Orientation and mobility

Orientation and mobility, or getting about, is an important part of daily life. Whether you are accessing public transport, attending your place of work or education, visiting shops and restaurants, or going on holiday - the list is endless. Good orientation and mobility is a key to giving people independence and the opportunity to maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

People with Usher face changes in their ability to access many aspects of their environment when their sight and/or hearing deteriorate.  It is known that many people with Usher go through a process of ‘grieving’ for their loss of independence, especially for those who can no longer hold their driving licence or travel independently and with this, the loss of a sense of freedom. 

The role of the Rehabilitation Officer for the Visually Impaired

For support around orientation and mobility you can contact your Rehabilitation Officer for people with visual impairment (ROVI) at your local authority. The ROVI will assess a person with Usher for their needs including the lighting inside and outside their house.  The ROVI will give a person with Usher mobility training, for example how to use mobility canes, usually through one to one sessions.

ROVIs should follow the report from the local authority assessment under the Deafblind Guidance, if the person with Usher has already had this assessment. The ROVI works closely with Occupational Therapists (OT) and social services. The OT may assess a person with Usher regarding their mobility, for example a person with Usher, who has poor balance, may not be able to get in and out of the bath. The OT may recommend a wet room for the person’s safety, for example.

More on getting about and Usher

Getting about when you have Usher

Mobility tips for people with Usher


Created: February 2016

Review due: February 2018

First published: Wednesday 2 December 2015
Updated: Thursday 4 February 2016