JoAnne Chalom, COMS, Ed.S.
Our Mission >
Empowerment, access, and equity in the built environment
In Focus Mobility assists organizations and their clients with vision loss expand their ability to travel within their environments: residential, commercial, or business districts.
We offer expert analysis and recommendation treatments to the built environment such as Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS), and high contrast detectable warning surfaces. In Focus Mobility provides expert consultation to organizations focusing on equity, and accessibility, and empowerment.
In Focus Mobility accommodates and provides guidance to clients, family members, stakeholders, and professionals. We communicate effectively and efficiently with individuals, family members, stakeholders to determine their specific needs, goals, and desires.
In Focus Mobility gathers information through detailed reviews of all communication venues presented by the individuals, family members, stakeholders or professionals. It informs the direction and focus of any requests for services.
In Focus Mobility develops strategies to address requests for direct service, environmental analysis, or research consultation. Strategies may include recommendations for direct service, recommendations to create a more accessible built environment, ideas, and concepts for facilitated events, or research topics to investigate.
In Focus Mobility presents s client-centered and attainable solutions. Deliverables may include progress reports, summations of environmental analysis recommendations, facilitated events, and accessibility considerations for research projects.
JoAnne Chalom, COMS, Ed.S. founded In Focus Mobility out of an intrinsic motivation to lead people to use their skills and abilities to achieve their greatest degree of independence. Ms. Chalom completed coursework through the University of Pittsburgh Vision Studies Program and achieved credentials through the Association for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP) as a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS).
Ms. Chalom’s undergraduate and graduate education and the integration of skills gained by obtaining National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) credentials enable her to understand how to present techniques and strategies that are in the client’s preferred modality. She optimizes client success and empowers clients to develop a trusting rapport.
Ms. Chalom is one of two recipients of the Donald Blasch Scholarships in 2007 and the recipient of the 2020 Newcomer Hill Service Award. Mr. Blasch was for many years the chairperson of the Department of Blind Rehabilitation (now Blindness and Low Vision Studies) at Western Michigan University. He was a pioneer in the field of Orientation and Mobility and this scholarship is a reminder of his extraordinary accomplishments during this profession’s formative years.
This Newcomer Hill award was initiated in 1992 by Bruce Blasch, who was then Division Chair. The award is named after two past Division Chairs, James Newcomer (1985-88) and Everett “Butch” Hill (1988-90). Both Newcomer and Hill served the Division with commitment and dedication and were exemplary models of professionalism for all orientation and mobility specialists. This award is given to individuals who emulate their professional dedication.
Ms. Chalom has focused her proficiency as an accessibility expert by contributing her knowledge as a member of the Standing Committee on Accessible Transportation and Mobility of the Transportation Research Board, a panelist for the National Academies of Sciences for the National Cooperative Highway Research Program on Signal Timing Strategies for Non-Motorized Users and Transportation Cooperative Research Program on Mobility Inclusion for Un(der)-served Populations with Emerging Technologies. She has also served for nearly a decade as an active member of the Environmental Access Committee.
Invited Presentations at Conferences, Seminars, Webinars and Workshops
Chalom, JoAnne, and Bouquin, Dr. Gene (2016, March). Autonomous Vehicles -- They're coming! Implications for Safety, Ethics, Policy, and Pedestrians with Visual Impairment. Southeastern Orientation and Mobility Association Conference. Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chalom, JoAnne (2016, July). Autonomous Vehicles -- they're coming! Implications for safety, ethics, policy, and pedestrians with visual impairment. Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired International Conference Jacksonville, Florida
Chalom, JoAnne. (2016, December) Conflicts for Pedestrians with Visual Impairments: Webinar. Florida Department of Transportation
Chalom, JoAnne. (2016, December) Autonomous Vehicles - Implications for safety, ethics, policy, and pedestrians with visual impairment. AER International Orientation & Mobility Conference & Meeting 2017. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Chalom, JoAnne. (2017, July) Beyond Your Expertise: What’s Your Superpower. AER International Orientation & Mobility Conference & Meeting 2017. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Chalom, JoAnne, and Robertson, Margaret. (2017, July) What is the Transportation Research Board and How Does it Impact O&M. AER International Orientation & Mobility Conference & Meeting 2017. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Chalom, JoAnne (2017, September). Accessible, Alert, Aware, and Alive. Traffic Department, The City of Coral Springs. Coral Springs, Florida
Chalom, JoAnne (2017, October). In Focus Mobility: A Two-Day Workshop, Fundacion Arubano die esnan Visualmente Incapacita (FAVI), Aruba, (Dutch Caribbean)
Chalom, JoAnne (2018, January). Mind the Gap Can Inclusive-Cities Bridge Social Equity Disparities: Equity Indicators for Special Needs Populations. Transportation Research Board 97th Annual Meeting. Washington, D.C.
Chalom, JoAnne (2019, May), Designing Equitable Environments for People with Special Needs, Gold Coast Institute for Transportation Engineers, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Chalom, JoAnne (2019, March) ADA Exhibitor, Intermodal Expo, Florida Department of Transportation District Four Headquarters, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Chalom, JoAnne (2020, May ), Designing Equitable Infrastructure Miami-Dade County Millennial Board. Venture Cafe.
Chalom, JoAnne, and Margaret Winn (2020, April), Support Canes, Where Do You Stand? , Michigan Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired. Virtual Conference