Stephen F. Austin State University

Orientation and Mobility

Welcome

Since 1972, our SFA orientation and mobility (O&M) program has been training candidates to work with persons who are blind or visually impaired. Orientation, defined for our purposes, means knowing where you are in relationship to the environment around you. Mobility is the ability to get from where you are to where you want to be in a safe and efficient manner.

SFA is proud to offer the only undergraduate O&M training program in the United States. The program also provides O&M training at the graduate level for certification. Graduate students may elect to continue after certification and seek a master's degree in special education with a concentration in O&M. Students who complete our O&M certification training program at the undergraduate or graduate level are equally eligible to become nationally certified by the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP).

For more information on our graduate program, visit the Department of Education Studies.

Upon certification as Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists (COMS), graduates from our program provide services to children and adults who have visual disabilities. These graduates offer services and help individuals develop the skills to travel independently in both familiar and unfamiliar environments. Graduates from our O&M training program are eligible and prepared to successfully complete the national certification examination from ACVREP. Once certified, they are able to work in a variety of settings including state rehabilitation agencies, Lighthouses for the Blind, residential/state schools for the blind, Veterans Administration training centers and school districts throughout the United States.

For more information on the O&M training program, contact any of our faculty or staff.

Mission

The SFA O&M program trains candidates to become COMS who are practically and pragmatically prepared to meet the needs of persons with visual impairments across the nation.

Through their training in our program, graduates are prepared to successfully complete the ACVREP national O&M certification examination. Graduates from our program are trained to effectively deliver services that provide opportunities for students and clients who are blind or visually impaired to be more independent, lead lives to their fullest potential and participate to a greater extent in society at large. In order to meet these goals, it is our responsibility to mentor and educate our candidates to recognize and remove environmental and societal barriers, raise expectations, provide solutions, and exhibit compassionate approaches to teaching O&M skills and techniques, valuing the worth of all individuals regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation or level of disability.

Undergraduate Concentration in O&M

Candidates at the undergraduate level complete a Bachelor of Science degree in rehabilitation services with a concentration in O&M. The following courses are required for the concentration:

ORMO 3325 -- Programs and Services for the Visually Impaired
ORMO 3340 -- Anatomy and Function of the Visual System
ORMO 4342 -- Visual Impairment and Multiple Disabilities
ORMO 4345 -- Orientation and Mobility Concepts and Development
ORMO 4600 -- Beginning Clinical Practicum in O&M (blindfold)
ORMO 4301 -- Intermediate Clinical Practicum in O&M
ORMO 4302 -- Advanced Clinical Practicum in O&M
ORMO 4393 -- Low Vision
ORMO 4303 -- Internship I
ORMO 4304 -- Internship II

Completion of the above courses and graduation with a bachelor's degree are required by ACVREP in order for a candidate to be eligible for certification. Candidates may apply for and take the certification examination during final internship placement.

Course Sequence

Undergraduate Orientation and Mobility Certification (Emphasis Junior Year)

Faculty and Staff

Program Facilitator

Dr. Shannon Darst - TSVI

Grant Project Coordinator

Ms. Donna Wood

Program Faculty

Ms. D.J. Dean - TSVI/COMS

Ms. Heather Munro - TSVI/COMS

Ms. Laura Hampton - TSVI

Mr. Jerry Mullins - TSVI/COMS

Mailing Address

Visual Impairment Preparation Program
PO Box 13017, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, Tx 75962

Additional O&M Information

Orientation and Mobility Internship Handbook (Fall 2020)

Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist Information