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OMDER – Orientation and Mobility: Digital Education Readiness

  • Austria
Scope of application
  • Personal autonomy
Type of organisation
  • Organisation representative of people with disabilities

There are currently only a few, non-standardized training opportunities for orientation and mobility trainers (OMT) for blind and severely visually impaired people within the European Union. The few training courses that are available are held in individual training centers that only offer a small number of training places. Furthermore, these training courses are very expensive, both for the course participants themselves and for the institutions that want to employ the future OMTs. In addition, there is little communication and cooperation between the various training institutions in the different European countries, which means that OMT training from one EU country is often not recognized in another EU country, as different techniques are often taught and the training is therefore often not considered comparable. 

For blind and visually impaired people, in turn, this often means long waiting times for necessary OM training and therefore limited mobility and independence. To improve the lives of blind and visually impaired people, the number of OMTs must therefore be drastically increased. This is the only way to reduce waiting times and provide blind and visually impaired people with the level of training they need to become fully independent in their mobility. 

The aim of the OMDER project is therefore to create a common curriculum for all European countries that can be implemented by tertiary educational institutions (universities and universities of applied sciences) and that covers all the skills and techniques, including ICT skills, required to provide OM training to blind and severely visually impaired people. 

During the project period, a curriculum, teaching materials and training guidelines will be developed, which together will constitute a complete training program. These materials will be based on existing teaching materials for OMT and will be adapted to the needs of different countries so that course graduates can offer their OM services anywhere in Europe.

The development of a curriculum is the first step towards the successful implementation of a train-the-trainer program in a defined curriculum. The development of the curriculum will involve both the educational institutions that will deliver the newly developed training program and the authorities that will later be responsible for recognizing OM certification and paying for OMT services. The various stakeholders will be involved in workshops and expert meetings in the different countries represented in the consortium. 

The teaching materials developed will ultimately be made available as open educational resources (OER). These should enable various educational institutions to take up the content developed in the project and develop their own course offerings based on it. In addition, representatives of other people with disabilities will also be given the opportunity to incorporate their needs and training requirements into these materials so that the range of training courses can be continuously expanded.

More about OMDER

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