ROaMing with Lil is for people who do their best work on street corners – orientation and mobility specialists, guide dog mobility instructors and people with low vision or blindness. It provides a forum for people to learn more about functional vision, orientation and mobility from an Australian perspective. The first season is focusing on tele-practice, and functional assessment, using the VROOM and OMO tools with clients.
Ep 35 What is ARIA assistive tech? - Robert
Robert Yearsley is CEO of ARIA Research, which stands for Augmented Reality in Audio. ARIA is a new approach to assistive technology being developed with, and for people who are blind. ARIA uses machine learning to turn camera vision into a novel soundscape for the user to interpret during activities of daily living, including orientation and mobility. ARIA is in its early development, and the team is looking for ideas and participation from people with ultra-low vision or blindness, and from O&M specialists. There is opportunity to join in a monthly zoom conversation about assistive technology, and to join in research sessions in Sydney, in person, to test out ideas and prototypes during 2022 and 2023. Get in touch via ariaresearch.com.au
34 O&M pathways to international development - Jo
Jo Webber is a disability inclusion advisor, currently working in Kiribati and Vanuatu. For those interested in international work, Jo challenges us become dual qualified in international development so that we can work with others to create sustainable O&M services in Pacific Island countries.
33 Inventing the Stuart Tactile Maps test - Ian
Orientation is the vital O in O&M and we might assume that everyone can learn orientation, but this is not the case. How can we assess a person’s ability to learn orientation to new places? The Stuart Tactile Maps test is a table top test of spatial cognition that only takes 10 minutes to administer. Everyone does the test wearing a blindfold whether or not they have vision and the test predicts a person’s ability to use mental mapping for orientation. So where did this test come from? In this episode, I’m talking with Dr Ian Stuart about starting out as a neuropsychologist in Melbourne in the 1970s. He developed the Stuart Tactile Maps test as part of his PhD study in the 1980s, working with congenitally blind children and adults with acquired brain injury. Ian has worked with me to make the Stuart Tactile Maps test commercially available for use by O&M specialists. The instruction manual includes plenty of ideas for working with someone who has trouble with mental mapping.
32 The Australian Leadership Paradox - Liz
Happy new year, in late February! In this first episode for 2021, I have a dream... and I’m talking with Liz Skelton, who also has a vision for an equitable and inclusive society where people, place, and planet thrive. In 2013, Liz and co-author Geoff Aigner published a book called The Australian Leadership Paradox. They identify four paradoxes in Australian leadership culture that we need to grapple with if we want to embrace positive change in the low vision and blindness sector.
31 Guide dogs with wheelchairs and complex needs - Lee
Lee Stanway is a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor based in the UK who specialises in tricky dog matches. He works with people who have low vision or blindness and use a wheelchair, or need assistance with tasks around the home, or an epilepsy alert, or help to hear the doorbell, along with the guiding function of the dog.
30 Social navigation in the Pacific islands - Ben
Ben Clare is an inclusive education adviser, scholarship facilitator, and regular visitor to the Pacific Islands, having also lived in the Solomon Islands and Samoa for several years. Ben has no light perception and some spatial challenges, so he has learned to build networks and travel confidently in multiple countries using his long cane and fabulous social navigation skills. Ben is convener of the first online SPEVI conference, 18-19 January 2021.