What is O&M, you may ask? O&M stands for Orientation and Mobility. O&M On the Go is a podcast that features interviews with leaders, contributors, and researchers in the fields of visual impairments and deafblindness who are passionate about mobility as a civil right for all people. Access to community, technology innovations, ethical considerations, equity in service delivery, and interdisciplinary partnerships are core themes reflected across the series. The host, Amy Parker, created O&M On the Go as a way to support community connections between PSU students, clinical partners, and those interested in full participation of people with disabilities no matter where they may live.
William R. Wiener and Amy T. Parker
Dr. Bill Wiener, an Endowed Professor at the North Carolina Central University, shares his thoughts on the development of the field of Orientation and Mobility and on Code of Ethics for Orientation and Mobility.
Image credit: North Carolina Central University in Durham
Greg Stilson and Amy T. Parker
At the time of this podcast, Mr. Greg Stilson was a Product Director at Humanware and since has become a Product Director at Aira. In this podcast, Mr. Stilson, who happens to be blind, reflects on the advances in orientation aids and the ways that these technologies complement older technologies, such as canes and tactile maps.
Image credit: LinkedIn Greg Stilson profile
Gene Bourquin and Amy T. Parker
In this interview, Dr. Bourquin considers the role that sound perception plays in orientation and mobility. Before becoming a certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist, Dr. Bourquin was an American Sign Language interpreter for Deaf and DeafBlind individuals. Listen as he describes his work with people who have combined vision and hearing loss, describing their use of additional senses, strategies and technologies to travel successfully.
Image credit: Bourquin Consulting Facebook
Sandra Rosen and Amy T. Parker
In the fourth episode of the podcast for SPED 510 (Orientation & Mobility Methods), Prof. Amy Parker talks with Dr. Sandra Rosen. Dr. Rosen is an expert on orientation and mobility -- helping people with visual impairments develop the skills needed for safe, independent travel.
Image credit: Graduate College of Education - San Francisco State University
Laura Bozeman and Amy T. Parker
Dr. Laura Bozeman is an Associate Director of Vision Studies at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. In this podcast, Dr. Bozeman describes her work with different populations of people with visual impairment, including people with multiple disabilities, offering insights on the importance of what we learn from our students by listening to what is important to them.
Image Credit: VisionAware
Grace Ambrose Zaken and Amy T. Parker
Dr. Grace Ambrose Zaken is a Professor of Special Education at Hunter College in New York. In this podcast, she describes her passion for young travelers, including toddlers with visual impairment. Through her research and practice, she has designed a new type of cane that encourages young children with vision loss to move and explore with less fear of falling.
Image Credit: Grace Ambrose Zaken YouTube
Doug Trimble and Amy T. Parker
Doug Trimble is an experienced Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist who instructs children and adults in Washington state. Doug is a full time COMS at the Washington State School for the Blind who also contracts to serve adults, including older adults, who are blind or have low vision. In this podcast, Doug shared with Amy Parker at Portland State University about how he developed his skills and what he has learned over the years. As a COMS with a vision loss, Doug shares about non-visual teaching techniques that he models and uses with his students and clients.
Image Credit: Doug Trimble Facebook
Amy T. Parker and Nora Griffin-Shirley
Dr. Nora Griffin-Shirley is a professor and the Director of the Virginia Murray Sowell Center for Research and Education in Sensory Disabilities at Texas Tech University. Nora coordinates the Orientation and Mobility Specialist and Sensory Impairments and Autism programs at Texas Tech University.
Lane McKittrick and Amy T. Parker
Lane McKittrick is the mother of 4 boys, two of whom have Usher Syndrome, a leading cause of deafblindness. Lane is also a Ph.D. student at the University of Northern Colorado in special education with an interest in self-determination research. In this podcast, Lane shares insights with Amy about the role of the Orientation and Mobility Specialist in supporting the development of self-determination skills from the perspective of a mother and from the perspective of a graduate researcher. Lane includes practical advice for O&M students and practitioners for working with individuals, families and teams.
Jen Armbruster and Amy T. Parker
In this interview, Jen shares her experiences as an athlete and her view on inclusive recreation for all students who are blind and visually impaired. She offers advice about having high expectations for students and encourages Orientation and Mobility Specialists to learn about the power of inclusive sports.
Kassandra Maloney and Amy T. Parker
Kassandra (Kassy) Maloney is a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist, Certified Yoga Teacher, Author, and mom of two little boys (her favorite role yet). She also owns and operates Allied Independence, LLC., a professional development organization that equips Orientation and Mobility Specialists with the most cutting edge and effective strategies that they need in order to help their students live their most independent lives. Through the International Orientation and Mobility Online Symposium, they have been able to impact the lives of thousands of students world-wide.
Amy interviewed Kassy about her efforts to develop an online professional development network for O&M professionals.
Christopher Tabb and Amy T. Parker
Chris Tabb is an Orientation and Mobility Specialist working to advance the independence of students and clients, provide training opportunities and knowledge exchange for professionals and families, and bring accessible information to the community. He is presently employed at Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) Outreach Programs as the Statewide Orientation and Mobility Consultant, also providing direct services and consultation through his private practice, Sensory Travel. Chris has worked as an Orientation and Mobility Specialist in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Texas, providing services in residential programs, as an itinerant, and as a private contractor. He enjoys working with all age groups, including infants and toddlers, school age students, adults, and senior populations. Chris’ greatest professional interests are all things Orientation and Mobility, as well as Assistive Technology.
Jane Elliott and Amy T. Parker
In this podcast interview, Jane describes her journey to become an O&M, describing her draw to the field, her work with seniors and her passion for serving people with complex needs in their home communities. In one instance, Jane describes her efforts to build a relationship with a woman who happens to be homeless and deafblind in order to support her independence and safety in an urban setting.
Erica Ihrke and Amy T. Parker
In this podcast interview, Erica describes an innovative program designed to assist people in gaining basic O&M skills in an intensive program as they consider their need for a guide dog. This program often helps supplement or provide intensive O&M services when it isn't available in one's home community.
Jake Koch and Amy T. Parker
In this podcast, Amy interviews Jake Koch who offers wisdom from his personal and professional journey in mobility. Themes from this interview include ways to build confidence and competence for travel; guide dog mobility; elements of distance consultation; and how to work collaboratively for the good of all.
Jake Koch is the Community Outreach Specialist with Guide Dogs for the Blind. He travels with a five and a half year-old Black Labrador guide dog named Forli.
Jake’s role at Guide Dogs for the Blind includes:
- Facilitating awareness and educational opportunities about the guide dog lifestyle and guide dog mobility on a national level to people who are blind or visually impaired and blindness professionals.
- Consults with agencies, businesses, organizations, Etc. about blindness etiquette and best-practices for assisting people who are visually impaired and guide dog teams.
- Supports corporate and service organization giving/philanthropy efforts for Guide Dogs for the Blind. The organization receives no government funding and provides all services free of charge.
In addition to Jake’s work with Guide Dogs for the Blind, he serves on the Disability Advisory Board with Alaska Airlines. This interdisciplinary board of disability experts is tasked with providing airline executives and staff with current best-practices for serving travelers with disabilities.
Jake graduated with honors from Eastern Washington University, where he majored in Public Relations, and minored in Journalism and Organizational Leadership.
In his free time, he enjoys traveling, stand-up paddle boarding, hiking, playing musical instruments (drums and ukulele), and spending time with family and friends.