MM:5
Orientation and mobility – moving towards independence: the early years

Authors

  • CA MATSUBA MDCM MHSc FRCP(C),

    1. Visual Impairment Program, Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children and BC Children's Hospital, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author
  • M GRAHAM BA

    1. Visual Impairment Program, Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children and BC Children's Hospital, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Vision along with all the other senses, pulls together meaningful information about the environment, providing motivation to experience the world. However, children with visual impairment have limited opportunities to interact in their environment. This potentially leads to delays in concept development. Early orientation and mobility education provides strategies to overcome obstacles in the presence of limited vision. Orientation is being aware of where you are, where you want to go and how you want to get there. Mobility is moving from place to place. With support, children with visual impairment can develop these independent skills. Through this DVD, caregivers are given tools to support their child with visual impairment to explore their environment. The material highlights strategies to encourage early orientation and mobility skills by introducing early motor developmental progression from body positioning to walking, encouraging motor skills. In addition, common orientation and mobility skills such as; positional concepts, landmarks, trailing, body protection, guiding, push toys, and mobility cane, are provided. In response to community needs, this educational material was developed for families, early childhood developmental professionals, and therapists. The material is presented chronologically, focusing on the individual child's ability. By using real life examples, children with varying degrees of visual impairment demonstrate common strategies to explore their environment. After reviewing the material, caregivers will be better able to understand the importance of early orientation and mobility.

Acknowledgements:

Ministry of Children and Family, British Columbia BC Children's Hospital Foundation.

Ancillary