Travel Trainers + COMS = High Quality Travel Instruction

Travel Trainers + COMS = High Quality Travel Instruction

Travel Trainers + COMS = High Quality Travel Instruction Working Together To Serve riders with Disabilities and Older Adults Who Are These People? Travel Trainers

Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialists (COMS) Travel Trainers Travel trainers provide individuals with disabilities and

older adults with the necessary tools and techniques to independently use public transit including but not limited to: Planning Trips Way Finding Techniques Safe Traveling Utilizing accessible equipment on buses Communicating with operators transit staff and other passengers Properly advocating for ones self if issues arise on transit

Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist (COMS) Provide sequential instruction to individuals with a visual impairment in the use of their remaining senses to determine their position within the environment and in techniques for safe movement from one place to another. Definition of Travel Training ATI considers travel instruction to be the

professional activity of teaching individuals with disabilities and older adults how to access their environment and community and use public transportation independently. The practice of travel instruction as provided by a professional travel trainer requires knowledge of human development and behavior, travel-related concepts and skills, public transportation services, the natural and built environment, paths of travel, and the interaction of these dynamics. Source: http://www.travelinstruction.org

Definition of Orientation & Mobility or O&M is a profession specific to blindness and low vision that teaches safe, efficient, and effective travel skills to people of all ages: "Orientation" refers to the ability to know where you are and where you want to go, whether you're moving from one room to another or walking downtown for a shopping trip. "Mobility" refers to the ability to move safely, efficiently, and effectively from one place to another,

such as being able to walk without tripping or falling, cross streets, and use public transportation. Source: www.visionaware.org The combination of Orientation and Mobility is a fundamental and enabling life skill Huebner & Wierner, 2005, p. 579 Definition Of O&M Training Orientation The mental process by which we

know where we are in space in relationship to a significant object in the environment and knowing how to get there. Mobility The physical process by which we know how to move safely efficiently, effectively, confidently and independently as possible. (graceful

Confident & Independen t Cane Traveler! What is O&M about? Who is the COMS? How do I fit in this team?

Commitment to the Profession Orientation & Mobility (O&M) Specialists recognize the significant role that independent movement plays in the overall growth and functioning of the individual and are dedicated to helping each individual attain the level of independence necessary to reach his or her full potential. O&M Specialists are committed to protect the rights of individuals who must avail themselves to this particular service. To assure the public of our awareness of this obligation, O&M Specialists adhere to standards of acceptable behavior as specified in the Code of Ethics included in the certification

handbook. O&M Skills and Strategies Concept Development,which includes body image, spatial, temporal, positional, directional and environmental concepts.

Motor Development, including motor skills needed for balance, posture, and gait, as well as the use of adaptive devices and techniques to assist those with multiple disabilities. Sensory Development, which includes visual, auditory, vestibular, kinesthetic, tactile, olfactory, and proprioceptive senses, and the interrelationships of these systems. Benefits of Travel Trainers & COMS Working Together

Ability to provide high quality instruction to riders. An expanded wealth of information between the two professions. The

opportunity to learn from each other. Travel Trainer &COMS Similarities Providing personalized instruction to individuals in natural environments. Goal is for riders to be independent travelers through teaching travel skills and reinforcing functional life skills. Assess functional skills. Develop instructional strategies tailored

to the consumers strengths and needs. COMS may work with a consumer from the time they are children to the time they are adults. Any child born with a visual or hearing impairment is served from birth to 22 years in the education system. Travel Trainer & COMS Differences

Travel Trainers teach riders on a temporary basis. Travel Trainer & COMS Differences Travel trainers teach riders about their environment through the use of sight.

COMS teaches a consumer/student about their environment through the use of non-visual and sensory information. Travel Trainer & COMS Differences So you want to cross a street

Travel Trainer &COMS Differences Travel Trainers teach emergency/ contingency planning. COMS teach problem solving strategies.

Who Benefits? riders with Visual Impairments riders with Disabilities COMS

and Travel Trainers Benefits for riders with Visual Impairments Proper assessment of skills and needs. Proper assessment of skills and needs. COMS can assist travel trainer when assessing individuals with visual impairments to make sure O&M skills are appropriate for traveling on public transportation independently. COMS teams up with travel trainer to create individualized training plan for customer.

If O&M instruction is needed, the customer may be referred for O&M instruction promptly. COMS can assist travel trainer when assessing individuals with visual impairments to make sure O&M skills are appropriate for traveling on public transportation independently. COMS teams up with travel trainer to create individualized training plan for customer. If O&M instruction is needed, the customer may be referred for O&M instruction promptly. Benefits for Travel Trainers & COMs Travel Trainers can teach O&M Specialists about transit accessibility

& ADA COMS can teach Travel Trainers how to work with riders with visual impairments through non-visual techniques Developing a Positive Working Relationship Consider

COMS that you have had positive working relationships with in the past. Consider your network of colleagues (they may have had positive working relationships with COMS in the past).

A Closing Remark The professions of occupational therapy (OT), physical therapy (physiotherapy) (PT), orientation and mobility instruction (O&M), and travel instruction (TI), have many opportunities for intersections to occur when professionals from these fields are working with individual clients. Most often, however, clients receive treatment or service in discrete and unconnected

fashion, even if an individual client is receiving services from professionals in each of these fields. We believe that collaboration among these professionals inform and edify one anothers practice and thereby, enhance the overall service delivery for clients. Source: CEATI Website (http://www.ceati-travelinstruction.org/education.html ) Contact Information Marshall C. Burns, Mobility Coordinator, CCRTA Direct: 361.903.3454

Email: [email protected] Larry Haile, Program Coordinator, MBTA Direct: 617-222-4258 Email: [email protected]

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