AER Events

Listings with links for upcoming events for State Chapters and Divisions

Orientation and Mobility Online Symposium, 2023

January 25-27, 2023

TX AER Conference 2023, Pathways and Perspectives

March 23-25, 2023 in Denton, TX

IMC 18, International Orientation and Mobility Conference

May 22-26, 2023 in Warsaw, Poland


2022 AER Biennial International Conference

It's now been four years since we were able to meet in person for an AER International Conference. We will finally be able to meet together again for lots of wonderful professional development, networking, recognizing leaders in the field, and so much more!

The conference will be held July 20-24 in St. Louis, MO at the Union Station Hotel. You can find out more and register on the 2022 AER Biennial International Conference webpage

Conference logo with St. Louis Arch, colorful groupings of human figures, and the dates of the conference

Posted 2022-06-02

2022 Blasch Scholarship Winners

AER Orientation and Mobility Division is very excited to recognize the winners of the 2022 Scholarship. Congratulations to Annalee Folsom and Jill Peterson!

Annalee Folsom

2022 Blasch Scholarship winner from Texas Tech University (TTU)

photograph of Annalee Folsom

Annalee Folsom is a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments for Comal I.S.D. She has been an educator for 16 years and is currently enrolled as a graduate student at Texas Tech University. Annalee is working towards her Master’s Degree in Special Education with a concentration in Visual Impairment. She recently completed an orientation and mobility certification program at Texas Tech University because she is committed to providing the best service possible to her students, who inspire her daily. Annalee lives in San Antonio. During her free time, she enjoys reading and spending time with her family.

Jill Peterson

2022 Blasch Scholarship winner from Portland State University (PSU)

photograph of Jill Peterson

Jill Peterson is a teacher of students with visual impairments (TSVI) in Chehalis, WA. She and her husband Jeff enjoy spending time with their dog Trudy, three cats, and three chickens. Jill has two grown children, Jace and Josie, who are both teachers in Chehalis.

In 2003, Jill began her career in the vision field as a braille transcriber. Seven years later, Jill enrolled at Portland State University (PSU) to become a TSVI and obtain her Master's degree. Jill recently returned to PSU to complete the Orientation and Mobility (O&M) program.

Posted 2022-06-03

2021 Blasch Scholarship Winners

AER Orientation and Mobility Division is very excited to recognize the winners of the 2021 Scholarship. Congratulations to Lindsey Thompson and Tina Johnson!

Lindsey Thompson

2021 Blasch Scholarship winner from University of Pittsburgh

photograph of Lindsey Thompson

As cliché as it is, independence would be the reason as to why I chose the field of orientation and mobility. For the visually impaired community, some of their biggest achievements of independence are what come so naturally to those with typical vision. These can include but are not limited to traveling to the bathroom by yourself, receiving your own lunch tray in the cafeteria, and even to utilize all the rooms within your household. Without the field of orientation and mobility, the visually impaired community may never be able to achieve independence.

I am provided with immense satisfaction when my students grasp a new concept that they believed without a doubt they may never be able to do. Whether they have these doubts because of others or their own self, I am determined to ensure they no longer view them as closed doors, but more so as just obstacles.

Tina Johnson

2021 Blasch Scholarship winner from Portland State University

photograph of Tina Johnson

I had not intended on adding more certifications to my professional resume, but there is a great need for Orientation and Mobility services in the northern, rural areas of Idaho. Being an Orientation and Mobility Specialist give me greater influence and credibility for addressing a healthier lifestyle that includes sports, physical fitness and higher expectations of independent travel for the students or clients that I work with. I want to create an awareness for the public that those with low or no vision are not amazing people because they can travel independently but are people with amazing abilities beyond their travel skills.

Posted 2021-05-04

Survey on Contract O&M Pay Rates

From the Orientation and Mobility Specialist Association (OMSA)

We recently sent out an invitation to participate in a survey of individuals providing O&M service through contracting. In order to include as many participants as possible, we are extending the survey for another two weeks. The survey will close on April 14th.

We also want to provide further clarification about issues which have surfaced:

The term portal to portal is defined as travel from home to the location of the learner and back. The survey wants to know if you are paid an amount to cover travel or are paid according to the mileage that you travel.

If you are provided different payment rates for service in different geographical areas, you can pick the most common rate you receive or you can complete the survey an additional time for each rate that you receive. If we receive a large enough sample of respondents, we will make the results of the survey available through presentations and through publication.

OMSA Survey on Contract O&M Pay Rates

Thank you!

Susan Langendonk, COMS, Orientation and Mobility Specialist Association, susanlangendonk@gmail.com

Robert Wall Emerson, PhD, COMS, Western Michigan University

William Wiener, PhD, COMS, North Carolina Central University

JoAnne Chalom, COMS, AER Orientation and Mobility Division

Rikilynn Layher, COMS, Saginaw Intermediate School District, MI

Posted 2021-03-22


Application opens February 1, 2021

AER’s O&M Division sponsors an annual scholarship competition for students enrolled in AER accredited O&M programs. The scholarship recognizes the vital contributions of the late Donald Blasch to the profession of O&M during his long tenure at Western Michigan University.

Individuals selected for the scholarship receive an unrestricted award of $1,000.00. Two scholarships are awarded each year (depending on availability of funds).


All O&M students enrolled in AER-accredited programs are encouraged to apply. You can download the scholarship application by using the following link, 2021 Blasch Application Form

Posted 2021-01-25

Virtual Division Business Meeting, Awards Ceremony, and Remote Instruction Discussion

Dear O&M Division Members,

AER Orientation and Mobility Division will be hosting an online event to allow for a division business meeting, division awards event, and a division discussion meeting related to developing remote instruction standard; this online event is in lieu of meeting in person as would have happened at the 2020 International Conference. The event will occur on August 8th and will begin with the Division Business Meeting at 6:00 p.m. (Eastern), followed by the Awards Ceremony at 7:15 p.m. (Eastern), and then 8:30 p.m. for the discussion meeting on developing remote instruction standards. More information will be coming soon; just wanted to give everyone an opportunity to save the date on their calendars. The plan is to record the event so that if you are not able to attend on the actual day of the event, you will be able to view at a later date.

Please use the E-mail from AER for the connection details; removed from post to hopefully safeguard the event from "Zoombombing".

Thank you and looking forward to gathering with everyone virtually in August!

Posted 2020-07-23

Bill of Rights for All Children with Visual Impairments and Their Families

Paul Olson prepared a Bill of Rights that has now been adopted and endorsed by AER and Council of Schools for the Blind (COSB). This is a terrific document to share with the teams you work with, and will also be helpful for advocacy efforts. You can read and download the Bill of Rights at Bill of Rights document

Posted 2019-06-11

O&M Scope of Practice, Approved Version

The Scope of Practice document for Orientation and Mobility has been updated to include items shared in suggestions and comments.

Download the final, approved version of the O&M Scope of Practice O&M Scope of Practice Final Approved Version.

Posted 2018-07-06 (updated 2020-10-21 to include approved version)

O&M Scope of Practice!

We have been working on an O&M Scope of Practice paper to more clearly define what we do as professionals. I wanted to ask for professionals in the field to provide input and feedback on the draft of the attached document.

The paper is meant to serve the multiple purposes for multiple different audiences and a 2-3 page executive summary will also be created from the most important content in the longer version.

We will be hosting a conference call March 29th at 6:30 PM EST if you would like to discuss the document in more detail. Contact the Division Chair at jkaiser@uscupstate for more details.

Please email your feedback as well by April 9th!

Download the draft of the O&M Scope of Practice O&M Scope of Practice Final Draft.

Posted 2018-03-11

Donald Blasch Scholarship

The Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Division of AER is now accepting applications for the 2018 Donald Blasch Scholarship. AER's O&M Division sponsors an annual scholarship competition for students enrolled in AER approved O&M programs. The scholarship recognizes the vital contributions of the late Donald Blasch to the profession of O&M during his long tenure at Western Michigan University.

Individuals selected for the scholarship receive an unrestricted award of $1,000.00. Two scholarships are awarded each year (depending on availability of funds).

The deadline for receiving applications for the Blasch Scholarship Is March 15th, 2018.

All O&M students enrolled in AER-approved programs are encouraged to apply. Here is a link to download the Donald Blasch Scholarship application.

The deadline for receiving applications for the Blasch Scholarship Is March 15th, 2018.

If you have any questions, please contact Susan Langendonk at susanlangendonk@gmail.com.

Posted 2018-02-03

Time for Nominations!

The O&M Division needs you! Do you have friends, a spouse, a significant other, children, nieces/nephews, siblings, or elderly parents/relatives? Maybe you are new to the field or have been here for a while. Possibly you are employed full time, part time, or retired. If so, like all the current O&M Board Members, your lives are as busy as ours. Being too busy isn’t an excuse for not getting involved in our professional organization. If we want the O&M Division to grow and the profession to prosper, we need to address issues which impact our jobs, professions and the individuals we serve. We desire for every member to consider taking an active role in our division. All members who are AER and O&M Division Members are eligible to run for these leadership positions. This means YOU! We can’t talk to everyone, so please consider this as us, asking you personally to consider running for a position.

Positions up for election in 2018 are:

Chair-Elect: 2-year terms as Chair-Elect, Chair, and Past-Chair total 6 year commitment

6 District Director Positions: 2-year term (July 2018-July 2020)

DISTRICT 1: Alaska, Alberta, Arizona, British Columbia, Colorado, Hawaii, New Mexico, California, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Northwest Territories, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Yukon Territories.

DISTRICT 2: Arkansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Manitoba, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Saskatchewan, Texas

DISTRICT 3: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ontario and Wisconsin.

DISTRICT 4: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, New Hampshire, New York, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Rhode Island, Vermont

DISTRICT 5: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Puerto Rico, Tennessee

DISTRICT 6: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virgin Islands, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington D.C.

Secretary: 2-year term (July 2018-July 2020)

Treasurer: 2-year term (July 2018-July 2020)

You can download a Nomination Application for submitting a nomination; the application includes more information for each position. If you have questions about any position, please contact any nominating committee member or the current member holding the position:

Jen Breitinger: markcarter1211@gmail.com

Mark Carter: markcarter1211@gmail.com

Erica Ihrke: EIhrke@leaderdog.org

Meg Robertson: Mobilitymeg@aol.com

Mary Ball-Swartwout: maryswartwout@gmail.com

Posted 2017-11-02

3D Pen Watercooler/Webinar

Webinar Topic: "3-D Pen"

Presenter: Nick Leon

When: August 30th, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. Eastern

Emerging 3D technology is providing new ways to create tactile diagrams and 3D pens are an effective and affordable tool to efficiently produce simple tactile maps. The purpose of this webinar is to allow professionals to learn about how they can use the technology in their work with learners who are blind and visually impaired so they can access map information. You will be able to ask questions and share strategies as part of this webinar. This will be a 60 minute webinar, but don't worry! If you cannot participate in the live session, you can download the audio file from the O&M Division website. Additional resources will be posted regarding using a 3-D pen that can be downloaded before, during, or after the webinar. ACVREP CE Hour(s) will be awarded to those who participate in the live webinar; and complete and submit the attached form.

Please click here for the 3-D Pen handouts. The handouts are also located on the O&M Division Page under the heading '3-D Pen Webinar.'

Please click here for the CE form.

To participate, please dial: 412-380-2000 (U.S. & Canada) and enter code: 9053252#

Posted 2017-08-30

AER Orientation and Mobility Division Strategic Plan Webinar and Business Meeting

There will be a business meeting at the AER International O&M Conference in Pittsburgh on July 19th at 5:30pm. At the meeting, the Strategic Plan will be introduced to attendees. In preparation for the meeting, a webinar has been scheduled to solicit feedback on the draft of the strategic plan. The draft strategic plan can be downloaded at "Draft Strategic Plan". The webinar on the plan is scheduled for July 11th at 6:00pm EST; the call in information is...

Conference Line Number: 712-451-0200

Guest Code: 742477#

The agenda for the 2017 Division Business Meeting that will occur at the conference can be downloaded at "2017 Agenda". And, draft minutes from the 2016 Divison Business Meeting can be downloaded at "2016 Draft Minutes"


Posted 2017-07-07

Donald Blasch Scholarship application for 2017

Winners of the 2017 Donald Blasch Scholarship will be announced at the Division Business Meeting on July 19th in Pittsburgh, PA as part of the Orientation and Mobility Conference.

Posted 2017-07-07

2017 AER International Orientation and Mobility Conference and Meeting in Pittsburgh, PA

The AER International Orientation & Mobility Conference and Meeting 2017 registration opens February 13, 2017, and the conference itself will July 19-22, 2017. The 2017 Division Confernece will be held at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh "where the city’s famed three rivers meet in the heart of downtown." To learn more, check out the information on the AERBVI Conference page at, AER Orientation and Mobility Conference, 2017.

Posted 2017-02-09


AER Orientation and Mobility Division pages on the AERBVI Website

The AERBVI Website is the place to visit to access all your benefits of membership! You can access Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness articles, position papers many divisions, find out about upcoming professional development opportunities, and more. Check it out!

LiveBinders O&M Shelf

Orientation and Mobility Resources in LiveBinders

O&M Division on Facebook

Find out what is happening in the field of Orientation and Mobility on the Division's Facebook page. And, you can tag us using @aeromdivision

O&M Division on Twitter

You can keep up with news, announcements, and information via Twitter too; @aeromdivision.