California Association of Orientation and Mobility Specialists

Home About Us Resources CAOMS Archives Directory of O&M Private Contractors Employment & Training Opportunities
Welcome to CAOMS


CAOMS is a non-profit statewide organization whose mission is to facilitate professional growth and to support the role of Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Specialists in the habilitation and education of individuals who have visual impairments.

Founded in 1966, CAOMS hosts an annual statewide conference.  Membership consists primarily of credentialed O&M Specialists.  Student and associate memberships also make up the ranks of it's membership.  Anyone who believes in the goals and mission of CAOMS is welcome to join.

CAOMS membership form                                     CAOMS Merchandise Store

"The Traveler" Statewide CAOMS newsletter        CAOMS Twitter page        CAOMS Facebook page


California Association of Orientation and Mobility Specialists (CAOMS)
Statewide 2020 Conference is CANCELLED

Click here for more information

2019 CAOMS Statewide Conference

November 1-3, 2019
Monterey, CA
"O&M Above & Beyond: Special Considerations for O&M"



Northern CAOMS

New Northern CAOMS Membership Google Form

On-Demand Webinars
6+ ACVREP Credits Available 
N-CAOMS offers a series of recorded webinars with ACVREP CEUs available.  Webinars include:
- Roundabouts: Problems and Possibilities
- Using Tactile Graphics for Remote O&M Instruction
- Click & Treat: New Methods for Providing Route Orientation to Guide Dog Teams!
- CAOMS Convo: Teaching O&M at a Distance
- Mobile Wayfinding Apps
ACVREP Credits are provided at no charge for current CAOMS members, and at $15 per CEU for non-CAOMS members.
Travel Training Reboot: A Path Forward in Extraordinary Times
Tuesday October 20th, 2020
10:30 - 11:45 AM PST

 Details: Public transportation is the key to independence and fully community participation for seniors and people with disabilities.  Given the required safety precautions of COVID-19, travel on fixed-route by most, and especially by certain vulnerable groups, has presented many challenges.  This has limited access to vital locations, including grocery stores, pharmacies, healthcare services and most importantly employment.  Some believe it is not possible to provide travel training in these extraordinary times, because of current safety and social guidelines; while other  service providers are adapting to new ways of working.  As public transportation systems begin to phase in more robust service, travel trainers must retool their programs and up- skill the community to adapt to expanding safety education.  Join us for a discussion with dynamic speakers on innovative and novel practices to resume travel training programs and services in the new normal.

Learning Objectives:
1.    Wayfinding instruction via remote lessons 
2.    Modifying travel training for current times
3.    Planning for return to socially distanced teaching/training

Michael Davis, Moderator, has more than 15 years of experience working with public transit systems and has an in-depth understanding of paratransit operations, travel instruction, assessments, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  He is active in several industry organizations, serving as the chair of the Ohio Public Transit Association's Paratransit Peers Group and as the former President of the Association for Travel Instruction.  Currently, he oversees Mobility Management operations nationwide, where he strives to improve community access, increase fixed route utilization, and contain paratransit costs.

Gina di Grazia, Panelist, strives to help her clients recognize their distinct ability to  adapt, and move forward with their functional daily living skills and mobility despite changes in vision or other health challenges.  She also works closely with educators, medical professionals, and community agencies regarding the overall impact of multi-system transportation, and societal networks to enhance the functional independence and mobility of users.  Her combined decades of experience working as an Occupational Therapist, Orientation and Mobility Specialist, and Low Vision Therapist in vision loss and physical rehabilitation public health settings brings a unique perspective to the needs of her clients.

Peter Leisen, Panelist, has a lifetime of work in the disability community.  Starting as a PCA he has spent more than 20 years facilitating the independence of people with disabilities.  His expertise spans both the administrative, personal, and technological    aspects of getting people with differing abilities to and successfully functioning in the  community and work.  Presently, his work focuses on the administration, training, and implementation of TravelMate and EmployMate, online virtual "Apps" that allow people to travel independently and receive job supports on their phone or tablet.

Kristi McLaughlin, Panelist, is an experienced trainer with extensive knowledge of the transportation provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), best practices in customer service, and paratransit eligibility and operations.  She began her career in transportation as a scheduling clerk at Bloomington Transit in Bloomington, Indiana.  Her background includes travel training, coordination planning, writing training curriculum and providing technical assistance regarding accessible transportation.  Ms. McLaughlin is President Elect of the Association of Travel Instruction, the industry's leading body of travel training and paratransit professionals.
Cost: No Charge to Attend

CEUs: WMATA is partnering with the Northern Chapter of the California Association of Orientation and Mobility Specialists (N-CAOMS) in order to make ACVREP CEUs available to participants.  1.25 ACVREP Credits will be provided at no charge for current CAOMS members, and at $19 for non-CAOMS members.  
Participants interested in CEUs for this webinar should complete the CAOMS ACVREP CEU Registration Form via this LINK: https://forms.gle/1szdtjZprV1NCVRi9

AB-947:  Moving Forward with California's New ECC Law

Monday Nov. 9th from 3 PM to 5:30 PM PST

Description:  This webinar will address the origin, purpose, provisions and legal implications of the new California Law, "Visually Impaired Pupils - Expanded Core Curriculum" (ECC). Jaye Shupin, O&M Specialist, will provide a brief introduction. Christian Knox, a well-respected private disability rights attorney specializing in educational services to visually impaired children, will address the impact that the law is expected to have on services provided to visually impaired students in California's school system and will provide recommendations for implementation and advocacy. Jeff Thom, Disability Rights Advocate, will summarize the plans for future legislative advocacy efforts to address the ECC in California.  The target audience is TVIs, O&Ms, youth with visual impairments, parents of visually impaired children, special education administrators, and advocates for children with visual impairment. 
Participants will:
- Participants will learn the purpose and basic provisions of California's ECC law
- Participants will understand the current and anticipated impact of the law on TVI and O&M services
- Participants will learn about their options for advocating for implementation of the law at the local and state level
Cris "Jaye" Shupin holds a Masters degree in Social Work (MSW) from San Francisco State University, a Clinical Rehabilitation Services Credential in Orientation & Mobility from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.  She is an ACVREP-certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist (COMS).  Jaye completed her O&M training at San Francisco State University in December of 1999, and since then she has worked as an O&M with both children and adults.  Prior to becoming an O&M, Jaye was a social worker in the developmental disabilities service sector.

Christian Knox, JD, is an attorney in private practice.  Ms. Knox received her Juris Doctor from Western State University College of Law.  She completed extensive undergraduate work in music therapy at Long Beach State University and holds a Baccalaureate degree in law.  Ms. Knox has wide-ranging experience in working with children with special needs.  Christian’s prior experience includes serving as a Special Education Hearing Officer; as a staff attorney with Sacramento Child Advocates, working on behalf of abused and neglected children; and as a Teen Court Judge with the Fourth Judicial District Court in Elko, Nevada.  In 2001, Ms. Knox received the Woman Role Model of the Year Award from the Attorney General for the State of Nevada for her work with children in the foster care system. 

Jeff Thom has been an advocate for the rights of people with disabilities for more than four decades. After graduating with a B.A. in political science from Willamette University, he received a law degree from Stanford University and passed the bar in 1978.  He worked for a year for what is now the Disability Rights Legal Center before joining the nonpartisan California Office of Legislative Counsel. During his final decade with the Legislative Counsel, he worked as a Principal Deputy Legislative Counsel supervising the drafting of bills and legal opinions in the health and human services areas.  He is immediate past president of the California Council of the Blind and has been active with the Council since 1976. He sits on boards for the American Council of the Blind and Sacramento Society of the Blind.  Currently, Jeff is the current vice chair of the Sacramento Regional Transit Mobility Council and serves on the National Disability Advisory Council for Centene, a national health care plan corporation.
Cost: No Charge to Attend

CEUs: Optional 2.5 ACVREP CEUs will be available at no cost to current CAOMS Members and for $37 for non-CAOMS Members. Participants interested in CEUs for this webinar should complete the CAOMS ACVREP CEU Registration Form via this LINK: https://forms.gle/MFaCATv2XimhGyuQA 


Lost in Space: An O&M Instructor's Guide to Teaching Spatial Skills

Wednesday November 18th, 2020
1 - 3 PM PST
Register by Monday 11/16 by emailing Sarah McIntyre at: SMcIntyre@lighthouse-sf.org
Details: Remote O&M instruction is a challenge. By now, most teachers have discovered that some content areas lend themselves better to distance instruction than other areas. One of the most useful topics that can be taught remotely is orientation, referring not to route learning but to overall spatial development. We learned as part of our university programs that cardinal directions and landmark selection are important, but why (and exactly how critical are they)? Why do some students excel at independent exploration while others struggle to follow a simple route? In this free 2-hour Zoom presentation, you'll learn about mental rotation NDIPE and frame of reference, which together form the foundation of strong spatial awareness; learn how to quickly assess your students’ relative strength and weakness in each area; and learn which O&M skills contribute to each area. We'll discuss teaching strategies and exercises that help develop individual skills and strengthen the overall foundation, discuss what kind of technological setups work well for remote spatial awareness lessons and why, and review the role that both simple and complex tactile graphics can play in the instruction process.
By the end of the presentation, attendees will be able to:
- Define mental rotation and allocentric frame of reference and explain how they function in the context of spatial awareness
- Name at least 3 skills that develop mental rotation ability
- Name at least 3 skills that develop an allocentric frame of reference
Presenter: Sarah McIntyre, Lighthouse-SF
Cost: No Charge to Attend
CEUs: Lighthouse-SF is partnering with the Northern Chapter of the California Association of Orientation and Mobility Specialists (N-CAOMS) in order to make Optional ACVREP CEUs available to participants.  2 ACVREP Credits will be provided at no charge for current CAOMS members, and at $30 for non-CAOMS members.

Southern CAOMS

List of current S-CAOMS members


CAOMS Purchase Options

When paying online please email the membership form to: xiomaram23@sbcglobal.net

CAOMS membership form


Robert A. Eisenberg Scholarship

The California Association of Orientation and Mobility Specialists - Southern Chapter, would like to give a huge CONGRATULATIONS to Marissa Sylvester and Kimberly J. Garcia on receiving the Robert A. Eisenberg Scholarship for the 2019-2020 academic year. Both O&M graduate students at California State University Los Angeles, they received high praise for their responses regarding the program, their future plans and the strengths they contribute to the field. We applaud and recognize you AND wish you much success throughout your college career and in the O&M field.



      Cane Quest

     Saturday, October 19, 2019

        Cal State Los Angeles

Cane Quest 2019 was another great success with the help of all of the O&M's that

volunteered their time to make it a fun and valuable experience for all the participants.


Cane Quest website



Mobility: A Basic Freedom

Picture of white cane


Copyright 2005-2019 CAOMS. All Rights Reserved.

Site visits since 2/25/2007