Orientation & Mobility Services

Orientation and Mobility (O&M) is the teaching of concepts, skills and techniques necessary for a person who is blind to travel safely, efficiently and confidently through any environment and under all environmental conditions and situations.

Orientation and mobility services may include: basic orientation concepts of body awareness and geometric shapes; a primary travel system using residual vision, sighted guide, long cane, prescribed low vision aids or a combination of the above; effective indoor travel techniques, including self-protective techniques, trailing and room or building familiarization; safe and effective negotiation of outdoor areas including street crossings (signal controlled and non-controlled) and the use of public transportation.

Eligibility Requirements to Receive Orientation and Mobility Services

To be eligible to receive Orientation and Mobility services, the student must meet the following criteria:

  1. Have an eye exam performed by an eye care professional that results in
    • a visual acuity of 20/70 or worse in the better eye after correction (20/70 means that a person at 20 feet from an eye chart can see what a person with normal vision can see at 70 feet); or
    • a visual field restriction of 20 degrees diameter or less (tunnel vision--no peripheral) in the better eye; or
    • an eye condition that, even with correction, adversely affects the student’s ability to function normally within a general educational setting
  2. Have an evaluation conducted by an Orientation and Mobility Specialist.

Referral and Evaluation Process for Orientation and Mobility Services

Referral for an Orientation and Mobility evaluation follows the standard Related Services referral process. Once the appropriate forms are returned, the Orientation and Mobility Specialist will determine eligibility and conduct an evaluation of the student to determine if a need exists for O&M services.

Upon completing the evaluation, the O&M Specialist will prepare a report as to whether or not a need exists. If intervention is not warranted at this time, the O&M Specialist may advise that continued monitoring be conducted and an evaluation done to coincide with the student’s 3-year MFE. An evaluation may be required sooner should the student’s vision conditions deteriorate.

If it is determined that the need for O&M services is appropriate and recommended, then the standard procedures for adding a Related Service applies. See “Procedures to Add a Related Service”-attached.

Dismissal or Cessation of Orientation and Mobility Services

In time, it may become necessary to release a student from O&M services. This may be as a result of mastering the skills taught or from other reasons such as deteriorating health concerns, behavioral changes or failing to progress beyond a predetermined point. Dismissal from services must be carefully considered and follow the standard Related Services procedures. See “Procedures for Dismissal from Related Service”-attached

Procedures for Adding a Related Service

To add a related service to the IEP does not require a reevaluation. It requires an assessment in the area of suspected need and an IEP meeting where documentation/data are provided which show that services suggested are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education.

  1. Contact students IEP case manager and indicate possible need for addition of related service.
  2. Contact parent to conduct planning meeting and obtain signature on Permission to evaluate (PR05). Send parent Prior Written Notice to Parents (PR-01) indicating proposed addition.
  3. Complete necessary assessments to determine if student qualifies for proposed related service.
  4. Complete an Evaluation Team Report (PR06) with the results and attach to the current re-evaluation. If the information changes the summary statement on the ETR then a new summary statement needs to be written. Parent signature is recommended but not required on new summary of ETR page.
  5. Contact the parent with the results of the evaluation. If the student qualifies to receive the related service, request that an IEP meeting be held and add the related service to the current IEP. The Related Service provider adding a service must be present.
  6. If the team agrees to add the related service, effective dates on the goal/objective will be from the date of the IEP meeting to the end date of the current IEP.
  7. The EMIS form must also be amended, adding the related service. On the EMIS scroll down to the box below where Related Services are indicated. Check the related service that is being added.
  8. Print the new signature page denoting addition of the related service and have signed by the IEP team.
  9. If adding the service at a time other than the annual review, write at the top of the signature page that IEP is being amended to add a related service and send to the Related Services office.

Procedures for Dismissal from Related Service

To remove a related service from the IEP does not require a reevaluation. It requires an IEP meeting where documentation/data are provided which show that the child no longer needs the related service to provide Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).

Related Service Provider proposing dismissal:

  • Gather and provide to parent and IEP team written documentation supporting this change in service need (e.g. what is different that services can now be removed).
  • Send parent Prior Written Notice to Parents (PR-01) indicating proposed dismissal.
  • Notify the case manager that the service is proposed to be dismissed at the next IEP meeting. The Related Service provider dismissing their service must be present at the IEP meeting.
  • Write information in the Profile Section of the proposed IEP supporting possible dismissal [e.g. all goals and objectives have been mastered or if the team agrees that further improvement is not likely to be made due to unique circumstance (the student absolutely refusing to attend sessions/continue therapy) the service may be dropped.....this of course requires documentation of strategies employed to remediate situation along with parent agreement. The student's current level of performance still needs to be included......"Johnny continues to demonstrate deficits in the area of (expressive language). However, even with continued efforts to encourage him to participate in therapy, he has not attended 19 of 22 sessions held when he was in attendance at school so far this school year. He has made little (or no) progress in his expressive language skills since the beginning of school this year."].
  • Blue EMIS form is completed by the Curriculum Specialist or the SLP in the cases SH primary disability. Related service to be dismissed needs to be circled with dismissal written next to it and end date included.
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