5.11.2 Qualifications and Requirements of O&M Providers

Education, Training, and Experience

The O&M contractor must ensure that each person approved to provide O&M services to DBS consumers under its contract meets one of the following requirements.

  1. The provider is certified by either the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP) or the National Blindness Professional Certification Board (NBPCB).
  2. The provider is not certified at the start of the contract, but he or she
    • has a degree in O&M from an accredited college or university with an established O&M training curriculum and will be certified within one year of the contract date by ACVREP or NBPCB; or
    • has at least two years' full-time work experience teaching O&M skills for an entity DBS recognizes, such as a rehabilitation center, VA hospital, or educational system; and also
      • has three professional references indicating the person's ability to teach O&M skills to blind or visually impaired people, and
      • will be certified within one year of the contract date by ACVREP or NBPCB.

To continue contracting services with DBS, all O&M service providers under the contract must maintain ACVREP or NBPCB certification.


Required Texas Confidence Builders Training

(Revised 4/07, 11/10)

In addition to meeting the education, training, and experience requirements described above, all prospective O&M providers must successfully complete the DBS Texas Confidence Builders Training before becoming providers. Texas Confidence Builders Training is offered quarterly in Austin and is a two- or three-day training program. Each provider is responsible for all costs related to training attendance.

Additional training may be provided by the DBS O&M consultant if necessary or requested by the O&M provider.


Recommended Blindfold Travel Activities

(Revised 11/10)

O&M providers are encouraged to complete a minimum of 20 hours of blindfold travel per fiscal year and submit a detailed statement describing each travel activity completed and the number of hours achieved per activity. This ensures that an O&M provider

  • practices his or her own independent travel skills,
  • provides effective role modeling, and
  • promotes independent travel as a confidence-building tool for consumers.

Examples of acceptable blindfold travel activities include traveling around a city block, sidewalk travel on an L-shaped sidewalk route, traveling to the grocery store, and exploring a new neighborhood.

DBS recommends that the O&M providers create a report like the sample O&M Provider's Independent Travel Activity Report. Each O&M provider sends a copy of the provider's blindfold travel activity statement to

  • the consumer procurement manager for DBS, and
  • the designated O&M consultant for DBS.


Internship Requirements

O&M providers using interns to work with DBS consumers must

  • have an established contract with DBS to provide O&M services to consumers;
  • submit to DBS a DARS2871, Contract Service Provider Staff Information Sheet for all interns (indicate intern under position title);
  • observe a minimum of 12 lessons during the internship. Document these observations on a DARS2922, Weekly Internship Observation: Orientation and Mobility and submit it monthly to the regional program support specialist; and
  • submit a DARS2923, Orientation and Mobility: Internship Performance Evaluation to the regional program support manager within 35 days of the completion of the internship.

O&M interns must

  • attend Texas Confidence Builders Training in Austin or other approved training with the DBS O&M consultant before working with DBS consumers. The intern is responsible for all expenses related to the training;
  • be supervised by an approved DBS-certified O&M provider for the duration of the internship;
  • be observed by a DBS-certified O&M provider for a minimum of 12 lessons during the internship;
  • follow all DBS standards; and
  • sign and forward reports to the supervising O&M provider for his or her approval.


Provider Authorization

Providers must not provide services without a service authorization and/or purchase order. DBS does not reimburse for costs or pay for services provided before the date on the service authorization and/or purchase order.