We join Dr. Barbara Blasch in welcoming you to IJOM’s sixth volume. Barbara’s reflections on the development and progress of O&M training in the U.S., that impacted many countries of the world, reflects the progress, innovation, and progressive ideas that continue today. They are represented in this volume.

Innovation and ‘exploring all options’ in the O&M profession was the theme of the recent AER, O&M Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, in December 2013. Delegates from many parts of the world attended and many of the presentations on offer were certainly based on thinking ‘outside the square’. These presentations were exciting, suggesting that O&M, as a relatively young profession, has limitless potential for innovation as professionals seem prepared to explore new ideas and alternative ways forward. As advertised in this volume, we look forward to the International Mobility Conference (IMC) 15 in Montreal, Canada, July 2015 and we are keen to share with our readers innovative and exciting ideas from this conference in IJOM Volume 7.

In this volume, the lead article by Lloyd and Roe exemplifies innovation in their detailed description of the Tellington TTouch method and the way this method could be used as an adjunct to traditional guide dog training. As suggested by the authors, this method could be used to reduce stress in guide dogs in order to enhance the dogs learning. Reduced stress in guide dogs is a highly beneficial outcome given that dogs from a majority of guide dog schools are sometimes withdrawn either from training or after having qualified, because of anxiety-related issues.

In the same vein, La Grow, Ebrahim, and Towers pilot their mobility questionnaire to determine its potential use as an outcome measure for O&M instruction. In particular they assess the tool’s reliability, validity, and sensitivity. Further, Hong and Smyth propose a creative O&M early intervention solution for families living in rural and isolated regions. These sorts of regions often experience a shortage of O&M specialists, thus, the authors propose that teleintervention using telecommunication technology, might be an efficient way to provide O&M coaching and consultation from a distance.

Exploring solutions to problems was considered by Yamamoto, Hart, Matsumoto, Ohta, and Ohtani when investigating the effectiveness of targeted information programs about guide dogs to people with vision impairment and thereby increase the number of guide dog users. In Japan, the take-up rate of guide dogs as a mobility tool compared with other countries is relatively small. The authors suggest that the small number of guide dog users in Japan might be a result of cultural aspects related to negative attitudes to dogs, as well as their previous strategies to promote the guide dog as a mobility tool. Their investigation reveals interesting information on targeting people with vision impairment about guide dogs.

Progressive ideas and developments appear in articles by Deverell, Scott, Battista, and Hill; as well as Blasch and Gallimore. Deverell et al., provide an insightful rationale and description of the recent ratification of the O&M Association of Australasia (OMAA) Quality Framework for the O&M profession including a Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. This Quality Framework took four years to develop. It was a joint collaboration between professionals in Australia and New Zealand. Further, Blasch and Gallimore discuss the development of O&M training with reference to the U.S., and Australia. In particular, the authors discuss and provide a persuasive rationale for the expansion of O&M training to include people with sight who have mobility needs.

The expansion of O&M service is also considered by Taylor. She considers the ways O&M specialists might assist to predict and reduce falls in an Australian-based elderly population with vision impairment. Taylor reviews three falls assessment tools that predict an individual’s risk of falling and suggests that one tool in particular could be easily implemented by O&M specialists to provide a basis for a falls prevention program. Finally, Bosman examines current research relating to ocular toxoplasmosis which is due to one of the world’s most common parasites. She also discusses the implications of toxoplasmosis for O&M training, and supports her proposition with two case studies.

We hope you enjoy this volume and encourage you to submit papers about innovative O&M ideas, practice descriptions, research, policy analyses, and concepts. Your published work helps form a solid foundation upon which others can build that adds to the progression of our profession.

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