Acquired Brain Injury Mobility Services Day-to-day living after a neurological event

Although it’s common to think that vision impairment only occurs through damage to the eyes, many areas of the brain are involved in interpreting what we see. The brain also determines our perception of visual information.

A brain injury can change a person’s vision and impact their mobility. Other abilities like cognition and memory can also be affected, making the changes even more significant.

Regardless of how a brain injury is acquired — whether through accident, illness or other means affecting the brain — readjusting to daily life in the home and community can be a challenge. Acquired Brain Injury Mobility Services can minimise those challenges by equipping people with skills for day-to-day living after a major neurological event.

Our specialists assess your specific needs and teach practical skills to get you back into the routines of daily life.

Through individual assessment and different forms of training, Mobility Services teach people of all ages with acquired brain injury (ABI) to safely and independently experience the world.

Guide Dog client Rory seated on a sofa, with his dog Gideon

Acquired Brain Injury Mobility Services Orientation & Mobility training

Approximately 13,000 Victorians experience severe-to-profound brain injury each year. These statistics include conditions such as stroke, traumatic head injury, brain tumour and post-operative nerve damage.

In most of these cases, people experience change to their vision. Acquired Brain Injury Orientation & Mobility training can teach people to make the most of their remaining vision, develop other senses, and use cognitive skills for safe and independent living. It’s all about reconnecting with the community and regaining your confidence.

Acquired Brain Injury Orientation & Mobility training consists of two main stages:

  • Initial assessment
  • Individually specific training.
lady walking with cane

Acquired Brain Injury Mobility Services Initial assessment

Each person involved in the Mobility Services program undergoes an initial assessment. This helps us to determine your specific needs and goals. Assessment is essential in developing your individual training program and equipping you with specific skills to achieve your mobility goals.

It can include:

  • Collection of details, including medical history
  • Discussion of your vision and mobility status, needs and goals
  • Standardised assessment tasks
  • Assessment of your vision and your ability to use training tools
  • Functional mobility assessment

A functional mobility assessment is a series of tests measuring balance, movement, and skills involved in a range of common daily tasks. These can include things like transitioning from sitting to standing, maintaining certain physical positions, and interacting with people in the community. Other things covered in a functional mobility assessment can include:

  • Orientation skills: how you move around an environment
  • Ability to use remaining vision: the nature of your vision following injury
  • Road crossing strategies: safely crossing streets and handling vehicles
  • Moving over different surfaces: travelling over textures as they change
  • Navigating different environments: from busy cities to quiet suburban streets
  • Planning a route for travel: preparing for and going on a journey through the community
  • Getting help when required: interacting with people from the community for support and assistance
  • Problem solving strategies
  • Evaluating the need for a mobility aid: understanding what aids may work for you and suit your specific needs
person reading braille train information sign

Acquired Brain Injury Mobility Services Training

After your assessment, we have a clear understanding of your vision and how it impacts your life and movement. We use this information to help identify your goals.

With your goals in place, our specialists can develop strategies to teach you practical skills and achieve your objectives. Your goals are completely individual. You could learn to move confidently around the community, catch public transport, visit work or school, or enjoy more freedom around the home.

Training could include:

  • Scanning to compensate for visual field loss
  • Increasing understanding of your change in vision and the impact on functional mobility tasks
  • Development of strategies to compensate for the vision impairment
  • Development of management strategies where compensation strategies are not possible
  • Gradual transfer of skills from indoor settings to increasingly complex environments
  • Road crossing strategies
  • Public transport
  • Development of problem solving, planning and other cognitive skills relevant to independent mobility
  • Mobility aid training
Blind women walking down street

Acquired Brain Injury Mobility Services ABI Mobility Service Staff

We draw on the skills of many different health and wellbeing professionals to help you achieve your goals.

To help with the complexities of ABI, the Acquired Brain Injury Mobility Services department is made up of many different specialists. These include Orientation & Mobility Specialists, Occupational Therapists, and access to Physiotherapists and Counsellors. We can also provide referrals to off-site specialists, including Optometrists, Neuropsychologists and Audiologists.

All of our general staff undergo specific training relevant to acquired brain injury. They all have strong knowledge of the issues that arise from a change in cognition and vision.

We also provide ongoing professional development and workshops for healthcare specialists on acquired brain injury and our Mobility Services programs.

Specialist staff can also offer further training beyond Orientation& Mobility programs, to help with the development of daily living skills.

Training venues.

We provide our training in the most comfortable and effective environment for you: home, school, work or an alternative community setting, or within our specialized training facility in Kew.

Man stepping out of tram with his Guide Dog, a black Labrador

Acquired Brain Injury Mobility Services Technology training

Want to know more about how technology can assist your mobility needs? We can help you to use technology you already own in different and more effective ways — like your smartphone for example — or we can assess you for specific mobility technology like GPS devices.

Man at train station listening to timetable info with his smart phone

Acquired Brain Injury Mobility Services Referring for Acquired Brain Injury Mobility Services

Referrals come from a variety of sources. These can include neurologists, therapists and other specialists. Aside from health professionals, referrals are also welcome from individual people and their families.

Woman using trekker

Acquired Brain Injury Mobility Services Service charges

Acquired Brain Injury Mobility Services are available to people of all ages, regardless of whether you have access to government funding.

If you have access to funding by a government agency such as the Transport Accident Commission or the National Disability Insurance Scheme, or are subject to a court case, we will seek costs for the services directly from these departments with your permission.

We welcome all referrals and enquiries from individuals, families, health professionals and visiting teachers.

As a philanthropic organisation, we will always support people to access services regardless of your financial position.

Contact the Mobility Service for more information:

Guide dog