O&M Level 2 - Assessment
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 child’s 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 five areas in O&M assessment, including:
- Identifying motivators;
- Determining the learner’s current level of skills;
- Identifying communication systems to be used in a variety of environments;
- Identifying the needs for movement and travel
- Analyze the orientation and mobility environment
In addition to the above, the O&M Specialist may identify other areas for assessment.
1. Identifying motivators:
Identifying motivators will give the team information on the toys, activities, objects, and people that motivate the learner to move. Matching 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 child’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 individual in addition to the assessment tools Functional Assessment of Current O&M Movement and Travel and Functional Assessment of O&M Needs, 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 O&M instruction will be designed and delivered in a way that appropriately address the learner’s communication skills. This may mean that the learner with deafblindness 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 assure 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.
4. Identifying the opportunities for purposeful movement and interdependent travel:
Identifying the needs for movement and travel will focus on present and future movement and travel needs. A careful analysis of the current and future travel environments will help the team identify skills needed to move and travel in those environments. Refer to Functional Assessment of O&M Needs for a tool to assist the team to identify, analyze and for the environments and the appropriate skills to access those environments safely and efficiently.
Analyzing the orientation and mobility environment will focus on evaluating the opportunities a student has each day to move and travel in the environment in order to make sense of the world. Refer to the tool entitled Analyzing the O&M Environment checklist. This analysis will help the team to maximize opportunities that encourage movement.