'Orientation and mobility... what is that again?'

Blake, Katrina (2020) 'Orientation and mobility... what is that again?'. British Journal of Visual Impairment. (In Press)

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Abstract

Orientation and Mobility (O&M) is historically understood as the technical skills required for a person with visual impairment to move independently and safely through their environment. O&M instruction was originally positioned as a way to progress the rehabilitation of US veterans blinded in World War II. Since then, the long white cane has been synonymous with visual impairment, blindness, and the discipline of O&M. To this day, the attainment of long-cane skills and route travel persists as a major component of O&M practice and research. This pervasive quantitative conception of O&M instruction promotes attitudes, perspectives, and interests that impede a shared commitment to studying and improving the fundamentals of O&M. Drawing on qualitative data from interviews with three Queensland primary school students with visual impairment, a parent, teacher, and a panel of Australian O&M specialists the sub-culture of O&M is illuminated. Results indicate a lack of general awareness of the impact of Visual Impairment and of O&M, and shed light on the authentic learning experiences of the three students with visual impairment. To better understand the influence of visual impairment on independent travel and subsequently the tenets of O&M learning and teaching, it is necessary to challenge the conventional way of telling the story of O&M. The importance of changing preconceived ideas and values of O&M is discussed.

Item ID: 63096
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1744-5809
Keywords: Australia, orientation and mobility, perception, primary students, qualitative, visual impairment
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2020
Date Deposited: 13 May 2020 07:35
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130312 Special Education and Disability @ 60%
13 EDUCATION > 1301 Education Systems > 130105 Primary Education (excl Maori) @ 20%
13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators @ 20%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939907 Special Needs Education @ 60%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930101 Learner and Learning Achievement @ 40%
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