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Mobility Training

Mobility Assessment

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Instructions for a Mobility Low Vision Assessment

Make sure you choose a route the student is not too familiar with

Use a sighted guide at first if the student is unsure to move around unaided:

  • but make sure you do not avoid holes, puddles or obstacles before observing if the student is able to see or not.
  • Ask questions
Make sure you choose a route the student is not too familiar with

Ask open questions

  • "What do you see when looking right?"
  • "Any obstacles on our route?"
  • Don't ask "Do you see the car?" The student will probably say yes, even if they only see a vague dark shape

Your route should preferably include:

  • a short walk. When facing the sun many students will be functionally blind. When walking under the shade of a tree, note changes to pace (slowing down) or time of light adaptation
  • curbs or steps
  • holes/puddles
  • a path with a shoreline, like grass or a ditch
  • small objects with and without good contrast
  • large objects
  • lamp post, electricity pole or bus stop pole
  • different surfaces

You should observe the reactions and decisions of the student

Ask questions about:

  • traveling at night
  • what they see/don't see, trees, houses, poles.....
  • different surfaces (if you are not sure by observing)
  • colours seen
  • what distance objects can be seen

Do a changing fixation exercise:

  • ask the student to look at something near them, then ask them to look at a distant object. Observe their eyes
  • are they scanning systematically or at random (can they fixate at all?)

Watch for signs of visual field problems, e.g. walking into overhanging branches or falling over stones

Checkpoint: What are some of the important visual skills for orientation and mobility?

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