What is Orientation and Mobility?
The primary goal of orientation and mobility (O&M) is to assist people who are blind or visually impaired in reaching their personal goals of independence and independent travel. Orientation and mobility specialists work with people in all phases of life: infants, children, teenagers, college students, working professionals and the elderly.
A certified orientation and mobility specialist (COMS) recommends and teaches the use of a white cane as needed. The white cane is a useful device which enables the traveler with a visual impairment to detect obstacles and/or drop-offs and travel safely and confidently. The white cane can also be used in conjunction with a support cane or wheelchair. Orientation and mobility specialists also train students and clients to use other assistive devices such as handheld telescopes, GPS systems and service animals such as dog guides.