Orientation & Mobility

O&M Instructor Beth Jurco (left) navigates the Mt. Baker Link Light Rail station with machinist Kevin Jones (right)

O&M Instructor Beth Jurco (left) navigates the Mt. Baker Link Light Rail station with machinist Kevin Jones (right)

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
  • Orientation
  • Monoculars

Training areas

O&M instructor Meg Johnson (left) explores a tactile bus route map with machinist George Adams (right)

O&M instructor Meg Johnson (left) explores a tactile bus route map with machinist George Adams (right)

Basic Skills

  • 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.

Low Vision

  • 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

  • Sighted guide
  • Mobility
  • ETAs
  • 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
  • Magnification
  • 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.

Information Contact:

Amy Koehl
Senior Director, 
Employee and Community Services
Email: akoehl@seattlelh.org

This entry was posted on Friday, December 3rd, 2010 at 3:45 pm and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Our Mission: To create and enhance opportunities for independence and self-sufficiency
of people who are blind, DeafBlind, and blind with other disabilities.

© 2017 The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc.