More Places For O.andM. Instructors To Learn Ou

We’ve all heard the expression: You need to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes to understand what they are going through. Thanks to a partnership with Cal. State L.A., Braille Institute’s California campuses will give students training to be orientation and mobility instructors a great opportunity to do just that.

Most of the Braille Institute locations from San Diego, Los Angeles, and on up the coast service clients who are transitioning from high school to college, middle age adults, and those transitioning into retirement. Some of these campuses also have daily classes for building skills for homelife and employment like working with adaptive technology. Now, with the help of Cal. State-L.A., they will give future O.andM. instructors hands on exposure to people who are blind.

After all, the popular sayings flipside is true, too. We who are blind long to learn from people who truly get us. So after learning a lot about blindness through classroom books and theory along with a bit of practicum mixed in, Cal. State students will have yet another venue where they can immerse themselves in the world we know very well. After all, orientation and mobility isn’t just showing routes and sending the client on his or her way. It’s adapting those routes and needs to the young college student rushing from dorm to science lab, from lecture hall to the dining hall. It’s helping a partially sighted man in his sixties learn to use the color contrasts in his apartment so as to organize where to put the mail he’s retrieved from the box outside. For the guide dog user, O.andM. instruction involves learning the routes he’s taken for some years while staying clear of many benches or flower pots that his cane tip has tapped instead of using them as landmarks.

Of course, the benefit for both Braille Institute and Cal. State-L.A. will extend to the dollars and cents of any partnership along with each other’s public awareness. The more businesses and schools raising the awareness of our capabilities and dignity the better. Now as you read more about this excellent alliance here, think of how working together will benefit each Braille Institute client or O.andM. student intern.

In addition, it’s no secret that there’s a shortage of blindness professionals, whether we’re talking orientation and mobility or assistive tech. instructors, or vision rehabilitation therapists-all of whom we’ve featured in the past on Boldly Blind. Now let’s see how gaining new ground for internships and increased exposure to the blindness community helps Cal. State-L.A. train the next generation.

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