Overview

Tennessee School for the Blind's Orientation and Mobility (O&M) program strives to serve the students attending the school by meeting their individual travel needs, both on and off campus. Each staff member works with students at different ability levels. The O&M department also involves students in Project PAVE for their low vision evaluation which determines if low vision devices are beneficial.

Staff

Julia Hedrick is a TVI/O&M instructor. She has previously been a classroom teacher at TSB and worked part-time in O&M. For the last two years she has been a full-time O&M instructor. 

Monica Leister is a TVI/O&M instructor. Monica works part-time as an O&M instructor with the high school Transition students and students in the BEST program.  She also is the art teacher on campus.

Jenny Luttrell is a TVI/COMS/CLVT.  Last year she taught Expanded Core Curriculum.  This year she has moved to the O&M department full –time. Jenny has experiences with students from the time of birth through to adulthood. 

Policy for Off-Campus Travel Clearance

Residential students at Tennessee School for the Blind (TSB) who are age 16 or over shall have the opportunity to be cleared for off-campus travel. This document outlines the procedures and expectations for residential students to be cleared for off-campus travel during non-school hours, as well as subsequent consequences should the student not follow policy.

STUDENTS AGE 18 and OVER:

Students age 18 and over are not required to stay on campus, and can leave without permission or clearance from staff. However, the students must adhere to the rules and policies at TSB regarding drugs/alcohol/tobacco and must also follow rules for curfew and accountability.

It is the policy of TSB that each student will receive a comprehensive Orientation and Mobility program that meets their individual travel needs, including regular assessments to ensure safety when traveling off campus. Students age 18 and over will be informed of their level of clearance - including night travel abilities - by their Orientation and Mobility Instructor, and will be strongly advised to follow this advice while at TSB.

With student’s permission, a letter outlining the student’s level of clearance will be sent home informing parents/families of the student’s progress and the recommendations of the TSB Orientation and Mobility Specialists.

STUDENTS UNDER 18:

Students age 16 until they reach age 18 are required to stay on campus, unless given permission by both the school and their parent/guardian. Students must adhere to the rules and policy at TSB regarding zero tolerance for drugs/alcohol/tobacco and must also follow rules for curfew and accountability.

It is the policy of TSB that each student will receive a comprehensive Orientation and Mobility program that meets their individual travel needs. Any student 16 or older will be assessed by the Orientation and Mobility staff for clearance to travel off campus. If appropriate, the students will be cleared for travel based on their skill level by the Orientation and Mobility Specialists - including night travel.

A permission slip will be sent home each time a student is cleared for a new route or for a new off-campus O&M skill. This slip MUST be signed by a parent or legal guardian and returned to the Orientation and Mobility Specialist at TSB before the student may travel off-campus unassisted.

EARNING OFF-CAMPUS CLEARANCE:

When a student demonstrates sound Orientation and Mobility skills, he/she may be cleared for off-campus travel. The student will be cleared for travel to specific areas in the community based on their skill level with respect to safety. Each student who is cleared will be issued an ID card stating their name, the TSB address, and TSB security phone number. This card is to be carried at all times as proof they have earned clearance, as well as to have information in case of emergency off campus.

SKILLS BASED CLEARANCE:

The Orientation and Mobility Staff at TSB will clear students to travel specific routes to specific destinations based on their performance and assessment results during lessons. O&M staff will keep accurate record of student performance, and will maintain on-going assessments to add or modify routes that the student is cleared to travel. A record of student’s clearance levels will be kept on file at the security desk. 

GUIDELINES FOR CLEARANCE:

  • Students will carry their ID card on their person at all times (includes name, TSB phone number, TSB security number)
  • After earning clearance, students must continue to demonstrate proficient cane/travel skills on campus
  • Students must meet classroom requirements (homework, grades, etc…)
  • Students must adhere to the campus curfew

REVOCATION OF CLEARANCE:

A student can have their privileges revoked at anytime if it is determined they are not following the above guidelines. The ONLY staff that can revoke a card are the Orientation and Mobility Specialists and the Director of Residential Services.   

Drafted 5/2014