In 1993, I became a doctoral student at Vanderbilt University, Peabody College. I went there to study orientation and mobility (O&M) under the esteemed Professor Everett Hill. Professor Hill was a pioneer in preschool O&M. Among his many achievements is the only measure of concepts standardized with children (aged six to ten) who were visually impaired called “The Hill Performance Test of Selected Positional Concepts.”
Back then, we were just beginning to study how to include O&M into early education programs for children with mobility visual impairment or blindness (MVI/B).
In my first year, I met a boy named Mike.
Mike was three years old and blind. He was attending the on-campus Susan Gray School which has the distinction of being the first nationally recognized inclusive preschool where typically developing children learned alongside children with disabilities in an educational setting.
In my very first observation, I watched Mike transition from classroom to playground for recess. The classroom door opened onto the playground; from there he walked by himself. He trailed the outside brick wall to an alcove that had f