O&M Level 1 - Assessment
Level One O&M instruction for students who are deafblind begins with assessment. Assessment provides the foundation for program planning and instruction. It is an ongoing process, as the childO'Ms program must be continually evaluated for effectiveness and to determine student progress. The program will be modified as the student obtains new skills and/or when the instructional strategies are ineffective.
Working with the O&M Specialist, the team will need to consider at least four areas in O&M assessment, including:
- Identifying motivators
- Determining the learner's current level of movement skills
- Identifying communication systems to be used in a variety of environments
- Identifying the opportunities for purposeful movement and interdependent travel
In addition to the above, the O&M Specialist may identify other areas for assessment.
1. Identifying motivators:
First, the team must identify the toys, activities, objects, and people that motivate the learner to move. The matching of the learner's interests and preferences to movement will increase the likelihood that movement will occur and the movement will in turn produce interaction with the desired object, activity, or individual. Using the learner's interests as reinforcement increases the probability that the movement will be reproduced when the object is presented again. Refer to Movement and Mobility Interests and Preferences Planning for a tool to assist the team in determining the learner's interests and preferences.
2. Determining the learner's current level of skills:
Determining the learner's current level of skills and functional abilities in relationship to movement and travel is an ongoing process. The team must continue to evaluate and adjust instruction based on the progress or lack of progress, of the child. In addition to the assessment tools Movement Skills/Opportunities and Functional Assessment of & Needs and Purposeful Movement, the Learning Media Assessment will give the team information about the primary and secondary learning media for the learner so that instruction can be provided in the preferred media.
3. Identifying communication systems:
Identifying communication systems to be used in a variety of environments will be critical in ensuring that & instruction will be designed and delivered in a way that appropriately address the learner's communication skills. This may mean that the learner who is deafblind has more than one communication system. In the previous module on communication, the learner's primary communication systems have been established. It will be important for the team to review the systems to ensure that the communication tools for movement and travel are being used. In addition, the learner may need augmentative systems to effectively interact with the school and the community. The Functional Assessment of& Needs and Purposeful Movement will provide additional information on the current communication systems being used.
4. Identifying the opportunities for purposeful movement and interdependent travel:
Identifying the opportunities for purposeful movement and interdependent travel will focus on present and future opportunities to engage in purposeful movement and interaction with the environment, and the people in it. A careful analysis of the current movement and travel opportunities will help the team identify skills needed to increase movement, communication, and interaction within those environments. Refer to FUNCTIONAL ASSESSMENT OF PURPOSEFUL MOVEMENT for a tool to assist in identifying, and analyzing the environments and the appropriate skills to access and move within those environments safely and efficiently.