Orientation & Mobility
Orientation and Mobility instructors assist blind and Deaf-Blind individuals in learning skills to travel independently and safely. Skills instruction includes white cane travel, bus and street route planning, electronic travel aid training, and supplemental guide dog training. Orientation and Mobility instructors meet the needs of numerous employees as they navigate through the ever changing transit landscape of the greater Seattle and Spokane areas, providing ongoing route planning and safe travel techniques. Orientation and Mobility training includes bus travel, route planning, assistive technology assessment, safety techniques for low-vision travelers, relocation and route planning for new community members, and supplemental training for guide-dog users.
Eligibility for Services
All Lighthouse employees who are blind, low-vision, or Deaf-Blind are eligible for the following services:
- Route planning
- Glare remediation
- ACCESS training
- Line of travel/ balance
- Obstacle avoidance skills
- Use of protective techniques
- Direction taking
- Street crossing concepts and safety
- Sequential memory
Cane Skills — Knowledge of appropriate cane technique and its application to a range of environments.
- Visual threshold for uncontrolled traffic hazards
- Reading street signage, recognizing pedestrian signal changes, reading directional signage, etc.
- Route planning and orientation skills
- Preferred tools, affective questioning abilities
- Understanding and use of cardinal directions
- Risk assessment and boundaries
Problem Solving and Getting Assistance
- Sighted guide
- Systems training
- Cane Travel
- Destination training
Community members who are blind, low vision, or Deaf-Blind and are referred by Metro Transit are eligible for the following sevices:
- Destination Training
- Systems Training
- Training that leads to being able to independently use fixed route bus travel.
(May include all services listed above for Lighthouse employees)
- Information and Referral
O&M Accessories and Resources
- Communication (email, pager, TTY, VRS-written English abilities)
- Computer applications (mapping software / web resources)
- Cane and tip types
- Electronic Travel Aids
- Sunglasses — other sun protection accessories
- Monocular Training
Funding and Costs
The Orientation and Mobility Program is funded through a combination of community support and grants from organizations such as Metro. We rely upon financial contributions from local corporations, foundations, service organizations and individuals.
All community support for Lighthouse programs is channeled through the Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind Foundation, whose sole purpose is to gather community support for fulfillment of the Seattle Lighthouse mission. Participants do not pay tuition fees.
Senior Director, Employee and Community Services