Professional relationships, affiliations and networks help to define our sense of professional identity.
Guide Dogs Victoria has shaped me as an O&M specialist, with a commitment to person-centred practice, curiosity about low vision, awareness that spatial cognition affects everyday choices, that initiative is productive, and good management is collaborative.
I am a member of the Orientation and Mobility Association of Australasia (OMAA) and a Registered O&M Specialist in Australasia (ROMSA).
I am an active executive officer. I chair the OMAA Professional Standards Committee, working with an enthusiastic group that is keen to advance the O&M profession.
ACVREP – COMS
I am a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS) through the ACVREP program in the USA. This program has been adopted by the OMAA as the benchmark for O&M professional qualifications and registration in Australia and New Zealand.
I am also a member of the COMS subject matter expert (SME) committee, which writes, maintains and monitors the COMS professional standards and exam. The COMS program is becoming more internationally accessible by having voices from Australia and New Zealand on the SME Committee.
Conferences provide me with professional development, new O&M connections, a platform to test ideas and collect data, and a place to share my own learnings with others. I attend some conferences ad hoc, but I regularly attend
- Australasian O&M Conferences
- International Mobility Conferences
- South Pacific Educators of Vision Impaired (SPEVI) Conferences
Locally, I participate in several research networks, including
- Qualitative Interest Group at RMIT – meets once a month in the Melbourne CBD
- Vision Impact Research Group (VIRG) – meets online 3-4 times a year, includes research students with low vision or blindness, investigating any topic; research students with any vision investigating some aspect of low vision or blindness; and experienced researchers interested in the functional impact of low vision or blindness.
I maintain my affiliation with the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER)