Tag Archive

mobility

Three ways to support blind people everywhere on White Cane Day

The worldwide event is October 15. Here’s what you can do to get involved.

Have a Story to Tell? Hashtag #MyWhiteCane

Do you remember the first time you held a white cane? How much do you really know about the white cane’s history and purpose? Did you know that the white cane is not a crude implement, a compromise or a scarllett letter – but a highly effective tool of empowerment?

Also known as White Cane Safety Day and declared Blind Americans Equality Day by President Barack Obama in 2011, October 15 is the day when, around the world, blind people and their allies take time out to celebrate blind achievement and one of the best pieces of technology that we know: this is what #WhiteCaneDay is all about. First recognized by the U.S. Congress in 1964, White Cane Day is part of a greater international push now known as Meet The Blind Month, White Cane Day is, for blind people or those with low vision, a time to shine.

Five things you might not know about the white cane:

  1. From toddlers to NBA players, canes come in all sizes, some as long as 6 feet tall.
  2. Some people tap their canes for the audio feedback, while others keep continuous contact with the ground. It’s a personal choice.
  3. Canes can have dozens of different tips: plastic, metal, round, flat, soft, hard and rolling – all serve different purposes and are appropriate in different environments.
  4. Some canes fold up, some telescope in, and some are rigid and do not shrink down at all – it’s also a personal choice.
  5. It is actually illegal for people who aren’t blind or visually impaired to walk in public with a white cane – so we never have to worry about impersonators!

If you are a cane user or an ally, please share this article in the lead up to October 15 to educate the world about how important the cane is to our confidence and indepdence.

Celebrate with LightHouse’s Safe Streets Ambassadors

The LightHouse Training Team, Safe Streets Ambassadors and community continue our quest to educate drivers and the general public into 2019 regarding the respect of blind and low vision travelers using their white cane.

“My Cane is My Right of Way” is our message, and the message is on our t-shirts. If you are able to join us for the hour, you will receive our “My cane is My Right of Way” for RVSPing and attending.  The morning of the 15th will begin at 10:00 am on the 10th floor with coffee and bagels (you will receive your t-shirt the day of the event) and head out to Market Street (in front of the LightHouse) where our education hits the streets.

When: October 15, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Where: in front of 1155 Market Street (meet at LightHouse HQ)

Who: Cane users and anyone who wants to help (we’ll be flyering!)

RSVP: Email Briana Kusuma at BKusuma@lighthouse-sf.org.

Happy #WhiteCaneDay! And as a promotion, we are offering 15% off on canes and cane accessories for the whole month of October at Adaptations.

Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist

POSITION:            Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist

REPORTS TO:                       Director of Rehabilitation Services

STATUS:                    Exempt

 

JOB PURPOSE:

The Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS) is responsible for teaching orientation and mobility to blind, low-vision and deaf-blind adults & seniors from diverse backgrounds. In providing orientation and mobility instruction, the COMS will conduct assessments and provide training which reflects recent and progressive travel and orientation techniques and trends, focusing on student’s travel needs in the home, work and community.  The COMS must have the ability to assess and teach to differing skill levels, as well as to train on varied mobility devices and options such as;  monocular use, purpose-built GPS, BrailleNote GPS, Seeing eye GPS, BlindSquare, Google Maps, Audible Pedestrian Signals and the Lighthouse’s very own tactile maps of public streets, transit hubs, and public spaces.

Flexibility and ‘thinking outside the box’ is essential to this position.  The COMS must be able to work with and provide information and training to family and friends, community members, volunteers and service providers and effectively communicate and collaborate with referral agencies in providing services to shared students.  The duties of the COMS may include (but are not limited to): conducting of assessments, writing individual training plans with the student, and facilitating individual and group instruction as needed.  Orientation and mobility instruction may occur on-site, in the home, workplace or the student’s community, including travel on all forms of San Francisco Bay Area-wide public transportation and Paratransit.

The COMS must be flexible working throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area, including periodic week-long training from the LightHouse North Coast office in Eureka, and able to travel as far south as Monterey and Salinas. Additionally, week-long seminar training may happen up to four times per year at Enchanted Hills Camp and Retreat.  Training may occur in either urban or rural settings. The COMS may also be asked to teach and assess for urgent and basic daily living skills.  The COMS is a professional within the Lighthouse Rehabilitation Team, sharing resources, recommendations and referrals. 

 

QUALIFICATIONS:

Education or equivalent: Master’s Degree with specialty in Orientation and Mobility, & Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP) Certified – OR – Minimum of a BA Degree in Rehabilitation Services; or a related degree with National Orientation and Mobility Certification (NOMC) from the National Blindness Professional Certification Board (NBPCB).

Experience: A minimum of three years teaching Orientation and Mobility preferred   A history of teaching basic independent living skills (home-to-work skills) with adults and/ or seniors necessary.

Intern supervision experience preferred; the LightHouse works with San Francisco State University and the intention is to provide supervised intern placement within LightHouse on an annual basis.

Other: Fluency in a language other than English is very helpful. Multicultural teaching experience preferred; excellent verbal and written communication skills; strong interpersonal skills in order to relate to staff, blind and visually-impaired students, and persons in the community with varied backgrounds and viewpoints.

An ability to formulate individual, sequential training plans. Knowledge of Braille desired.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS:

Ability to teach in rain, cold, heat and other inclement conditions.

 

ACCOUNTABILITIES:

  • Assess individual needs of students and set goals for instruction.
  • Provide training under training shade as necessary or recommended.
  • Provide professionally-written student assessments, goal development, and training summaries / recommendations, on a monthly basis to all third-party contracting sources (such as the Department of Rehabilitation, Veterans Administration and Regional Center).
  • Maintain weekly and monthly database entries regarding units of service provided to students, along with notes, goal-planning and reports for all direct services provided.
  • Act as Agency liaison in traffic, community transportation services and auditory signal issues or projects as requested.
  • Provide cane travel, route travel with dog guide users & teams and human guide instruction.
  • Develop and create maps for students as necessary; provide training in the use of tactile maps.
  • Maintain updated information regarding Paratransit programs, providing registration assistance and training in the programs as necessary.
  • Participate in Agency public outreach and education as requested.
  • Provide orientation and route training in all environments and on various forms of public transit.
  • Assess for and teach basic and essential independent living skills to blind and low-vision students such as labeling, money organization, use of an ATM, and home safety practices.
  • Provide assessment and training in independent living strategies that impact personal safety.
  • Provide assessment and training in independent living strategies which provide choice and independence in completing tasks in the home, volunteer work and employment.
  • Facilitate or co-facilitate classes, including our Changing Visions, Changing Lives immersion cohort and community workshops.
  • Initiate outreach, training and collaboration with local universities and school’s disabled student programs, in providing campus orientation.
  • Conduct student home safety assessments and community agency environmental evaluations.
  • Provide consultation and/or training to staff in community agencies regarding environmental modifications and strategies in working with persons who are blind or low-vision.
  • Attend and participate in All-Staff meetings, monthly Consumer Review and departmental meetings (Rehabilitation Services).
  • Complete requisite documentation in a timely manner.
  • Ensure all publicity materials have first been approved by the Director of Rehabilitation Services.
  • Completely and accurately record student information in the proprietary LightHouse client database.
  • Complete monthly billing on a timely basis (by the first of each month).
  • Maintain timely communication and responses to clients (within 48 hours of referral).
  • Maintain professional communication via e-mail and voice mail on a timely and ongoing basis.

 

WORKING CONDITIONS: 

LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired is an equal opportunity employer to all.  We strive to maintain a scent-free environment and a drug-free workplace. We also operate under a mutual “employment at will” policy.

 

TO APPLY:

Please submit a cover letter and résumé as Word attachments (no .PDFs please), to hr@lighthouse-sf.org, including the job title in the subject line. We will not consider videos or hyperlinks to online profiles. Due to time constraints we will only respond to complete submissions in which there is serious interest; thanks for your understanding.

‘The Specialist’ Podcast On Going Blind, and How We Help

Katt Jones and Marco SalsicciaLightHouse O&M instructor Katt Jones was featured on this week’s episode of The Specialist, a new KALW podcast about the important jobs you don’t think about. Host Casey Miner takes us through a day-in-the-life of someone, in this case Jones, who helps blind people learn how to get around. Miner also takes a deep dive with Marco Salsiccia, LightHouse student and Accessibility Specialist at Lyft, about what it’s like to lost your vision all at once, and what happens next. Listen to the whole episode here and tell us what you think in the comments!