Orientation and mobility training for adults with low vision: a new standardized approach

G. A. Rixt Zijlstra*, Judith Ballemans, Gertrudis I. J. M. Kempen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Orientation and mobility training aims to facilitate independent functioning and participation in the community of people with low vision. Objective: (1) To gain insight into current practice regarding orientation and mobility training, and (2) to develop a theory-driven standardized version of this training to teach people with low vision how to orientate and be safe in terms of mobility. Study of current practice: Insight into current practice and its strengths and weaknesses was obtained via reviewing the literature, observing orientation and mobility training sessions (n = 5) and interviewing Dutch mobility trainers (n = 18). Current practice was mainly characterized by an individual, face-to-face orientation and mobility training session concerning three components: crystallizing client's needs, providing information and training skills. A weakness was the lack of a (structured) protocol based on evidence or theory. New theory-driven training: A new training protocol comprising two face-to-face sessions and one telephone follow-up was developed. Its content is partly based on the components of current practice, yet techniques from theoretical frameworks (e.g. social-cognitive theory and self-management) are incorporated. Discussion: A standardized, tailor-made orientation and mobility training for using the identification cane is available. The new theory-driven standardized training is generally applicable for teaching the use of every low-vision device. Its acceptability and effectiveness are currently being evaluated in a randomized controlled trial.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-18
JournalClinical Rehabilitation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013


  • Aged
  • intervention protocol
  • low vision
  • mobility limitation
  • rehabilitation

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