Orientation & Mobility Division

O&M Scope of Practice

We have been working on an O&M Scope of Practice paper to more clearly define what we do as professionals.  I wanted to ask for professionals in the field to provide input and feedback on the draft of the attached document.

The paper is meant to serve the multiple purposes for multiple different audiences and a 2-3 page executive summary will also be created from the most important content in the longer version.

We will be hosting a conference call March 29th at 6:30 PM EST if you would like to discuss the document in more detail. Contact the Division Chair at [email protected] for more details.

Click here to view the O&M Scope of Practice.

Please email your feedback as well by April 9th!


The O&M Division needs you! Do you have friends, a spouse, a significant other, children, nieces/nephews, siblings, or elderly parents/relatives? Maybe you are new to the field or have been here for a while. Possibly you are employed full time, part time, or retired. If so, like all the current O&M Board Members, your lives are as busy as ours. Being too busy isn’t an excuse for not getting involved in our professional organization.

If we want the O&M Division to grow and the profession to prosper, we need to address issues which impact our jobs, professions and the individuals we serve. We desire for every member to consider taking an active role in our division. All members who are AER and O&M Division Members are eligible to run for these leadership positions. This means YOU! We can’t talk to everyone, so please consider this as us, asking you personally to consider running for a position.

Positions up for election for 2018 are:

Chair-Elect: 2-year terms as Chair-Elect, Chair, and Past-Chair total 6 year commitment

6 District Director Positions: 2-year term (July 2018-July 2020)

DISTRICT 1: Alaska, Alberta, Arizona, British Columbia, Colorado, Hawaii, New Mexico, California, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Northwest Territories, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Yukon Territories.

DISTRICT 2: Arkansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Manitoba, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Saskatchewan, Texas

DISTRICT 3: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ontario and Wisconsin.

DISTRICT 4: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, New Hampshire, New York, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Rhode Island, Vermont

DISTRICT 5: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Puerto Rico, Tennessee

DISTRICT 6: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virgin Islands, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington D.C.

Secretary: 2-year term (July 2018-July 2020)

Treasurer: 2-year term (July 2018-July 2020)

Attached is an application for submitting a nomination and includes more information for each position. If you have questions about any position, please contact any nominating committee member or the current member position:

Jen Breitinger: [email protected]

Mark Carter: [email protected]

Erica Ihrke: [email protected]

Meg Robertson: [email protected]

Mary Ball-Swartwout: [email protected]

AER International Orientation and Mobility Conference 2017

Thank you to attendees, presenters, organizers and volunteers who made the conference a wonderful success.


Justin Kaiser, AER O&M Division Chair, at the podium welcoming attendees to the AER International Orientation & Mobility Conference & Meeting 2017 on July 19 in Pittsburgh, with Lou Tutt, AER Executive Director, and Susan Langendonk, Conference Program Committee Chair.


Past chairs of the AER Orientation & Mobility Division are pictured at the AER International Conference 2016 in Jacksonville, Florida , July 22, 2016.
Past and current chairs of the AER Orientation & Mobility Division are pictured at the AER International Conference 2016 in Jacksonville, Florida , July 22, 2016.

Welcome to the AER Orientation & Mobility Division (Division 9).

With more than 1,000 members in Orientation & Mobility Division, we are the largest and most comprehensive professional organization for Orientation and Mobility (O&M) specialists in the world.

Our purpose is to encourage and promote professional standards and improvement of O&M practices and services by:
• Offering professional development opportunities;
• Encouraging quality university preparation of O&M specialists, and
• Working to improve and expand O&M services for individuals with visual impairments.

O&M Strategic Plan

The AER O&M Division Strategic Plan was approved by the membership in September.  We have now begun to identify the goals that are priorities.  We are also recruiting members to help implement these strategies.  If you are interested in these activities, please contact Justin Kaiser at [email protected]

Here is a document we will use to update and report our progress on these goals and strategies.

What is an Orientation and Mobility Specialist?
O&M specialists teach people who are blind or visually impaired the skills and concepts they need in order to travel independently and safely – in the home and classroom, and in the community and city. O&M specialists provide services across the life span — they teach children who are visually impaired in school programs and adults in rehabilitation settings. READ MORE.

The profession of O&M formally developed during and immediately after World War II, when soldiers who had been blinded in battle were taught how to travel independently. Since that time, the profession developed to serve children, people with low vision, elderly people, deaf-blind people, and visually impaired people with multiple disabilities. Read about O&M: The Living History.

O&M specialists are trained at university and college programs. Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists (COMS) meet professional standards developed by the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals.