Orientation and Mobility Skills
Move as safely and independently as possible through all environments
An Overview of the Technical O&M Skills Needed if You Are Thinking about Applying for a Guide Dog
Before one applies for a guide dog, the mastery of the following list of technical O&M skills and abilities is assumed of the student. These skills are necessary if there is to be a successful outcome to instruction. The guide dog is a complimentary tool to be used in conjunction with a strong foundation of one’s O&M skills.
Ability to move about one’s living, neighborhood, community, and work environment.
- Uses appropriate body movements and maintains good posture.
- Demonstrates possession of fine motor skills (eye-hand coordination).
- Demonstrates possession of gross motor skills (running, throwing).
- Explains how to get from house to the sidewalk or road, or mailbox.
- Safely enters/exits automobiles/cabs.
- Describes olfactory/auditory/tactile clues to orientation and mobility within the home.
- Demonstrates basic cane and/or adaptive visual travel skills.
- Knows basic differences among all forms of public transportation (bus, train, plane, taxi).
- Uses appropriate upper and lower hand self-protective (O&M) techniques.
- Moves about own home independently and safely
- Explains relationship between curb and street, objects in yard, etc.
- Explains the common location of outside steps, bushes, trees, driveway and other land marks/obstacles.
- Follows prompting for training and/or taking direction from environmental features (squaring off).
- Describes layout of familiar rooms (e.g., friends/relatives’ homes, classroom, doctor’s office, church).
- Can independently find bathroom in own house.
- Uses and explains sighted guide techniques.
- Determines appropriate time to cross residential streets.
- Demonstrates concept of relative distance between various locations in familiar environment (i.e., knows far/near, longer/shorter distances, etc.).
Ability to use any public transportation that is available and for which the customer can realistically (as evaluated) be expected to use.
- Safely enters/exits public transportation (e.g. buses, planes, or trains).
- Plans and adapts routes in familiar environment.
- Negotiates specific travel obstacles, cars, snow banks.
- Uses and describes most cane techniques with some assistance.
- Localizes sounds and use cues to face areas of activity.
- Travels independently within 2-3 block radius of home.
- Chooses preferred mode of travel for short distances knowing specific characteristics (e.g., costs, schedules) and defends choice.
- Uses safe exploration techniques to negotiate new environments.
- Understands and follows rules of safety in travel.
- Demonstrates use of non-visual senses in travel (some prompting is acceptable).
- Uses clues and landmarks to assist with orientation.
- Demonstrates step-over-step pattern of walking when ascending or descending stairs.
- Descends stairs independent of handrail.
- Uses protective arm and tracking techniques.
- Demonstrates knowledge of environmental concepts.
- Compares travel time to pace.
- Reads compass.
- Reads and interprets simple maps.
- Demonstrates self-familiarization techniques.
- Describes public places (e.g., park, museum).
- Describes a city/neighborhood block, several types of street intersections, etc.
- Uses and describes appropriate cane techniques (including diagonal, diagonal trailing, ascending/descending stairs, touch, touch and slide, touch and drag, constant contact, 3-point touch).
- Travels independently and safely within own residential neighborhood.
- Crosses at traffic light-controlled intersection at right time.
- Uses public transit to go to familiar locations.
- Uses escalator.
- Operates turnstiles and revolving doors.
- Independently negotiates common travel obstacles in local environment (including curbs).
- Can enter and exit with ease all forms of transportation.
- Appropriately asks for assistance when using public transportation.
We are keen to support your success in developing ease and mastery of the O&M concepts and skills discussed here. So please feel free to contact the Admissions Team at 760-329-2375 if you should have questions or concerns.