California School for the Blind

Orientation & Mobility

Mission Statement
Orientation and Mobility services at the California School for the Blind prepare students for responsible travel in the community to their safest level of independence. Services are tailored to meet the assessed needs of the individual student and are provided through direct one-to-one instruction and professional consultation with classroom teachers, dormitory staff, and families.

About Orientation and Mobility
A wide variety of O&M concepts and skills are taught at CSB. Orientation activities include the development of body image and the teaching of useful spatial and environmental concepts. Mobility activities combine a student's emerging orientation skills with use of human guide and protective techniques, indoor route travel in classroom, dormitory, and home settings, instruction with the long cane and/or low vision devices, and outdoor travel on campus and in the community. O&M and related skills such as time, money, shopping, communication, and social skills are combined in exciting ways both in individual and group travel to build confidence and enable students to participate as fully as possible in community activities with their schoolmates and families.

CSB's O&M program stresses the concept of responsible travel. Specialists encourage students to do whatever they can safely do on their own and help them to recognize when they need assistance. By teaching them how to assertively obtain that assistance from family members, school staff, store clerks, and the public, students work toward achieving their travel-related goals.

A Different Way of Teaching

Paws for Cause 101

Crossing Guards at CSB

Student Teachers

Curriculum Guides

BrailleNote GPS Curriculum for Sendero

PowerPoint Presentations

Playful O&M PowerPoint
Playful O&M Handouts

Finding Your Way - CTEVH 2007

Using Public Transportation


Orientation and Mobility Specialists at CSB

Kristi Barrella,
Kristi Barrella received her Orientation and Mobility degree from San Francisco State University in 2004. In addition to teaching O&M, Kristi has also taught in the Apartment Living Program, Adaptive Physical Education and Art programs and has been a teacher at CSB since 2000.

Kylie Breuer,
Kylie Breuer received her O&M degree from San Francisco State University in 2014. Prior to working at CSB, Kylie worked as a substitute TVI teacher. She has also been a teacher’s assistant at San Francisco State University. Kylie did her O&M internships at Oakland Unified School District and at the Hatlen Center for the Blind.

Erica Hogle,
Erica Hogle received her O&M degree from San Francisco State University in 2013. Prior to CSB, Erica worked with children with cerebral palsy and visual impairments and taught domestic skills to blind adults for the Department of Rehabilitation. At The Hatlen Center for the Blind, she taught orientation and mobility to transition-aged students. She has also volunteered abroad delivering O&M services. During her first year at our school, Erica worked as the Apartment Living Program teacher in addition to teaching O&M. She currently works as a full-time O&M specialist and holds two roles at San Francisco State University. For their Orientation and Mobility graduate program, she is one of the University Internship Supervisors and teaches a course in Basic Orientation and Mobility for Learners with Visual Impairments.

Katie Smith,
Katie Smith completed her bachelor's degree as a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments and her master's degree in Orientation and Mobility from Florida State University in 2009. She volunteered to participate in a Sendero GPS project in 2009 to mark points of interest in San Francisco. Katie published a Practice Piece with Stephanie Herlich (CSB Assistive Technology Specialist) in the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness (JVIB) about working with students who are deaf-blind in 2014. Katie is interested in continuing education opportunities through attending statewide conferences and being a volunteer TA with San Francisco State University.

Stacey Colley,
Stacey Colley received her O&M degree from San Francisco State University in 2015. Prior to working at CSB, Stacey worked at the Lion’s Center for the Blind, and she taught swim lessons to children with disabilities. Stacey knows sign language and specializes in working with students who are deafblind; she teaches O&M to several students at the California School for the Deaf.

Jim Blackshear,
Jim Blackshear received his O&M degree from San Francisco State University in 2011. Jim has taught BrailleNote GPS to students in the O&M program at Cal State Los Angeles. He also facilitated a group for transition age male students that was established as part of CSB's goal of addressing the Expanded Core Curriculum. He worked for 2 years as CSB’s transition teacher specialist and apartment living coordinator.


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