Orientation & Mobility (O&M)

MCB’s Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists (COMS) provide specialized Orientation and Mobility (O&M) training, including travel skills with a long cane, orientation to new environments, and environmental assessments within a consumer’s home, workplace, and community.

Consumers seeking O&M services should first contact their social rehabilitation or vocational rehabilitation counselor to initiate a referral. 

O&M services may include obtaining an O&M Clearance Form from the consumer’s medical provider. Through the use of an O&M Clearance Form, COMS take into consideration input from the consumer’s medical provider when developing a training program.

Instruction begins with an assessment of the consumer’s travel needs, motivation, and visual and physical abilities.

Based upon this assessment, a training program is developed with goal-directed instruction
to maximize safety and independence.

For the more experienced traveler, training may focus on providing orientation to a new environment, such as a home, workplace, or college campus.

In addition to the long white cane, COMS can provide a support cane for assistance in detecting inclines and obstacles in pathways.

MCB provides one free white cane to each consumer. Consumers should contact their counselor for information on how to purchase additional or replacement canes.

Consultation Services

MCB’s O&M Department also offers consultation services to families and other professionals on issues such as:

  • Advocacy
  • Accessibility issues such as accessible pedestrian signals, safe travel routes, and environmental barriers which impact pedestrians who are legally blind
  • In-service training on human guide and blindness etiquette to professionals, such as employers, senior centers, assistive living residences, group homes, etc.

Dog Guides

O&M training is an essential part of preparing people who are legally blind to be
successfully partnered with a dog guide. MCB does not provide dog guides, but our counselors can assist with connecting interested consumers with resources. After a consumer is paired
with a dog guide, COMS are available to provide route orientation.

Let's Walk Together - Human Guide Video

Assisting People With Vision Loss - Town of Brookline Instructional Video Guide

Contact   for Orientation & Mobility (O&M)


600 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02111

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