Connections to the BC Curriculum – Core Competencies
The British Columbia K-12 Curriculum emphasizes Critical and Reflective Thinking as a core competency. Critical and reflective thinking includes students “[making] judgments based on reasoning: […] consider options; analyze these using specific criteria, and draw conclusions and make judgments.” The curriculum identifies three facets of critical and reflective thinking:
- Analyze and critique
- Question and investigate
- Develop and design
Orientation and Mobility Skills – Students with Visual Impairments
Students with visual impairments need conceptual understanding, skills, and tools to understand and move through their environment at home, at school, and in the community. Orientation and mobility instruction, provided by a trained orientation and mobility specialist, may encompass concept development, use of mobility devices, techniques for moving safely through the environment, and understanding when and how to seek additional information or assistance. Ultimately, the goals of O&M is to allow a student to travel as independently or interdependently as possible (Fazzi, 2014) Direct instruction in these skills promotes independence and safely.
Examples of Orientation and Mobility Skills
- Using techniques to move safely through one’s home and school environment independently.
- Listening to traffic and other cues to determine the type of intersection and the safest time to cross.
- Learning to ask for assistance and direct a peer or teacher how to provide help appropriately.
Resources to Support Instruction
PRCVI Library Catalogue
American Printing House for the Blind. Tactile Town: 3-D and O&M Graphics Kit. Louisville, KY: American Printing House for the Blind. [Resource Kit]
American Printing House for the Blind. Picture maker: Wheatley tactile diagramming kit. Louisville, KY: American Printing House for the Blind. [Resource Kit]
- Useful for instruction and assessment of positional concepts, single-block orientation, grid-pattern development, building and room familiarization, and to illustrate intersection layouts.
Fazzi, D. L. & Petersmeyer, B. A. (2001). Imagining the possibilities: creative approaches to orientation and mobility instruction for persons who are visually impaired. New York, NY: American Foundation for the Blind. [Professional Text]
Pogrund, R. L. & Griffin-Shirley, N. (2018). Partners in O&M: supporting orientation and mobility for students who are visually impaired. New York, NY: American Foundation for the Blind. [Professional Text]
Zatta, M. C. (2014). Alternate routes: Adapting orientation and mobility techniques. Watertown, MA: Perkins School for the Blind. [Professional DVD]
Atlantic Provinces Special Education Authority (2019). Orientation and Mobility Delivery Guidelines. Halifax, NS: APSEA.
British Columbia Ministry of Education. Framework for independent Travel: A resource for orientation and mobility instruction. Retrieved from https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/education/kindergarten-to-grade-12/teach/teaching-tools/inclusive/fit.pdf
PRCVI. O&M Sharing Day - Victor Stream and Favourite Resources. Retrieved from https://prcvi.org/resources/expanded-core-curriculum/orientation-and-mobility/orientation-and-mobility-sharing-days/
VisionAware. An introduction to orientation and mobility. New York, NY: American Foundation for the Blind. Retrieved from https://www.visionaware.org/info/everyday-living/essential-skills/an-introduction-to-orientation-and-mobility-skills/123
Perkins School for the Blind. O&M and CVI. Watertown, MA: Perkins School for the Blind. Retrieved from https://www.perkinselearning.org/earn-credits/self-paced/om-and-cvi-tutorial
Perkins School for the Blind. Wheelchair Orientation & Mobility. Watertown, MA: Perkins School for the Blind. Retrieved from https://www.perkinselearning.org/videos/webcast/wheelchair-orientation-mobility
TMAP from the San Francisco Lighthouse. Are you introducing outdoor map reading to your student? TMAP is an online tool that uses map coordinates to automatically generate a tactile map file to be embossed on a graphics-capable embosser (such as a Tiger). Retrieved from
Fazzi, D. L. (2014). Orientation and Mobility. In Allman, C. B., Lewis, S., & Spungin, S. J. (eds.). ECC essentials: Teaching the expanded core curriculum to students with visual impairments (pp. 248-282. New York, NY: AFB Press.