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World Services for the Blind


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In our Orientation & Mobility training, we evaluate a person’s ability to travel safely and efficiently in various environments. We provide the necessary training and adaptive equipment enabling a person to do so. All O&M services are self-paced, flexible and individualized to assist the student to reach their short-term and long-term goals. Program time varies depending on skill retention, physical/cognitive limitations, concept development and motivation. Typically, a person with no prior O&M training and little to no useful vision will need three to six months of training to become as independent as their abilities permit. Students who have had previous training can complete the program in three to four weeks.

Areas covered typically include pre-cane skills, basic cane skills, indoor travel, street crossing skills/route travel in residential, small business, and downtown areas, and use of public transportation. An outline of the course curriculum follows.

  • Pre-cane Skills:

  • Human guide

  • Squaring off

  • Upper & lower body protection

  • Hand trailing

  • Routes—I, L, U, Z

  • Reversal of routes

  • Room familiarization

  • Dropped objects


Cane Skills:

  • Cane storage—fold, unfold and stow cane

  • Human guide with cane

  • ID cane position

  • Locating door handles

  • Diagonal cane

  • Two-point touch

  • Constant contact

  • Cane trailing

  • Ascending stairs

  • Descending stairs

  • Shorelining

  • Touch and slide

  • Touch and drag

  • Three-point check

  • Three-point touch

  • Ridgelining


Indoor Travel

  • Direction taking/parallel & perpendicular alignment

  • Compass directions

  • Use of digital recorders if applicable

  • Use of landmarks and cues

  • Use of tactile maps

  • Routes and reversals



    Residential Travel

  • Sidewalk travel & recovery

  • Straight-line travel

  • Corner detection

  • Corner familiarization

  • Problem-solving

  • Distance travel

  • Routes and reversals

  • Use of compass (talking, cell phone)

  • Use of GPS systems (cell phone and Trekker combined with the Victor Stream)

  • Use of monocular, tactile map, digital recorder

  • Use of Braille or large print directions


Street Crossings (basic)

  • Intersection analysis

  • Various types of intersections (+, T, traffic circles/roundabouts)

  • Various types of traffic control

  • Ready-to-cross position

  • Alignment

  • Veer correction

  • Parallel vs. perpendicular traffic

  • Boxing intersections

  • Appropriate timing


Street Crossings (light-controlled)

  • Intersection analysis

  • Traffic flow analysis

  • Alignment

  • Traffic surge recognition

  • Visual recognition of walk/don’t walk signals

  • Monocular use if applicable

  • Use of APS systems

  • Traffic islands

  • Veer correction

  • Scanning lane-by-lane


Medium Business/Downtown Travel

  • Store location and familiarization

  • Parking lot recovery

  • Straight-line travel

  • Negotiating street furniture

  • Detecting corners (blended curbs, rounded corners, diagonal curb cuts)

  • Route planning

  • Understanding the address system

  • Requesting assistance

  • Using escalators, elevators, and revolving doors

  • Use of compass (talking, cell phone)

  • Mall travel

  • Use of tactile maps, digital recorder, monocular

  • Use of hand-held magnifier or CCTV for reading maps/schedules

  • Use of GPS systems (cell phone, Trekker/Victor)


Rural Travel

  • Indenting

  • Route travel

  • Special cane techniques and cane tips for rural travel

Public Transportation

  • Bus orientation

  • Travel center orientation

  • Independent bus travel

  • Transferring buses

  • Route planning/use of GPS

The following skills are not always taught; special lessons may be arranged:

  • Use of ADA van if applicable

  • Taxi/Uber

  • Airport familiarization

  • Greyhound travel

  • Discussion of rapid-rail and rapid light-rail systems

  • Use of monocular, tactile maps, digital recorder

  • Use of tinted lenses to reduce indoor and outdoor glare

  • Use of hand-held magnifying devices to read print maps

  • Use of GPS systems (cell phone, Trekker/Victor Stream)

  • Discussion of latest O&M-related technology aids

  • Juno walks and discussions, and blindfold travel to prepare for application to a guide dog school

  • Blindfold training upon request


Phone: 501-766-6754

Cert: COMS