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University of Gothenburg

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By choosing this theme we will point out and challenge the need for identifying what needs to be done on a worldwide and national basis in order to achieve an inclusive society with regard to orientation and mobility based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The conference will build on interdisciplinary professional and academic work and attract a wide audience from the Nordic countries and abroad, bringing together researchers, practitioners and people with vision impairment and blindness in order to facilitate sharing of knowledge and collaboration across different perspectives on orientation and mobility.

Learning, activity and participation

The conference will highlight individuals of all ages that have to learn to lead a new life due to visual impairment or blindness, and put focus on the meaning of orientation and mobility skills for successful learning, where psychological, perceptual, existential and social aspects will be emphasized. A special focus will also be on children, youths, their families and schools in the process of participation; thereby focusing on the learning individual, the surroundings or the individual’s lifeworld, as well as on the content to be learned. Also, professional development and education will be a part of this theme.

The relation between the human being and the environment

Orientation and mobility will be highlighted in their relational aspects, focusing on both the human being and the environment. This interconnection will involve physical, as well as social aspects of the environment. Subtopics to be included will be the public transport system, architecture, inclusive design as well as societal attitudes and participation in various areas of life. Disability research and intersectionality will also be relevant for this theme.

VISION 2020

VISION 2020: “The Right to Sight” is the global initiative for the elimination of avoidable blindness, which is a joint programme of the World Health Organization [WHO] and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness [IAPB]. The general themes of the IMC17 are in agreement with the VISION 2020 “A world in which nobody is needlessly visually impaired, where those with unavoidable vision loss can achieve their full potential” (WHO). The aim is to enlighten everyday problems due to visual impairment and blindness and to uncover new and potential solutions for living a healthy life.

Theory and development of orientation and mobility

Learning and education are involved in both O&M rehabilitation practice and theory. We want to expand this knowledge further and will invite scholars and practitioners to contribute to an enhanced theoretical knowledge in the field of O&M relevant for various ages and groups. There is also a need for developed evidence-based methods that can meet the needs and life-situations for children, youths, adults and elderly people with visual impairment and blindness all over the world. Education initiatives to intertwine theory and practice can also be focused within this theme.