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OIB Roundtable Forum - What's Working (or not) with Remote Training

We invite you to participate in a conversation about remote instruction on Friday, August 7, at 2 pm eastern, 1 pm central, noon mountain, and 11 am pacific on this forum page. As we continue to be limited in how much interaction we can have with our consumers, we want to share ideas about what is working and what is not. Discussing our experiences will help us learn about creative solutions. We look forward to a lively discussion and your participation. To participate in the forum, please click any "add a comment" button with any questions or insights you may have about the topic. Our experts will be online for one hour to interact with the discussion. This is a text-only interface if you wish to contact us by phone call 662-325-8243. There is no audio or video.

If you have trouble logging in to your account or cannot access your account, please email Simon Marcy at He can notify you of your user name or edit your password.

Sylvia Perez and Kendra Farrow, from the OIB-TAC, are both experienced certified vision rehabilitation therapists. Their direct service experiences and extensive observations of OIB programs across the country will help them in leading our discussion on providing remote instruction during the COVID 19 outbreak. Feel free to post your questions or ideas on how remote instruction might occur.

Following the live event, our staff will continue to check back periodically to provide any additional information that might be requested.



Malinda Carlson's picture

Was that suggestion made within the group of attendees or by AER or ACVREP? I want to make sure that we aren't stepping out of bounds! We have been working with friends and family members when they are an option but sometimes there isn't anyone. We have purchased "vests" with clear pockets for horizontal facetime and used it successfully with hand picked clients
Melissa 's picture

I would only use walky talky's with certain clients maybe someone more advanced or if you are working on listening and not crossing. and not for beginning street crossings since you have to be there for safety. You really have to know the client to know what they can handle. and document document. I would imagine that liability is and issue with any of this if they used the skills and were not ready. what was suggested is that mobility concepts are okay to teach remote without family members beyond that you get into a grey area.
Melanie Bush's picture

I am in Montana, part of a state program that serves VR & OB clients. Distance learning seems daunting to me as I am very "low tech." Beyond that, most of the OB clients are in their 80's, 90's and even 100's! They may or not be familiar with or have access to distance learning formats. Also, effective internet connections can be a challenge here. As a Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist, I'm looking for "work arounds."
Stephanie Jensen's picture

I don't know about O and M. However, my thought on the rest of it is to try the old fashion telephone. Start small, like the others have said. Explain things as clearly as you can. Be patient.
Adele Crudden's picture

Melanie - I feel your pain. I have had to learn so much tech the last few months my head is spinning. For these older OIB participants, building a strong relationship with them is so important. Perhaps doing that by telephone will give you a means to explore options with them about distance learning formats. Maybe you can learn together how to use one of the online formats.
Sylvia Perez's picture

It is true not everyone has access to "high tech" such as zoom or facetime, but most have a telephone. It's worth giving it a try.
Melissa 's picture

I have been trying to do low vision evals over the phone and send out an eye chart prior to. I have been pretty good about figuring out what mags work best based on what they can read and then mail or drop off mags to them to try. any suggestions on how to make sure they are using them correctly? or for evaluating those individuals with large sctomas?
Kendra Farrow's picture

Maybe you can describe focal distance, for instance, by saying how many fingers should be able to fit between the magnifier and the page, and then something similar about the distance between the magnifier and the eye. Have the client describe how they are using the magnifier and what problems they are having. Sometimes you can figure it out from the description. For instance if they say the image is upside down, that means they need to move their head closer to the magnifier.
Karen Ryan Hatcher's picture

Thanks for the tips and info on remote OM! I will pass these along to our OM team. COVID has made it really difficult for them, more so than all of our teams.
Catherine Hultman's picture

OIB-TAC has many resources related to remote training. If you have found any of these resources to be of particular assistance, please share which one and how it was helpful to you. You can access our website here
Simon Marcy's picture

Here is a direct link to our remote training resources page.
Annely Rose's picture

I am teaching braille over the phone and I find it interesting. When in person, I used golf balls in a wooden holder that keeps them positioned correctly along with a 3-ring binder of lessons. The golf balls and binder were delivered to the person. The first lesson it was explained how to position the golf balls and the layout of the braille cell. Now I am describing where the golf balls are placed in the cell for each letter that is being introduced. Then I have the student tell me where they have placed the balls for each lesson using the dot positions. I am finding this very doable. The challenge, I think, will be to teach how to use the Perkins Brailler over the phone. Any thoughts or ideas?
Stephanie Jensen's picture

I wonder if Hadley might have some ideas. Their instruction is entirely remote.
Simon Marcy's picture

Thank you for coming to our live forum! We will be answering questions over the next couple of days. Please visit our remote training resources page and check out the rest of our site. We have tons of information that you may find useful!
Teddy Kern's picture

As part of a remote falls prevention program, I've been teaching simple weekly exercise, healthy breathing and balance classes on Zoom forum as well as individual telephone instruction to OIB who have no Zoom access. As an OT in Vision rehab, and dancer, I have background in movement. Clients who participated have loved it and reported improvement in balance awareness, mobility and breathing. It's not formalized, no link I can offer. Just an idea. And I agree, whether it's teaching RT skills or balance, for O&M, clarity of language is imperative.
Stephanie Jensen's picture

I have heard about balance and falls prevention classes for seniors. I think what you are doing probably adds to that. Every little thing helps.
Mark Armstrong's picture

Thank you for your comments. Because Zoom is a visual App, individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can use an Interpreter for access to speech. One point to note is the the Interpreter needs to be seen on screen when anyone is speaking. Also, switching Interpreters every 20 minutes is recommended.
Stephanie Jensen's picture

I think Jonathan's allowing his learners to discover what to do shows adult learning theory. The concept really is more important than the term. The discovery is important. Sometimes children learn this way. The discovery is important sighted or not.