Available in 2018
Course code



10 units


6000 level

Course handbook


Introduction to the theory and practice of orientation and mobility with particular emphasis on teaching the concepts and skills to students in educational settings. Examination of the foundations of learning and teaching orientation and mobility, with introduction to principles of concept development, spatial orientation and environmental analysis as these topics relate to the increased independence of vision impaired children and young adults.

Availability2018 Course Timetables

WebLearn GradSchool

  • Semester 1 - 2018

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Provide instruction in modes of orientation and mobility that promote student independence and safety in educational and community settings.

2. Apply orientation concepts to curriculum design and curricular materials, including Braille and assistive technology devices and mapping.

3. As an educational team member, contribute methods of adapting regular instructional programs to promote O&M knowledge and skills for students with vision impairment. This includes sport, physical education, daily living, independent travel and practical curriculum-based activities.

4. Adapt O&M teaching techniques to address the development and learning attributes of learners with vision impairment, including the very young, school aged and young adults.

5. Provide information on growth and development patterns in relation to O&M for students with vision impairment, and common delays in the development of gross and fine motor skills.


  • The functional aspects of common causes of vision impairment and their impact on mobility.
  • Sensory motor functioning including the development, use, and assessment of sensory systems and motor skills for using indoor and outdoor O&M skills and techniques in a range of environments.
  • Psycho-social aspects of blindness and vision impairment, including adjustment processes that might accompany vision impairment and concomitant disabilities.
  • Concept development of children and adults who are vision impaired.
  • Multiple disabilities of vision impaired children and adults and implications for orientation and mobility
  • Systems of orientation and mobility in educational settings including the pre-cane, long cane, mobility devices, and electronic travel aids as well as the use of ambulatory aids by children and adults who are vision impaired.
  • Orientation and mobility skills and techniques in educational settings including human guide; protective and orientation techniques; techniques for using canes and adaptive devices; use of landmarks, clues and cues, and search patterns; soliciting and declining assistance.
  • Philosophy of orientation and mobility, Instructional methods, strategies and assessment of orientation and mobility.
  • Professional information, including sources of current literature, research, resources and professional organizations, and environmental accessibility standards.
  • Development, administration and supervision of O&M programs in educational settings in conjunction with a qualified O&M instructor.

The O&M competencies address the skills that specialist vision teachers are required to demonstrate for the development of students' O&M skills and techniques. Competencies that are unique to the practice of O&M fall into the following categories:

  • evaluate and maximise the use of functional vision in educational and travel environments.
  • evaluate and maximise the use of auditory, kinesthetic, tactual, and other sensory information.
  • modify or adapt instruction in situations that affect O&M lessons such as school and classroom layout, adverse weather, noise, emotional upset, fatigue.
  • teach and reinforce basic O&M skills to provide safe, efficient mobility within such structured environments as school playgrounds and classrooms.

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Research Paper

Project: Projects/Tactile Mapping Project

Case Study / Problem Based Learning: Case Scenario/PBL Exercises

Contact hours

WebLearn GradSchool


Face to Face On Campus 30 hour(s) per Term Full Term

Students are required to attend a 5-day campus conference at the RIDBC Renwick Centre, Sydney

Self-Directed Learning

Self-Directed 8 hour(s) per Week for 13 Weeks