National Orientation and Mobility Certification

Overview
Eligibility
Application Process
Application Requirements
Prerequisite Immersion Training
Verification Of Teaching Competency
Code of Conduct
Examination Process
Appealing Certification Decisions
Recertification
Fees
Contact Us

 

Overview

The NOMC Certification is a five-year renewable certification and is the only certification which can attest to an individual having met rigorous standards in the area of orientation and mobility teaching for the blind using Structured Discovery Cane Travel™ (SDCT™) methods and principles. Individuals who are interested in applying for NOMC certification are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with all of the information included here.

The Structured Discovery Cane Travel™ paradigm is grounded in the Consumer-Based Model of Rehabilitation and has had unsurpassed outcomes for more than seven decades. One of the key tenets of this approach to teaching Orientation and Mobility is that successful professionals must master the nonvisual skills for independent travel that they are expected to teach. Strong problem-solving strategies and techniques are developed to effectively navigate in all environments both familiar and completely unfamiliar. It is also crucial to understand how an individual's internalized attitudes--as well as public attitudes--about blindness have on personal expectations and aspirations.

The preparation process for individuals teaching under the Structured Discovery Cane Travel™ model is heavily focused on the development of personal experience in learning and using the skills that blind persons depend on for safe and effective travel. Beyond theoretical and academic exposition, Structured Discovery Cane Travel™ is based on hands-on learning, trust in the effectiveness and appropriateness of nonvisual skills, and an unwavering conviction in the normalcy and capacity of individuals who are blind to maintain their own independence and make decisions about when and where they go.

Successful applicants who earn the designation of NOMC are entitled to all rights and responsibilities therein as long as active certification status is maintained and the NBPCB Code of Conduct is upheld. The certification status of any NOMC can be verified using the Locate Certified Professions option on this website or by contacting the NBPCB office.
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Eligibility

Individuals who wish to become NOMC credentialed may become eligible in one of two ways. They can successfully matriculate through an NBPCB approved university program (Category A); or by meeting all requirements of an approved NBPCB supervised agency apprenticeship (Category B).

Category A: University Preparation

Applicants under Category A must successfully complete requirements of an NBPCB Approved University Program in Orientation and Mobility. NBPCB approved programs must: (1) have core content that is based on Structured Discovery Cane Travel™ methods and principles; (2) be consistent with a Consumer-Based Model of Rehabilitation for the Blind; (3) require students to undergo a minimum of 480 hours of prerequisite immersion training, and (4) include a 400-hour internship teaching with Structured Discovery Cane Travel™ methods and principles. Applicants must have completed all core coursework in the curriculum and be actively working to complete internship requirements prior to applying for certification, and application must be made to the NBPCB office within one (1) year of program completion to avoid additional eligibility requirements. Note: applicants may sit for the NOMC exam as long as they are in good standing in their internship, however, certification will not be granted until all program requirements have been satisfied.

Category B: NBPCB-Supervised Agency Apprenticeship

Applicants under Category B must complete all requirements of the NBPCB-Supervised Cane Travel Apprenticeship, including: (1) possess a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent; (2) successful completion of 480 hours of prerequisite immersion training at a NBPCB approved center, and (3) complete a minimum of 800 hours of a SDCT™ internship under the supervision of an NBPCB-approved individual within the last one (1) year of apprenticeship completion to avoid additional eligibility requirements. Note: an applicant may sit for the NOMC exam as long as they are in good standing in their apprenticeship, however, certification will not be granted until all program requirements have been satisfied.
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Application Process

Before an individual begins a university-based internship or a NBPCB-Supervised Agency Apprenticeship, the application process must be initiated. NBPCB will review completed applications and determine whether applicants are eligible to sit for the NOMC examination.
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Application Requirements

  1. Application form
  2. Personal essay explaining interest in becoming an orientation and mobility professional
  3. Two letters of support from persons who can speak to character, motivation, teaching ability, and professionalism
  4. Verification of Immersion form (submitted directly by supervisor)
  5. Verification of Teaching Competency form (submitted directly by supervisor)
  6. Signed NBPCB Code of Conduct Agreement form
  7. Application fee

Application forms are available by contacting the NBPCB office. No application will be processed without all supporting documentation and application fee. Documents should be submitted as separate attachments admin@nbpcb.org.

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Prerequisite Immersion Training

Prior to receiving formal training in orientation and mobility either through a university program or apprenticeship, all individuals must successfully complete 480 hours of prerequisite immersion training at an NBPCB-approved site. This will ensure the immersion experience is conducted in a training setting that includes: (1) nonvisual training for all students; (2) has a core curriculum based on Structured Discovery methods and principles; (3) employs the use of blind role models on the instructional staff; (4) is consumer-based in its approach to rehabilitation; and (5) includes proactive instruction for students in understanding personal and public attitudes and expectations about blindness. Prerequisite immersion training must have occurred within the last five years prior to application. The list of NBPCB approved centers is available here.

A Verification of Immersion Training form must be signed by the orientation center program supervisor. This form not only documents that the individual has completed the 480 hours satisfactorily, but that the individual also possesses the skills, attitude, and disposition to be recommended for matriculation as a cane travel instructor for the blind. This form may be obtained by contacting the NBPCB office.
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Verification of Teaching Competency

The individual who held primary responsibility for supervising the applicant during the internship or apprenticeship must provide verification of the applicant’s ability to successfully teach using Structured Discovery Cane Travel™ methods and principles. A Verification of Teaching Competency form can be obtained by contacting the NBPCB office.
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Code of Conduct

Applicants must read, understand, and be willing to abide by the NBPCB Code of Conduct for Structured Discovery Professionals. This is a legal agreement and any violation of this code may result in revocation of certification. The entire Code of Conduct and the agreement form, along with our established grievance and discipline process can be found here.
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Examination Process

Once an application has been successfully approved, the individual will be eligible to sit for a computer-based examination that is proctored by an NBPCB approved individual. Examination questions may include, but are not limited to, the following domains:

A. Medical Aspects of Blindness and Low Vision Throughout the Lifespan
B. Rehabilitation Process of Blind and Visually Impaired Adults and Transitional Youth
C. General Counseling and Psychosocial Aspects of Blindness and Vision Loss
D. Working with individuals with Multiple Disabilities, children, and seniors
E. Monitoring Students
F. Various cane techniques and teaching considerations
G. Mental Mapping
H. Environmental Cues
I. Problem Solving
J. Using Elevators and Escalators
K. Crossing Controlled and Uncontrolled Intersections
L. Public Transportation
M. Self-monitoring skills
N. Safety considerations

The exam will evaluate each individual's ability to assess consumer’s current functioning, develop appropriate goals and objectives, teach specific skills effectively, measure the outcomes of learning, and make appropriate referrals to maximize the consumer’s independence.

All examinations will be evaluated by a panel of no fewer than three qualified professionals.
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Appealing Certification Decisions

If an individual is not successful in the examination process, a request to have the results reviewed by the entire Board must be made in writing no later than 30 days after receiving the denial communication. The Board's decision is final.
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Recertification

NBPCB recognizes the need for Certified Blindness Professionals to continue their education and training in order to remain current on innovations and policies in the field. Therefore, individuals must reapply every five years for recertification in order to maintain active NOMC status. The Recertification process is designed to ensure that all certificants maintain their skills and knowledge as cane travel instructors, and to promote continuous education within the profession.

Recertification can be met by either retesting or providing documentation of a minimum of 100 Continuing Education credits throughout the five-year certification period. The following activities are examples of opportunities which may be helpful in a crewing continued education credits:

  1. Providing direct service
  2. Attending professional conferences and conducting presentations
  3. Authorship of professional literature and engaging in professional discourse
  4. Providing professional preparation to others
  5. Facilitating training and educational workshops
  6. Conducting relevant research in the field
  7. Community service
  8. Advocating for the profession on local, state, and national levels
  9. Professional ethics

Note: At least 10 points during the five-year period of certification must come from continuing education in the area of professional ethics.

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Fees

  • Application Fee $100
  • NOMC Examination Fee $300
  • Recertification Fee $300
  • Certificate Replacement Fee $20
  • Insufficient Funds Fee $25

Fees can be paid by either credit card, check, or money order. All fees are non-refundable.
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Contact Us

NBPCB Office
PO Box 2373
Ruston LA 71273
318 299-7340
admin@nbpcb.org