‘Greetings from Orientation & Mobility World in Spokane’, by O&M Specialist Alan Kirk
It’s been a busy year at Inland Northwest Lighthouse (INL) in Spokane, from an Orientation & Mobility (O&M) perspective. As an O&M Specialist contracted by the Lighthouse, I am responsible for providing individual instruction for independent travel skills, made available to all employees who are visually impaired. The job also involves a lot of work with accessibility issues in general, both in-house and in the community. In the former case, I have recently worked with other Lighthouse staff members on lighting, safety, and equipment issues at INL. In terms of our work with the community, it has been great to be involved with both the City of Spokane and the Spokane Transit Authority on issues ranging from audible traffic signals to dealing with the re-routing of buses due to road construction. Through this process we have made some lasting contacts for the Lighthouse, which will come in handy in the future.
The past year has also seen a lot of employees here at INL using Lighthouse O&M services, some for the first time. Requests might be as simple as learning to negotiate the production floor more easily (never simple!), or as involved as learning a new area after a household move. All blind and visually impaired employees at INL are welcome to contact me for this service, and it is great to see more employees taking advantage of this!
It is a pleasure working with the employees here at INL, who are at times colleagues, students, and friends!