POSITION: Orientation and Mobility Specialist (bilingual preferred)
REPORTS TO: Rehabilitation Services Coordinator
WC CLASS: Teacher
The Orientation and Mobility Specialist (O&M Specialist) is responsible for teaching orientation and mobility to blind, low-vision and deaf-blind adults and seniors from diverse backgrounds. In providing orientation and mobility instruction, the O&M Specialist will conduct assessments and provide training reflecting recent and progressive travel and orientation techniques and trends, and develop with all students’ transferrable techniques and problem solving skills while focusing on a student’s travel needs in the home, work and community.
The O&M Specialist 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, tints, GPS apps and use (ie BlindSquare, Google Maps), Accessible Pedestrian Signals and tactile maps (of public streets, transit hubs, and public spaces and buildings). It is expected that all O&M Specialists provide instruction that takes into consideration understanding of a student’s abilities and potential concomitant health conditions. Knowledge and understanding of primary eye conditions, including Cortical Visual Impairment is imperative. Knowledge of health associated with aging, head injury, diabetes and mental health and developmental disabilities is very helpful. Together the O&M Specialist and the student develop and revise goals to achieve the student’s intended mobility outcomes.
Flexibility and ‘thinking outside of the box’ is essential to this position. The philosophy of our trainers is that of facilitation of skills for independent (as defined with each student) travel. Our team also provides training with the student using a training shade where best applied for learning and instruction. The O&M Specialist 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 cross-cultural community of the LightHouse is increasing and second-language ability is preferred and cultural sensitivity to disability is integral to this position. The duties of the O&M Specialist 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. Additionally, the O&M Specialist may be requested to coordinate specific training projects with colleagues or represent the LightHouse in the community, this may be ongoing or short term. 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.
While the majority of training occurs throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area, the O&M Specialist must be open and flexible to working from all LightHouse locations and sometimes beyond, as needed for special projects. Additionally, the O&M Specialist must be able to balance their training schedule to accommodate week-long seminar training Enchanted Hills Camp and Retreat and immersive training in San Francisco with our Guide Dogs for the Blind collaboration (orientation skill development), or travel to locations outside the greater Bay Area overnight, to accommodate training for students who live outside the area. Training may occur in either urban or rural settings. The O&M Specialist may also be asked to teach and assess for urgent and basic daily living skills. The O&M Specialist is a professional within the Lighthouse Training Team, sharing resources, recommendations, referrals and skills with colleagues. Our training team practice and hone their teaching skills under occlusion as needed, providing peer teaching feedback, discussing strategies for training and ensuring our students receive instruction that is collaborative and blind positive.
AGENCY EXPECTATIONS OF EMPLOYEES:
As employees, we should:
- Read, understand, and adhere to all Agency policies and procedures.
- Conduct ourselves in a professional manner on and off the job, knowing that we are representatives of LightHouse.
- Perform all job responsibilities.
- Maintain a positive and respectful attitude toward everyone.
- Communicate regularly and appropriately with our supervisors, and colleagues within our own departments.
- Demonstrate efficient time management and the ability to prioritize our assignments.
- Consistently report to work on time, and be ready to begin performing our assigned duties and responsibilities.
- Work productively.
- Continue to learn and communicate a blindness-positive philosophy based on best current practices in the field.
Education or equivalent: Master’s Degree or BA in Orientation and Mobility (ACVREP Certified) or Master’s Degree and National Orientation and Mobility Certification (NOMC) from the National Blindness Professional Certification Board (NBPCB).
Experience: A minimum of two years teaching Orientation and Mobility preferred. A history of teaching basic independent living skills (home-to-work skills) with young adults, and/ or adults and seniors.
Other: Preferred fluency (speaking, reading and writing) in Spanish, Cantonese, ASL or Russian. 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. Strong user of computer and Smart Phone/Tablets.
An ability to formulate individual, sequential training plans. Knowledge of Smart Phone accessibility related to O&M and Braille/tactile mapping experience desired.
- Ability to teach in rain, cold, heat and other inclement conditions.
- Stamina to provide instruction for up to a three-hour lesson in the field and alternate environments and geography.
- Assess individual needs of students and set goals for instruction.
- 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, Regional Center and other third party vendors).
- 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 and teams and human guide instruction.
- Maintain updated information regarding Paratransit programs, providing registration assistance and training in the programs as necessary.
- 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 (5 minute lessons).
- Provide training in a range of all indoor and out-of-door environments: all urban city environments, rural environments, professional and academic campuses and buildings, homes, skilled nursing facilities etc.
- Facilitate or co-facilitate classes, including our Changing Vision, Changing Life immersion and community workshops.
- Conduct 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 (Training Services).
- Complete requisite documentation, billing, reports etc. in a timely manner (monthly). All completed in Salesforce database.
- Participate in agency public outreach and education as requested.
- Maintain timely communication and responses to students (within 48 hours of referral).
- Maintain professional communication via email and voice mail on a timely and ongoing basis.
- Other Duties: Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.
Supervise and provide instruction to Orientation and Mobility Interns as requested per certification eligibility.
Equal opportunity to all regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, disability, religious or political affiliation, age, or sexual orientation.
All employees at LightHouse are hired for an indefinite and unspecified duration and consequently, no employee is guaranteed employment for a specified length of time. Employment is at the mutual consent of the employee and LightHouse. Accordingly, either the employee or LightHouse can terminate the employment relationship at any time, with or without cause (“employment at will”).
We strive to maintain a scent-free environment and a drug-free workplace free of harassment, in accordance with California law. Employees are expected to behave in accordance with these objectives.
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