People with regular 20/20 eyesight have the luxury of moving around in their own environment without difficulties. This is not the case for people with visual impairments. People with a visual impairment must orient themselves in order to attain the skills of mobility and to be able to use other senses to establish their relationship to objects and people. A visually impaired student can acquire these skills via an orientation and mobility specialist. Orientation and mobility are unique educational needs for students with visual impairments. These enable a student to develop an understanding of his own body and its position in and relationship to space as well as an accurate understanding of basic concepts. With these understandings, a visually impaired student learns to gather and use information about the environment, community resources, and transportation systems. Orientation and mobility also include instruction in safe-travel skills and may include the use of low-vision aids or, in some cases, a long white cane or an electronic aid. Another challenge visually impaired students may encounter in their classrooms is how to learn to compensate for tasks that sighted children normally take for granted. Sighted children have the benefit of being able to see classroom boards and aides as well as being able to easily see and read the provided textbooks. A visually impaired student will have to take advantage of non-conventional resources that include special instructional materials and technologies. What should one do in a classroom where there is no regular access to these materials (i.e. Braille or large print materials)? Without the proper materials, a visually impaired student cannot take full advantage of the educational system. For this reason, school professionals must work together to plan a high-quality framework of support for students who are visually impaired.
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