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U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans

Orientation and mobility services (Sec. 300.34(c)(7))

Comment: Several commenters supported including travel training in the definition of orientation and mobility services and recommended adding a reference to the definition of travel training in new Sec. 300.39(b)(4) (proposed Sec. 300.38(b)(4)). However, other commenters stated that travel training should appear as a distinct related service and should not be included in the definition of orientation and mobility services because children who are blind and visually impaired receive this type of instruction from certified orientation and mobility specialists. One commenter stated that the regulations should specify that travel training is for children with cognitive or other disabilities.

Discussion: We believe that including travel training in the definition of orientation and mobility services may be misinterpreted to mean that travel training is available only for children who are blind or visually impaired or that travel training is the same as orientation and mobility services. We will, therefore, remove travel training from Sec. 300.34(c)(7). This change, however, does not diminish the services that are available to children who are blind or visually impaired.

Travel training is defined in new Sec. 300.39(b)(4) (proposed Sec. 300.38(b)(4)) for children with significant cognitive disabilities and any other children with disabilities who require this instruction, and, therefore, would be available for children who are blind or visually impaired, as determined by the child's IEP Team. Travel training is not the same as orientation and mobility services and is not intended to take the place of appropriate orientation and mobility services.

Changes: We have removed "travel training instruction" from Sec. 300.34(c)(7)(ii) to avoid confusion with the definition of travel training in new Sec. 300.39(b)(4) (proposed Sec. 300.38(b)(4)), and to clarify that travel training is not the same as orientation and mobility services and cannot take the place of appropriate orientation and mobility services.

Comment: One commenter recommended that the regulations specify who is qualified to provide travel training instruction and stated that it is critical that skills such as street crossing be taught correctly.

Discussion: Section 300.156, consistent with section 612(a)(14) of the Act, requires each State to establish personnel qualifications to ensure that personnel necessary to carry out the purposes of the Act are appropriately and adequately prepared and trained and have the content knowledge and skills to serve children with disabilities. It is, therefore, the State's responsibility to determine the qualifications that are necessary to provide travel training instruction.

Changes: None.