O&M is linked to almost every activity throughout the day as the child moves, be that at school, preschool, home, the playground or in their backyard. O&M is influenced by every person who interacts with the child during the course of his or her day, their language, their expectations and encouragement all impact on the child’s development of concepts and willingness to move and explore.
A specialist Orientation and Mobility teacher provides individual lessons for some learners supported by the Statewide Support Service. The focus of Orientation and Mobility support is to maximise independence and to facilitate and maintain safe and purposeful movement. The core of all movement is an understanding of space and this begins with the individual’s understanding of their own body image. Instruction may involve the use of an aid, such as a Long Cane, and some elements of instruction may necessitate being off campus to practise road crossings and the use of public transport or shopping. Numerous links between O&M and other parts of the curriculum are made with O&M linking easily to physical education, science, maths and society and the environment. Higher order skills such as mapping and route planning can also be incorporated for some learners.
O&M not only involves the skills and practices of the learner but also of the pre/school staff who interact with them daily. Training and professional development is provided to staff to enable them to offer appropriate and consistent support to the learner. Training may include how to guide the learner, the use of consistent language, use of aids such as the long cane or the identification cane and how to encourage independence.
For preschool children support is offered in the home or preschool to facilitate the development of sound body image, physical skills related to movement, and confidence of movement. Consistent use of language and the benefit of providing supported experience in a range of environments are integral to a successful preschool program.
On request, where required Kilparrin can provide a pre/school with an audit focussing upon the establishment of a safe and well laid out physical environment. The inclusion of additions such as Tactile Ground Surface Indicators, painting to enhance the visibility of certain features and placement of movable features such as furniture will all be considered in a bid to support the student or a student transitioning to the site in the near future. Audits are individualised to take into account each learner's particular circumstances such as their levels of remaining vision, intellectual functioning, physical capabilities and current levels of independence.
For learners in their last year of schooling or in the country a referral is made to the Guide Dogs Association. Instructors from the Guide Dogs Association work with the Kilparrin O&M teacher to design an individualised program. The referral to the Guide Dogs Association links final year learners with an agency that can provide O&M support post school.