Skip to Content
Text Size:
- +

Improving Education for Individuals with Visual Impairments.

Hi-Tech O&M


Join a successful tech-savvy blind traveler and a veteran COMS for a 2-day, in-depth training as they share how to use technology to enable independent travel in a variety of specific real-world contexts.  For example, finding bus stops, planning a route, building mental models, pedestrian travel in campus environments, etc. You will learn strategies for nurturing curiosity and confidence in young travelers as well as how to use cutting edge technology with students/clients of all ages. Technology topics will include an introduction to VoiceOver, accessible maps, GPS apps, functional daily living skill apps, activities to create digital O&M cheat sheets and an exciting new technology that incorporates iBeacons to provide O&M information and accurate positioning for indoor navigation. This session will include hands-on time to using the iBeacons that will be deployed on the GMS campus. Each participant must have an iPhone.
Participants will learn: 

  • Basic Voiceover screen reader gestures with an iPhone
  • Technology to develop curiosity, knowledge and mental maps about their community and/or surroundings and to pre-view new environments
  • Apps to plan and travel routes
  • Apps for outdoor and indoor navigation
  • Core suite of apps that are commonly used for O&M purposes
  • How to teach these apps and strategies to O&M students and clients


  • Participants MUST have an iPhone running the latest version (must be an iPhone, not an Android phone)
  • Blindsquare Event app (free)
  • BlindSquare app (participants will receive a free code for the BlindSquare App)


  • Participants will have the opportunity to observe and/or participate in hands-on activities with some apps that are only available on the iPad; if you have access to an iPad, please bring it.  An iPad is not required.


  • Some participants may prefer to use earbuds with the navigational apps as the environment may be noisy.  Earbuds are not required.  We do recommend non-occluding (bone conducting) ear buds such as AfterShokz for safety reasons when listening and walking.  These earbuds allow users to hear the environmental sounds – such as traffic – as well as VoiceOver announcements. 

Recommended iPhone apps

  • BlindSquare app (free code to workshop participants)
  • BlindSq Event app (available for free the week before the workshop)
  • NC NatSci app (free interactive, accessible museum map)
  • LookTel Money Reader (optional)
  • Tap, Tap, See (optional)

Recommended iPad apps  (iPad is recommended but not required)

  • iBooks (free)
  • Book Creator app (optional $4.99 – may not use in class but great O&M tool!)

Blended Workshop Assignments
This is a blended workshop that includes an online pre-workshop assignment and a post-workshop assignment:

  1. Pre-workshop discussion question and online reading assignment (Time: 1 hour)
  2. Post-workshop assignment: Design and share an age-appropriate O&M lesson that incorporates the use of technology for one of your students. (Time: 1 hour)

Ed Summers is a blind software engineer and an accessibility specialist. He has a B.S. in Computer Science and 20 years of professional experience as a software developer and a development manager. Ed's personal mission is to enable people with disabilities to realize their full potential in the classroom and the 21st century knowledge economy. Ed leads the accessibility team at SAS, the market leader in business analytics software and services that is used at more than 70,000 sites around the world. He is the Chairman of the North Carolina Commission for the Blind. He is also a member of the North Carolina State Board of Education Advisory Council for the Governor Morehead School for the Blind.
Diane Brauner is an educational accessibility consultant collaborating with Perkins School for the Blind, SAS, and various educational app developers. She manages the Perkins eLearning website, Paths to Technology, and she continues to present workshops on a national level. Diane has 25+ years as an Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS), working primarily with preschool and school-age students. She holds degrees in Rehabilitation, Elementary Education, Visual Impairments, Hearing Impairments, and Orientation and Mobility.

Event Information
Thursday, August 23rd, 2018
Address line 1: 
130 Austine Drive
Contact Information
Contact Name: 
Teresa Pagliuca
Contact Phone: 
Contact E-mail:
Back to Top