Early Childhood Intervention


Very young child using a long cane whilst an adult squats beside her

Very young child using a long cane

What is early childhood intervention orientation and mobility?

Early childhood orientation and mobility (O&M) involves children learning the skills and techniques of independent travel at a developmentally appropriate age; learning to move independently, safely, and with a sense of purpose through the environment.

At Independent Options for Mobility, we believe:

  • The foundations for independent travel are built during infancy and early childhood.
  • O&M concepts and skills are best developed in the child’s home environment and local community.
  • Parents are a child’s first and most important teacher.

Why choose Independent Options for Mobility as a service provider?

Dr Bronwen Scott has extensive experience in the provision of early intervention O&M skills and techniques, including several years working as a member of the Early Childhood Teaching Team with the Vision Education Service in Western Australia. She has completed a Doctor of Education degree, and her thesis on early intervention O&M is available here. Bronwen is a member of Early Childhood Australia, and Early Childhood Intervention Australia, and has been involved as a member of the Expert Advisory Group for the Early Childhood Intervention National Guidelines Project.  You can access the ECIA National Guidelines here.

Dean Johnson has many years of experience providing O&M intervention to children, and is a registered teacher with the Victorian Institute of Teaching.

We are a registered service provider with the Better Start for Children with Disability program, and provide O&M services to any child with vision impairment. We also work in conjunction with therapists from Able Australia – download our information brochure on Early Intervention Services for children with vision and hearing impairment.

If you are eligible for National Disability Insurance Scheme funding, we are registered to provide early intervention supports for early childhood. We can also work with privately funded individuals – find out about our IOM Fee Schedule.

Information and Resources

You can download further information about O&M with children by clicking the links below:

What is orientation and mobility? (PDF)    What-is-orientation-and-mobility (rtf)

O&M for children with low vision  (PDF)   O&M for children with low vision  (rtf)

O&M for infants and toddlers   (PDF)    O&M for infants and toddlers  (rtf)

Early Intervention Services for children with vision and hearing impairment.  (PDF)

The-Expanded-Core-Curriculum  (PDF)  The-Expanded-Core-Curriculum  (rtf)

I’m starting to walk I can use a cane  (PDF)  I’m starting to walk I can use a cane  (rtf)

Early long cane use: A case study  (PDF)

Early intervention orientation and mobility: A Western Australian perspective  (PDF)

“Opening up the world” – Bronwen’s Ed.D. thesis on early intervention O&M

Bronwen has published a booklet for families, educators and other interested parties that is available from Amazon.  Alternatively, you can contact Bronwen directly to order a copy at: bron@options4mobility.com.au   The booklet cost $10, including postage.

Useful Websites:

Raising Children – Australian parenting website, including a useful section on disability

Family Connect  (American website for parents of children with vision impairment)

Little Long Canes – YouTube clip about long cane use for very young children

NFB Early Explorers – YouTube clip about the National Federation of the Blind (USA) early long cane program

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Insight School for the Blind and Vision Impaired – Specialist independent school in Melbourne, Australia