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Conference




2021 SOUTHWEST ORIENTATION & MOBILITY CONFERENCE

ZOOMING INTO THE FUTURE V 2.021

The Southwest Orientation & Mobility Conference is going virtual again this year! This coming November, we will be Zooming into the Future adding all we’ve learned from months and months of delivering professional development online...and we can’t wait for you to join us online!!

Although we are moving our face-to-face conference to an entirely online format again this year, you can still expect timely and informative keynotes and breakout sessions as well as the opportunity to connect with exhibitors.

Over 13 hours of CEU’s (ACVREP and SBEC) are offered through SWOMA this year.

Conference Dates:
• November 4th: Pre-Conference (Optional)
• November 5th - 6th: Main Conference

Registration Fees:
• Professional and Family Member - $100
• University Students and Paraprofessionals - $40

Registration ends October 28th! For more information about this conference, please visit our TSBVI SWOMA Conference Home Page.


Housekeeping and Welcome (Required)
(Thursday, November 4, 2021 12:15 PM - 12:30 PM)
Session ID: 40287
Housekeeping and Welcome
Seats Filled: 351 / 500
Fee: $100.00
Location:TSBVI, Zoom

Important Breakout Information:

You have the option of paying by check, purchase order, or credit card. Cash will not be accepted. Credit card payments will only be accepted online at the time of registration.

Your invoice will be sent via email immediately after registration to the primary email address listed in your user account. If your fee is being paid for by your school district or supporting agency, either with a check or a PO, then please be sure to forward your email to the appropriate person immediately so that payment may be processed.

Payment may be made in advance or received within 30 days of the event date. Instructions regarding where to send payment will be provided in your invoice/confirmation. If you are unable to supply a check or a PO number at the time of your registration, then you may simply enter "0000" and provide the number to us at a later time.


Pre-Conference I (Optional - Select 1)
(Thursday, November 4, 2021 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM)
Session ID: 40288
GPS Navigation Apps -- Instructional Strategies
Seats Filled: 201 / 250
Location:TSBVI, Zoom

Important Breakout Information:
The “GPS Navigation Apps - Instructional Strategies” session will provide a framework for evaluating a student’s O&M skills, goals, travel environment, and assistive technology skills. This information will guide the O&Ms in the GPS selection process. The session will also introduce tips for back chaining and scaffolding GPS instruction.

Objectives:
• Participants will learn how to assess and converge student O&M skills and Tech skills in order to make an informed GPS app recommendation.
• Participants will learn a multi-step teaching progression for GPS instruction.
• Participants will learn about headphones and hearing aids that pair well with GPS apps, and tips for problem solving.

Katt Jones, O&M Specialist
Marie Trudelle, O&M Specialist


Session ID: 40289
Why Wait? A Freedom First Approach to Self-Determination of Children with Blindness
Seats Filled: 120 / 250
Location:TSBVI, Zoom

Important Breakout Information:
Using an adaptation model of blindness based on brain plasticity, we will explore the fundamental principles of self-determined freedom. Practical strategies that foster natural development of brain processes will be shared. Specific focus will be given to perception-based cane training, a self-determined model of engagement and managing guides and supports, and audition FlashSonar.

Objectives
• Participants will learn at least three perception-based principles that support activation of brain mechanisms, which foster self-determined freedom in young children.
• Participants will learn at least three concrete strategies for fostering development of the four major brain processes - perceiving, acting, thinking, and socializing.

Daniel Kish, M.A., M.A., COMS


Pre-Conference II (Optional - Select 1)
(Thursday, November 4, 2021 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM)
Session ID: 40291
GPS Navigation Apps -- Explore The Features
Seats Filled: 228 / 250
Location:TSBVI, Zoom

Important Breakout Information:
The “GPS Navigation -- Explore Mobile Application Features” session will review the key function, features, and limitations of Soundscape, Blindsquare, Apple Maps, and Google Maps. Video demonstrations will be incorporated in order to highlight key features within each app. Student case studies will reveal how emerging and advanced travelers can utilize various features within each application.

Objectives
• The participants will learn the function of each GPS app and understand the strengths and limitations of each product.
• The participants will learn a minimum of three distinguishing features within each app presented.
• The participants will learn how O&M students of varying skill levels might benefit from utilizing the features in each app.

Katt Jones, O&M Specialist
Marie Trudelle, O&M Specialist


Session ID: 40292
The Practicalities of FlashSonar: Critical Needs for Teachers and Learners
Seats Filled: 85 / 250
Location:TSBVI, Zoom

Important Breakout Information:
Addressing the practicalities of teaching and using FlashSonar.

Objectives
• Participants will learn the four steps of stimulus discrimination.
• Participants will learn four activities to help learners move through the steps of stimulus discrimination.

Daniel Kish, M.A., M.A., COMS


Breakout Session I - Select 1 Option (Required)
(Friday, November 5, 2021 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM)
Session ID: 40293
Orientation and Mobility Career, College and Community Readiness Standards: Part 1 Foundations
Seats Filled: 80 / 125
Location:TSBVI, Zoom

Important Breakout Information:
It’s time we brought an updated understanding of O&M into the real world of education. Modeled after the common core state standards, the O&M CCCRS are researched, peer reviewed and validated in an IRB process. To appreciate their value in a 21st century, standards-based educational system, in terms of curriculum development, justifying services, assessment and creating a more unified practice between O&M instructors, attendees must understand the standards-based model used in general education. After this foundational explanation, a mini-dive into each standard and the age/grade level performance indicators are covered.

Objective
• Attendees will understand the development of the O&M CCCRS and why they are crucial in standards-based educational system.
• Attendees will understand the O&M CCCRS document components and how they interact with and complement resources already being used in the field.

Mary Tellefson, M.A., M.S., TVI, COMS
William Koehler, M.Ed., TVI, COM


Session ID: 40294
O&M in the Early Years: Part 1
Seats Filled: 166 / 170
Location:TSBVI, Zoom

Important Breakout Information:
Orientation and mobility has its foundations in the early days, months, and years of the development of the young child who is blind/visually impaired. A developmental approach to O&M embraces child developmental tenets specific to social emotional connections, self-discovery, mastery of independent movement, and meaningful routines. Early childhood development tenets will be cross referenced to early O&M developmental milestones.

Objectives
• To build an understanding of the stages of infancy as they relate to developing O&M skills.
• To set the stage for early O&M assessment and strategies.

Tanni Anthony


Session ID: 40295
Indoor Navigation for All
Seats Filled: 75 / 125
Location:TSBVI, Zoom

Important Breakout Information:
Learn how emerging indoor navigation technologies are making buildings and public venues accessible to the visually impaired. From basic orientation to step-by-step directions, indoor navigation technology is giving the visually impaired the ability to discover and explore the built environment confidently and independently. These solutions address the problem in a variety of creative ways that take advantage of camera-based positioning, beacon technologies, remote vision, image recognition, crowd sourcing, and existing infrastructure.

Objectives
• Provide an overview of accessible indoor navigation evolution over the past twenty years and highlight the significance for people who are visually impaired.
• Discuss the three major components of indoor navigation: Positioning, Mapping, and the User Interface.

Mike May, Chief Evangelist, GoodMaps
Evelyn Tichenor, Chief of Staff, GoodMaps


Session ID: 40296
To The Point: Modifying a NFB Type cane
Seats Filled: 29 / 125
Location:TSBVI, Zoom

Important Breakout Information:
Have you ever thought “I wish I could change the tip on this NFB Type cane to better suit my customer?” If that sounds familiar, then this is the session for you. We will show you some of the ways that the Criss Cole O&M Department has been modifying NFB Type canes with more traditional cane tips. You will be provided with examples of how we determine if a different type of cane tip is needed for a customer. Through our PowerPoint presentation we will provide demonstrations of how to make these modifications and the tools and supplies you will need at home or in the office. Our goal is for you to take away the knowledge to modify a cane and in return be able to successfully teach your customers how to make these modifications themselves.

Objectives
• Learn what supplies/ tools you need in order to modify a NFB Type Cane tip.
• Be able to teach a customer how to modify their own cane at home.

Alison Behringer, TWC, CCRC
Andrew Bernet, COMS, TWC, CCRC


Breakout Session II - Select 1 Option (Required)
(Friday, November 5, 2021 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM)
Session ID: 40297
Orientation and Mobility Career, College, and Community Readiness Standards: Part 2 (They are already working!)
Seats Filled: 64 / 125
Location:TSBVI, Zoom

Important Breakout Information:
The O&M CCCR standards are currently making a difference for instructors and learners. Don’t just take our word for it. This session shows video clips of O&M instructors who articulate how they use the standards in their practice.

Objective
• Articulate how O&M instructors are using the O&M CCCRS for assessment, justifying services to an education team or administration and getting parents on board with long range instruction.

Mary Tellefson, M.A., M.S., TVI, COMS
William Koehler, M.Ed., TVI, COMS


Session ID: 40300
O&M in the Early Years: Part 2
Seats Filled: 165 / 170
Location:TSBVI, Zoom

Important Breakout Information:
Using the understanding of foundations of early childhood development, assessment and program strategies will be reviewed for concept and skill development across orientation and mobility. Assessment tips will be noted, as well as possible tools. O&M tools and routines for independent movement will be highlighted.

Objectives
• Build understanding of key assessment and programmatic strategies to support early orientation concepts and skill development.
• Build understanding of key assessment and programmatic strategies to support early mobility concepts and skill development.

Tanni Anthony


Session ID: 40301
Structured Discovery and How to Apply with Students
Seats Filled: 71 / 125
Location:TSBVI, Zoom

Important Breakout Information:
Joni Martinez will present information on the history of Structured Discovery and how it relates to O&M. Scott Meyer will continue the presentation with functional strategies he teaches to staff at CCRC on how to use Structured Discovery.

Objectives
• Participants will know the history of Structured Discovery and how it applies to O&M.
• Participants will learn how to use Structured Discovery in their O&M lessons.

Scott Meyer (COMS) O&M Supervisor, Texas Workforce Commission, CCRC
Joni Martinez (NOMC) CCRC Technology Instructor / former CCRC Outreach Instructor, Texas Workforce Commission, CCRC


Session ID: 40302
VoiceOver 101 for the iPhone
Seats Filled: 51 / 125
Location:TSBVI, Zoom

Important Breakout Information:
Helping people new to vision loss to use an iPhone with VoiceOver is easier than you think. Learn the basics as well as steps for your students to take to learn more on their own. From SIRI “Where am I?” to GPS apps, an iPhone can be very helpful during O&M training.

Objectives
• Participants will learn multiple ways to turn VoiceOver on and off.
• Participants will learn basic gestures to use VoiceOver.

Neva M. Fairchild, M.S.


General Session I (Required)
(Friday, November 5, 2021 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM)
Session ID: 40303
Spatial Awareness, Assessment, and Skill Development: Assessment
Seats Filled: 350 / 500
Location:TSBVI, Zoom

Important Breakout Information:
When we suspect spatial dysfunction, we need to confirm what we’re dealing with, to teach appropriate strategies in O&M. Visual-spatial tasks are often used to assess spatial skills, and so it is easy to assume (1) that vision and spatial cognition are correlated, (2) thus, loss of vision results in loss of spatial skills, and (3) O&M specialists can rectify spatial problems by teaching orientation skills. Not so! This session will identify everyday behaviors in O&M that indicate spatial dysfunction, whether clients have low vision or blindness, and then explore a range of assessments available through neuropsychology and O&M, including 3D Block Constructions and the Stuart Tactile Maps test.

Objectives
• To define spatial dysfunction and identify ways it becomes apparent in O&M practice.
• To recognize when neuropsychology assessment might help to inform O&M work with a client who has spatial dysfunction.

Lil Deverell, Ph.D., COMS
Ian Stuart, Ph.D.


General Session II (Required)
(Friday, November 5, 2021 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM)
Session ID: 40304
Spatial Awareness, Assessment, and Skill Development: Training Options
Seats Filled: 348 / 500
Location:TSBVI, Zoom

Important Breakout Information:
Building on Session 1, this session will explore common congenital and acquired causes of spatial dysfunction including: prematurity, cerebral palsy, stroke, motor vehicle accident, hypoxia. Spatial dysfunction is often part of greater neurological complexity, so it is helpful to understand a little about the neural pathways in the brain involved in processing spatial information. Then we need to explore helpful ways the O&M specialist can work with a client who has spatial dysfunction – non-spatial strategies for wayfinding that do not depend on mental mapping skills.

Objectives
• To identify common causes of spatial dysfunction and explore the neural pathways responsible for processing spatial information.
• To identify wayfinding strategies that are effective for people with low vision or blindness who exhibit spatial dysfunction.

Lil Deverell, Ph.D., COMS
Ian Stuart, Ph.D.


Breakout Session III - Select 1 Option (Required)
(Saturday, November 6, 2021 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM)
Session ID: 40305
Plan It, Braille It, Trek It: Complementing Traditional O&M Skills with Technology
Seats Filled: 112 / 125
Location:TSBVI, Zoom

Important Breakout Information:
When one thinks about tools that are traditionally used during O&M training, the white cane or dog guide are the most common. These tools, combined with the training to properly use them, offer the traveler the ability to navigate their surroundings. But complemented by informational tools such as navigation aids, the traveler is provided more information than what can be offered by solely using traditional travel tools. This session will discuss the progression of specialized navigation aids, specifically focusing on those utilizing GPS orientation, as well as how one can use refreshable Braille devices or embossed materials to plan and execute successful travel.

Objectives
• Identify and describe 3 benefits of a specialized orientation tool when teaching students O&M.
• Describe at least 2 methods for planning travel to a specific destination.
• Identify 2 ways GPS orientation info is useful to a traveler while both in a vehicle and walking.

Peter Tucic


Session ID: 40306
On and Off the Grid
Seats Filled: 83 / 125
Location:TSBVI, Zoom

Important Breakout Information:
This session will present how to use a simple grid / graph paper to create map activities and much more, such as imaginary shopping trips, virtual travels in the neighborhood, increase map reading skills, directionality, and problem solving. The grid can be used either in static or dynamic modes in face to face or distance learning. All the grid activities can be adapted to your student needs and learning media (visual or tactile) -- let's improve our students' O&M/ECC skills from our desk!

Objectives
• The attendee will learn how to use- in an interactive session -a simple grid to create a multitude of activities that involve not only O&M skills from simple to complex but can be combined with a multitude of ECC skills.
• The attendee will learn how to make and adapt their own grids for diverse students.

Cristina Dumitru


Session ID: 40307
The Importance of Physical Activity in Individuals who are Blind or Visually Impaired
Seats Filled: 63 / 125
Location:TSBVI, Zoom

Important Breakout Information:
Physical activity is important for all individuals, but arguably even more important for individuals who are blind or visually impaired. During this session we will review an overview of the importance of physical activity, the gaps that exist in our school system, and within the community, and how to overcome those gaps.

Objectives
• Discuss the importance of physical activity for students with visual impairments.
• Open forum discussion on how to bridge the gap between physical activity opportunities and our students.

Chelsea Schumacher, M.Ed., COMS


Session ID: 40308
What’s O&M got to do with Active Learning?
Seats Filled: 93 / 125
Location:TSBVI, Zoom

Important Breakout Information:
What prerequisite skills does a student who doesn’t yet move through space have to learn in order to begin to move? How can the expertise of the COMS help a team identify and expand those skills? Why is movement and spatial awareness so important to tactile learners? We will explore these questions and more during this session.

Objectives
• Participants will gain awareness of the development of movement skills addressed by Active Learning.
• Participants will gain awareness of the development of orientation skills addressed by Active Learning.

Scott Baltisberger
Sara Kitchen


Breakout Session IV - Select 1 Option (Required)
(Saturday, November 6, 2021 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM)
Session ID: 40309
How O&M Services for Children Were Impacted by COVID-19
Seats Filled: 56 / 125
Location:TSBVI, Zoom

Important Breakout Information:
This session will present results and implications found in the Access and Engagement study from the American Foundation for the Blind. We will discuss the impact that COVID-19 had on O&M instruction and how it affected families, professionals, and students with visual impairments.

Objectives
• Understand the impact that COVID-19 had on O&M for children with visual impairments.
• Understand what this means for the present and future of O&M services for children.

Dr. Justin Kaiser, Dr. Danene Fast, Jasamyn DeGrant &
Stephanie Welch-Grenier


Session ID: 40310
Pediatric Belt Cane 101
Seats Filled: 113 / 125
Location:TSBVI, Zoom

Important Breakout Information:
As O&M Specialists working with our youngest population and their families, one of our main objectives is to encourage/increase self-directed movement. The Pediatric Belt Cane has been introduced as one of the O&M tools we can add to our toolkits in this area. Who might benefit? Don’t know where to start, or have you been sitting on the fence about its efficacy? Come join the panel of COMS and a parent who have been using this device with children with visual impairments and additional needs. Specific instruction, videos and discussion will include how-to’s in ordering and measuring in addition to skills and concepts that can be more fully developed.

Objectives
• Participants will identify 3 benefits and 3 limitations.
• Participants will be able to access at least 2 resources to incorporate sensory motor/concept development.

Blanche Faulk, M.A., COMS; Danika Dunlap, COMS; Geri Darko, M.Ed, TVI, COMS; June Allison, Parent; Marjie Wood, M.Ed., COMS, TVI


Session ID: 40311
Transition Adventure: Pre-Employment Transition Skills through Gaming
Seats Filled: 70 / 125
Location:TSBVI, Zoom

Important Breakout Information:
Learn about Transition Adventure, a 5-chapter audio Interactive Fiction story funded by NIDILLR, starting out with a student learning that there’s a summer job that they want. The student must apply for the job, pass a job interview on the phone and in-person, and learn how to perform their first day on the job. Transition Adventure is an accessible audio game – the student listens to the narration, followed by a multiple-choice question, to which the student selects a choice.

Objectives
• You will learn how to enable transition students to start to practice their pre-ETS skills using an Interactive Fiction game.
• You will learn how to track each student’s progress in mastering independent living, problem-solving and self-advocacy skills on a web-dashboard.

Marty Schultz
August Voelk


Session ID: 40312
Yoga and Body Awareness
Seats Filled: 111 / 125
Location:TSBVI, Zoom

Important Breakout Information:
This presentation is an exploration of a research study conducted to examine the relevance and effects of the use of yoga with children with visual impairment when provided through O&M services. Common threads within the ESCs of Texas will be examined, as well as, helpful tips to introduce yoga to orientation and mobility instruction.

Objectives
• Study data related to the implementation of yoga by Orientation and Mobility Specialists in the instruction of body awareness skills.
• Learn simple yoga techniques to assist students with visual impairments with body awareness.

Stephanie Martinez, M.Ed., COMS, RYT-200
Shauna Patino, M.Ed., COMS, RN


Breakout Session V - Select 1 Option (Required)
(Saturday, November 6, 2021 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM)
Session ID: 40313
Guide Dog Panel
Seats Filled: 150 / 250
Location:TSBVI, Zoom

Important Breakout Information:
Three representatives from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Leader Dogs for the Blind, and The Seeing Eye will present a panel discussion about the considerations associated with cane users transitioning to a guide dog and how O&M specialists can assist clients to prepare for guide dog mobility. The panel will also inform attendees about their organizations’ programs and services.

Onjectives
• Attendees will learn about considerations associated with cane users transitioning to a guide dog and how O&M specialists can assist clients to prepare for guide dog mobility.
• Attendees will learn about the programs and services provided by three major guide dog organizations in the USA.

Marc Gillard, B.For.Sc., Grad.Dip.(O&M), GDMI, COMS, Guide Dogs for the Blind; Leslie Hoskins, COMS Outreach Services and Community Engagement Manager, Leader Dogs for the Blind; Kristen Oplinger, COMS, GDMI, The Seeing Eye; & Chelsea White, Outreach Specialist, The Seeing Eye


Session ID: 40314
Remote O&M: The Good, The Bad and The Future
Seats Filled: 201 / 250
Location:TSBVI, Zoom

Important Breakout Information:
Professional Orientation and Mobility Specialists and parents get together to discuss a variety of perspectives on the progress made by students with visual impairments during remote learning sessions and provide resources as society looks to a future where remote opportunities continue to be present in the educational setting.

Objectives
• Safety
• What worked and what did not work during remote lessons previously and why.
• Unexpected positive outcomes
• Resources

Katie Barnes M.Ed., COMS; Patty Bushland, Parent; Sara Bushland, COMS; Alecia Davidson, COMS& Emilie A. Jackson, COMS




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