Related Services Department

Here at The Ohio State School for the Blind we provide a wide range of services for our students. Services include, Orientation and Mobility, Student Health Services, Weekly Eye Clinic, Physical Therapy, Counseling, and Speech Therapy. Visit each respective page to learn more about each of our Related Services.

Orientation and Mobility

The goal of Orientation and Mobility (O&M) at the Ohio State School for the Blind,, "to provide a sequence of multi-sensory experiences so students can master the skills and develop 'real world' concepts necessary for their growth and maturation. These will gradually allow pupils to take responsibility for their own safety and cope with the life-long challenge of traveling independently, with limited or no sight in an ever-changing set of environments."

The teaching of O&M skills necessary to become a safe and independent traveler requires a great deal of instructional time and it necessitates a one-to-one student/instructor ratio. Instruction is best when spread out over the educational career of a student, beginning in the early elementary years and continuing through high school. Being able to travel independently is a key element in the employment of persons who are blind or visually impaired. All lessons are geared towards the individualized needs of each student, as indicated in the individualized education plan (IEP), with careful consideration given to long-term outcomes.

The O&M staff at OSSB is currently comprised of three ACVREP Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists and one Activity Therapist. These four individuals serve the entire student population in various capacities. Early elementary and students with multiple impairments receive a variety of sensory stimulation and pre-mobility activities in both group and one-to-one settings with our activity therapist. The independent travel phase of instruction is provided by the O&M instructors in typical residential, small and medium business areas, rural areas and complex downtown business districts, including the use of public transportation.

For more information please contact the Orientation and Mobility Staff:

Phil Northrop
Michelle Johnson
Rachel Smith
Shelley McCoy
Mary Swartwout

Eye Clinic

Dr. Greg Hopkins PictureWe are outfitted to perceive, preserve, and optimize the visual function of students with diverse visual abilities in order to improve their eye care and educational outcomes.

– Dr. Greg Hopkins
Low Vision Optometrist

Eyeglasses Object CueIn partnership with The Ohio State University College of Optometry, The OSSB Eye Clinic runs on a weekly basis during the school year. We are responsible for monitoring the basic eye care needs of the children who attend the Ohio State School for the Blind (OSSB). Additionally, we help identify children who would be expected to benefit from subspecialty services through low vision evaluation, prosthetics fitting, or ophthalmic specialist referrals. Our goals are to ensure that treatable conditions are adequately addressed so that OSSB students may have the most usable vision possible—both in the short and long-term—and so that we may ensure optimal ocular comfort. This often involves specialized testing techniques (low acuity or preferential looking testing, lens bar retinoscopy, trial frame refraction, reading assessment, kinetic perimetry, etc.) to properly assess significantly reduced acuity, contrast sensitivity, or visual fields. We have extensive experience performing these measurements even in the context of concurrent developmental or cognitive impairment. We strive to provide comprehensive eye examinations, refine diagnoses, and provide treatment for secondary conditions, such as infections and glaucoma.

Goldmann PerimetryThe OSU College of Optometry provides the faculty and student extern staffing to conduct the evaluations, and OSSB provides the funding to support clinical operations. We perform regular exams (may include dilating eye drops) on most of the children in addition to glasses fitting/dispensing/repair. If glasses are prescribed, we recommend durable frames and shatter-resistant lenses. Our clinicians write summary letters or other reports to the child’s guardians, school, doctors, or therapists explaining any ocular conditions and the functional impacts they may have. We also serve as consultants regarding patient’s ocular health status and visual function recommendations that can impact a child's performance over the course of the school day as they work to realize their unique potential.

Exam Room Exam Desk

Optometric externs (or trainees from related disciplines) may gain experience with a wide range of serious ocular conditions, such as retinopathy of prematurity, optic nerve hypoplasia, optic atrophy, cortical visual impairment, congenital cataract, pediatric aphakia, coloboma, aniridia, retinoblastoma, sydnromic retinitis pigmentosa, and Stickler’s syndrome to name a few. Externs also gain experience in examining autistic and developmentally impaired children. Additionally, there is the possibility of conjunctivitis, including infections around and behind prosthetic eyes, and a moderately high prevalence of juvenile glaucoma.

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