We join Dr Sandra Rosen in welcoming you to the second volume of the IJOM. Our website is at www.ijorientationandmobility.com The journal results from recognition of the need for a publication that specialises in orientation and mobility (O&M) and that contributes to the communication of a range of developments, issues, analyses, philosophies and technologies among professionals. Through this journal, we in the O&M profession are enabled to reflect on many new ideas and skill-related areas that can enhance our practice.

Our editorial board welcomes submissions of original research, as well as essays, conceptual papers, innovative practice reports, evaluations, case studies, policy analyses, commentaries and debate on a wide variety of issues and topics related to the O&M of people who are blind or vision impaired.

It is important to acknowledge the organisations and individuals without whom this journal would not be possible. First, the RIDBC Renwick Centre, affiliated with the University of Newcastle, Australia, which will celebrate its 150th anniversary next year, and Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, Australia both of whom sponsor its production. Thanks as well, to some of the World’s finest professionals; academics and leaders in O&M who generously provide direction to the editors and comprise our Editorial Advisory Panel: Dr Bruce Blasch, Dr Nora Griffin-Shirley, Dr Susanne Grünberger, Dr Kathleen Mary Huebner, Dr Steve La Grow, Dr Nurit Neustadt-Noy, and Dr Sandra Rosen. Appreciation is also extended to our team of peer reviewers who play an essential role in selecting manuscripts from the many submitted, that we publish. Finally, our thanks is extended to the contributing authors who are committed to what they do, and believe in their professional responsibility to submit their work to the blind peer review process that underpins our quality control.

Together we work in a wide array of countries and communities, and with clients of all ages and from all ethnic backgrounds. Our many contributors; whether advisors, reviewers or authors, offer a wealth of experience, skills and ideas. We are all at times faced with similar O&M scenarios and experiences (though each is unique), that result largely from the cultural, environmental and societal influences that affect the ways we are able to work. Thus it becomes our responsibility, as individuals and collectively, to share our talent and experience so that we continue to lay the foundation of learning for those who will succeed us. It is our duty as O&M professionals to build upon what we already know, and to strive for improved practice, so that our profession continues to develop.

As mentioned by Dr Rosen, this second volume presents a variety of interesting topics, intended to benefit our readers. Dominant are articles that consider the practical applications of various technologies to increase the efficiency of movement and orientation. The lead article by Salisbury, Naghshineh and Wiener investigates aspects of the PING audio navigation system with the goal of identifying sounds that perform best for navigability, localisation, recognition and likeability. From this study, further sound recommendations are made for the PING library, as well as the identification of common characteristics that might aid in selecting future sounds for the library.

The SoundFlash is another audio navigation system that is investigated by Herlache, Baldwin, Card, Graham, Roberts, and Santoya. Specifically, the SoundFlash is an electronic echolocation device and its effectiveness in identifying and locating objects in the environment is considered.

The long cane was, of course, the predecessor to all technologies. However, is the long cane enough? It seems important then, that Penrod, Simmons, Bauder, and Brostek Lee examines the performance and speed of the long cane user to detect obstacles and conditions in the environment, then compare this performance with the users ability to detect the same conditions though with a variety of aids being used together. That is, the long cane being used as the primary aid and the Electronic Travel Aid (ETA) as the secondary aid.

Global Positioning Systems (GPS) are becoming increasing popular as mobility aids. Riessen, Ryan, and Battista consider an agency’s approach to exposing and training clients to use these aids and review the advantages and limitations of model varieties. Similarly, Doobov reviews adapted GPS such as the BrailleNote, Trekker, Trekker Breeze and Wayfinder Access and considers their applicability for older users. Doobov reminds stakeholders that technology maintains its usefulness only when it can be used effectively by clients.

Adapting mobility aids in response to client’s preferences is discussed by Borkowski when considering the evolution of the mobility cane. Borkowski considers the role and style of the long cane in the 21st Century. As appropriately questioned by Borkowski, is the current role of the long cane to identify vision impairment? Need it be highly visible? Is it more important, if desired by the client, for the cane to be ‘funky and fashionable’, rather than merely functional?

The importance of client-centred considerations is emphasised by Lloyd, Claire Budge, Stafford and La Grow. The author’s focus group discussion approach, investigating factors important for achieving and maintaining a successful partnership between the guide dog handler and guide dog, identified eight central themes important to the partnership.

Readers will observe that authors present a variety of topics and perspectives, innovative practices, and potentially transformational ideas. This is the hard core that catalyses the evolution of a profession that must keep pace with our clients’ expectations in a progressively developing world.

Zeitrahmen der Veröffentlichung:
Volume Open
Fachgebiete der Zeitschrift:
Medizin, Klinische Medizin, Physikalische und rehabilitative Medizin