Southwest Cook County Cooperative
 Association for Special Education

Opening the World Through Education
to Children and Young Adults with Diverse Abilities for over 50 years




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Welcome to the Vision and
Orientation & Mobility Program

Orientation and Mobility
Frequently Asked Questions


What is O&M? Orientation involves knowing where you are, where you are going, and how to get there by interpreting information available in your environment.  Mobility means moving safely, gracefully, and comfortably through your environment. These are complementary processes, but they are not the same.

Who Needs O&M Training? Individuals who are blind or have a visual impairment are often eligible for O&M services. Some sighted individuals, due to cognitive impairments, benefit from "travel training" to learn routes that are necessary for them to lead more independent lives. This is another type of O&M.

Why are O&M skills important to learn?
Basically O&M training promotes safe, efficient, graceful and independent movement through any environment, indoor and outdoor, familiar and unfamiliar.  Independent travel helps build self-esteem and self confidence as the individual is able to move freely.  Being able to travel freely gives the student more control over his environment.

How do individuals with visual impairments travel in the environment? All people travel and make movement choices based on objects and events in their surroundings. In order to do that, information must be gained through the senses about the characteristics, identity and location of those objects and events.  If vision is impaired, a source of sensory input is missing or otherwise different from that of a sighted individual.  The person with a visual impairments must rely on other senses and sources of perceptual input to guide them through movement in the environment. These include listening, touching, walking, wind, temperature, and odors.

What types of activities are done in O&M?
Depending on the age, ability, and desires of the individual, activities are planned to assist the O&M student in navigating in his/her home, school, or community. Concepts (such as above, behind, forward, parallel, left/right) are introduced and practiced continually. Sighted guide techniques, walking with the white case, using a dog-guide and electronic travel aids may be practiced in a typical O&M lesson.

For more information please contact the vision department.

Program Location:

6020 W. 151st Street
ak Forest, IL 60452

Program Supervisor:

Program Secretary:

Kathie Piccirillo
(708) 342-5366

Vision Program Links:

Staff Members
Vision Curriculum

Click the links below to visit a program web page:

Braun Educational Center
Communication Development
Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS)
Project Challenge
Transitional Employment Program
Vision and O&M Services


Southwest Cook County Cooperative Association for Special Education
6020 W. 151st Street  | Oak Forest, IL 60452
(Telephone) 708-687-0900 | (TTY) 708-687-2151
(Fax) 708-687-5695

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