Orientation and Mobility (O&M) specialists are in high demand across the nation, and in Ohio. Professionals are needed immediately to assist persons who are blind or visually impaired to use a white cane, to learn to understand their environment non-visually through their remaining senses, and to be able to travel without getting lost by using technology and other supports. Instruction includes visual impairment/low vision/blindness and related disability foundations, travel training, applicable legislation (ADA, IDEA), blind rehabilitation, cane usage, assessment and planning, and anatomy and disorders of the eye.
Shawnee State offers a one-year, 23-credit hour graduate program leading to a certification as an Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS). This program is accredited by the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP). Applicants may hold a baccalaureate degree in any field from an accredited university. The coursework is online with bi-monthly face-to-face field work and a 350-hour O&M Internship.
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Fill out the following form to request more information about the program:
Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS) – 23 Credit Hours
- EDOM 6301 - Foundations of Orientation & Mobility I
- EDOM 6302 - Orientation & Mobility with Special Populations
- EDOM 6303 - Eye Conditions and Sensory Connections
- EDOM 6304 - Foundations of Orientation & Mobility II
- EDOM 6305 - Orientation & Mobility Techniques I
- EDOM 6306 - Orientation & Mobility Techniques II
- EDOM 6307 - Orientation & Mobility Assessment & Instructional Planning
- EDOM 6308 - Internship in Orientation & Mobility
Financial support is provided by the Ohio Department of Education, Office for Exceptional Children.
All program coursework is delivered online using a curriculum fully aligned with ACVREP. Future COMS may remain where they live and work while completing the program. Cane training and certain internship components are required to be face to face.
How to Apply
The program begins each year in Summer II (the second half of the summer semester). We accept applications through March 15 each year. We continue to accept applications on a rolling admissions basis.
First, complete the application (see below for the link, details and information needed). The program is a selective admission program and acceptance is not guaranteed. Students will be notified of acceptance by mid-April.
- Complete an Application for Graduate Admission
- Evidence of a B.S. or B.A. degree from an accredited institution.
- Evidence of an overall GPA of 2.75 or greater
- Two letters of reference from educational or professional sources
- Professional statement including career goals (1-2 pages)
What to include in your professional statement:
- Provide a brief description of your educational background.
- Provide a brief description of your current employment.
- Explain your experience of working with an individual with visual impairment.
- Provide reasons why you believe that you would be an excellent candidate for the program.
- Explain your goals and what you hope to gain from the program.
For questions about the admission process, please contact:
Graduate School Administrator
For questions about the Orientation & Mobility Certification Program, please contact:
Visual Impairment Coordinator