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History and Progression of the Profession of Orientation & Mobility

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1 History and Progression of the Profession of Orientation & Mobility
Chapter 14 History and Progression of the Profession of Orientation & Mobility

2 Early Professional Devlopments
Gloucester Conference (1953) - - Father Thomas Carroll – discussed the need for trained personnel outside the VA U.S. Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (1958) – identified education of O&M specialists as 2nd highest priority in field of VI. National Conference on O&M (1959) identified 3 main needs: Selection of O&M personnel Length of preparation – one year graduate study Curriculum Techniques and practice of O&M Dynamics of human behavior as it relates to blindness Functions of the human body Study of the senses Cultural and psychological implications of blindness

3 Development of University Programs
Federal grants provided funding for the first University O&M programs Boston College (1960) Western Michigan (1961) 1962 – VRA awarded 30 grants in 22 states. Paid salaries of O&M’s in the field from these two programs. 1966 – Demand for university trained O&M’s was so high, another conference was held. More grants awarded. SFA (1972) Currently 21 programs in the world (19 in USA, 1 in Canada, 1 in NZ)

4 The Shift to Distance Education
Done, simply, because: It’s more cost-effective It puts more people in the field in a shorter amount of time Is it effective? Time has proven that the individual, not the service delivery model, is the determining factor in educational effectiveness.

5 Professional Associations
AAWB : Division IX (O&M interest group) 1964 AAIB : AEVH : AER : 1984 –

6 Development of Agency Standards
COMSTAC report – (Commission on Standards and Accreditation of Services for the Blind – 1966). Recommended: formulation of standards for agency administration and service programs An organization to administer a nationwide system of voluntary accreditation based on these standards Led to certification of O&M specialists NAC – National Accreditation Council was created Recommended to agencies seeking accreditation employ certified O&M specialists.

7 Code of Ethics Appendix A of Foundations, Volume 1 contains the current code of ethics

8 Standardization of Preparation and Certification
University Program review (National/international) Functional Abilities Assessment (No longer used) Included: Corrected vision of 20/20 in each eye with no field restrictions or evidence of a progressive loss (later changed to 20/40 to reflect drivers license standards) Good physical health Ability to monitor a student up to 375 feet away (Now 6-20 feet) Assessing various travel situation that included scanning and perceiving an environmental configuration of no less than 300 degrees within 3 seconds Tracking and describing traffic in a lighted intersection during typical rush-hour traffic ACVREP (2000) Exam Certification Re-certification NOMC/NBPCB

9 Issues OMA’s – teaching O&M to individuals without visual impairments
Visual occlusion during O&M instruction Instruction for street crossings at signalized intersections Group or individual lessons

10 Future Issues Licensure and state certification
Third-party reimbursement (federal and state insurance plans) Medicare reimbursement


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