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Position Requirements:

Required:

  • Bachelor's and/or master's degree
  • AER/Academy certification

Preferred:

  • Experience with school aged children
  • Experience with children with multiple impairments
  • Experience working with team
  • Ability to travel between sites

Supervised by:

Special education director or special services coordinator

Job Goals:

Orientation and mobility is that part of the educational process that prepares the blind student to travel independently. The itinerant O&M specialist travels to the students' assigned schools and/or home to provide direct and/or consultative special education services relating to the vision loss. The O&M specialist is prepared to provide service to an array of students including infants, students with low vision and/or multiple impairments. These services enable the students to travel safely and independently in their home, school, and community environments. The students range in age from birth to 21. The students may have singular or multiple impairments. The cognitive levels of the students range from severely impaired to gifted and talented. Many students with visual impairments are totally mainstreamed in their home schools. Others are in special programs in their home schools or at various campuses throughout the district. Community-based instruction is a critical component of the O&M program.

Evaluation:

Performance on the job will be evaluated by a supervisor. Evaluation should be completed by individual(s) knowledgeable in visual impairments.

Specific Job Duties:

Assessment and Evaluation:

  • Perform orientation and mobility evaluations that focus on long- and short-term needs of the student on new referrals and on three-year re-evaluations
  • Include in the assessment report the needs and strengths of the student and an estimate of the length and frequency of service necessary to meet identified needs
  • Contribute to other appropriate portions of the IEP, such as goals and recommendations
  • Provide consultation and support services to parents, regular and special education teachers, other school personnel, and students' sighted peers
  • Confer regularly with parents, classroom teachers, physical education teachers, physical therapists, and other school personnel to assist in home and classroom modifications to ensure reinforcement of appropriate O&M skills that will encourage the visually impaired student to travel independently in these settings
  • Work with the teacher of students with visual impairments to conduct the functional vision assessment as it relates to independent travel
  • Evaluate the student's progress on an ongoing basis and keep progress notes on each student

Appropriate Learning Environments:

  • Instruct students with visual impairments in skills and knowledge that enable them to travel independently based on the IEP
  • Teach visually impaired students to travel with proficiency, safety, and confidence in familiar and unfamiliar environments
  • Prepare sequential and meaningful instruction geared to the students' assessed needs, IEP/IFSP goals and objectives, functioning level, and motivation level
  • Be responsible for the student's safety during O&M instruction and in other environments while fostering maximum independence during O&M lessons
  • Prepare and use equipment and materials such as tactile maps, models, distance low vision devices, adaptive mobility devices, and long canes for the development of O&M skills
  • Provide orientation of new school buildings and new class schedules to students with visual impairments as needed.

Direct Instruction in the Unique Curriculum:

  • Concept development
  • Gross motor skills
  • Visual efficiency skills (with and without low vision devices)
  • Pre-cane skills
  • Cane skills
  • Map skills
  • Outdoor
    • Residential
    • Semi-business
    • Business.

Support Services:

  • Provide assistance to the students with visual impairments in understanding their attitudes and those of others concerning their visual impairments
  • Emphasize social integration with peers and provide opportunities for interaction.

Administrative/Record Keeping Duties:

  • Submit requests for instructional materials, conferences and reference materials
  • Be knowledgeable of community-based resources that may be available to the VI student.
  • Provide inservice training to regular and special education personnel, administrative personnel, sighted peers, and parents concerning the O&M needs of the student and appropriate methods for interacting with the VI student so as to foster maximum independence and safety
  • Participate in parent conferences and meetings as well as teacher staffings regarding the VI student
  • Maintain adequate records on all assessment, IEPs, and progress reports
  • Provide progress reports to parents
  • Arrange and prepare paperwork as appropriate and attend all ARDs on students with visual impairments as they relate to O&M.
  • Communicate with specialists in low vision, ophthalmologists, and optometrists concerning exams, and attend exams when appropriate.

Liaison Between Community and School:

  • Provide information about the vision and O&M programs to the schools and community.

Professional Standards:

  • Maintain a reference library of current professional materials.
  • Acquire information about current research, development, and technology by attending conferences and workshops and by reading journals in the field of visual impairment.