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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.
- 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).
- 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
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.
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.
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.