What is a Orientation & Mobility Specialist?

A Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS), is a highly trained expert who specializes in working with individuals who are blind, have low vision or who have functional visual limitations, and help them learn to travel safely, confidently, and independently in their everyday life. 

Orientational & Mobility Specialists empower individuals with visual impairments to navigate their environment safely and independently. These specialists play a crucial role in enhancing the quality of life for individuals who are blind or visually impaired by teaching them essential skills and strategies for orientation (understanding their location) and mobility (moving around effectively). 

Orientational and Mobility Specialists assess their clients’ unique needs, design personalized training programs, and utilize various techniques and tools to help individuals confidently travel through busy streets, public transportation systems, and indoor spaces. By creating self-reliance and spatial awareness, Orientation and Mobility Specialists empower their clients to participate actively in their communities and lead fulfilling, independent lives.

Orientation & Mobility Specialist Jobs

How to Start your Orientation and Mobility Specialist Journey

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in any field

Step 2: Earn a Master’s Degree in Orientation and Mobility

Step 3: Fieldwork 

  • Earn 60 hours of practicum 
  • Earn 600 hours in an internship

Step 4: Take and pass the Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS) Certification

  • This certification allows you to work nationally and you are not currently required to obtain a Michigan state license

Scholarships & Grants

Michigan Reconnect is a scholarship program that pays you to attend your in-district community college tuition free or pays up to the in-district rate if you attend a community college where you’re considered out-of-district. Applicants must be 25 years old to apply.

Ensures all eligible Detroit residents have a tuition-free path to a degree. The student should check with the school to ensure their degree is pell-eligible. This scholarship cannot cover programs that are not Pell-eligible. Detroit Promise funding is not competitive; every student who registers and meets the requirements will receive funding if their college determines they have an eligible funding gap.

Need help paying for college? Fill out the FAFSA – Federal Student Aid – form each year in October, and you may qualify for loans to help cover college tuition.

Free College Opportunities

Dual Enrollment & Early Middle College Options for High School Students

Dual Enrollment Allows students to earn college credit (up to 10 courses) while in High School at no cost between 9th-12th grade. The classes that students are eligible for must not be offered by the high school or PSA and must lead towards postsecondary credit, accreditation, certification, and/or licensing. 

How to apply – Students are to talk with their high school advisor on eligibility, application, deadlines, and college course options.

Early Middle College (EMC) is a Michigan Department of Education approved five-year program of study.

EMCs work closely with certain colleges to provide students with an opportunity earn a high school diploma and one or more of the following:

  • 60 transferable college credits
  • An associate degree
  • A professional certification
  • The Michigan Early Middle College Association (MEMCA) technical certificate
  • Participation in a registered apprenticeship

Michigan List of EMC’s

Volunteer to Gain More Experience!

Get hands-on experience and find a classroom near you that is in need of a volunteer!

Job Shadowing

To participate in a job shadow, reach out to a school district and request to job shadow an Orientational Mobility Specialist for a day.

Each school district has their own policy when it comes to job shadowing, but you may need a State ID or a driver’s license to participate.

College Program Information

Click a point on the map to find degree programs, scholarships, grants, and organizations to join!

Questions About Your Educator Journey?