Profile: Garrett Mumma

Vision Rehabilitation Therapist

“I venture to say that some of my clients are safer than people with 20-20 vision,” says Garrett Mumma, a vision rehabilitation therapist for the Colorado Department of Human Services Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

It is Mumma’s job to help adults with vision loss re-adapt to their home, community and work environments.

He does this by teaching them skills such as how to read traffic auditorily and walking with a cane, as well as orienting his clients with adaptive aids and devices that enable the visually impaired to perform everyday tasks. It is a public service that helps everyone, regardless of income, be safe and independent.

“The best thing about my job is that I can see the impact,” says Mumma, a member of Colorado WINS. “I can see how independent they’ve become.”

Mumma’s path to becoming an orientation and mobility specialist started in Sri Lanka where he was teaching English as a Peace Corps volunteer. “I had some blind students,” he recalls, “and they taught me some Braille.” As fate would have it, Mumma’s second Peace Corps tour took him to Morocco where he taught orientation mobility—independent traveling skills for the visually impaired.

The rest is history. Upon his return to the United States, Mumma earned a master’s in special education with a specialization in orientation mobility.

Before joining Colorado state government three years ago, Mumma was working with children in the Oakland, Calif., public schools doing the same kind of work.