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Orientation and Mobility Specialist

Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites Police Check First Aid Working With Children check Licence

Also known as Orientation and Mobility Teacher and Orientation and Mobility Instructor.

Orientation and mobility specialists teach people who are blind or have low vision to move around their environment safely and with confidence.

They usually work on a one-to-one basis.

TASKS

    Orientation and mobility specialists may perform the following tasks:

  • teach people who are blind or have low vision to use their remaining eyesight and their other senses (sound, touch, smell and the sensation of body movement) to detect landmarks and reference points and move safely through their environment
  • instruct and assess clients in the use of mobility aids such as long canes, which give information to users about the surface over which they are about to walk
  • instruct and assess clients in the use of electronic travel devices where appropriate (these devices give off vibrating or audible signals when obstacles are ahead)
  • work with parents of young children and infants who are blind or have low vision to encourage the development of skills and concepts related to their bodies, their environment and the wider community
  • provide advice/consultation related to the needs of people who are blind or have low vision about access to the built environment, access and use of public transport and finding information e.g. accessible maps
  • consult with other professions, groups or individuals
  • work as part of a team of specialists to provide a range of services for people who are blind or have low vision, which might include occupational therapists, diversional therapists, physiotherapists, optometrists, orthoptists, doctors or teachers

PERSONAL REQUIREMENTS

  • good physical health
  • a desire to work with people with disabilities
  • observant, patient and reliable
  • strong communication skills

Interest Area

Medical Helping/Community Service Influencing/Personal Contact

EDUCATION & TRAINING


Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites Police Check First Aid Working With Children check Licence

To become an orientation and mobility specialist you usually have to complete a degree in health science, human services, social science, behavioural science or a related field, followed by a postgraduate qualification in orientation and mobility.

To get into the degree courses you usually need to gain your HSC/ACT Year 12. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics are normally required. Most universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas. Entry to postgraduate courses usually requires completion of an appropriate bachelor degree.

Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information as requirements may change.


Additional Information

    In NSW, before undertaking work placements required by courses, students may be required to obtain a National Police Certificate, a Provide First Aid Certificate, immunisations and a Working with Children Check (NSW) or a Working with Vulnerable People Check (ACT). Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.

    A current drivers licence is usually required.

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Orientation and mobility specialists may work with clients in their homes or in training centres, hospitals, schools or places of employment. They also work for organisations such as guide dog associations and Vision Australia.

Employment opportunities may increase with the ageing of the population.

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More Information - External Links

Vision Australia Guide Dogs NSW/ACT NSW Working with Children Check Office of Regulatory Services (ACT)


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