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Answered 2006-08-24 04:51:54

O&M skills are taught on a one-to-one basis by a certified O&M specialist (COMS). Each individual is met by the O&M specialist on a private basis. The skills taught are the independence to travel in neighborhoods, downtown areas using cabs, buses, subways. With instruction in the use of a white cane or a variety of other mobility travel aids, students in outdoor/indoor environments, they also learn how to utilize directions and use non-visual senses to locate destinations and become familiar with landmarks. The blind use their hearing (it becomes extremely acute and much more adapt then ours is), smell and touch. For instance, if they are going to work they may know that there is a bakery on the corner where they turn right and can smell baking bread, or even the smell of a hot dog stand. They listen very acutely for the sounds of traffic and most crosswalks now how a bleeping sound to let the visually impaired know they can cross the street safely. If some visually impaired people are fortunate they have a dog that they are trained with. The dog is originally trained by the training school, but the person that is lucky enough to get one of these dogs in then trained along side the dog. Dogs of the visually impaired are allowed onto all forms of transportation, restaurants, work, etc.

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