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Professions: Built Environment Advocate

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JoAnne Chalom

JoAnne Chalom (she, her) is a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS), speaker, consultant, and advocate. JoAnne lives with nonvisible disabilities: specific learning disabilities including dyslexia and a central auditory processing disorder. JoAnne’s lived and professional experience enables her to have a unique perspective while she works with individuals with intellectual disabilities, visual impairments, and exceptional giftedness.

Ms. Chalom began her career as a Teacher of Students with Special Needs. She strived to enable learners to succeed and excel to the best of their abilities. Ms. Chalom made a horizontal career change when she enrolled in a graduate level program to become skilled in teaching orientation and mobility. At the infancy of her second career, she was awarded one of two Donald Blasch Scholarships. A Blasch Scholarship recipient must demonstrate remarkable potential as students in programs in Visual Impairment and Blindness focusing on orientation and mobility.

Ms. Chalom founded In Focus Mobility in 2010. Its mission is to assist organizations and their clients with vision loss and expand their ability to travel within their environments. Her roles include evaluating individuals whether newly or congenitally blind to determine their present ability to traverse the built environment.

Ms. Chalom has devoted time to attend parallel professional workshops and conferences as an attendee, presenter, panelist, and committee member. She raises awareness of accessibility challenges for vulnerable road users in emerging topics. In 2020 Ms. Chalom was honored to be the recipient of the Newcomer Hill Service Award for her major contributions over the past two years to the Orientation and Mobility Division of AER.

Ms. Chalom has presented and advocated for accessibility and equity to engineers, local, state, and federal officials. Her methodology enables organizations and individuals to be empowered and increase their ability to advocate for equity and accessibility in their environments.

Ms. Chalom’s presentation style is focused around engaging the audience in organic activities: ranging from discussions to answering questions. She has endless enthusiasm to advocate for greater accessibility in the built environment. She believes strongly that the built environment should be born accessible.

Publications & Media Appearances

"What are you Going to Do on Rainy, Snowy, or Excessive Heat Days?"
Presented by JoAnne Chalom, Ed.S., COMS and Margaret Winn, MA, COMS

Support Canes, Who is in Support of Them?

2023 International O&M Online Symposium

Next Level Advocacy What Does That Have To Do with Me?


  • University of South Florida, B.S., Special Education, Intellectually Disabled  
  • Nova Southeastern University, M.S., Early Childhood Special Education, Gifted Education 
  • Barry University, Ed.S., Computer Application in Education  
  • University of Pittsburgh, Graduate level certificate Program in Orientation and Mobility 

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