Graduate Diploma in Orientation and Mobility

Program Description

Orientation and Mobility is the practice of enabling people with low vision or who are blind, to know where they are, so that they can get where they want to go, and how to travel there in a safe manner. O&M specialists work with people of all ages, tailoring interventions to suit the needs of the individual client, including people with additional complexities, such as health conditions.

The degree will provide graduates with specialized knowledge, critical and analytical skills to support life-long learning. It will give practical experience to enable them to apply for industry certification and work as an O&M Specialist both self-employed or at an organisation that provides orientation and mobility services to clients with low vision or blindness.

Program Learning Outcomes for O&M Graduates 

Students who have completed the program will have: 

1) Advanced disciplinary knowledge in orientation and mobility

Advanced disciplinary knowledge and be able to demonstrate application to practice in the field of orientation and mobility, displaying an awareness of national and international issues in disability, education and broader eye health care sector, and how these issues impact on delivering client services. 

2) Demonstrated the required skills to practice as an O&M Specialist

An ability to apply knowledge and skills in orientation and mobility to work across organisations that provide low vision services or as an autonomous practitioner. 

3) Demonstrated effective skills in communication and collaboration skills in a digital age 

An ability to communicate with clarity, to facilitate understanding, actions and impact to all types of people. Including teamwork, building relationships across contexts, and using digital technology effectively to undertake and improve work outcomes for all.  

4) Critical and analytical thinking and application to orientation and mobility intervention

An ability to identify and define the problem, determine viable solutions and make recommendations that have been produced using a range of tools, methods to critically assess existing knowledge, assumptions and elements of the issue in well-reasoned, insightful manner.  

5) Creativity and innovation for an evolving industry

Demonstrated being able to connect new ideas, challenge current thinking and practices and create solutions to further evolve the profession. 

6) Client focus with an ethical and culturally aware lens and awareness of a wider personal ecosystem that impacts delivering services to clients

An ability to have a proactive client focus, mindful of the client experience, engaging with all stakeholders in an ethical and culturally sensitive way to uphold and monitor actions according to professional responsibilities and the wider world.  

7) Initiative, drive and commitment to life-long learning 

An ability to demonstrate initiative to further one's knowledge, skills by consistent commitment to self-reflection and monitoring one's practice against newly acquired knowledge. 

Individual Course Descriptions

N.B. Number denote prerequisites

T1

1 The Visual System, Impairments & Implications 6UoC

2 Orientation and Mobility Foundations: Disability, diversity and inclusion 6UoC

3 Sensory Processes and Movement 6UoC

T2

4 Orientation and Mobility Techniques 6UoC 1,2,3

5 Vision Rehabilitation 6UoC 2,3

6Orientation and Mobility in Practice A 6 UoC 2

T3

7Orientation and Mobility in Practice B 6 UoC 4,5

8Development and Ageing: Implications for Orientation and Mobility 6UoC 2,3

For more information, see here

This course provides students undertaking the graduate diploma in orientation and mobility broad understanding of the visual system, its disorders, and how vision loss affects visually guided behaviour and daily activities. This course will be delivered online and its scope includes a review of the visual pathways, visual function and its measurement, diseases and disorders of the visual system which leads to low vision and blindness, and an introduction to educational strategies and training to improve orientation and mobility in people with vision loss.

This course provides orientation and mobility students with an understanding of the brain, the sensory and motor systems and their integration in behavioural interactions with the environment This course will be delivered completely online and cover topics such as the anatomy and organisation of the brain, the sensory systems such as vision, hearing and touch, motor processes such as body awareness, proprioception, and kinesthetics. Teaching will comprise of series of online/recorded lectures and tutorials/practicals in which key concepts are reinforced through reading and online multimedia exercises. 

This course provides students undertaking the graduate diploma in orientation and mobility the foundational knowledge of practice of orientation and mobility in the Australian context.  It will be delivered online and its scope includes a review of key disability philosophies, practice scopes and guidelines, diversity of consumers of vision rehabilitation/habilitation services and inclusive practices.  

This course provides students undertaking the graduate diploma in orientation and mobility the opportunity to not only demonstrate and apply techniques, strategies and teaching skill acquisition but critically analyse them as tools for intervention design. This course will be delivered online with a practical component being delivered face to face for facilitating the examination of available techniques and strategies. This subject sits well with co-delivery of Vision Rehabilitation. 

This course provides students undertaking the graduate diploma in orientation and mobility a review of contemporary learning theories, review of vision enablers and the opportunity to apply critical analyses to emerging technology in the field of vision rehabilitation/habilitation.  

This course provides students undertaking the graduate diploma in orientation and mobility with the opportunity to increasing advance their knowledge to put in practice O&M assessing, planning, evaluating and modifying interventions. This course will be delivered across the year online and has major components as WIL. It is a course designed to embed knowledge, evidence base and techniques and strategies into practice with appropriate modifications to intervention design as the complexity of the scenario increases.  

This course provides students undertaking the graduate diploma in orientation and mobility the opportunity to examine the human lifespan in relation to vision impairment or being blind and age appropriate modifications. This course will be delivered online and its scope includes a review of the implications of additional disabilities and major transition points in the human lifespan.

Academic Rules

  1. Students must complete a minimum of 48 UoC for the award of the degree.
  2. Students must follow the program of study outlined in the Handbook and defined under the Program Structure above.
  3. Students will be required to complete 350 hours of work experience. The cost associated with this work experience will be met by the student.
  4. Study Load: This is an intensive full-time program. Only in exceptional circumstances will students be allowed to enroll in a reduced program.
  5. This program includes placements in agencies providing Orientation and Mobility services (not for profit and private practice). It also involves introduction to the wider sector by allowing observation placements in health facilities, education settings and other relevant services. In order to comply with organisational requirements students will need to have a WWC, criminal history check and for some settings immunisation records. Requirements will be outlined specially to students when placements are secured for that student.

Applying and Entry Requirements

Three year bachelor’s degree (AQF level 7).

Students with a prior qualification in health science or a related area may receive credit for prior learning

To express your interest, or if you have further enquiries, please contact the postgraduate administrator team at: postgrad.optom@unsw.edu.au or A/Prof Sieu Khuu: s.khuu@unsw.edu.au