Orientation and Mobility Family Booklet

User Manual
APH logo O&M Family Booklet logo

Fabiana Perla, Ed.D., COMS
Betsy O'Donnell, MS, COMS
Terrie (Mary T.) Terlau, Ph.D.

Copyright (c) 2010

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
All rights reserved
Distributed By: American Printing House for the Blind
1839 Frankfort Avenue
P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, KY 40206
Phone: 800-223-1839
e-mail: info@aph.org

Last updated: 2010.05.20

Important Notice About Liability

Fabiana Perla, Ed.D. COMS, and Betsy O'Donnell, MS, COMS, noted authors and presenters in the orientation and mobility field, have authored all of the information about orientation and mobility included in this software. However, you, the orientation and mobility instructor, always have a choice about whether to include specific information in a particular family booklet. You are responsible for all information that you include in the booklet regardless of whether it is authored by you or by the software authors.

Acknowledgements

We wish to thank Tad Kosanovich, OD, vision rehabilitation specialist, and member of the American Optometric Association Vision Rehabilitation section, in private practice in Englewood, Florida, for his review of the eye condition definitions used in this software. His kindness and assistance was invaluable.

We also wish to thank our programmer, John Hedges, for his patience and creativity throughout the development process. Our appreciation goes out to all of the orientation and mobility instructors, consumers, and others who field tested this software and helped us make it really do what we hoped it would.

About the O&M Family Booklet Software

This software helps you create an orientation and mobility booklet for the families of your students. The software will print the customized booklet on standard 8.5" X 11" paper. You will need to place the booklet into a three-ring binder or clip it into a binding and cover of your choice. You will also need to provide a self-addressed envelope at the end of the booklet so that the student's family can return the Family Contact Form to you.

Project History and Philosophy

A pilot project directed by Fabiana Perla, COMS and Betsy O'Donnell, COMS took place in 2000 with parents of children at St. Lucy Day School for Children with Visual Impairments in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. The project consisted of a workshop for parents, a series of telephone interviews, and the development of individualized O&M booklets. Constructive feedback on the usefulness of the booklets was incorporated into the final version of the O&M Family Booklet produced by this software.

Families can be very powerful sources of incidental learning for children with visual impairments and can play a major role in expanding children's application of orientation and mobility skills beyond the scope of O&M lessons. In 2002, Fabiana Perla and Betsy O'Donnell approached the American Printing House for the Blind about collaborating in the development of software designed to help orientation and mobility instructors create family booklets that would provide families with the information they need to foster their children's incidental learning and independence.

Purpose of This Software

The purpose of Orientation and Mobility Family Booklet software is to help you provide your students' families with meaningful explanations of orientation and mobility and its relevance in their children's lives. The booklet produced by using the software summarizes a student's O&M progress and goals; and it also helps the parents foster their child's independence in everyday life.

The orientation and mobility (O&M) family booklet can be a wonderful way to introduce yourself and establish a partnership with families of your students. You may find that parents, once they have a comprehensive understanding of orientation and mobility, become more interested in and better advocates of their children's mobility needs. This booklet may also be used by families when sharing information about their children with relatives, friends, and professionals such as school teachers and sports coaches.

We suggest the following uses for this booklet:

Overview of Booklet Content

The booklet produced using this software can contain any or all of the material outlined below. You can customize each booklet by omitting topics, editing information, or adding your own comments so that the final product meets the individual needs of a student and his/her family.

Tips for Communication With Families

We view this booklet as part of an ongoing communication approach that may include home visits, telephone calls, meetings, and written communication. It is in this context that families are more likely to better understand the particular mobility needs of their children and develop greater confidence in participating in the O&M process. We suggest contacting the family before sending the booklet and maintaining ongoing communication afterwards. Additional strategies for effective collaboration include:

When to Complete a Booklet

Whether to complete an O&M Family Booklet on every student and how often to update the booklet are important questions only you can answer. You may consider creating a booklet for each new family on your caseload after completing a comprehensive evaluation; or you may initially select those families that you think could benefit the most from the information in the booklet and then gradually include others. Periodically, you may need to update a booklet to reflect significant changes in your student's circumstances or O&M needs. Changes in age or skill level may only call for an update of selected areas of the booklet.

This software makes it easy for you to update a booklet, since it stores the information for every booklet you create on your hard drive. Each time you make changes to a booklet, the system automatically saves the change and updates the date that will appear on the cover page when the booklet is printed.

Getting Started

System Requirements

Now that you have a better idea of what this software can do for you and your students, it's time to get the software up and running. In order to use this software effectively, you must have the following:

Installation Instructions

If you are installing O&M Family Booklet on a shared PC, make sure that the person installing the software has administrative rights to install.

Close any open programs before installing or updating O&M Family Booklet. You will receive an error/unable to install message if you try to install the program with any other program open.

Once the setup process starts, follow the instructions displayed on the screen. Before you can proceed with Setup, you must agree to the End User License Agreement. Once the software is installed, you will not need the CD to use the program.

To start the software, find its icon on the desktop or go to the Start Menu, and open the programs folder. After locating the program on the desktop or Start Menu, double click the program to open it. Alternatively, you can use the arrow keys to find the program and press enter.

The remainder of this manual includes

Creating or Editing a Booklet

Background Information

Although you may be able to use the program intuitively, information contained in the following pages will help you make better use of the software. The first screens of the program request information about you, the instructor; and the remaining screens request information about the student. Instructor screens can be accessed from anywhere in the program by selecting items on the Instructor Menu; and the student screens can similarly be accessed from anywhere in the program by selecting items on the Student Menu.

Many instructors can use this software on one computer. The software uses a login and password system, with each user having a unique user name and password. When you log in to the program, you can see only those booklets that you have created. You can't see booklets created by other instructors; and other instructors can't see booklets that you have created. Later, we will describe the method for transferring booklets from one instructor to another. This might need to happen when a student is transferred from you to another instructor.

All screens that deal with student information also display text as it will appear in the family booklet. After you edit, add, or delete specific information, the family booklet text on the screen will reflect your changes. Before moving to the next screen, you may wish to review the booklet text to make sure that it says what you intend. When you have completed a book, we recommend that you review all screens to make sure that you have not omitted any sections accidentally.

If you are confused by any instructor or student-related screen, pull down the Help Menu, and click the Context Help button. This brings you immediately to the section of this manual dealing with your current screen. After reading the manual, return to the screen by clicking the x in the help window or by pressing the escape key.

The Instructor Management Screen

O&M Family Booklet Management The Instructor Management screen is the first screen to appear after the program's initial splash screen. The Instructor Management screen can also be accessed from the Instructor Menu, Management item.

The Instructor Management screen requires you to sign in with a user name and password. When you sign in to the program for the first time, the sign in dialog requires you to enter your password twice, and provide a challenge question and answer to be used to verify your identity in case you forget your password. Make sure that you provide a question with one obvious answer that you will not forget and that no one else knows. This process will be explained in more detail shortly.

After you have signed in, you will have access to any family books that you have created or are in the process of creating. The way your user name is obtained depends on how you access the computer on which the software resides.

Using Your Windows User Name

If you work on a computer shared by other users, or if your computer is connected to a network of other computers, you are likely to have a separate profile for your work created on the computer. When you must provide a user name and password to begin using a computer, you are probably using a Windows-based user name and password. If you have a Windows user name and are logged in to Windows, the O&M Family Booklet software places your Windows user name in the name box on the Instructor Management screen. If someone else is logged in to the computer, you should log in under your own user name before opening the program.

As stated previously, the Instructor Management screen requires that you create a password and a challenge question/answer to be used if you forget your password. In order to protect your Windows user profile, do NOT use your Windows login password for this software. Instead, create a password to be used only for the O&M Family Booklet.

Creating Your Own User Name for This Software

There are a few sets of circumstances in which you may not have a Windows login name and password. If you are the only person using the computer and your computer is not on a school or work network or if a number of people share a computer which is not set up with individual login profiles for individual users, you probably don't have a personal Windows login.

If you do not have your own Windows profile and user name, you will need to create a user name for identification (ID) as well as a password. Make sure that your user name is easy to remember and recognize.

If you have not used the program before and another name appears in the User Name box on the Instructor Management screen, click the Cancel button on this screen. When the menu bar appears, click Instructor and then click Management. Write your new user name in the User Name box on this screen, and click add.

Because this is the first time you have used the program, basic information about you is not yet stored in the software. After you click Add, the Instructor Information screen will automatically appear and will guide you through the process of entering your name, credentials, and contact information. After clicking OK, you will be returned to the Instructor Management screen. Here you will see the message, "No password created, click set password." After clicking the Set Password button, you will enter a password, reenter it for verification, and provide a secret question and its answer. If you forget your password, you can click Forgot Password on the Instructor Management screen. You will then be asked the secret question; if you enter the correct answer to this question, you will be able to reset your password. Press OK, and you will be returned to the login dialog where you can now enter your new password and begin using the program.

If you have used this software on this computer before and another name appears in the User Name box, simply click inside the box and then click on your name when it appears. You will then type in your password in the usual way.

the Use Selected Instructor ID Checkbox

If you check this box, the currently selected instructor ID will always be selected when the program is reopened. In other words, the ID of the instructor who used the program last will be selected on the login screen the next time the program is opened. If you are not that instructor, you need only click inside the name box to pull down the list of all instructor IDs (yours included) that have been established. If you leave this checkbox unchecked, the ID of the person logged onto Windows will always appear in the Instructor Name box on a new login screen when the program is opened. You can still click inside the box to pull down the list of instructor IDs that have been established (yours included) and proceed with your login. However, if you do not have a Windows login user name and password and if you are the primary person using this software, you might find it more convenient to check this checkbox so that your instructor ID always appears when you open the program.

The Instructor Information Screen

O&M Family Booklet Instructor Information The Instructor Information screen mentioned above appears automatically when you enter a new user name and click add. You can also access this screen from anywhere in the software by clicking the Information item in the Instructor Menu.

This screen presents you with forms for collecting your name, credentials, workplace, address, phone numbers, and best times to contact you. This material will be saved as part of your instructor information; and the program will then insert this information in the appropriate places in all of the family booklets that you create.

The Instructor Information screen contains six fields and three buttons.

The six fields include:

The Address button, when pressed, brings up the following fields:

The contact button, when pressed, brings up a dialog with the following fields:

The photo button, when pressed, brings up the Instructor Photo screen. You can use the Import button to select a photo. When pressed, an open file dialog with an edit field for the file pathname for an electronic photo appears. You can also browse through folders on the computer to locate your photo. If you upload a digital picture of yourself to be saved in the software, you will be asked whether you want to include the photo each time you create a booklet. Although it is saved by the software, you can decide whether to include it on a case-by-case basis. The software will also ask you if you want to paste a paper photo of yourself into the printed booklet.

Remember that you need only enter information that you want your student's family to have and use. Also remember that you can remove information from a family book even though you have entered it here. For example, although you don't want to give your home phone number to most families, you might want to share it with one student's family because the student's parent works third shift, sleeps during the day, and can only make phone calls in the evening when you are home. If you enter your home phone number in this form, the software allows you to easily remove it from family books in which you don't want it to appear.


The Instructor Resources Screen

O&M Family Booklet Instructor Resources Information After you have signed in to the program and, for first-time users, have provided your instructor information, you are automatically taken to the Instructor Resources Screen. This screen contains the following buttons:

The Student List Screen

O&M Family Booklet Student List This screen shows the list of students for whom you have started or completed a booklet. Although other instructors may use this program, only your students will appear in this list. You can add or delete students from this list; and you can also create, update, or review a student's booklet.

When you use this program for the first time, there will be no student names in the list. The screen will include fields for student's last name, first name, middle initial, and birth date. As soon as you have listed your first student, the screen will display the student's name and birth date and will provide the following additional buttons:

If you have begun or completed a booklet for this student's family and you wish to continue working on the booklet or review it if it is completed, highlight the student's name in the Student List box and press the Edit Booklet button. Clicking Edit Booklet on the Student List screen takes you directly to the Booklet Introduction screen. You can move through a student's booklet using Back and Next buttons found in the lower right-hand corner of the screens or use items on the Student Menu.

The Booklet Introduction Screen

O&M Family Booklet Introduction This screen can also be accessed with the Booklet Introduction item on the Student Menu.

The Introduction screen first displays the book's cover and front matter (authors, copyright, etc). Next, it offers text that introduces you to your student's family, gives contact information for you, and indicates the days and times of your student's O&M lessons. Finally, parents and others involved in your student's education are invited to let you know how to reach them by filling out the Family Contact Form at the end of the booklet. This section can also be viewed as an opportunity to invite others to participate in the O&M learning process.

You can edit all of your introductory information by using the edit buttons on the . The first three buttons, Your Name, Address, and Contact, give you a quick way to update your instructor information; changes you make to your instructor information are global. This means that these changes will appear in all booklets for all of your students. The next four buttons --Introduction, Photo, Lessons, and Message-- allow you to edit all the parts of the introduction text; changes that you make when using these buttons are only made to this specific page in this student's family booklet and are not global. The final three buttons, Next, Back, and Print Section are found on all booklet editing screens. Pressing Next brings you to the next screen, Back takes you to the previous screen, and Print Section prints the Introduction section of the booklet.

Now let's take a closer look at four buttons on the Introduction screen.

The Introduction Button

When you press the Introduction button, your cursor is placed inside a box in which you can edit your greeting to the family. Note that, when editing, the program will use token phrases for your first name, last name, and other items for which it will insert information. If you do not want the computer to insert this information, you can delete the token starting with the right bracket at the end and deleting backwards to the left bracket at the beginning. It is highly inadvisable to delete tokens. See Appendix A for a more thorough explanation of tokens.

The Edit Results box shows you the introduction information as you have edited it. If you are not satisfied with these results, you can move back to the Edit Introduction box and reedit the material.

Pressing the OK button saves your edits to the Introduction section and brings you back to the main Introduction screen. Pressing the Cancel button brings you back to this screen, but does not save the edits you have made.

The Photo Button

Pressing this button offers you a list of three choices regarding your photo.

Pressing the OK or Cancel buttons will bring you back to the main Introduction screen. The OK button will save your photo choices for this booklet. The Cancel button will not save the photo choices you have made.

The Lesson Schedule Button

Pressing the Lesson Schedule button brings you to an edit field labeled Lesson Days and Times. Here, you fill in the days and times of the student's O&M lessons. The software will insert the information you write after the stem, "Days and times of our lessons are. . .". Pressing OK saves your information and brings you back to the main Introduction screen. Pressing Cancel brings you back to this screen, but does not save your information.

The Message Button

Pressing the Message button brings up an edit field containing the message to parents, the last paragraph in the introduction text. You can edit this text, add to it, or delete it. Pressing the OK button saves your changes and returns you to the main Introduction screen; pressing the Cancel button brings you back to this screen, but discards your changes.

Pressing the Next button takes you to the About This Booklet screen.

The About This Booklet Screen

O&M Family Booklet About this booklet This screen can also be accessed with the About This Booklet item in the Student Menu.

This screen includes four buttons which take you to edit fields with information that you can edit if you wish. Information included in the booklet is listed on the screen; and each of the four buttons allows you to edit a particular section of this information. After you have confirmed your edits, material including your changes will be displayed on the screen.

When you are editing sections of this screen, token labels will appear for material that the software inserts from the instructor and student information. If you wish to change material inside the brackets of a token, delete the token from right to left, starting with the right bracket and ending with the left one. Then type the information that you want; what you type will take the place of information the program would have inserted. Appendix A provides a more thorough explanation of tokens. It is highly inadvisable to delete tokens.

As on all booklet editing screens, the Next and Back buttons will take you to the next and previous program screens respectively. The Print Section button prints the About This Booklet section of the booklet.

The Why Booklet Button

When the Why Booklet button is pressed, material is displayed that answers the question, "Why an O&M booklet" by giving the family three ways in which the booklet can be helpful to them and their child. You can add to, delete, or edit this material as you wish. Pressing the OK button saves your changes and brings you to the main About This Booklet screen. Pressing the Cancel button brings you to this screen without saving your changes. If you have pressed OK, your changes will appear in the text on the screen.

The Includes Button

When the Includes button is pressed, a brief summary of what will be included in the booklet is provided. You can edit this information as you wish. If you omit any major section of the booklet, you MUST return to this item and remove the name of the section that you have omitted. Pressing the OK button saves your changes and brings you back to the About This Booklet screen; pressing Cancel brings you back to this screen without saving your edits.

The What Is O&M Button

Pressing the What Is O&M button brings up a definition of orientation and mobility in terms that a family can understand. You can edit this definition as you wish. Pressing the OK button saves your changes and brings you back to the main About This Booklet screen; pressing Cancel brings you back to this screen without saving your changes.

The Instructional Areas Button

Pressing the Instructional Areas button brings up a list of the areas of O&M instruction and explains them in language that a family can understand. Again, you can edit this information as you wish. Pressing the OK button confirms your changes and brings you back to the main About This Booklet screen; pressing Cancel brings you back to this screen without saving your edits.

Pressing Next takes you to the Eye Conditions screen.

The Eye Condition Screen

O&M Family Booklet Eye Conditions You can also go directly to this screen with the Eye Conditions item on the Student Menu.

This section of the booklet gives family members a brief summary of important information about their child's eye condition. When explaining eye conditions, it is important to use layman's terms, avoiding technical language unless clearly defined. For example, when using the word "photophobia," you may describe it as "sensitivity to light."

To complete this section of the booklet, you will need to gather information about your student's eye condition from school records. We offer several tools that will make reporting this information easier. Our picture of the eye with important parts labeled and described can help families better understand how vision works. We also provide a list of commonly occurring eye conditions and brief explanations. You can add your own conditions and definitions and use as much or as little of our material as you find appropriate for your student's particular family.

The content-related buttons on this screen include: Select Condition, Additional Condition, Remove Condition, and Eye Diagram. Finally, the Next and Back buttons move you to the next or previous screens; and the Print Section button prints the Eye Condition section of the booklet.

The Select Condition Button

When pressed, the Select Condition button presents a list of eye conditions with their descriptions in a dropdown format. Scroll through the list of eye conditions until you locate your student's condition. Some eye conditions, by their nature, affect both eyes; and others can affect eyes individually. The software offers a choice of left, right, or both eyes for those eye conditions that do not automatically affect both eyes. It is important to click the box that indicates which eye is affected by the eye condition. Clicking OK saves this eye condition to the booklet and puts it in the booklet text on the screen. To select other conditions, click the Select Condition button again and repeat the selection process. There is no limit on the number of eye conditions that you can select. In many instances, you can start with the condition that causes the most functional impairment and proceed to the condition causing the least functional impairment. Conditions are included in the booklet in the order in which you select them.

Additional Eye Condition Button

The Additional Eye Condition button allows you to add a condition to your student's booklet that is not included in our list. Pressing this button causes two edit fields to be displayed: Type the name of the student's eye condition in the field labeled Enter Name of Condition; and type the description of the condition in the field labeled Condition Description. Because we cannot know whether the condition you add affects both eyes automatically or can affect either eye individually, we do not provide boxes for left eye, right eye, or both eyes. It is important to clarify this in your condition name or description. Pressing the OK button saves this condition and description to the family booklet, presents it on the screen, and takes you back to the main Eye condition screen; pressing Cancel takes you back to this screen without saving the condition you added.

The Remove Condition Button

Pressing the Remove Condition button brings you to a list of eye conditions you have selected or added. To remove a condition, select it and click OK. This removes the selected condition and brings you back to the main Eye Condition screen. Pressing Cancel brings you back to this screen, but cancels the process (i.e., you have not removed the condition).

The Eye Diagram Button

Pressing the Eye Diagram button presents you with a check box labeled Include Eye Diagram and Description. If you check this box, you are presented with a second check box labeled, Use Color Diagram. If you check this box, the colored diagram will be included in the booklet; if you do not check it, the black-and-white diagram will be included. If you are printing the booklet on a color printer, use the color diagram. However, if you are printing on a black-and-white printer, do NOT use the color diagram because it will print in hard-to-distinguish shades of gray. As usual, the OK button accepts your choices regarding the eye diagram and returns you to the main Eye Condition screen. Pressing Cancel returns you to this screen without saving your eye diagram selections. By default, the eye diagram is not included in the booklet.

Pressing the Next button from the main Eye Condition screen brings you to the Visual Functioning screen.

The Visual Functioning Screen

O&M Family Booklet Understanding Visual Functioning The Visual Functioning screen can also be accessed with the Visual Functioning item on the Student menu.

This section gives family members a brief summary of important information about their child's visual functioning. To fill out this section of the book, you will need to gather information about your student's present level of visual functioning. The school record includes a report from an eye care professional. The report resulting from a comprehensive clinical low vision examination conducted by a qualified optometrist or ophthalmologist typically answers questions related to visual acuities, visual fields, depth perception, vision fluctuations, glare, use of sun lenses, and optical devices. In addition to reviewing your student's eye reports, you may consider taking near and distance visual acuities with low vision charts (See Instructor Resources - Helpful References) if this has not already been done. The Helpful References List contains references on conducting comprehensive functional visual assessments; in combination with the clinical low vision examination report, assessment of functional vision pertaining to orientation and mobility tasks can provide very useful information.

You will be asked whether to recommend a low vision evaluation. Your recommendation will be based on whether one has already been done, and if so, when it took place. If you think your student's current level of visual functioning can be further enhanced, a low vision evaluation may prove helpful.

The number of buttons displayed on this screen depends on the student's amount of functional vision that you will indicate on the Vision screen. Initially, the Visual Functioning screen displays the Vision button. If the student has visual acuity in at least one eye, the following buttons will be displayed after you have entered information on the Vision screen: Visual Acuities, Visual Fields, Depth Problems, Vision Fluctuates, Glare Problems, Use Sunglasses, Optical Devices, Other Devices, and Vision Evaluation. The Next button takes you to the next screen, the Back button takes you to the previous screen, and the Print Section button prints the Visual Functioning section of the booklet.

The Vision Button

When pressed, the Vision button takes you to a series of choices about level of vision in the student's right and left eyes. Choices are made separately for the left and right eyes and include:

Information that you record on this screen determines which of the subsequent visual functioning buttons will be presented to you. The acuity, visual fields, and depth perception buttons will appear only if you mark the Visual Acuity item for one or both of your student's eyes; if only one eye has measurable acuity, the acuity button will include questions only about the eye for which you have specified acuity. Similarly, the Optical Devices button will only be presented if your student has visual acuity in one or both eyes.

The Visual Acuities Button

If you indicated on the Vision screen that your student had visual acuity in one or both eyes, the Visual Acuities button is available. When pressed, an explanation of the meaning of visual acuity is provided for the family. In addition, you record visual acuities for each eye separately for near and distance vision with and without corrective lenses. If you marked an option other than visual acuity for one of your student's eyes on the Vision screen, acuity entries for that eye will not appear on the Visual Acuity screen.

Acuity is entered as follows:

The software provides a field in which you can enter general comments about the student's visual acuity. Clicking OK saves your acuity material to the family booklet and returns you to the main Visual Functioning screen; clicking Cancel returns you to this screen without saving this material.

The Visual Fields Button

If you indicated on the Vision screen that your student had visual acuity in one or both eyes, the Visual Fields button is available. The software includes an explanation of the meaning of visual fields. It also provides an entry field in which you can include visual field information about your student, explain the impact of field limitations on your student's orientation and mobility, and suggest ways in which the family can help the student handle these issues. In the instance when a student presents unimpaired visual fields, your explanatory comment is also helpful to the family. Clicking OK saves your changes and brings you back to the main Visual Functioning screen; clicking Cancel brings you back to this screen without saving your changes.

The Depth Problems Button

If you marked the Acuity option on the Vision screen for one or both of your student's eyes, the Depth Problems button will be available on the main Visual Functioning screen. By default, the Depth Problems radio button is not checked. If you do not change this setting, the software will not include the Depth Problems heading. If you press the button labeled Problems with Depth Perception, a comments field allows you to explain the specific problems that the student experiences with depth perception, the impact of these problems on the student's travel, and ways that the family can help the student handle these issues. If visual acuity was not selected for at least one eye on the Vision screen, the Depth Problems button will not be available because depth perception is not possible without visual acuity.

Clicking OK saves your information about depth perception to the booklet and brings you back to the main Visual Functioning screen; clicking Cancel brings you back to this screen without saving your information.

The Vision Fluctuates Button

The Vision Fluctuates button is available if you indicated that your student has light perception, light projection, or visual acuity in one or both eyes on the Vision screen. By default, the No Vision Fluctuations button is checked. When the No Vision Fluctuations button is checked, the software does not enter a heading or other information about vision fluctuation in the booklet. If you check the Vision Fluctuations button, the software provides an edit field in which you can describe the student's shifts in vision, the specific impact these have on the student and his/her travel, and ways that the family can help the student handle these issues.

Clicking OK saves your information about vision fluctuations to the family booklet and brings you back to the main Visual Functioning screen; clicking Cancel brings you back to this screen without saving your information to the booklet.

The Glare Button

The Glare button appears if you indicated that your student has light perception, light projection, or visual acuity in one or both eyes. By default, No Glare Problems is checked; if you do not change this setting, the Glare Problems heading will not be included in the family booklet. If you check the Glare Problems radio button, the software provides an edit field in which you can describe the student's experience of and problems with glare and note how the family can help the student manage glare.

Clicking OK saves your information about glare to the family booklet and brings you back to the main Visual Functioning screen; clicking Cancel brings you back to this screen without saving your information to the booklet.

The Sunglasses Button

If you indicated that your student has light perception, light projection, or visual acuity in one or both eyes, the Sunglasses button is available on the main Visual Functioning screen. By default, the Sunglasses radio button is not checked. If you do not change this setting, the software will not include the Sunglasses heading and will not include information about sunglasses. If you press the radio button labeled Needs Sunglasses, the software provides an edit field in which you can describe the type of lens, the problems with glare or bright light that make the lenses necessary, and actions that the family can take to help the student follow through on wearing sunglasses.

Clicking OK saves your information about sunglasses to the family booklet and brings you back to the main Visual Functioning screen; clicking Cancel brings you back to this screen without saving your information to the booklet.

The Uses Optical Devices Button

If you indicated that your student has visual acuity in one or both eyes, the Uses Optical Devices button is available. If you do not press this button, the heading about optical devices and other information about them will not appear in the family booklet. If you press the button, the screen displays introductory information about optical devices that will appear in the booklet. The screen also includes buttons labeled Telescopes, Magnifiers, and Video Magnifiers. Press buttons that correspond to the types of optical devices that your student has. When you have completed this process, press the OK button to save your material to the family booklet; you will then be automatically returned to the Visual Functioning screen. Pressing the Cancel button returns you to this screen without saving optical device material to the booklet. Now let's take a closer look at the buttons on the Optical Devices screen.

The Telescopes Button

Press the Telescopes button if your student uses a telescope. When you press this button, the screen displays boxes with editable information labeled Overview and Care Of. The Overview box includes an explanation of the nature of telescopes; and the Care Of box includes general instructions for protecting and cleaning telescopes. You can edit information in these boxes as you wish. The edit field labeled Your child uses allows you to enter the name, power, and other information about the specific telescope or telescopes that the student uses.

Clicking OK saves your information about telescopes to the family booklet and brings you back to the Optical Devices screen; clicking Cancel brings you back to this screen without saving your information to the booklet.

The Magnifiers Button

Press the Magnifiers button if your student uses a magnifier. When you press this button, the screen displays two boxes with editable information labeled Overview and Care Of. The Overview box provides general information about magnifiers; and the Care Of box provides general instructions for protecting and cleaning magnifiers. You can edit information in these boxes as you wish. The edit field labeled Your child uses allows you to enter the name, power, and other information about the specific magnifier or magnifiers that the student uses.

Clicking OK saves your information about magnifiers to the family booklet and brings you back to the Optical Devices screen; clicking Cancel brings you back to this screen without saving your information to the booklet.

The Video Magnifiers Button

Press the Video Magnifiers button if your student uses a video magnifier. Note that video magnifiers include CCTVs and any other devices that take a picture and magnify it on a screen. Some video magnifiers consist of a hand-held camera that sends magnified images to a TV screen; some portable devices with their own screens can be carried in a backpack or brief case; other hand-held devices are small enough to fit in a pocket; and still others may be worn.

When you press the Video Magnifiers button, the screen displays two boxes with editable information labeled Overview and Care Of. The Overview box provides general information about video magnifiers; and the Care Of box provides general instructions for protecting and caring for video magnifiers. You can edit information in these boxes as you wish. The edit field labeled Your child uses allows you to enter the name and description of the specific video magnifier(s) that the student uses.

Clicking OK saves your information about video magnifiers to the family booklet and brings you back to the Optical Devices screen; clicking Cancel brings you back to this screen without saving your information to the booklet.

Remember that you must click the OK button on the Optical Devices screen in order to save optical device information to the family booklet and return to the Visual Functioning screen. Clicking Cancel on the Optical Devices screen returns you to the Visual Functioning screen without saving any of your optical device information.

The Other Devices Button

The Other Devices button is available for all students regardless of level of vision. Information about other devices is not included in the booklet unless you press this button and provide information in the fields that follow.

Other Devices refers to cutting edge electronic devices that enhance vision. Examples of such devices might include systems that transmit material from a video camera to the brain where it is processed as visual information or miniaturized artificial photoreceptors that are implanted directly into the retina to replace destroyed retinal photoreceptors. The field of artificial vision is expanding rapidly; although current students may not have access to such devices, it is likely that an increasing number of such devices will become available in the future.

If your student uses any developing artificial vision devices, press the Other Devices button. Type the device's name in the field labeled Specify Device; and provide explanatory information in the Comments box.

Pressing the OK button saves information about other devices to the family booklet and brings you back to the Visual Functioning screen. Pressing the Cancel button brings you back to this screen without saving material about other devices to the booklet.

The Vision Evaluation Button

If you have indicated that your student has light projection or visual acuity in one or both eyes, the Vision Evaluation button is available. Pressing this button brings you to two radio buttons labeled Do Not Recommend Low Vision Evaluation and Recommend Low Vision Evaluation. By default, the Do Not Recommend Low Vision Evaluation button is checked. If you do not check Recommend Low Vision Evaluation, the booklet will not contain a heading or other information about a low vision evaluation. If you select the Recommend Low Vision Evaluation button, you should enter an explanation of your recommendation in the Comments edit field that follows. If the student has never had a clinical low vision examination, you may wish to give more detailed information about the nature of this exam, its benefits to the student, the type of professional (low vision optometrist or ophthalmologist) who can perform it, and perhaps potential sources of funding assistance.

Clicking OK saves your low vision evaluation recommendation to the family booklet and brings you back to the Visual Functioning screen. Clicking Cancel brings you back to this screen without saving your information to the family booklet.

Clicking Next brings you to the Additional Impairments screen.

The Additional Impairments Screen

O&M Family Booklet Additional Impairments This screen can also be accessed from the Additional Impairments item on the Student Menu.

The Additional Impairments screen offers you the opportunity to describe any additional impairments that impact the student's ability to process information about orientation and mobility or to perform orientation and mobility skills. This section is not included in the booklet if you do not enter information on this screen about additional impairments. The following two edit fields appear on the screen:

Clicking Next brings you to the Specific Goals screen.

The Specific Goals Screen

O&M Family Booklet Specific Goals This screen can also be accessed from the Specific Goals item on the Student Menu.

This screen includes introductory text, an introduction button, and a Goals button. Pressing the Introduction button brings you to editable text indicating that the student's O&M goals for the current year will follow. You can edit this text after you press the Introduction button. To save your changes to the family booklet and return to the Specific Goals screen, press OK; press Cancel to return to this screen without saving your changes. The Goals button brings you to an edit box in which you can list the student's O&M goals. Provide any additional information about these goals that you would like to share with the student's family. Press OK to save these goals to the booklet and return to the Specific Goals screen; press Cancel to return to this screen without saving this material. Pressing Next brings you directly to the Understanding O&M Skills, Concept Areas screen.


The Understanding O&M Skills, Concept Areas Screen

O&M Skills Concept Areas This screen can also be accessed with the O&M Skills: Concept Areas item on the Student Menu.

This screen includes the following five buttons, one button for each concept being rated. Buttons are labeled with shortened forms of the concept name as follows:

To rate your student's degree of understanding of each concept area, press its button and then check one of the following four response buttons:

A comment box is available regardless of which alternative you check. Here you can record your comments about the rating that you gave. Clicking OK saves your rating to the family booklet and returns you to the Understanding O&M Skills, Concept Areas screen. Pressing Cancel returns you to this screen without saving your rating.

Clicking Next takes you to the Understanding O&M Skills, Instructional Areas screen.

The Understanding O&M Skills, Instructional Areas Screen

O&M Skills Instructional Areas This screen can also be accessed with the O&M Skills: Instructional Areas item on the Student Menu.

This screen includes fourteen buttons, one button for each instructional area being rated. Depending on the screen resolution that you have set, all of these buttons may not appear on the screen. If some of these buttons are not visible, a scroll bar appears on the right side of the screen so that you can scroll to the remaining buttons. The following buttons, some labeled with shortened forms of the instructional area name, are available:

To rate your student's degree of mastery in each instructional area, press its button and then check one of the following four response buttons:

Regardless of which alternative you check, a Comments box allows you to record your own comments about your rating. Clicking OK saves your rating to the family booklet and returns you to the Understanding O&M Skills, Instructional Areas screen. Pressing Cancel returns you to this screen without saving your rating.

Clicking the Next button takes you to the General Strategies for Promoting Independence screen.

The General Strategies for Promoting Independence Screen

O&M Family Booklet General Strategies to Promote Independence This screen can also be accessed with the General Strategies item on the Student Menu.

This screen allows you to select, modify, and/or create guidelines and suggestions that, when followed in a family's day-to-day routines, will help the student build a sense of self-efficacy, responsibility, self-confidence, and independence. Authors have developed one list of strategies that fit well for students with visual impairments and a second list that highlights adaptations for students with multiple impairments. Appendix B includes the list of strategies for students with visual impairments, and Appendix C includes the list of strategies that highlight adaptations needed by some students with multiple impairments.

In both lists, strategies are written in very general terms that could apply to students with a wide variety of functional impairments. In fact, both lists are very similar in content. The strategies support families in helping all children with visual impairments reach their potential in terms of independence and self-direction. Always look at both lists when creating booklets for families of students with multiple impairments. Frequently, items from the Visual Impairment list will fit better for a given student than will items from the Multiple Impairments list. On the Multiple Impairments list, you will find strategies that take into account the possibility that your student may need to work more slowly or differently toward a goal or may need to receive more family support in achieving that goal. However, many students with multiple impairments can benefit from the level of challenge characterizing items on the Visual Impairments list.

The General Strategies screen includes buttons with the following labels:

The Visual Impairments Button and the Additional Impairments Button

Pressing either of these buttons brings up a list of strategies from which you can select. Highlight a strategy, click OK, and the strategy will be included in the booklet and shown in the on-screen booklet material. The screen includes a note reminding you to check both lists of strategies for students with multiple impairments because you will probably find valuable strategies in both lists. A number of strategies are repeated in both lists; and adaptations to these strategies offered in the Additional Impairments list may be more appropriate for some students with multiple impairments. On the other hand, some strategies in the Visual Impairments list offer a higher level of challenge appropriate for some students with multiple impairments.

To select another strategy, click the Visual Impairments or the Additional Impairments button again; highlight the strategy; and click OK. Continue this process until you have included all the strategies that you want in the booklet. Clicking Cancel brings you back to the General Strategies for Promoting Independence screen without accepting the strategy you selected.

New Strategy Button

The New Strategy button allows you to create and add a new strategy to the family booklet. When you press this button, two empty edit boxes appear on the screen: one for the strategy title and the other for the strategy text. Simply type your title and text in the appropriate places. The two Add checkboxes allow you to save this strategy only to this family's booklet (when the boxes are unchecked) or globally to either of the lists of strategies that appear for all booklets that you create (when one or both boxes are checked). The Add boxes are unchecked by default, indicating that you will use your strategy only in this booklet and that you will not add this strategy to the strategy lists. If you check the box labeled Add to Visual Impairment Pool, the new strategy that you created will always appear in the Visual Impairments list whenever you view the list in the future. Similarly, if you check the box labeled Add to Additional Impairments Pool, the new strategy will always appear on this list when you view this list in the future.

Press the OK button to add your new strategy to this family's booklet and to your software's strategy lists (depending on whether you have checked the Add boxes). You will then be returned to the General Strategies for Promoting Independence screen. Pressing Cancel will return you to this screen without saving your new strategy. Pressing the Next button will bring you to the Specific Activities for Promoting Independence screen.

The Adapt Strategies Button

Pressing the Adapt Strategies button brings you to a list of strategies that you have included in the booklet. After highlighting a strategy, press OK. The software then presents an edit box with the strategy title; here, you can change this title as you wish. The next edit box includes the strategy text. You can change wording, edit or delete sentences, and make any other changes that you wish. The Add to Visual Impairment Pool checkbox allows you to save this adapted strategy globally in the Visual Impairments strategy list as a replacement for the strategy provided by the software. Similarly, the Add to Additional Impairments Pool checkbox allows you to save this adapted strategy globally in the Additional Impairments strategy list as a replacement for the strategy provided by the software. By default, the checkboxes are not checked; and the strategy will only be used in this family's booklet. Unless you are very certain that you never want to use the unadapted strategy again, you should avoid checking the Add boxes. Once a box is checked and the OK button pressed, you will not be able to access the software's original version of the strategy in the list involved. It should be noted that this change effects only your use of the software; all other instructors logging into this software on this computer will be able to access the original strategy unless they have changed it in the manner just described.

Press the OK button to make your changes to the strategy final in this family's booklet and in your software's strategy lists (depending on whether you have checked the Add boxes). You will then be returned to the General Strategies for Promoting Independence screen. Pressing the Cancel button returns you to this screen without saving your changes to the booklet or software lists.

The Remove Strategy Button

When you press the Remove Strategy button, the list of strategies that you have selected appears. Select the strategy that you wish to remove, press OK, and the strategy will be removed from the booklet and from the on-screen booklet text. Pressing Cancel brings you back to the General Strategies for Promoting Independence screen without removing the strategy you selected. To remove another strategy, click the Remove Strategy button again and repeat the removal procedure.

The Specific Activities for Promoting Independence Screen

O&M Family Booklet Specific Activities for Promoting Independence This screen can also be accessed with the Specific Activities item in the Student Menu.

Background

The purpose of the Specific Activities for Promoting Independence section is to assist families in promoting their children's independence and incorporating O&M activities into everyday life. The goal is to assist families in reinforcing specific mobility skills, enhancing concept development, and exploring a variety of environments meaningful to the child. In this section you will select, modify, and/or create activities, keeping in mind your student's strengths and needs. You may find additional ideas for activities in the Helpful References document accessed from the Instructor Resources item on the Help Menu. The software provides sample activities that can be selected or adapted to fit the child's needs, age, or performance level.

Activities include games and things the child and family can do while at home or on shopping trips or other outings. They help the child apply O&M skills to real-life situations that also can be fun. Appendix D includes the list of all such activities in the software.

Using the Screen

The Specific Activities for Promoting Independence screen includes six buttons as follows:

How to Adapt Specific Activities

While the Specific Activities suggested in the software may apply to most of your students, some may need to be adapted to better address the needs and abilities of a specific child and to ensure they are in accordance with his/her cognitive level of functioning and prior experience. If activities need to be modified, keep in mind that both the general strategies and the specific activities can be edited using this software. That way, you can select aspects of a given activity while altering or adding others to better meet the needs of the children and families with whom you work. The examples provided below illustrate ways some of the activities can be tailored for a particular student.

  • Juan is a 5 year old boy who is in a special education kindergarten class. Two years ago he was in a serious car accident which resulted in a cognitive impairment including attention and short-term memory as well as a vision field loss. His interest in cameras and photographs was used by his O&M instructor to adapt the activity "Kids Teach." After certain mobility lessons, a photograph was sent home to be used as a prompt to assist in discussing what took place during the lesson.

  • Ann is a 10 year old girl who attends public school in an urban environment. She has moderate low vision and a severe hearing loss. She is proficient at sign language, friendly and outgoing. Ann's O&M instructor provided training in public transportation using communication cards. When preparing her booklet, he adapted the activity "All Aboard" to include the use of communication cards so that Ann's parents could reinforce these newly learned skills. Likewise, the O&M instructor suggested the use of communication cards for the activities "Lining Up" and "Pocket Money."

  • Josh is a 16 year old who has cerebral palsy. He uses a motorized wheelchair that he can operate with his left hand. He has moderate low vision and significant developmental delays. He loves traveling outside but has few opportunities to do so. Josh's O&M instructor selected the activity "Exploring the Neighborhood" for the booklet, but adapted it for his family. His parents would go on walks with Josh and point out different surfaces along the way such as brick, cement or gravel and what they might indicate (e.g., crossing a driveway, approaching the corner). The parents were also encouraged to discuss and provide opportunities for Josh to experience slopes such as ramps at street corners and driveway aprons.

The Family Contact Form Screen

O&M Family Booklet Contact Form The Family Contact Form screen includes your contact information to help the family get in touch with you and a form for the family to complete to help you get in touch with appropriate family members.

Instructor Contact Information

The Instructor Contact Form is simply a one-page summary of your name, credentials, phone and fax numbers, work address, and e-mail address. This form also has the three buttons that allow you to change your name, work address, and contact information. Although your contact information has already been provided in the booklet introduction and on the title page, it is reprinted on one page to make it easier for your students' families to get in touch with you.

Family Contact Form

The Family Contact Form appears at the end of the booklet. This form will be completed by the student's parent(s), guardian(s), or other family member(s); the form should be returned to you either by the student or in the mail. You can print a second form if both parents want to take an active role in the child's orientation and mobility, but no longer have the same contact information.

Include the Family Contact Form as a loose sheet in the booklet instead of binding it with the remaining pages. Putting the form in an envelope with your name and address on the front may make it easier for the family to return it to you. Obtaining the completed form from your student's family should make communication easier to manage.

The Print button on this screen prints the Family Contact Form; you may find it helpful to send Family Contact Forms home with all of your students, regardless of whether you are preparing a booklet for their families.

The Family Booklet Screen

O&M Family Booklet Booklet The Family Booklet screen presents the completed booklet. You can use the Back button to return to any sections that you wish to edit. However, because you have viewed sections of the booklet as you created them, it is likely that the booklet that you see on the screen will require little, if any, editing.

This screen includes six buttons. The Back button takes you back to prior screens to make changes; and the Finish button keeps the family booklet as you see it on the screen and returns you to the Student List screen. The Options, Page Setup, Print Preview, and Print buttons are discussed below.

The Options Button

O&M Family Booklet Booklet Options First, pressing the Options button brings up a series of check boxes, one for each topic in the booklet. By default, all major topics of the booklet will be included in the book - that is, their checkboxes are checked. You can make your final decisions about sections to omit by un-checking the appropriate boxes. If you have unchecked a number of boxes and wish to include all sections, you can either recheck boxes individually or press the button labeled Select All. You can also initially unselect all and then select the sections that you want to print.

Second, you can choose whether you want the book to be formatted with page breaks between sections (the option that is set initially) or continuously (with no page breaks between sections). The button for pagination by section is selected initially because this makes the booklet easier to understand and more attractive. However, if you select continuous pagination, it will remain selected for future runs of the program until you change the selection. If you used continuous pagination the last time you used the program, you will need to change the selection if you now want to print a booklet in which each section begins on a new page.

Third, clicking the Zoom Options button allows you to show or not show the zoom toolbar (shown by default); to select large icons (not checked by default); to choose the style for the toolbar (text and icons are checked by default); and to choose the zoom level for the Family Booklet screen. With the Zoom Toolbar checked, you can zoom in or out and thereby view the booklet on the screen in larger or smaller font sizes. However, the critical fact about the zoom setting is that the print size you choose on the Family Booklet screen with the zoom feature determines the size of the print in the family booklet printout. The zoom feature causes both text and pictures to increase or decrease in size proportionally. Therefore, if you are printing a booklet for a family in which some members have low vision, you can produce a large print booklet by increasing the zoom level. By default, the booklet is printed in 12 point Arial font.

The Page Setup Button

The Page Setup button allows you to change paper size, paper source, page headers and footers, whether the page is printed in portrait or landscape mode, and page margins. You can change the margins here; however, we recommend that you do not change any of the other settings. we only support printing with the default selections for paper size, orientation, and headers and footers.

There is a relationship between the version of Internet Explorer installed on your computer and the O&M Family Booklet software. You do NOT need to do anything with Internet Explorer to run and use this program. However, if you have Internet Explorer 8 or later installed on your computer, you may find a Font Size Dialog in the Page Setup item on the last screen of the program. If you have a Font Size Dialog under the Page Setup dialog, do NOT use it to change the font size in the booklet. Although this dialog may result in font size changes, diagrams may not be changed in size; and other format features may not display appropriately. ALWAYS change font size by using the Zoom Option available from the Options item on the Family Booklet screen.

The Print Preview Button

The Print Preview button shows you how the booklet will look when it is printed. The Print Preview dialog allows you to change any of the options available to you in the Page Setup dialog, and shows you a view of how the document will look after making such setup changes. As noted above, formatting will be accurate when default settings are used.

The Print Button

The Print button on the Family Booklet screen prints the booklet exactly as it is shown on the screen. As previously discussed, you can omit sections of the booklet using the Options dialog; when you do this, omitted sections are no longer on the booklet screen. Use the following guidelines for determining how to print and how NOT to print the booklet.

Pagination and Blank Pages

When an entire book is printed using the pagination by topic option, there is a remote possibility that a blank page will appear in the booklet. To correct this problem, you can change the margins you have used by pressing the Page Setup button or you can elect to print the book with continuous pagination. When printing with continuous pagination, new booklet sections do not begin on new pages, but are printed immediately below the end of the previous section. To change from pagination by topic to continuous pagination, select the radio button for continuous pagination found when you press the Options button on the booklet screen.

More Menu Features

We have discussed all items on the Instructor Menu and Student menu previously. Now we will consider the remaining three menus: File, View, and Help.

All menus can be opened in the usual way and can also be opened with specific hot keys. When pulling down a menu using the keyboard, press the alt key in combination with the first letter of the menu's name.

File Menu

Items on the File Menu include:

O&M Family Booklet File Menu

View Menu

O&M Family Booklet View Menu The View Menu includes one item, Themes. The Themes item provides a choice of screen background colors. The default background color is white. It may be helpful for instructors with low vision or other conditions that affect their ability to view material on a computer screen to try other background colors. A change of color and contrast may have a striking impact on the ability to read the screen comfortably.

Help Menu

Items on the Help Menu include:

O&M Family Booklet Help Menu

A Note on Accessibility

This software has been designed to be accessible to persons using screen reader or screen magnification programs. Persons with visual impairments using such technology should be able to use this software. Booklets can also be provided in large print, braille, or electronic formats. To produce a booklet in large print, press the Options button on the final screen of the program and then use the Zoom feature previously discussed. To produce an html copy of a booklet that can be read using a computer with a screen reader and a web browser, use the Save As option on the File Menu. To emboss a copy of the book in braille, use the Save As item on the File Menu and then process the resulting html file with braille translation software.

Instructor Resources

The four resource documents that follow provide information that will help you prepare an O&M family booklet. Much of this information applies to most - if not all - topics of the family booklet. These resources can be accessed easily from any point in the software by using the Instructor Resources item on the Help Menu. These resources include:

Helpful References

Functional Vision Assessments

Anthony, T. L. (2000). Performing a functional low vision assessment. In F. M. D'Andrea and C. Farrenkopf (Eds.), Looking to learn: Promoting literacy for students with low vision (pp. 32-83). NY: AFB Press.

Smith, A. J., & Geruschat, D. R. (1997). In B. B. Blasch, W. R. Weiner, & R. L. Welsh, (Eds.). Foundations of Orientation and Mobility (2nd Ed.). New York: AFB Press.

Smith, A. J., & Geruschat, D. R. (1996). Orientation and mobility for children and adults with low vision. In A. L. Corn & A. J. Koenig (Eds.), Foundations of low vision: Clinical and functional perspectives (pp. 306 - 321). NY: AFB Press.

Smith, A. J., & O'Donnell, B. (1992). Beyond arm's reach: Enhancing distance vision. Philadelphia: Pennsylvania College of Optometry Press.

South Carolina Department of Education. (1992). The South Carolina functional vision assessment. Columbia, SC, South Carolina Department of Education.

Visual Acuity Charts

Feinbloom Low Vision Charts: Designs for Vision: 760 Koehler Avenue Ronkonkoma, NY 11779 516-585-3404 800-345-4005 Fax 516-585-3404

LH Symbol Test [for children] & Lighthouse "Continuous Text" Card for Adults [for near vision]: Lighthouse Low Vision Products, 36-02 Northern Blvd Long Island City, NY 11101 800-453-4923 Fax 718-786-0437

SOSH Low Vision Chart [for distance]: designed by The Student Optometric Service to Humanity (3rd ed.), 1990. To order contact PA College of Optometry bookstore, 8360 Old York Rd., Elkins Park, PA 19027.

Formal and Informal O&M Assessment Tools

Cratty, B. J., Sams, T. A. (1968). The body-image of blind children. New York: AFB Press.

Dodson-Burk, B., Hill, E. W. (1989). Preschool Orientation and Mobility screening. Publication of Division IX of the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER).

Hill, E. W. (1981). The Hill performance test of selected positional concepts. Stoelting Company, 1350 S. Kostner Avenue, Chicago, IL 60623 312-522-4500, Instructional Manual, Cat. No. 33955M.

Pogrund, R., Healy, G., Jones, K., Levack, N., Martin-Curry, S., Martinez, C., Marz, J., Roberson-Smith, B., Vrba. (1993). Teaching age-appropriate purposeful skills: Comprehensive assessment and ongoing evaluation booklet. (2nd Ed.). Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Austin, TX: Morgan Printing. These booklets may be ordered from: Texas School for the Blind, Business Office, 1100 West 45th Street, Austin, TX 78756-3494 512- 454-8631.

Smith, A. J., O'Donnell, B. (1992). Beyond arm's reach: Enhancing distance vision. Philadelphia, PA: Pennsylvania College of Optometry Press.

Cultural Sensitivity

The cultural background of children and their families affects their behavior and interactions in unique ways. Cultural influences include ethnic background, socioeconomic group, age and gender. Although one's culture shapes and influences behavior, it does not necessarily determine it. In other words, it is important to look at individuals and families within a particular culture. For example, consider the following Latino families: Mr. and Mrs. Chavez are originally from Mexico, speak Spanish at home, did not complete high school, and their two children are first generation American. The Chavez family lives in an urban two bedroom apartment which they share with close relatives. The Gimenez are originally from Chile; while they speak Spanish at home, they are also proficient in English. Both parents have graduate degrees from American universities. Their two children are first generation American, and they all live in a middle class suburban home. While these families have some commonalities, their individual differences illustrate the importance of not making generalizations. At the heart of cultural sensitivity lies the ability to keep an open mind and to take the time to observe and listen while remaining nonjudgmental. By understanding the cultural influences of the students we serve, we can improve the quality of both assessment and intervention strategies.

As O&M Instructors we need to reflect on our own preconceived ideas about members of other cultures. By continually examining our own beliefs and expectations regarding ourselves and others, we are taking a critical step toward developing greater cultural sensitivity. We also need to try to learn as much as possible about the families with which we work. Initial sources of information might include social workers/case managers, internet resources, community organizations, as well as individuals with knowledge/ personal experience with a particular culture. O&M instructors would benefit from learning about family values in various areas including

Additional sensitivity strategies:

Not only is each family unique, but their interactions with the mobility instructor are affected by the instructor's cultural background as well. For example, an Asian family may find it easier to relate to a member of another minority (e.g., Latino) rather than to someone from the dominant culture, since they may feel they share similar experiences related to their minority status.

In conclusion, it is essential to approach each family with heightened sensitivity and a willingness to build a relationship based on an appreciation of individual differences and mutual respect.

References:

Recreational Programs

Dog Guide Schools in the United States

Because this information changes, check the Internet for a given school before discussing it with your student. You can find an updated school list at www.gdui.org

Appendices

The following five appendices include:

Appendix A - Tokens Used in This Software

As noted throughout the manual, the words enclosed in brackets that you find in edit fields are referred to as tokens. When you are editing text for a booklet, tokens show you the label for the piece of instructor or student information that will be inserted at that point by the program.

If you do not want the specific information (such as student's first name) inserted, delete the token from right to left, starting with the right bracket and ending with the left. After deleting a token, you can type in any other word that you would like to see in the booklet instead of the information indicated by the token. For instance, if you would like to write "your Child" instead of the child's first name, you would delete the [StudentFirstName] token by moving your cursor to the space just after the right bracket symbol and back-spacing over the token all the way through the left bracket symbol. Then you would type "your child" where the token had been.

Although not advisable unless you are somewhat skilled in the use of technology and software, you can also replace one token with another when editing. For instance, if you want the software to use the student's middle name instead of his first, you could delete StudentFirstName when it occurs between brackets in the text you are editing and write in StudentMiddleName between the brackets. Wherever you write StudentMiddleName between these brackets, the program would insert the student's middle name into the booklet.

The following is a list of all tokens used in the software. These stand for pieces of information that you have written into forms or dialogs about yourself or your student. Many of these pieces of information are inserted into the booklet text more than once at various points.

Appendix B - General Strategies for Promoting Independence for Students With Visual Impairments

Material in this Appendix uses the name Angela instead of the token character to enhance readability.

Teachable Moments: Be on the lookout for teachable moments so you can take advantage of a situation or object, novel to Angela. For example, on your way to the drugstore with Angela, you may notice a large fallen tree and realize this is a unique opportunity for Angela to explore a tree from its roots to the top branches at close range. A common occurrence, a stop at the gas station, can become a great opportunity for learning. You may be able to take a few extra minutes to discuss how gas pumps work and their common features; if appropriate, you can encourage Angela to assist in tasks such as pumping gas or cleaning the windshield.

Sensory Experiences: Experiences that involve different senses help children understand the world around them. For example, when you are in a place with various surface textures (e.g., a mall or hiking path), point out and discuss their names (e.g., carpet, tile, rug, or dirt) and their possible functions (e.g., rugs at entrance/exit doors, large metal grates for drainage, dirt paths). Also, you can help Angela recognize various environments such as drug stores, banks, supermarkets or bus stops by asking what Angela hears or smells and discussing where those sounds or smells come from and what they mean.

Active Traveling: Often children with visual impairments do not take active roles in traveling. To encourage participation, provide opportunities for Angela to practice giving directions in familiar environments. After modeling how to get to a nearby destination (e.g., neighbor's house, friend's apartment in your building, mailbox, corner store, etc.) a number of times, have Angela be the one in charge of giving directions or indicating which way to go. Allow Angela the opportunity to make mistakes since mistakes are an important part of learning. These types of experiences promote problem solving abilities which in turn build confidence.

Everyday Environments: The goal is to seek opportunities to help Angela learn something new and become more independent. Think about your day's activities and select those that can be turned into learning experiences. For example, if you are waiting in line at the post office, you could discuss with Angela elements of the post office, such as post office boxes, stamp machines, and so forth. You could explain what they are, how they work, what they look like, where they are located and explore them together before leaving. Perhaps on another visit, Angela might be able to get stamps independently or assist in the process of doing so. In another scenario, if using public transportation, you could discuss fares, types of stops (e.g., bus shelter vs. pole), names of stops, where to sit, etc. Depending on Angela's level of ability and previous experiences, you may consider having Angela participate in different aspects of the trip.

Activity Recall: To help Angela learn the most from everyday activities, you can use pretend play to revisit previous experiences. This may provide an opportunity to clarify or expand Angela's understanding of what occurred. For example, if you recently had food delivered to your home, Angela can take the role of the person ordering or delivering food and go through the various aspects of the process with you.

Chores and Responsibilities: Household chores provide excellent opportunities to develop independence and responsibility. Regardless of Angela's age and abilities, there are many tasks to choose from. For example, a younger child can put toys away or help set the table, while an older child may be able to take out the trash or do the laundry. Other activities may include gardening, raking leaves, washing the car and shoveling snow.

A Taste of Adventure: Whenever possible, plan family activities that involve new environments or situations to increase Angela's experience of the world. Depending on your family's interests, you could plan a trip to a museum, take a ferry ride, or go camping. At any new place, help Angela explore the new environment; and provide information that would enhance Angela's understanding of it. It may be worthwhile to call ahead of time to find out what special services/accommodations can be provided to make the experience more meaningful for Angela. For example, at a theatrical event, Angela may be offered a seat in the front row or a tour of the back stage to enhance the experience. In another example, if Angela has never been to a ballgame, this could be an exciting adventure. Depending on Angela's level of ability, you could discuss and show Angela the physical environment including bleachers, the field, location of the snack bar, etc. Understanding how the game is played and what people do to support their team can also be incorporated.

Physical Activity: Participating in physical activities (e.g., hiking, swimming, wrestling, dancing, running, and martial arts) is important for all children, especially those with visual impairments. Benefits include general health; opportunities to learn more about body movements and positional concepts (e.g., above, below, between, behind); and development of muscle strength, posture, coordination, and self-confidence. Also, when children are playing games, they have more opportunities to socialize with peers and develop friendships. You may explore what your local area has to offer regarding sports and recreation activities for children with disabilities. These may include therapeutic horseback riding, sensory trails, and adapted skiing.

Body Language: Often children with visual impairments do not have the benefit of observing and imitating others. As a result, you may need to teach Angela how to use gestures and body language appropriately. For example, Angela might benefit from learning how to nod for yes and shake the head for no, wave goodbye, shrug the shoulders, or shake hands when meeting somebody new. Also, you may need to provide feedback to point out what Angela may have missed or not considered in a particular situation. Most children respond to honest but encouraging comments. For example, on your way to the corner store with Angela, you stop to talk with your neighbor, Mr. Jones. You notice that Angela says hello in a friendly tone, but does not turn and face the person while doing so. Afterwards, you can say, "I loved the way you greeted Mr. Jones. You were so friendly! Try facing him next time when you talk with him. Most people look at each other's faces when they talk."

Show and Tell: Periodically ask what Angela is learning during O&M lessons. Pretend that Angela is the mobility instructor and is teaching you (the student) the new skill or concept. A variation of this activity is a "show and tell" time, where Angela shows you new mobility skills.

Advocacy: Children who are aware of their needs and can communicate them appropriately are in a better position to advocate for themselves. In everyday situations, you may encourage Angela to ask and answer questions directly, as much as possible. For example, an adult may ask you a question such as what Angela wants to drink. You may remain silent, waiting for Angela to answer or you may prompt Angela to respond directly. In addition, you and the teacher can work together to help Angela better understand the nature of Angela's condition(s) and the adaptations needed to function the best Angela can in various circumstances. There are many opportunities for advocacy when preparing for upcoming Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings. At home, you may ask Angela to reflect about strengths, needs, goals, and ways Angela can participate in the IEP process. Some children feel comfortable sharing their thoughts at the meeting while others need or prefer to do it differently, such as via a video clip or a written statement. It is a good idea to do this in collaboration with Angela's teachers/guidance counselor.

Trailing: For some children, physical exploration of the environment is critical for learning concepts or remaining oriented, knowing where they are. Indoors, whether Angela is walking or using a stroller or wheelchair, have Angela stay close to the wall rather than in the middle of the hallway whenever possible. That way Angela may be able to use a hand to follow or trail walls, explore objects, and stay oriented. Also, consider reversing routes on the same side of the wall to help Angela have a better understanding of Angela's position along the way. If possible, challenge Angela to predict what objects and landmarks are coming up next, once the route has become familiar.

Appendix C - General Strategies for Promoting Independence for Students With Additional Impairments

Material in this Appendix uses the name Angela instead of the token character to enhance readability.

Teachable Moments: Be on the lookout for teachable moments so you can take advantage of a situation or object, novel to Angela. For example, on your way to the drugstore with Angela, you may come across a car parked blocking the sidewalk. When you are physically guiding Angela (e.g., walking, using wheelchair or stroller), take the opportunity to bring Angela to the car and discuss its location and why it may be parked there. Also, if possible, have Angela help come up with ways to move around it. Similarly, construction sites can be used for exploration and discussion (e.g., construction horses, yellow warning tape, machinery sounds).

Sensory Experiences: It is important to provide experiences that involve different senses. For example, have Angela experience various surface textures (e.g., carpet, tile, grass, cement, dirt) whether walking or in a wheelchair/stroller. If you are pushing the stroller/wheelchair, you can play a game where you purposely veer off the path and have Angela catch you doing it by saying stop, raising an arm or signaling in some other way.

Active Traveling: Often children with visual impairments do not take active roles in traveling. To encourage participation, provide opportunities for Angela to practice giving directions in familiar environments. After modeling how to get to a nearby destination (e.g., neighbor's house, friend's apartment in your building, mailbox, corner store, etc.) a number of times, have Angela be the one in charge of giving directions or indicating which way to go. Keep in mind there are multiple ways for Angela to indicate the desired direction of travel besides speech. For example, Angela may use sign language, turn the head, raise the right or left arm, or use an augmentative communication device. Allow Angela the opportunity to make mistakes since mistakes are an important part of learning. These types of experiences promote problem solving abilities which in turn build confidence.

Everyday Environments: The goal is to seek opportunities to help Angela learn something new and become more independent. Think about your day's activities and select those that can be turned into learning experiences. For example, if you are waiting in line at the post office, you could discuss with Angela elements of the post office, such as post office boxes, stamp machines, and so forth. You could explain what they are, how they work, what they look like, where they are located and explore them together before leaving. Perhaps on another visit, Angela might be able to get stamps independently or assist in the process of doing so. In another scenario, if using public transportation, you could discuss fares, types of stops (e.g., bus shelter vs. pole), names of stops, where to sit, etc. Depending on Angela's level of ability and previous experiences, you may consider having Angela participate in different aspects of the trip.

Activity Recall: To help Angela learn the most from everyday activities, you can ask Angela to recall key aspects of what just took place. Prompt with questions if necessary. For example, if you went to the gas station, you might have Angela describe where the gas came from, where it went into the gas tank, how you paid for it, etc. This may provide an opportunity to clarify or expand Angela's understanding of what occurred. In another instance, if you just had food delivered to your home, discuss how it was ordered, who brought it to your home, and other aspects of the process. When appropriate, you can discuss how Angela may be able to take part in this activity in the future (e.g., selecting items from a menu, calling the store, etc.).

Chores and Responsibilities: Household chores provide excellent opportunities to develop independence and responsibility. If currently unable to perform the entire task independently, consider what aspects Angela may be able to carry out. For example, some children enjoy helping with the laundry by separating clothes by color, loading the washing machine, or transferring wet clothes to the dryer. Have Angela practice the task as much as necessary, gradually allowing for more independence until a routine is established. Praise and reinforcement will help Angela feel proud of this meaningful contribution to the family.

A Taste of Adventure: Whenever possible, plan family activities that involve new environments or situations to increase Angela's experience of the world. Depending on your family's interests, you could plan a trip to a museum, take a ferry ride, or go camping. At any new place, help Angela explore the new environment; and provide information that would enhance Angela's understanding of it. It may be worthwhile to call ahead of time to find out what special services/accommodations can be provided to make the experience more meaningful for Angela. For example, at a theatrical event, Angela may be offered a seat in the front row or a tour of the back stage to enhance the experience. In another example, if Angela has never been to a ballgame, this could be an exciting adventure. Depending on Angela's level of ability, you could discuss and show Angela the physical environment including bleachers, the field, location of the snack bar, etc. Understanding how the game is played and what people do to support their team can also be incorporated.

Physical Activity: Participating in physical activities (e.g., hiking, swimming, wrestling, dancing, running, and martial arts) is important for all children, especially those with visual impairments. Benefits include general health; opportunities to learn more about body movements and positional concepts (e.g., above, below, between, behind); and development of muscle strength, posture, coordination, and self-confidence. Also, when children are playing games, they have more opportunities to socialize with peers and develop friendships. You may explore what your local area has to offer regarding sports and recreation activities for children with disabilities. These may include therapeutic horseback riding, sensory trails, and adapted skiing.

Body Language: Often children with visual impairments do not have the benefit of observing and imitating others. As a result, you may need to teach Angela how to use gestures and body language appropriately. For example, Angela might benefit from learning how to nod for yes and shake the head for no, wave goodbye, or shake hands when meeting somebody new. When teaching how to shrug the shoulders to imply "I don't know," Angela can place hands on your shoulders to feel what you are doing while you explain the meaning of the gesture. Also, you may need to provide feedback to point out what Angela may have missed or not considered in a particular situation. Most children respond to honest but encouraging comments. For example, on your way to the corner store with Angela, you stop to talk with your neighbor, Mr. Jones. You notice that Angela says hello in a friendly tone, but does not turn and face the person while doing so. Afterwards, you can say, "I loved the way you greeted Mr. Jones. You were so friendly! Try facing him next time when you talk with him. Most people look at each other's faces when they talk." Also, some children may benefit from a discussion and demonstration of appropriate distance and physical contact for social interactions.

Show and Tell: Periodically ask what Angela is learning during O&M lessons. Pretend Angela is the mobility instructor and is teaching you (the student) the new skill or concept. If necessary, find out what took place (e.g., by talking with the orientation and mobility instructor or using a communication book) so that you can help Angela share with you what was learned.

Advocacy: Children who are aware of their needs and can communicate them appropriately are in a better position to advocate for themselves. In everyday situations, you may encourage Angela to ask and answer questions directly, as much as possible. For example, an adult may ask you a question, such as what Angela wants to drink. You may remain silent, waiting for Angela to answer or prompt Angela to respond directly. When necessary, children can use physical gestures (e.g., nod, shake the head) or pre-written cards to express what they want. You and the teacher can work together to help Angela better understand the nature of Angela's condition(s) and the adaptations needed to function the best Angela can in various circumstances. There are many opportunities for advocacy when preparing for upcoming Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings. At home, you may ask Angela to reflect about strengths, needs, goals, and ways Angela can participate in the IEP process. Some children feel comfortable sharing their thoughts at the meeting while others need or prefer to do it differently, such as via a video clip or a written statement. It is a good idea to do this in collaboration with Angela's teachers/guidance counselor.

Trailing: For some children, physical exploration of the environment is critical for learning concepts or remaining oriented, knowing where they are. Indoors, whether Angela is walking, or using a stroller or wheelchair, have Angela stay close to the wall rather than in the middle of the hallway whenever possible. That way Angela may be able to use a hand to follow or trail walls, explore objects, and know where Angela is. If unable to use the arm to trail the wall, Angela may use a soft object as an extension of the arm. Also, consider reversing routes on the same side of the wall to help Angela have a better understanding of Angela's position along the way. If possible, challenge Angela to predict what objects and landmarks are coming up next, once the route has become familiar.

Appendix D - Specific Activities for Promoting Independence

Material in this Appendix uses the name Angela instead of the token character to enhance readability.

The Zoo Game
Purpose: To promote body positions/movements and improve gross motor development.
Activity: Take turns in imitating the sounds and movements of different animals while earning points for guessing correctly. For example, jump in a squatting four legged position to imitate a frog or stand on tiptoes to illustrate the height of a giraffe. A variation of this game is called "What object am I?" Take turns imitating/shaping your body to look like a table, ball, etc.

Body Talk Game
Purpose: To integrate body language/gestures into everyday communication for socialization purposes.
Activity: Select common body gestures and provide hand-over-hand assistance to demonstrate them. Some gestures include raising shoulders to indicate I don't know or I don't care; thumb up to indicate approval, agreement, good job; bringing the index finger to the mouth to indicate be quiet, etc. Also, how do we convey surprise, fear, and other emotions with facial expressions? Point out the importance of facing people we are speaking to. Additional activities involve the use of raised diagrams to create facial expressions.

Detective
Purpose: To practice following directions, using landmarks and sensory information, and to promote independent travel indoors or outside.
Activity: Select a system for giving directions or clues (can use braille or large print cards, tape recorder, etc.). Place the instructions along a route in your home or neighborhood, and have Angela use mobility skills to locate and follow them to a hidden treasure.

Go Fishing!
Purpose: To promote concept development.
Activity: Use construction paper and make multicolored fish with written instructions on them using large print or Braille. Examples of instructions include "touch your right ear with your left hand", "find an object taller than you", etc. Attach a paper clip to each fish and lay them on the floor. Then, using a homemade or toy fishing pole with a magnet at the end, have Angela go fishing. For each fish caught, ask Angela to follow the written instructions. Angela gets to keep the fish and put it in a bucket when able to perform the instructions correctly, but the fish goes in your bucket otherwise. At the end of the game, count how many fish each of you have collected.

Have a Ball At the Mall
Purpose: To promote orientation skills, visual scanning, use of landmarks and optical devices as well as practicing asking for assistance and money management skills.
Activity: Based on Angela's interests and level of independence, select a destination point and have Angela ask for assistance (e.g., from a passerby or by going to the information booth). Then, ask Angela to locate the destination and meet you there. Other activities include using optical devices to read prices at the food court and making purchases.

Sounds Like...
Purpose: To promote sensory development while reinforcing knowledge of environmental concepts.
Activity: Have Angela hold the cane in one hand and your arm with the other hand. Tell Angela where you are along the sidewalk. Then have the cane bump or touch environmental objects. When the cane touches an object, ask Angela to guess what it sounds like. For example, "I think it's a mailbox because it sounds like metal and we're near the corner." If necessary, have Angela explore it to gather more information.

Statues
Purpose: To integrate body movements and positional concepts.
Activity: Family members take turns creating a statue with their bodies while others try to guess what each person represents or come up with a name for the statue. By imitating different body shapes, Angela learns to identify body positions in self and others. A variation of this game consists of creating statues following specific directives such as "create a statue where your feet don't touch the ground or where your elbows are higher than your shoulders, etc."

Body Scan
Purpose: To explore which individual body parts one can move in isolation.
Activity: In a comfortable space without shoes on, participants scan their bodies to figure out which body parts can and cannot move in isolation. For example, can you move your ears, thighs, nose and eyebrows? For children with physical disabilities, this game may provide opportunities to discuss issues regarding their disability while exploring alternative compensatory strategies.

More or Less
Purpose: To apply learned concepts related to size, height, weight, etc.
Activity: Ask Angela to find objects in the environment that are taller, wider, heavier, shorter, etc. than Angela or other people. A variation on this theme involves the use of wooden blocks or construction toys. A participant challenges Angela to build a structure taller, shorter, wider, the same size, etc. as the model.

Follow the Music
Purpose: To develop pre-cane skills in the area of rhythm and walking in step with the long cane.
Activity: Choose music with different tempos and rhythms. Have Angela walk in sync with the music clapping hands, marching or singing along, with or without using a long cane, depending on skill level.

All about Shapes
Purpose: To practice identifying learned shapes as well as integrating movement and sensory skills.
Activity: Angela selects a familiar shape and hunts for a like shape in objects in the environment. Hide and seek can be played by participants taking turns hiding shapes while others look for them. Shapes can be outlined on the ground/floor with appropriate media (e.g., colored chalk, and raised material such as tape or cardboard). Angela follows the outline of the shape and identifies it. The shapes can be further explored by asking Angela to stand on a corner, jump from one corner to another, count sides, etc. Another activity consists of providing sticks and asking Angela to create as many shapes as possible with a given number of sticks. For example, what can Angela make with 4 sides, 5 sides, etc. An additional activity involves guiding Angela around various shapes and asking Angela to guess which shape it is and why. This activity can be easily performed with children in strollers and wheelchairs.

Navigator
Purpose: To reinforce/enrich understanding of environmental objects and their functions.
Activity: Ask Angela to help create a list of various common objects likely to be found in a particular area (e.g., a street corner, your neighborhood, small business, and mall). Then, go on a trip to find as many of the selected objects as possible. This could be a family contest in which the person who finds the most objects from the list earns the "Navigator" award. When appropriate, enlarged pictures/photos of objects can be used instead of a written list.

Clue
Purpose: To reinforce systematic scanning, object identification, blur interpretation and use of optical devices.
Activity: Outdoors, a family member describes the shape, color and/or location of an object and Angela is asked to visually scan, locate it, and guess what it is (e.g., you might say "Clue is I see something blue and rectangular near the corner" and Angela responds "I think it's a mailbox.") Then, reverse roles so that Angela may select objects and describe their main features for a family member. Optical devices can be especially useful when the selected objects are farther away.

House Hunt
Purpose: To promote orientation skills, including using maps, compass directions, address numbering systems, etc.
Activity: Pretend you are a real estate agent showing Angela houses in a neighborhood. Give Angela directions or a map to find a few houses for sale. Children with low vision might use an optical device to locate the house address, explore its features, etc. Depending upon Angela's abilities, interest and age, you may include different aspects of house hunting. For example, you may want to discuss or point out size, style, and price of different houses.

Hidden Shapes
Purpose: To reinforce shape identification.
Activity: Angela is given either a picture of a shape or a three-dimensional (3-D) shape and asked to find an object that contains that shape somewhere in the house. For example, while an entire door may be described as a rectangle, the door knob may look like a circle. This could be presented as a family game where all participants have a set time to search for objects containing the selected shape, and the one with the most correct answers wins.

Guess What
Purpose: To promote visual closure or part-to-whole object identification.
Activity: Using a blanket or some other material, cover part of a common object. Then, ask Angela to identify this object from the available tactual/visual information. If Angela has low vision, you can play this game by partially covering enlarged photographs to enhance visual closure skills.

Who's Next
Purpose: To become familiar with different types of waiting lines at businesses or public places.
Activity: On trips to business establishments (e.g., post office, banks, fast food restaurants), describe the procedure for getting waited on (e.g., line of people at counter, guiding ropes with multiple service windows, etc.) and have Angela visually/tactually explore the setting when appropriate. When possible, assist Angela in making a purchase or carrying out a task such as asking for information.

Parking Wise
Purpose: To practice visual scanning and route reversal, as well as using landmarks and optical devices.
Activity: When parking outside a mall or shopping center, tell Angela to help you locate landmarks to assist in finding the car on the way back. Later when returning to the car, have Angela reverse the route and locate the car using the selected landmarks. If appropriate, encourage Angela to use an optical device when doing so.

Window Shopping
Purpose: To use sensory information for identifying various stores.
Activity: While passing various stores, ask Angela to guess the type of store based on available sensory cues (e.g., smell of shoe leather, nuts, bakery items, fast food; music and video game sounds; seeing specific items displayed in the windows or other visual cues). A variation on this theme is walking together inside an unfamiliar store and having Angela guess what type of store it is.

Delivery, Please
Purpose: To develop effective telephone skills.
Activity: Encourage Angela to order a favorite food to be delivered to your home. Prior to calling, discuss and role-play (if necessary) questions that may be asked during the exchange. Consider having Angela create a phone list (in an accessible format) which can be used in the future.

All Aboard
Purpose: To experience different public transportation systems (e.g., bus, train, trolley, ferry and subway).
Activity: Plan family trips that involve the use of public transportation. Encourage Angela to be as involved as possible in the planning process and in the actual trip. For example, Angela could plan where to go, call for information and schedules, and pay for the fare.

Pocket Money
Purpose: To reinforce skills related to making purchases, organizing money, and using appropriate social skills.
Activity: Depending upon Angela's age and abilities, have Angela locate the counter/cash register by making best use of hearing, vision etc. Also, have Angela make purchases at various stores as independently as possible. Lastly, have Angela help you find the exit door using available sensory cues. Younger children may need assistance interacting with the cashier or correctly counting change, while older children may need help organizing money in their wallets or making shopping lists.

Information Search
Purpose: To promote effective information gathering skills.
Activity: At the information booth in the mall, ask Angela to get directions to an unfamiliar location (e.g., favorite store, restroom, and restaurant). Prior to this activity, discuss with Angela what strategies have been used in O&M lessons to ask for information, especially when responding to vague or confusing directions. For example, if somebody says "over there" or points in a particular direction, Angela could ask, "Is it to my right?" (while pointing in that direction) "Or to my left?" (Again, while pointing). Older children may need to be prepared to record directions in accessible formats (e.g., tape recorder, braille notetaker or PDA, slate and stylus, bold tip marker) if necessary.

Smart Passenger
Purpose: To reinforce orientation skills and practice giving directions.
Activity: When traveling the same route to a familiar destination (i.e., by car or public transportation), Angela can learn the streets being traveled, landmarks involved and when to make right or left turns onto other streets. Older children may be asked to provide you and others with directions to your home, or other locations, when appropriate.

Schools for Dogs?
Purpose: To learn about dog guides as alternative modes of travel.
Activity: Plan a family trip to a dog guide school in your area. Most schools welcome visitors and provide interesting tours describing the training process. Make sure you mention Angela's age in advance, since some schools do not allow visitors under a certain age.

Using ATM Machines
Purpose: To familiarize Angela with the use of an ATM machine.
Activity: When making a transaction at an ATM machine, involve Angela in the process as much as possible (e.g., inserting the card, pressing the pin number, collecting the receipt, etc.). Depending on Angela's age and abilities, consider increasing the level of independence and responsibility. Explore the ATM's accessibility features such as speech output or suggest the use of optical devices for screen reading when appropriate.

Exploring your Neighborhood
Purpose: To familiarize Angela with the layout of your neighborhood.
Activity: Depending on the age and ability of Angela, take walks together, identifying names of the streets around the block, gradually incorporating nearby streets as well as including locations of stores, friends' homes, etc. You can ask Angela to make a map of the area, or you may have fun doing it together.

Street Wise
Purpose: To familiarize Angela with basic traffic regulations, such as driving on the right side of the road, identifying one-way and two-way streets, etc.
Activity: While walking or using tandem or regular bicycles (depending on the age and ability of Angela, take walks/rides in a selected area, and assist Angela in identifying different traffic control systems (e.g., stop sign, traffic light), explaining what cars might be doing and why, etc.

Appendix E - Sample Booklet

O&M Family Booklet logo

Orientation and Mobility Family Booklet

For the Family of
Angela Boardman

Booklet prepared by:
Betsy O'Donnell

Children's Center for the Visually Impaired
Spring, Pennsylvania

Date: 01/12/2010

This book was created using the
O&M Family Booklet Software produced by the
American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.,
Copyright (c) 2005 - 2010. All Rights Reserved.

Material contained in the software was written by
Fabiana Perla, COMS, and Betsy O'Donnell, COMS.

Booklet Introduction

Hi.
I am Betsy O'Donnell, Angela's orientation and mobility (O&M) instructor.
You can reach me at the office Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at (888) 888-8888.
Or e-mail me at betsy@childrencenter.org.
You can call my cell phone at (444) 444-4444.
My best cell call time is 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m..



Days and times of our lessons are Monday 9:45 - 10:30 a.m.

I would like to keep in touch with you. Your ideas, suggestions and general input can help me a great deal in providing the best instruction for Angela. We can stay in touch via the telephone, E-mail, a communication book and so forth. At the end of the booklet, you will find the Family Contact Information Form and an envelope addressed to me. On this form, you can tell me how and when you would like to be contacted. Please complete and return this form to me at your earliest convenience.


Welcome to the World of Orientation and Mobility

Why an O&M Booklet?

  • To increase your knowledge and understanding of Angela's O&M skills and needs

  • To help promote Angela's independence and understanding of the environment

  • To improve communication and share information regarding Angela's orientation and mobility abilities and needs

What's Included in This O&M Booklet?

  • Information about O&M in general and the different areas of instruction

  • Specific details about Angela's travel skills

  • Basic information about Angela's eye condition

  • A description of Angela's current mobility skills

  • General strategies and specific activities for promoting Angela's independence

What is Orientation and Mobility

Goal of O&M

The goal of orientation and mobility (O&M) instruction is to enable Angela to travel safely, efficiently and as independently as possible in different environments such as the home, school and community. To achieve this goal, instruction may be provided in the following areas:

Instructional Areas

  • Concept development: Awareness and identification of body parts and movement are important components of orientation and mobility instruction. In addition, learning about positional concepts (e.g., between, middle) as well as common environmental objects and their functions enable children to better understand their surroundings.

  • Motor development: Movement is a key component of orientation and mobility. It is important to create a safe and stimulating environment for children to develop good motor skills. Appropriate motor development includes gross and fine motor skills as well as balance, posture and gait. For those with multiple disabilities, the use of adaptive devices and specific techniques may be necessary to enable them to move around and interact with the environment.

  • Sensory development: When vision is affected, effective use of the senses (hearing, touch, smell and vision) becomes critical in better understanding the environment. For example, children can learn to identify the street corner by noticing cues such as a downward slope, the end of the building line, traffic or pedestrian sounds and changes in wind and temperature.

  • Visual skills: Children can learn how to make better use of their functional vision, in combination with their other senses as well as with devices such as telescopes or sunglasses. Instruction may be provided in areas such as systematically locating targets in the environment, making better use of visual cues to detect and negotiate curbs and steps, and learning to select and use appropriate visual landmarks to remain oriented while traveling.

  • Social skills: Being able to effectively interact with others is an important part of independent travel. Some social skills may be difficult to acquire when children cannot visually imitate other people's gestures and body language. Social skills include making eye contact, facing people while talking to them, shaking hands and soliciting or politely refusing assistance. O&M lessons in different community settings provide invaluable opportunities to work on a variety of social skills.

  • Techniques of orientation and mobility: Traveling safely and efficiently involves the use of specific O&M techniques and strategies. Some of them include walking with a guide, learning various cane skills, as well as traveling in a variety of environments (residential, small business and downtown areas) and using public transportation.

  • Use of devices: Devices such as Global Positioning Systems (GPS), optical devices, Electronic Travel Devices (ETD's) and amplification systems may be useful in enhancing a child's understanding of the world around him or her, assist with orientation, and provide greater access to information among other benefits.

Eye Condition and Visual Functioning

Name of student: Angela Boardman.

Age: 6 years old.

Eye Condition

Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome
Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome is a group of conditions that are seen together and that can be inherited. These conditions can include glaucoma, a flattened appearance of the face and nose, and fewer than usual teeth. Glaucoma involves optic nerve damage usually resulting from increases in the eye's internal fluid pressure. The optic nerve sends information from the eye to the brain. Persons with glaucoma may experience loss of side vision, reduced central vision, photophobia (mild, moderate, or extreme sensitivity to light), and difficulty with night vision.

Pseudoaphakia
Pseudoaphakia refers to the insertion of a man-made intraocular lens after cataract surgery.

Glaucoma: in both eyes
Glaucoma refers to optic nerve damage usually resulting from increases in the eye's internal fluid pressure (intraocular pressure). Fluid is constantly being made and drained out of the eye. When there is an imbalance between the production and drainage of this fluid, the pressure inside the eye may increase to levels that damage the optic nerve. The optic nerve is a bundle of delicate nerve fibers that sends visual information from the eye to the brain. Over time, high pressure inside the eye can cause the optic nerve to deteriorate, resulting in constriction of the visual field, the narrowing of the field of view, blind spots, and possibly total blindness. Persons with glaucoma can also experience poor night vision, photophobia (mild, moderate, or extreme sensitivity to light), and fluctuations in vision.

Aniridia: in both eyes
Aniridia is a condition, present at birth, in which the iris of the eye does not develop fully. Usually, both eyes are affected. The iris is the colored part of the eye that expands or contracts the pupil to control the amount of light that enters the eye. Aniridia results in reduced vision. It often is accompanied by problems with other eye structures that affect vision. Persons with aniridia can experience reduced visual functioning; photophobia (mild, moderate, or extreme sensitivity to light); and nystagmus (involuntary, rhythmic movements of one or both eyes).

Eye Diagram

Eye Diagram
  • Conjunctiva: clear, mucus membrane that covers the inside of the eyelids and parts of the eyeball.

  • Sclera: tough white opaque outer covering of the eye that protects the inner contents from most injuries.

  • Cornea: clear, spherical-shaped structure in the front of the eyeball that allows light to enter the eye.

  • Iris: colored portion of the eye that expands or contracts to control the amount of light entering the eye.

  • Pupil: black circular opening in the center of the iris that regulates the amount of light that enters the eye. The pupil gets larger in dim light and smaller in bright light.

  • Lens: transparent oval-shaped tissue behind the iris (colored part) of the eye. The lens focuses images onto the retina in the back of the eye. The lens changes its shape to focus close or distant images onto the retina.

  • Retina: light-sensitive tissue in the back of the eye, which changes what we see into a form that can be interpreted by the brain.

  • Optic nerve: a bundle of delicate fibers that relay information from the retina to the brain.

Visual Functioning

Visual acuity refers to the ability to distinguish detail at different distances. When expressed as a fraction (e.g., 2/200), the top number represents the distance from the target (e.g., eye chart) and the bottom number indicates the size of the smallest symbol that can be identified. For example, 2/200 visual acuity indicates that at a distance of 2 feet, a person can distinguish nothing smaller than the 200 size letter (big "E" on a regular eye chart).

Angela's Visual Acuity

Right Eye

Near visual acuity without glasses:
Near visual acuity with glasses: 1.6M at 8 centimeters
Distance visual acuity without glasses:
Distance visual acuity with glasses: 10/300

Left Eye

Angela has no vision in the left eye.

Visual Field

Visual field refers to how much of an area a person can see without moving the head or eyes. A full visual field includes intact central and peripheral (side) areas of vision.

Central or Macular Field: This area corresponds to central vision, which is responsible for seeing detail and distinguishing colors. For example, it enables us to perform everyday activities such as reading small print, watching TV, and identifying faces.

Peripheral Field: This area corresponds to peripheral vision. It enables us, for example, to avoid obstacles, detect movement, and travel at night or in dimly lit areas. When using peripheral or side vision, we may notice something moving out of the corner of our eye without looking directly at it.

Angela's Visual Fields:
According to a low vision examination performed on 5-12-2009 by Dr. Susan Brown from the Children's Eye Hospital, Angela's visual field in the right eye was evaluated using a confrontation strategy. Her visual field appeared to be constricted to approximately 40 degrees.

Depth Perception

Depth perception is the combined use of both eyes to achieve three-dimensional vision. Depth perception problems may occur when a person is monocular (uses one eye), has different visual acuities in each eye or when vision is severely reduced. Common problems in this area include misjudging distances and difficulty detecting or negotiating steps and curbs.

Depth perception: Depth perception problems
Comments: Angela does not exhibit major problems with depth in familiar areas with appropriate lighting. However, on sunny days and in unfamiliar areas, she may have difficulty identifying down steps and other changes in terrain.

Additional Information

Fluctuations in vision: Vision fluctuations
Comments: While I have not spent enough time with Angela to notice fluctuations first hand, I would expect some level of fluctuations due to the nature of her eye condition.

Glare problems: Glare problems
Comments: Angela does not do well in environments where there is glare. She presently uses a hat and that helps somewhat. She needs good lighting, however, both dimly illuminated and bright environments create problems.

Optical/Electronic Devices

Optical and electronic devices are designed to enlarge an image or object that would be otherwise hard to see. Some of these devices help students see objects that are at close range, such as books, magazines, photographs and maps. Others are designed for activities at intermediate or distance range, such as reading a computer screen or a street sign or watching TV. If Angela has an optical or electronic device and is having difficulty using it, please contact me so we can discuss this further.

Video Magnifiers

Video magnifiers are electronic devices that use a camera to capture text or other items and project them onto a monitor or screen. Depending upon the design, they may be used to read a bus schedule, view a map or check the price of an item at a store. Most video magnifiers allow students to adjust magnification, contrast, brightness, and even change the colors of the screen. While some video magnifiers are heavy and meant to be stationary, others are lightweight and portable, making them ideal for mobility.

These devices come with specific instructions from the manufacturers for their care and optimal use. Request a manual from the supplier if necessary.

Angela has a CCTV that she uses at school.

Specific O&M Goals

Angela is working towards achieving the following O&M goals this year.

Angela will:

  • Identify five new positional concepts (e.g., above, below, beside, middle, right, left).

  • Improve her visual efficiency by working on visual memory, attention to detail and
    visual closure (i.e., ability to identify an object when part of it is missing).

  • Use a long cane to travel outdoors or in unfamiliar environments.

Understanding Angela's O&M Skills

Concepts Areas

Body parts: Ongoing assessment and instruction
Comments: Overall, Angela has a good understanding of most body parts. However, I will incorporate activities to enhance or reinforce this area.

Shapes: Ongoing assessment and instruction
Comments: Angela can identify basic shapes (i.e., square, circle, triangle, rectangle, diamond).
She will be working on identifying straight and curved lines, corners, and points to further develop her understanding in this area.

Positional concepts: Ongoing assessment and instruction
Comments: Angela will receive instruction in this area. I hope we can work together in this area, because much can be done at home to help her better understand and apply positional concepts.

Common environmental objects: Ongoing assessment and instruction
Comments: As Angela travels around her school and home, she will have opportunities to identify and understand various objects and their functions.

O&M Instructional Areas

Motor development: Receiving instruction
Comments: I have personally not observed any difficulties in this area. However, Angela recently completed an Occupational Therapy (OT) evaluation, and I have touched base with the therapist to see if there were any areas of motor development I can assist with during O&M instruction. We agreed to stay in touch as needed.

Sensory skills: Receiving instruction
Comments: For mobility purposes, Angela uses vision as her primary mode. We will be focusing on improving her visual efficiency. When appropriate, Angela will use her sense of touch for reinforcement/confirmation, for example in dimly lit environments.

Visual skills: Receiving instruction
Comments: We will be working on various visual skills such as systematic scanning (searching), as well as visual perceptual skills including visual memory, attention to detail, and visual closure (i.e., ability to identify an object when part of it is missing).

Long cane skills: Receiving instruction
Comments: Angela received a long cane with a roller tip. We have not started cane instruction yet. When we do, long cane skills will be a regular part of her mobility lessons.

Social skills: Not addressed yet

Human guide skills: Receiving instruction
Comments: I will be showing Angela guiding skills when traveling together. Also, during family consultation sessions, we will discuss how these skills can be used.

Indoor travel skills: Receiving instruction
Comments: During the evaluation Angela was able to locate the gym, however, was unsure about the location of other places within the school. We will explore/address as we begin our sessions.

Orientation skills: Receiving instruction
Comments: At this stage, we will be focusing on navigating within and around the school.

Residential travel: Receiving instruction
Comments: Angela will be learning concepts associated with a residential block such as street corners, driveways, block shape and so forth. In addition, she will be walking around the block, reinforcing these concepts and applying sensory and long cane skills.

Street crossings: Not addressed yet

Small business travel: Not addressed yet

Public transportation: Not addressed yet

General Strategies for Promoting Independence

Teachable Moments: Be on the lookout for teachable moments so you can take advantage of a situation or object, novel to Angela. For example, on your way to the drugstore with Angela, you may notice a large fallen tree and realize this is a unique opportunity for Angela to explore a tree from its roots to the top branches at close range. A common occurrence, a stop at the gas station, can become a great opportunity for learning. You may be able to take a few extra minutes to discuss how gas pumps work and their common features; if appropriate, you can encourage Angela to assist in tasks such as pumping gas or cleaning the windshield.

Everyday Environments: The goal is to seek opportunities to help Angela learn something new and become more independent. Think about your day's activities and select those that can be turned into learning experiences. For example, if you are waiting in line at the post office, you could discuss with Angela elements of the post office, such as post office boxes, stamp machines, and so forth. You could explain what they are, how they work, what they look like, where they are located and explore them together before leaving. Perhaps on another visit, Angela might be able to get stamps independently or assist in the process of doing so. In another scenario, if using public transportation, you could discuss fares, types of stops (e.g., bus shelter vs. pole), names of stops, where to sit, etc. Depending on Angela's level of ability and previous experiences, you may consider having Angela participate in different aspects of the trip.

Chores and Responsibilities: Household chores provide excellent opportunities to develop independence and responsibility. Regardless of Angela's age and abilities, there are many tasks to choose from. For example, a younger child can put toys away or help set the table, while an older child may be able to take out the trash or do the laundry. Other activities may include gardening, raking leaves, washing the car and shoveling snow.

A Taste of Adventure: Whenever possible, plan family activities that involve new environments or situations to increase Angela's experience of the world. Depending on your family's interests, you could plan a trip to a museum, take a ferry ride, or go camping. At any new place, help Angela explore the new environment; and provide information that would enhance Angela's understanding of it. It may be worthwhile to call ahead of time to find out what special services/accommodations can be provided to make the experience more meaningful for Angela. For example, at a theatrical event, Angela may be offered a seat in the front row or a tour of the back stage to enhance the experience. In another example, if Angela has never been to a ballgame, this could be an exciting adventure. Depending on Angela's level of ability, you could discuss and show Angela the physical environment including bleachers, the field, location of the snack bar, etc. Understanding how the game is played and what people do to support their team can also be incorporated.

Physical Activity: Participating in physical activities (e.g., hiking, swimming, wrestling, dancing, running, and martial arts) is important for all children, especially those with visual impairments. Benefits include general health; opportunities to learn more about body movements and positional concepts (e.g., above, below, between, behind); and development of muscle strength, posture, coordination, and self-confidence. Also, when children are playing games, they have more opportunities to socialize with peers and develop friendships. You may explore what your local area has to offer regarding sports and recreation activities for children with disabilities. These may include therapeutic horseback riding, sensory trails, and adapted skiing.

Body Language: Often children with visual impairments do not have the benefit of observing and imitating others. As a result, you may need to teach Angela how to use gestures and body language appropriately. For example, Angela might benefit from learning how to nod for yes and shake the head for no, wave goodbye, shrug the shoulders, or shake hands when meeting somebody new. Also, you may need to provide feedback to point out what Angela may have missed or not considered in a particular situation. Most children respond to honest but encouraging comments. For example, on your way to the corner store with Angela, you stop to talk with your neighbor, Mr. Jones. You notice that Angela says hello in a friendly tone, but does not turn and face the person while doing so. Afterwards, you can say, "I loved the way you greeted Mr. Jones. You were so friendly! Try facing him next time when you talk with him. Most people look at each other's faces when they talk."

Show and Tell: Periodically ask what Angela is learning during O&M lessons. Pretend that Angela is the mobility instructor and is teaching you (the student) the new skill or concept. A variation of this activity is a "show and tell" time, where Angela shows you new mobility skills.

Specific Activities for Promoting Independence

The Zoo Game
Purpose: To promote body positions/movements and improve gross motor development.
Activity: Take turns in imitating the sounds and movements of different animals while earning points for guessing correctly. For example, jump in a squatting four legged position to imitate a frog or stand on tiptoes to illustrate the height of a giraffe. A variation of this game is called "What object am I?" Take turns imitating/shaping your body to look like a table, ball, etc.

Body Talk Game
Purpose: To integrate body language/gestures into everyday communication for socialization purposes.
Activity: Select common body gestures and provide hand-over-hand assistance to demonstrate them. Some gestures include raising shoulders to indicate I don't know or I don't care; thumb up to indicate approval, agreement, good job; bringing the index finger to the mouth to indicate be quiet, etc. Also, how do we convey surprise, fear, and other emotions with facial expressions? Point out the importance of facing people we are speaking to. Additional activities involve the use of raised diagrams to create facial expressions.

Detective
Purpose: To practice following directions, using landmarks and sensory information, and to promote independent travel indoors or outside.
Activity: Select a system for giving directions or clues (can use braille or large print cards, tape recorder, etc.). Place the instructions along a route in your home or neighborhood, and have Angela use mobility skills to locate and follow them to a hidden treasure.

Go Fishing!
Purpose: To promote concept development.
Activity: Use construction paper and make multicolored fish with written instructions on them using large print or Braille. Examples of instructions include "touch your right ear with your left hand", "find an object taller than you", etc. Attach a paper clip to each fish and lay them on the floor. Then, using a homemade or toy fishing pole with a magnet at the end, have Angela go fishing. For each fish caught, ask Angela to follow the written instructions. Angela gets to keep the fish and put it in a bucket when able to perform the instructions correctly, but the fish goes in your bucket otherwise. At the end of the game, count how many fish each of you have collected.

Sounds Like...
Purpose: To promote sensory development while reinforcing knowledge of environmental concepts.
Activity: Have Angela hold the cane in one hand and your arm with the other hand. Tell Angela where you are along the sidewalk. Then have the cane bump or touch environmental objects. When the cane touches an object, ask Angela to guess what it sounds like. For example, "I think it's a mailbox because it sounds like metal and we're near the corner." If necessary, have Angela explore it to gather more information.

Statues
Purpose: To integrate body movements and positional concepts.
Activity: Family members take turns creating a statue with their bodies while others try to guess what each person represents or come up with a name for the statue. By imitating different body shapes, Angela learns to identify body positions in self and others. A variation of this game consists of creating statues following specific directives such as "create a statue where your feet don't touch the ground or where your elbows are higher than your shoulders, etc."

More or Less
Purpose: To apply learned concepts related to size, height, weight, etc.
Activity: Ask Angela to find objects in the environment that are taller, wider, heavier, shorter, etc. than Angela or other people. A variation on this theme involves the use of wooden blocks or construction toys. A participant challenges Angela to build a structure taller, shorter, wider, the same size, etc. as the model.

Follow the Music
Purpose: To develop pre-cane skills in the area of rhythm and walking in step with the long cane.
Activity: Choose music with different tempos and rhythms. Have Angela walk in sync with the music clapping hands, marching or singing along, with or without using a long cane, depending on skill level.

Navigator
Purpose: To reinforce/enrich understanding of environmental objects and their functions.
Activity: Ask Angela to help create a list of various common objects likely to be found in a particular area (e.g., a street corner, your neighborhood, small business, and mall). Then, go on a trip to find as many of the selected objects as possible. This could be a family contest in which the person who finds the most objects from the list earns the "Navigator" award. When appropriate, enlarged pictures/photos of objects can be used instead of a written list.

Clue
Purpose: To reinforce systematic scanning, object identification, blur interpretation and use of optical devices.
Activity: Outdoors, a family member describes the shape, color and/or location of an object and Angela is asked to visually scan, locate it, and guess what it is (e.g., you might say "Clue is I see something blue and rectangular near the corner" and Angela responds "I think it's a mailbox.") Then, reverse roles so that Angela may select objects and describe their main features for a family member. Optical devices can be especially useful when the selected objects are farther away.

Hidden Shapes
Purpose: To reinforce shape identification.
Activity: Angela is given either a picture of a shape or a three-dimensional (3-D) shape and asked to find an object that contains that shape somewhere in the house. For example, while an entire door may be described as a rectangle, the door knob may look like a circle. This could be presented as a family game where all participants have a set time to search for objects containing the selected shape, and the one with the most correct answers wins.

Guess What
Purpose: To promote visual closure or part-to-whole object identification.
Activity: Using a blanket or some other material, cover part of a common object. Then, ask Angela to identify this object from the available tactual/visual information. If Angela has low vision, you can play this game by partially covering enlarged photographs to enhance visual closure skills.

All Aboard
Purpose: To experience different public transportation systems (e.g., bus, train, trolley, ferry and subway).
Activity: Plan family trips that involve the use of public transportation. Encourage Angela to be as involved as possible in the planning process and in the actual trip. For example, Angela could plan where to go, call for information and schedules, and pay for the fare.

Instructor Contact Information

My Name: Betsy O'Donnell, Certified O&M Specialist (COMS), MS of Ed
Work Address:
Children's Center for the Visually Impaired
800 Dale Avenue
Spring, Pennsylvania 11111
United States
Office Phone: (888) 888-8888
Office Email: betsy@childrencenter.org
Office Fax: (555) 555-5555
Cell Phone: (444) 444-4444

Family Contact Form

Dear Parent, Guardian or Family member:

Please fill in this form and return it to me with Angela or by mailing it to my address on the Instructor Contact page. I would like to hear your thoughts and ideas about Angela's orientation and mobility needs.

Your Name: _______________________________________

Relationship to Child: ___________________________

Your Address: ____________________________________

City, State, Zip: ________________________________

Home Phone: ______________________________________

Best Times to Call: ______________________________

Work Phone: ______________________________________

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Cell Phone: ______________________________________

E-mail Address: __________________________________

Questions and Ideas: _____________________________

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