A young woman walks toward the camera on a sidewalk lined with potted flowers. Behind her are two more women walking and observing

Orientation & Mobility Training

White bordered orange circle with a white pictogram that represents a person walking with a white caneOrientation and mobility (O&M) training is learning how to use a white cane to effectively know where you are, where you want to go and the skills to get to your destination.

Our Orientation and Mobility Training is a one-week residential program. Clients stay on our campus and O&M training takes place in a wide variety of environments, such as residential, semi-business, business, city and rural settings. The majority of instruction takes place outdoors with the remainder focusing on how to navigate elevators, escalators and moving sidewalks.

Our O&M program provides individuals with the skills needed to travel safely using a white cane in a much shorter time frame than traditional O&M programs. The one-on-one instruction is tailored to each client’s capabilities, allowing individual needs to be met.

During training, skills learned may include:

  • Utilizing a human guide
  • Using a white cane
  • Using orientation skills and cardinal directions (i.e., north, south, east, west) to know where you are, where you want to go and how to get there
  • Solving problems along your route, such as barriers, crowds, etc.
  • Crossing streets
  • Re-orientating yourself
  • Shopping, soliciting assistance when needed, and more

O&M training is provided free of charge at Leader Dogs for the Blind’s Rochester Hills, Michigan campus to those who are legally blind and at least 16 years of age, regardless of whether or not they plan to train with a guide dog. Travel to and from a client’s home to the Leader Dog campus and accommodations and meals while training is also provided free of charge.

Is O&M 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

In the week-long Accelerated Orientation & Mobility Training program at Leader Dog, clients benefit from a program that is individualized for their specific needs. ... Read More

When is it Time for a Cane?

Demmitt A And Sophie

Among my biggest challenges as I lost more vision was the ability to move about safely. I started doing some very annoying things like walking into doors, missing curbs, and bumping into people while in public. ... Read More

One-of-a-Kind Training

A man walks down a sunny, grass-lined sidewalk using a white cane

“Erica, my [orientation and mobility] instructor, showed me the different ways to cross intersections, read traffic using my hearing, and remember streets.” ... Read More