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Citation Information : International Journal of Orientation & Mobility. Volume 7, Issue 1, Pages 96-97, DOI: https://doi.org/10.21307/ijom-2017-061
License : (CC-BY-NC-ND-4.0)
Published Online: 16-April-2018
As a Spanish/English-speaking O&M specialist since 1990, I applaud and appreciate this important text. Prior to 1990, the vast majority of O&M specialists in the US were primarily English speaking and many Spanish-speaking individuals with vision impairment waited years for an instructor who spoke their language or to access an interpreter. More than two decades have passed since the publication of the first text English/Spanish Basics for Orientation and Mobility Instructors (Foy, 1991) and although there are more bilingual O&M specialists today, there are many more specialists whose first language is English. In 2010, three percent of Hispanics in the US reported a vision disability and it appears that Hispanics develop vision impairment at a higher rate than any other ethnic group in the US (National Eye Institute, 2015). Thus, this text can potentially assist English-speaking O&M specialists provide O&M services to an increasing number of Hispanic people with vision impairment.
Basic Spanish for Orientation and Mobility (2014) is a user-friendly, valuable tool for communicating O&M instruction to students (and their families) who primarily speak Spanish. The text contains six chapters (223 pages) and provides O&M lessons in a sequential step-by-step and side-by-side format in English and Spanish. This format makes reading very fast, comfortable, and easy to understand. It also provides conversational sentences that can be directly used with a student. This book is available in print and download with iBooks on a Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on a computer.
The text includes phrases and O&M terminology needed to convey instruction and easy-to-read vocabulary lists. The chapters commence with an ‘at a glance’ summary briefly listing the topics within the chapter. The six chapters focus on (i) basic O&M skills (ii) basic skills, canes, and cane techniques (iii) residential travel (iv) business travel (v) using public transit (vi) skills for travellers with low vision. There are also translations of specific terms for example, (a) vision, disability, and medical terminology; (b) concept development in O&M (c) and a guide to Spanish that provides information about pronunciation and grammar.
Some of the strengths of this text are that it is succinct and easy to read. In addition, the publication can be easily enlarged for students with low vision; and a braille version can be printed from the electronic text. A limitation, however, is the lack of graphics or photographs to illustrate techniques that would be especially useful for interpreters and families of people with vision impairment.
The editors of this text are leaders in the O&M profession being both technicians and academics. First, Brenda J. Naimy is a certified Orientation and Mobility specialist; and lecturers in the O&M specialist training program, California State University. She is also an appeals specialist for ADA Paratransit Eligibility at Access Services. She has co-authored a number of textbook chapters about O&M assessment and program planning; and services for children and youth; as well as developed online instructional modules.
Second, Matthew William Hogel is also a certified orientation and mobility specialist and low vision therapist. He is a practicing blind rehabilitation therapist at the Blind Rehabilitation Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Juan, Puert Rico. He is on the Board of Directors at the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) where he assisted to edit the first Spanish newsletters. At national and international conference Hogel advocates for increasing the number of Spanish-speaking O&M specialists in the US.
Basic Spanish for Orientation and Mobility: A Phrase Book and Dictionary is an essential resource for O&M instructors, families, and interpreters in their endeavor to provide quality services to Spanish-speaking individuals with vision impairment.