Is Orientation & Mobility Training Right for Me?

A man walks down a sunny sidewalk with outdoor tables. He is walking with a white cane next to a woman in a Leader Dog polo

Orientation and mobility, or O&M, is a series of skills that allows a person who is blind or visually impaired to travel independently through a constantly changing world. Solid O&M skills are what makes it possible for someone who is blind to navigate confidently with a white cane, and these skills are the foundational tools of being able to work with a guide dog. The free, one-week Orientation & Mobility Training program at Leader Dogs for the Blind may be right for you if you need basic O&M skills or if you have had changes in your life. These may include:

  • You have relocated and you want to feel more confident orienting yourself to an unfamiliar environment.
  • Your vision has changed and you want to feel confident traveling using more non-visual techniques at different times of the day or year.
  • You feel like you are relying too heavily on your guide dog, your friends or family members for direction.
  • You want to prove to yourself, friends and family that you have what it takes to be an independent traveler.
  • You are thinking about retiring your current guide dog and want to brush up on your O&M skills before training with a new guide dog.

In the week-long Orientation & Mobility Training program at Leader Dog, clients benefit from a program that is individualized for their specific needs. Areas of training may include basic cane skills, utilizing a human guide, street crossings, traveling in residential, business shopping and rural environments. To further tailor training to each client’s needs, we offer the following training options for O&M:

  • Introduction to O&M: Great for people with little to no experience with a cane. Don’t have a cane yet? You’ll receive one for free as part of this program.
  • O&M Brush-Up: Ideal for those who have had previous O&M training and could use a refresher course or additional skills.
  • Guide Dog Readiness: For cane users who are thinking about whether a guide dog may be right for them, this option helps build the necessary skills. This option does not guarantee acceptance into Guide Dog Training.
  • Advanced O&M: Designed for individuals who are traveling in complex environments and more challenging intersections.

As with all of our programs, the O&M Training program is free (including travel to and from our campus, room and board, and equipment). Clients do not have to be interested in getting a Leader Dog to participate in O&M Training. If you’re thinking this sounds like the right option for you or someone you know, call our client services team today at 888-777-5332 or contact us online.

RECOMMENDED POSTS

. On the left is a black Labrador retriever lying down, looking forward and wearing a red bow on its collar with a sign that says "You're My Person" with hearts on it in front of the dog.

Voice of the Leader Dog Community: Amy Schupska

Hi! My name is Amy Schupska. My husband of 18 ...
A young woman with brown, French-braided hair and glasses sitting on a short stone wall with her arm around a yellow Labrador retriever sitting next to her. The dog is leaning heavily into the woman’s side. There is a statue of a Lion wearing a crown leaning on a large letter “K” behind them. There is a tall concreate and mirror building in the far background.

Voice of the Leader Dog Community: Kayla

My name is Kayla. I have Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), so ...
Mark Mansell stands in the canine center lobby on Leader Dog's campus. He is smiling and holding a black lab Leader Dog puppy. His wife, Debbie, is smiling and looking at the puppy

Voice of the Leader Dog Community: Mark Mansell

Part 1: Introduction Hello, I am Lion Mark Mansell. It ...
Ethan Wilson outdoors in a wintery environment

Voice of the Leader Dog Community: Ethan Wilson

This month’s community member for Voices of the Leader Dog ...
Group of young people on video conferencing platform with several Leader Dog personnel

Virtual Summer Experience Camp 2021

The Leader Dog team hosted a second Virtual Summer Experience ...
Ashley, smiling, hugs a black dog whose head is leaning against her.

Voice of the Leader Dog Community: Ashley Nunnelly

Hi, I’m Ashley Nunnelly, a guide dog mobility instructor at ...
Never miss a post

We've got cool stories from clients and volunteers, dog training tips, news about Leader Dog and much more coming out on our blog all the time. Stay in the loop!