- Janet Barlow Collaborative Initiative
- Presentations and workshops
The program provides more than 23 hours of ACVREP-approved credit with:
- half-day workshops Saturday;
- a general session Sunday morning;
- 6 sets of concurrent sessions (from Sunday morning to Tuesday at lunchtime);
- all-day Janet Barlow Collaboration Initiative Tuesday (extends beyond the last SOMA session, adding another 3 hours)
SOMA's interactive traditon!
"Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn"
This quote, often attributed to Benjamin Franklin, captures our 2022 theme, following a SOMA tradition introduced by Janet Barlow.
So this year, each session will be interactive and engage the participants.
Sessions repeated for fewer conflicts . . .
We will continue one of the most popular features of recent SOMA conferences -- sessions will be repeated so you can choose two out of each set of concurrent sessions.
How does this work? The schedule has Concurrent Session Groups; each Concurrent Session Group has two time slots.
One session in each of those slots is not repeated, so if you want to attend that session, you'll have to do it at that time.
The rest of the presentations are repeated, so you can attend either one.
Janet Barlow envisioned Orientation and Mobility Specialists interacting with Traffic Engineers to gain a deeper understanding of each other's professions, with a goal of improving safe access to streets and sidewalks for people who are blind or who have low vision.
On Tuesday, December 13, we will make Janet's vision a reality with a full day of learning together, both in meeting rooms and on the streets of Tampa.
Registration will be limited to the first 50 participants who register for the Janet Barlow Collaboration Initiative.
Once you've registered for this session, you will be contacted by Jennifer Graham - if registration is full, we will take names for a waiting list and notify you of your spot on that list via email.
Presentations and Workshops
- O&M for students with Cortical Visual Impairment - Dr. Dawn Anderson and Dr. Rob Wall Emerson
This session will review primary characteristics of cortical visual impairment (CVI) and how these characteristics intersect with O&M instruction. Reference will also be made to a current national project providing training in teaching children with CVI.
- O&M Referral process: Policy and practice - Justin Kaiser and Tina Herzberg
O&M specialists can work effectively together with teachers of students with visual impairments to ensure appropriate referrals and in-depth O&M assessments. The presentation will focus on implications from research and practical strategies for practitioners to collaborate.
- The upcoming Foundations of O&M Book: What's new and different - William Wiener and Robert Wall Emerson
The fourth edition of Foundations of Orientation and Mobility will be available in 2023 and has been updated to include the latest research. We will provide information on what is new and different in the the various chapters.
- Roadmap to an O&M Professional Learning Community - Anne Zanger and Rikilynn Layher
Are you feeling isolated as an O&M, struggling to address big city needs in small-town environments, needing to get re-energized?
We’ve been there, and found a solution – an O&M Professional Learning Community.
In this session, we’ll share what worked for us and help you start addressing the needs in your area!
- Considerations for keeping ALL itinerant staff safe in today's world - Tiffany Conrad, Samantha Kelly and Sidnaya Ginzburg Schweitzer
Discussion of unique challenges itinerants face on a daily basis. Safety considerations for itinerant staff in all environments: homes, schools, community. Many employers do not address how to work safely. Time to think differently and take steps to protect itinerants. How to evaluate and improve work conditions based on specific needs.
- Psychosocial effects and safety in O&M during and after Covid-19 - Justin Kaiser, Danene Fast, Stephanie Welch-Grenier
This presentation focuses on the psychological and social effects of COVID-19 on O&M services regarding students, families, and professionals.
Individual's health, well-being, and ability to complete aspects of O&M lessons were all affected.
Presenters will discuss how professionals can manage and address these needs within O&M instruction after COVID restrictions have ended.
- Tactile Walking Surface Indicators: What, Where, Why and How - Beezy Bentzen, Alan Scott, Jennifer Graham
Three kinds of Tactile Walking Surface Indicators - truncated dome detectable warnings; raised bar tactile direction indicators; and raised trapezoidal tactile warning delineators.
Learn what research tells us about when each is appropriate and helpful.
Advocate for installation where they are needed.
- Support for you as an activist - Dona Sauerburger
Whether you are advocating for accessibility or saving the world, if you've felt the anquish of something not being right, and overwhelmed or discouraged about addressing it, this workshop is for you!
Participants said this workshop gave them "a renewed spark of hope and energy" and "assisted me in gaining new perspectives, releasing my own fears."
- Teaching basic O&M skills in schools as a cane user - Erika Fundelius and Elaine Mara
How do you teach basic O&M skill (e.g., human guide, protective techniques) or guide a peer when you are blind or have low vision? This session will share strategies for cane user guides and future low vision TVIs we found that can help retaining one's independence while retaining safety.
- Arizona O&M: Adventure and discovery in the heart of the Grand Canyon - Alex Fabrega
The session will be structured around the voyage we took, with presentation and story telling broken up by audience participation in several of the techniques we used including backpack guide, and guiding along a cliff face.
- Exhibitor Highlights
Our exhibitors will share what innovations or treasures we can find at the exhibit tables this year!
Creative Teaching Programs
- Creative O&M lessons - Tommy Strasz, Kristy Plesscher & Garret Waldie
Whether it is dealing with virtual instruction, inclement weather, or unique learning styles, we are challenged to maintain engagement while meeting learning objectives. This session will cover the collaborative process used to develop an escape room, cane obstacle course, and more.
- Move with purpose - Sue Glaser
Increasing exposure to a variety of movement activities can reinforce O&M skills, and more movement can lead to more exploration, more self-confidence, more experiences, more life!
This session will provide a variety of ways to incorporate O&M skills into fun activities, both face-to-face and virtual, with opportunities for attendees to practice and brainstorm.
- O&M Distance consultation in action: What are we learning? - Amy T. Parker, Katie Ericson, Matt Bullen, Faith Yeung, Angelica Inman, Kelsey Ostrander
The exploration of distance consultation and practice for delivering O&M services began years ago, and intensified during the pandemic.
Participants will consider the research, practice, innovations, and AERBVI position paper on using distance O&M consultation and service;
experience an O&M distance lesson with their partner, and discuss the challenges and benefits.
- Adaptive painting with a visual twist - Maureen Army
Need ways to help your students solidify O&M concepts and skills? Let’s explore painting with vision loss! This hands-on painting experience will use adaptive techniques & improvisation! Discuss O&M concepts like mental mapping, interpreting instructions, problem solving, organizational skills, settling into uncomfortable spaces, confidence building, trust in the process, and recognizing self-talk.
- What Juno about Juno? - Garret Waldie, Tommy Strasz, Kristy Plesscher
This session will cover the skills needed to assess guide dog readiness with a Juno walk (simulated guide dog travel), how to conduct a Juno walk, and an opportunity for COMS to put what they have learned during the session into practice.
- Orienting dog guide users to new environments - Lukas Franck
Landmarks and clues described by O&M specialists often do not "translate" well into the guide dog "dialect".
This presentation combines a review of basics with video-based analyses of landmarks and clues available to dog guide travelers in both simple and more complex environments.
We end with a Kahoot! Quiz that ties everything together.
Canes and Alternative Mobility Devices
- A decade of long cane research: What have we learned? - Rob Wall Emerson
This session will focus on the general findings of more than 10 years of research by Dr. Wall Emerson and Dr. Kim at WMU to study the effect of factors such as cane length, tips, shaft material as well as user's age, training, walking speed and cane technique
on the ability to detect drop-offs and obstacles.
- Teaching cane skills systematically while enhancing motivation - Dona Sauerburger and Jack Mitchell
Together we'll discuss what we can expect of students in various stages of learning to use a cane; what they need in order to advance to the next stage;
and how we can enhance their motivation to learn it (hint: Giving prizes and tokens can inadvertently suppress intrinsic motivation!).
- Beyond hand’s reach: O&M tools to achieve static balance for toddlers with visual impairment - Grace Ambrose-Zaken
Interactional presentation discusses achieving independent walking in blind toddlers.
I offer a new theory of why blind children continue to cruise furniture and need a hand for walking after it is age appropriate.
My many studies support "theory of haptic feedback for static standing" the key to age-appropriate independent walking.
- O&M Tech Smackdown - Andrea Wallace
O&M instructors will participate in an interactive session that will involve discussion and demonstration of various technology that can be used to deliver and enhance O&M instruction. Participants will be encouraged to share their innovative and motivating ideas with the group.
- Map Creator applications - Howard Kaplan
Presentation will be on the development, user-testing / feedback, and interactive session for individuals wanting to find out more about the applications.
- 3D Printing for O&Ms with Braille - Bill Adams
Using 3D printing to make exterior and interior maps with readable and lasting Braille and high contrast for those with low vision.
- Traffic engineering and O&M: Cultivating collaboration - John Hibbard
This is the opening session for the all-day Janet Barlow Initiative, and it is open to all participants (the rest of the Janet Barlow Initiative has limited seating and requires registration).
The presenter, John Hibbard, is a traffic engineer who started collaborating with Janet Barlow when she first noticed that traffic signals were becoming complicated and unpredictable.
Together they learned about each other's world, and the rest is history! In this session, he will discuss how traffic signals and timing/actuation work.
- Uncontrolled crossings -- let's keep it simple! - Jolene Troisi and Dona Sauerburger
We're excited to introduce and let you practice using a streamlined process to help students learn to deal with crossings without traffic control.
This process took 20 years to simplify (no more TMAD!), and includes a flowchart to help students determine if they can be confident that it's clear to cross when quiet.
- Bicycles and vision disabled pedestrians—a dangerous mix - Beezy Bentzen, Linda Myers, Alan Scott
At separated bike lanes it's hard to find crossings and to determine when it's safe to cross. What cues can we expect to be able to use, and what environmental modifications can help?
- Audible beaconing APS aid wayfinding at complex street crossings - Beezy Bentzen, Alan Scott, PhD and Jennifer Graham, COMS
Do your students sometimes need to cross streets where there are no good cues for alignment, and no or inconsistent traffic on a parallel street? Do they have trouble veering when crossing wide streets? Learn about an effective solution, validated by research, that you can request at signalized intersections.
SATURDAY, December 10, 2022
Half-day workshops scheduled for Saturday (each is repeated):
11:45-1:15 LUNCH (on your own)
6:15-9:30 EVENING PAINTING SESSION
SUNDAY, December 11, 2022
Exhibits open 10:15-7:00
8:30-10:15 - General Session
10:15-10:45 BREAK - snacks in exhibit area!
10:45-12:00 CONCURRENT SESSION A
12:00-1:30 LUNCH (on your own) - snacks in exhibit area!
1:30-2:45 CONCURRENT SESSION A
2:45-3:15 BREAK - snacks in exhibit area!
3:15-4:15 CONCURRENT SESSION B
4:30-5:30 CONCURRENT SESSION B
5:30- 7:00 RECEPTION in Exhibitors' area
MONDAY, December 12, 2022
Exhibits open 9:15-4:30
8:00-9:15 CONCURRENT SESSION C
9:15-9:45 BREAK - snacks in exhibit area!
9:45-11:00 CONCURRENT SESSION C
11:15-12:15 CONCURRENT SESSION D
12:15-1:45LUNCH (on your own) - exhibits open
1:45-2:45 CONCURRENT SESSION D
2:45-3:15 BREAK - snacks in exhibit area!
3:15-4:15 CONCURRENT SESSION E
4:30-5:30 CONCURRENT SESSION E
TUESDAY, December 13, 2022
8:00- 9:40 JANET BARLOW INITIATIVE - first session (open to all participants)
10:00-4:00 JANET BARLOW INITIATIVE (registration required, limited seating)
8:30-9:30 CONCURRENT SESSION F
9:50 - 10:50 CONCURRENT SESSION F
11:05-11:50 CONCURRENT SESSION G
12:00-12:45 CONCURRENT SESSION G