Jill Brown Listen to Jill Brown’s advice on the three things parents most need to know about orientation and mobility skills.


Hi, my name is Jill Brown. I am a certified teacher of visual impairments and an orientation and mobility instructor for Crowley ISD (Independent School District), which is in Texas.

What are the three things you want to ensure that parents know about helping their child develop essential orientation and mobility skills? Specifically for young children.

I would like parents to know about helping their young child develop those O&M skills how important that movement is in their babies, and how that movement is going to relate to their child’s future ability to travel. I would like parents to understand that the more effort that they’re putting into helping their baby move and to be independent early will lead them to have to do less with their child later on. So the more effort they put—as an infant—the less they have to be involved in helping their child to move later on.

The other point is that this is a wonderful time to have a child with visual impairments because the future is so bright for our kids. Our society is more open to having a person with a disability in the work field and living independently. And with their child being able to get around independently, especially when they get into school, they’re viewed more as a normal person and less as a person with a disability. Well, this starts in infancy by getting their child to move. That their parenting skills are a critical part of their child’s future. The values of the family are important and that the child is perfect just the way they are, just because it’s their child.

And the last point is that people without vision can be very competent and independent travelers.