Moira Higgerty retired after 35 years of loyal service. Moira, a social worker by training, became very interested in the plight of people who are visually impaired. Moira joined South African Guide-Dogs Association for the Blind and was instrumental in developing and growing the College of Orientation and Mobility (COM). COM was established n 1974 when the board and the current Executive Director, Ken Lord, recognised that many people who were visually impaired needed services other the the provision of a Guide Dog.
The solution to this problem was to train sighted Orientation and Mobility practitioners who would be skilled to train people with visual impairment to live life independently. This training includes daily living skills, sighted guide, mobility training and training to use a long cane as a mobility aid.
For the past 35 years Moira has championed this cause and advocated for the rights of people who are visually impaired. Moira’s passion is contagious; as an educator and mentor she has shared her knowledge and wisdom with many Orientation and Mobility practitioners, Guide Dog Mobility Instructors, nurses, community rehabilitation workers and other interested parties, during her many years of service.
P O Box 28995, Kensington 2101, South Africa www.sambt.org.za
Tel: 011 648 9035 or 011 024 1654 Fax: 086 6666629 firstname.lastname@example.org
|As a blind person myself and as Managing Trustee of the SA Mobility for the Blind Trust, I, without hesitation, endorse the work of the College of Orientation and Mobility.Orientation and Mobility Training is essential for the wellbeing of blind and partially-sighted people. It frees them from the bondage of isolation and dependency and helps them to take part in social and economic life. I have experienced this training myself and I see it in my daily work. I see blind people who, before they were trained, could not get to the shop, the clinic, to church, to friends and family or catch a taxi by themselves. Now they can. I see people who can now cook their family a meal, use an ATM and recognise the notes that the machine is spewing out at them and who can call a friend on the phone. Before their training, they couldn’tThe College plays a vital role here. Through its Diploma course in Orientation and Mobility Practice, it produces the people who do the training. This is the only institution of its kind in South Africa. At the same time, there is an enormous need out there that must be met.I, therefore, strongly encourage support for the College and in a way that will help it to expand and grow. There are over 200 000 blind people out there who would, I think, agree.|