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Orientation & Mobility

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 instruction and professional consultation with classroom teachers, dormitory staff, and families.

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 sighted 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, encouraging students to do whatever they can safely do on their own, but helping them to recognize when they need assistance, and teaching them how to assertively obtain that assistance from family members, school staff, store clerks, and the public to achieve 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

White Cane Day 2005

Orientation and Mobility Specialists at CSB

Kristi Barrella, kbarrella@csb-cde.ca.gov
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.

Nita Crow, ncrow@csb-cde.ca.gov
Nita Crow received her orientation and mobility degree from San Francisco State University in 1980.

Nita co-authored a book and teaching kit entitled, "Getting To Know You: A Social Skills and Ability Awareness Curriculum for Students With Visual Impairments And Their Sighted Peers" that was published by the American Printing House for the Blind in 2012.

Nita authored an article in the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness entitled, "I Can Fix That: Creating An On-Campus Job For A Student" in February of 2008.

Nita also co-authored two articles published in the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness entitled, "Crossing Guards: A Safety Patrol Program At A Residential School for Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired" in April of 2005 and "Striving To Provide Innovative Orientation and Mobility Services In TImes of Diminishing Resources" in the October/November issue of 2011.

If you would like to contact one of our orientation and mobility specialists by phone please call (510) 794-3800. If you have an question related to orientation and mobility please e-mail askcsb@csb-cde.ca.gov, more information about this service can be found from the homepage.

Erica Hogle, ehogle@csb-cde.ca.gov
Erica Hogle received her O&M degree from San Francisco State University in 2013. Prior to CSB, Erica worked with visually impaired children with cerebral palsy, blind adults learning domestic skills in their home, transition aged students at The Hatlen Center for the Blind, and has been a teacher's assistant at San Francisco State University. She is now the teacher for the Apartment Living Program as well as an Orientation and Mobility Specialist for other CSB students.

Katie Smith, ksmith@csb-cde.ca.gov
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. Katie and Jim Blackshear teach the Sendero GPS to students who would benefit from learning to use the GPS as an orientation tool. Katie also teaches O&M to students who are deaf-blind.

Shelby Zimmerman, szimmerman@csb-cde.ca.gov
Shelby Zimmerman received her O&M degree from San Francisco State University in 2010. Prior to joining the CSB community, she worked as a guide dog instructor in Michigan and taught O&M and daily living skills to adults throughout the East Bay. Shelby has also been an active volunteer with Guide Dogs for the Blind since 2002.

Jim Blackshear, jblackshear@csb-cde.ca.gov
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 facilitates a group for transition age male students that was established as part of CSB's goal of addressing the Expanded Core Curriculum.


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