California Association of Orientation and Mobility Specialists

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2003 Archives


2003 Statewide Annual Conference
Monterey, California

This year the conference was held in conjunction with the Institute for Innovative Blind Navigation’s Southwest Regional Seminar. CAOMS conference attendees had the opportunity to register for this seminar as a preconference day on Friday, or to attend the Saturday sessions presented by IIBN as concurrent conference sessions.

The IIBN Friday Seminar focused on advances in wayfinding technologies. Sessions dealt with location based technologies and vision substitution. Participants were given the opportunity to test out some of these technologies.

The CAOMS sessions started on Saturday morning with IIBN presenting a BBC Documentary, The Man who Learned to See, in an early session.

The first regular sessions dealt with medical advances in artificial vision and working with students with multiple disabilities. IIBN had Dr. Ione Fine present on the medical advances related to artificial vision. Sandy Staples presented on strategies for meeting the Mobility needs of students with a wide variety of multiple disabilities.

The next two sessions continued these two general areas. Dr. Fine continued her presentation on artificial vision while David Brown presented on the implications of providing O+M services for students with vision and hearing deficits, who may also have poorly functioning vestibular, tactile, and proprioceptive senses.

 At lunch the Keynote Speaker, Bobby McMullan, spoke about the role that sports have played in his adjustment to the loss of most of his functional vision. In his very direct and entertaining talk, Bobby emphasized the importance of providing blind individuals the opportunity to participate in high impact sports such as down hill skiing or mountain- biking, even at the risk of injury.

After lunch there were two concurrent sessions. Tasha Dean presented on the role of the O+M specialist in career and vocational education for students. Julie Vranna, Charley King, and Dave Torgersrud, presented an overview of the Mt. Shasta Blind Ski Program.

The final activity of the day was the chance to experience the thrill of following a guide while blindfolded on a mountain-bike. After a brief explanation of the techniques used by Team BAT, a group of blind and sighted riders in southern California, Andy Griffin led participants along the beachside bike path.

Sunday morning started with sessions on working with deaf-blind clients who use sign language and accessible pedestrian signals. Rasan Grey presented on working with interpreters when doing mobility with clients that are deaf and blind. Victoria Burns and Ty McClellan presented on how they worked with traffic engineers to change an intersection to make it more accessible with the use of a Polara System(APS)

The final two sessions dealt with child development and innovations in guide dog instruction. Evie Rote presented on the positive influence of childrearing techniques in Ethiopia on the development of a blind child. Emily Simone presented on the new trend of  incorporating the use of the long cane in conjunction with a guide dog for safe and effective travel..

I would like to thank all of those whose participation made this a successful conference, especially the members of the conference committee and the outstanding presenters.

Dave Torgersrud
2003 Statewide Conference Committee Chair

2003 host committee members Cath Tendler-Valencia (left) and Jaye Shupin displaying "goodie bag" items.

CAOMS  members attending the Friday Night Social.

Mike May provides instruction to Steve Suderman-Talco (under blindfold) on a  GPS navigation system.

A group of O&M specialists with Jerry Kuns (3rd from left) and Mike May (rear center) during hands-on instruction on electronic orientation aids.

Andy Griffin, O&M specialist and co-founder of Team BAT, provides information on techniques for audibly guiding visually impaired bike riders. 

Andy demonstrating audible bike guiding techniques with O&M specialist Si Tarlen (riding behind, whose vision is blocked by simulators.

Emily Simone of Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc. discusses recent developments in guide dog techniques.

O&M specialists providing a workshop on intersection pedestrian signals and street crossing strategies.




Mobility: A Basic Freedom

Picture of white cane

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