one of the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired's six regional offices or the Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Vision Impaired. In addition there are orientation and mobility specialists who provide this service for a fee. For information about private orientation and mobility specialists, please contact Jane Ward-Solomon .

Orientation and Mobility Resource Documents

Orientation & Mobility (O&M) Specialists who will contract for O&M Services.

Find more resources leading to external websites for Orientation and Mobility on the Resources page.

Program Director Information

For further information, please contact Jane Ward-Solomon, Director of Instruction:
Telephone: (804) 371-3112
Toll Free: (800) 622-2155
Email: Director of Instruction

This File Was Last Modified: Monday January 04 2016