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Improving Education for Individuals with Visual Impairments.

UMB Graduate Melissa Mabee joins INSIGHT as they launch new O&M program

Person waliking with a cane.


INSIGHT is pleased to announce the addition of Melissa Mabee, a certified orientation and mobility specialist, to our staff starting in mid-January.

Melissa will be providing small group and individual instruction for people living with vision loss, focusing on teaching people how to move from place to place more independently and confidently.

In December, INSIGHT surveyed more than 200 of its clients to determine the extent to which vision loss has affected their ability to move around safely. Among the findings:

  • 45% indicated that they sometimes or frequently bump into door frames or other obstacles.
  • 57% indicated that they sometimes or frequently rely on others to guide them outside of their home.
  • 30% indicated that they sometimes fall inside or outside of their home.
  • 40% indicated that they have a sighted family member or friend who may be interested in learning about sighted guide technique.

“What we found is that a large percentage of our clients could benefit from some level or orientation and mobility instruction, which will help them to overcome some of the challenges that they face when it comes to getting around safely,” said INSIGHT Executive Director Chris Butler.

Melissa, who also works part-time with public school students through the Sherlock Center on Disabilities at Rhode Island College, will work at INSIGHT on Thursdays and Fridays.

“Thanks to the generosity of donors to our recent Annual Fund Appeal, we are really excited to be able to add on this critical program,” Butler said.

Melissa will be providing individual training, which will help people learn how to better navigate their home and neighborhood, as well as small group training which sometimes will happen at INSIGHT and other times at locations in the community such as shopping centers where folks can practice their skills in a more practical environment.

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