Description of the Program

The Orientation and Mobility concentration focuses on training professionals to work with students with visual impairments and deafblindness how to independently travel. The coursework combines theoretical, research, and practical skills that prepare individuals to become professionals in this field. The program is mapped to the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP) Orientation and Mobility Body of Knowledge and Clinical Practice Competencies. Completion of the program along with the internship should allow students to sit for the Certified Orientation and Mobility (COMS) examination. 

During the fall and spring semesters, coursework is completed online with possibilities of weekend meetings. The summer courses are hybrid for the entire 10 weeks of summer. Half of the course is completed online while the second half is completed face-to-face during Summer 1 (approximately the month of June) at UAH. Students will need to secure their own housing if needed. Options are available for students to live on-campus but they may elect to love off-campus as well. 

The program requires an internship (EDC 692) as well. The internship is composed of 350 hours under the direct supervision of a certified orientation and mobility specialist (COMS). UAH will support students in locating a local COMS to complete the internship but it will be the responsibility of the student to manage and complete the hours. The internship may be completed after the summer courses and may be taken in small credit increments (1-3 hours).

Admission Requirements

  • Holds a minimum of a bachelor's degree;
  • Pass the GRE/MAT requirements, OR have 3 years of successful teaching, OR 3.0 undergraduate cumulative GPA, OR other graduate degree.

How to Apply


To be considered for admission to all subjects/concentrations of the Master’s of Education program, applicants must complete the following steps:

  1. Create your Charger Status account and submit the UAH graduate application for admission.
  2. Submit official college transcript to the UAH Graduate Admissions Office through an electronic delivery service. UAH Graduate Admissions accepts official transcripts from Parchment and Student Clearinghouse.
  3. Upload the following items directly to your application through Charger Status.
    • Personal Statement
  4. Please note, a GRE or MAT score may be required upon the review of your application.

Degree Requirements

Core Courses = 4 courses (12 hours)

EDC 551

Foundations of Visual Impairments (offered Fall & Spring, 7 weeks)

3 hours

Online

Introduction to academic language found within the profession of special education of students with visual impairments. Examines standards, organizations, programs, and services for students with visual impairments. Studies the basic anatomy, diseases, and disorders of the visual system.

EDC 654

Introduction to Braille Literacy (offered Fall only, 15 weeks)

3 hours

Online

Focused exploration of braille, braille literacy, and braille assessment.

Six (6) hours of electives. 

These two courses must be graduate coursework with an ED or EDC prefix unless granted special permission by the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. The two electives should be selected in coordination with the program's coordinator. However, these are recommended:

EDC 656, EDC 657, EDC 653, ED 535, ED 565, ED 530, ED 540, ED 570, EDC 636, EDC 625

 

 

Concentration Courses = 6 courses (18 hours)

EDC 652

Introduction to Orientation and Mobility (offered Fall only, 7 weeks)

3 hours

Online

Examines the psychosocial implications of blindness, with a particular focus on independence. Exploration of basic orientation mobility concepts including human guide and basic independent travel through the use of verbal description and tactile graphics

EDC 560

Intermediate Orientation and Mobility Skills (Summer only)

3 hours

Hybrid

Development of orientation and mobility skills for individuals who are blind or visually impaired Topics include human guide, indoor travel, and residential travel. Face-to-face component will be completed on campus during the summer for the entire month of June.

EDC 561

Advanced Orientation and Mobility Skills (Summer only)

3 hours

Hybrid

Development of advanced orientation and mobility skills for individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Topics include business travel, rural travel, and specialized travel. Face-to-face component will be completed on campus during the summer for the entire month of June.

EDC 662

Intermediate O&M Seminar (Spring only)

3 hours

Online

Focuses on research practices and problem areas in intermediate orientation and mobility services for students with visual impairments and additional disabilities.

EDC 663

Advanced Seminar in Orientation and Mobility (Fall and Spring)

3 hours

Online

Focuses on research practices and problem areas in advanced orientation and mobility services for students with visual impairments and additional disabilities.

EDC 682

O&M and Students with Multiple Disabilities (Spring only)

3 hours

Online

Focuses on orientation and mobility planning and instruction for students with visual impairments and other disabilities.

 

Internship = 1 course (3 hours)

EDC 692

Orientation and Mobility Internship (Fall, Spring, Summer)

1-3 hours

Online

This variable hour course is the cumulative internship course where students complete the internship required to become a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS). The internship is composed of 350 hours working directly with a COMS. [This course may be taken in smaller hour increments over time.]