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Developing Constructivist Measures for Co-Rating the Functional Vision and Mobility of People Who Use a Motorized Mobility Scooter, Bionic Eye, or Guide Dog

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By: Published: 2020 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases: Medicine and Health
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Abstract

Orientation and Mobility specialists work with people who have low vision or blindness, assessing their needs and teaching practical skills for independent travel, including use of aids such as a long cane, motorized mobility scooter, bionic eye, or guide dog. Only 10% of Orientation and Mobility clients are blind. Orientation and Mobility specialists need effective measures to benchmark each client’s functional vision and mobility skills at referral and then measure and compare the outcomes of person-centered training in lived environments. Orientation and Mobility clients bring different experiences, priorities, and needs to their mobility training and want to achieve different things. Objective measures from a standardized eye clinic don’t predict what a person can see and do in dynamic places. Subjective outcome measures need to be substantiated, because people’s opinions on everyday competence differ. Ordinary Orientation and Mobility assessment favors a constructivist approach, building knowledge together about what the client can do, and congruent Orientation and Mobility outcome measures need to use the same approach. This case study describes the process of developing constructivist measures of a person’s functional vision and Orientation and Mobility skills for use in ordinary Orientation and Mobility assessments. The Vision-Related Outcomes in Orientation and Mobility tool and the Orientation and Mobility Outcomes tool are co-designed and co-rated. They embrace the complexity of looking and traveling in everyday places. Retro-scoring these tools with bionic eye recipients and then piloting them with guide dog handlers have confirmed their feasibility and congruence with functional Orientation and Mobility assessment. These constructivist tools also provide a template for developing person-centered outcome measures in other disciplines.

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