Become a better

O&M Specialist.

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Mark your calendar for

January 29-31, 2020!

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    It’s the 21st century. We don’t need to pack up our gear, calculate our miles, or trek to foreign lands to become the O&M Specialists our students deserve.

    Together with O&M Specialists from all around the world, we are changing the lives of tens of thousands of people with visual impairments by becoming the best O&M Specialists we can be.

    They need us. And we deserve easy access to help them.

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    Community Driven.

    Gather with friends all around the world as we learn and laugh together. Silly inside jokes about the music always included.

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    Everything presented is meant to help you be the most impactful O&M Specialist possible.

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    We are proud partners with ACVREP to bring you this accredited CEU opportunity.

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    Become an Int’l O&M Online Symposium Presenter

    You have seen success with your students.

    You know that your ideas can help other O&M Specialists who face the same obstacles you faced. 

    Your presentation could help thousands of people with visual impairments world wide.

    How It All Happens

    Step 1:  If you are interested in presenting at the 2020 International Orientation and Mobility Online Symposium, fill out the information below. Submit your application by October 1, 2019. 

    Step 2: Our community will then decide which presentations they have the most need to attend. All presenters will be notified by October 29, 2019.

    Step 3: During the months of November-early January, our technology team will introduce you to the video conferencing platform. You will feel confident with the technology before your presentation. Pinky promise.

    Step 4: You will be asked to turn in your presentation slides by December 17, 2019 to ensure that we are able to have all of the handouts ready in accessible formats in time for the symposium. Your handouts will only be available to the International O&M Online Symposium participants.

    Here is a video answering many of our Frequently Asked Questions!


    Presenters will receive:

    • A Complimentary Presenter's Pass to the International Orientation and Mobility Online Symposium.

    • The chance to share their ideas with a world-wide audience.

    • There is a stipend available to those who qualify for payment. 

    • ACVREP credit for presenting.

    Presenter/ Presentation Guidelines:

    All presentations will be 1 hour, unless you are applying or are chosen for a keynote presentation.

    All presentations will have at least 15 minutes of Q&A beyond their 1 hour presentation time.

    Presenters are asked to have:

    • Access to high speed internet

    • Adequate lighting during your presentation

    • Ability to be heard through a computer (internal or external microphone)

    • Ability to use Zoom video conferencing software

    • The ability to transfer copyrights of any images or videos of other people that are shown in your presentation to Allied Independence.

    Please fill out this Presentation Application by October 1, 2019.

    Imagine you are helping a frustrated O&M Specialist solve a problem. What problem are they facing that can be solved with the information you share in your presentation? What strategies or techniques are you going to give them to help them solve this problem? Keep these questions in the forefront of your mind as you fill out this application. 

    Presentation Application

    Name: (If there is more than one presenter, list the primary contact.) *
    Name: (If there is more than one presenter, list the primary contact.)
    This box will only accept a numeric value.
    Presentation Information
    Hint: These are also your objectives for the presentation. Please list them.
    Do you have any financial affiliation with the topic being presented or any of the products being used in the presentation? *
    This is a required question from ACVREP.

    Thank you! We look forward to hopefully working with you!

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    Meet our 2020 Planning Committee

    Welcome our 2020 Planning Committee members!


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    Joy Bieder, TVI, COMS, CVRT

    I am an Independent contractor and NYS employee providing vision services for the past 15 years to infants, toddlers, children, young adults, and adults who are blind or visually impaired in the NYC area. I am a TVI (Teacher of the Visually Impaired), COMS (Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist), and CVRT (Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist). 

    There is so much more to vision than eyesight……

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    Jeremy Hill, COMS

    Jeremy Hill works for Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, Australia and is the Team Manager for services in the North Coast of NSW. He has been an O&M Specialist for over 32 years and last year acquired his COMs certification. His interests are management of services in rural and remote area, neurological vision impairment and cortical visual impairment in children. Jeremy is the Immediate Past President of the Orientation and Mobility Association of Australasia and is keen to promote the International O&M symposium across his part of the world. Jeremy lives with his wife Nadine (both children at university) in the beautiful east coast town of Coffs Harbour “where the mountains meet the sea”.

    Vicki McLean, COMS

    My name is Vicki McLean and I am a Certified Orientation Mobility Specialist (COMS).  After years of working in the public school system, I decided to take my love of children and community to the next level by getting my COMS certification.  I want to advocate for all blind and visually impaired persons.  As a professional who is new to the field, I have fresh eyes and fresh ideas.  I will also advocate for those who are new to the profession to ensure that they receive the support that they need.  I am committed to those who feel their voices are not heard.

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    Geraldine Neill, Project and Research Co-Ordinator, ChildVision

    I was lucky to enter this field when my social science degree led me to work as a social
    worker for the blind and then went on to train as an O&M specialist. I have spent over 30
    years in organisations providing services to children and adults who are blind or visually
    impaired and training O&M, ADL or Rehabilitation specialists in Ireland and the UK.
    I work for ChildVision, the specialist education, social care, rehabilitation and therapeutic
    service provider for children and young people from all over Ireland who are visually
    impaired or multi-disabled visually impaired (MDVI). My role is to develop what we do and
    how we do it, particularly in relation to integrated and inclusive education, training and day
    services with a focus on rehabilitation and therapy. I work alongside ChildVision’s
    assessment team comprising of O&M, technical skills (ADL), low vision specialists and
    ChildVision hosted IMC16 in Dublin in June 2017, as the O&M specialist on the host
    committee I had the honour of becoming a member of the IMC Executive Committee.

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    Sara Noel, TVI/ COMS

    I received my Masters degree in Orientation and Mobility from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1992. I worked in Chattanooga for two years before heading back to school at Florida State University for my Masters as a Teacher of the Visually Impaired. I have worked in several states over the last 27 years and am currently working in the Outreach Department at The Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind as a Teacher of the Visually Impaired and Orientation and Mobility Specialist serving students across the state of Colorado.

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    Leaundra Otto, TVI/COMS/APE Consultant

    I am LeAundra Ottmo. I currently work as a TVI, COMS, and Adapted Physical Education Consultant for a Special Education SSA in Northeast Texas, serving 10 school districts.  I earned my degree's at Paris Junior College, Texas A&M University- Commerce, and Stephen F. Austin State University. I have been in education for 10 years, and have loved every minute of it. I have a husband and two kids that keep me on my toes, so there is no downtime for me! We are usually busy 7 days a week with Church, family events, and sporting events! I wouldn't have it any other way!

    Carole Williams, Orientation and Mobility Specialist

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    I have worked as an Orientation & Mobility Specialist for over 23 years, working with both seniors and school aged children with vision loss.

    I am presently the Canadian Representative on the International AER Board of Directors, serving our Canadian members. 

    Presently I am a private contractor as Orientation & Mobility Specialist and Accessibility Consultant with the Peel District School Board, in Mississauga / Brampton Ontario.

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    Shannon Wright, COMS, CVRT

    Shannon Wright is a Nationally Certified American Sign Language Interpreter, COMS and CVRT. She is a full-time independent contractor working for various agencies. She has given presentations and trainings related to Deaf-Blind interpreting, Support Service Providers, and how to provide Orientation & Mobility Services to Deaf-Blind individuals throughout the US and internationally

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    Kassy Maloney, M.S., COMS

    Hi! I'm Kassy Maloney, author of "Yoga for Children with Visual Impairments". Myself, along with all of our helpers and presenters, are bringing you the International Orientation and Mobility Online Symposium, an online professional development event focused on bringing the world's most cutting-edge, outstanding, and research-based Orientation and Mobility strategies together for the betterment of our students with visual impairments. I have been a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist for over a decade and love the increased freedom that my students experience every time I come back from an enlightening conference.

    I believe that every child with a visual impairment deserves to lead their most fulfilling, successful life possible. That life begins with being able to move their bodies and access their environments to the best of their abilities.

    With all of the advancements in the internet, it’s time to be able to provide a comprehensive digital conference experience at for all of our O&M Specialists. I think you can agree with that!

    Between our family's needs and other travel expenses, conferences can be out of the question sometimes.

    While I love the free one-off online learning opportunities, they often don't offer the caliber of presenter or the topics that really peak my interest.

    A few summers ago, I grew really frustrated that I couldn't go to either the national or international conferences. I was missing out on so many great topics that I REALLY wanted to learn about.  Plus, it felt like I wasn't as "committed" as others who could travel to the conferences. Which is non-sense. Just because I can't go to the national conferences doesn't mean I am not a fully-committed COMS. 

    For the past three years, I have been running a successful online business teaching yoga to busy moms. After my book, "Yoga for Children with Visual and Multiple Impairments" was released, the Universe guided me to put my energy in to serving our students.

    So, with my knowledge of online systems and the needs of our community, I started to ask if other people felt the same. An overwhelming number of O&M specialists felt the same way! We have all gathered our resources together to be able to put this on. I am just the one behind the scenes pushing paperwork and sending you emails. 

    I look forward to sharing the symposium with you and helping you become a better O&M specialist. Head over to the NEWS page for the most recent updates to the 2019 International Orientation and Mobility Online Symposium.