Freedom and Independence mean different things to different people, but to a person who is visually impaired it means largely the ability to go where he/she likes, when he/she likes, to be able to travel to work safely on a daily basis, go shopping unaided, go to the bank, visit friends and go to church. This means the need to be mobile.
In 1969 the S A Guide-Dogs Association became aware of the need for this type of service as a complementary service to Guide Dogs and began investigating the feasibility of opening a school of Orientation and Mobility. In 1974 this goal was realized and the Orientation and Mobility School was established to train instructors, from all over Southern Africa, who would in turn train people who are visually impaired.
The College of Orientation and Mobility (previously named School of Orientation & Mobility) relies on funding from private individuals and companies to continue their work. Companies can score BEE points on their scorecard through CSI giving and donations. A company can secure maximum points for funding as our beneficiaries are 98% non-white.
The College of Orientation and Mobility train / students who complete a national diploma in Orientation and Mobility (SETA Accredited) and return to their service organisations and / or communities where they can effectively train people who are visually impaired in the skills of daily living and mobility using a long cane.
It has been estimated that approximately 388 000 South Africans are blind and over 1 000 000 individuals who have severe low vision (calculated from WHO Global data on Visual Impairment 2010 & SA 2014 mid-year population statistics). There is a need for more support and professionally trained practitioners to assist these individuals.
One trained Orientation and Mobility practitioner can effectively train on average 40 people with a visual impairment per annum. The majority of the trainee practitioners at the College are previously unemployed, black and from disadvantaged areas.
Please complete enquiry form should you wish to receive a formal proposal or more information regarding donating towards the College of Orientation and Mobility