Long White Canes

A long white cane is the tool that most blind people choose. This is probably because it is the most basic, versatile and low maintenance option. Oh and cheap too!

White canes require minimal training to get started moving about independently. In an afternoon you can get the basics of arc, walking in step, a light touch and shore-lining. Here's a bit of info to get you started on

white cane basic techniques After a few months you will be getting better at more complex techniques like using the sun, wind, or sound around you to keep yourself oriented. Here's some More About Cane Travel

The disadvantages of using a cane vs. a guide dog, as I see them… You only have tactile information available that is within the reach of your cane. Situations that require broad route planning are more difficult. I’m talking about construction sites, large open areas, like parks, outdoor festivals, and that sort of thing. I also think snow, mud and other off-road conditions are difficult with a cane as compared to a guide dog.

Why Use a Cane

I think there are two reasons why blind and visually impaired people use long white canes, safety and identification. A cane, used properly, can help you find curbs, stairs, stuff parked in your way, things you want to find and so much more. The visual presence of a cane helps other people realize that you are blind or visually impaired. This can help a lot with getting good directions or avoiding hurt feelings when you don’t wave back at people waving hello to you. It can be a tough thing at first. Sarah shares her thoughts on getting started using a white cane. You can share what helped you make the decision to use a long white cane or anything you'd like to share about Why Use a Cane?

Choosing the Right Cane

Choosing the right cane is an important decision. Although knowing how to use the cane effectively is very important, having the right tool can make all the difference! Check out these tips for choosing the right cane for you.

Choosing the Right Cane

Learning to Use the Long White Cane

The options for learning to use a cane include: attending a residential training center for adults, a resource teacher for children in school, a home based rehabilitation teacher, asking other people who use canes or just trial and error solo!

The residential training program provides the most comprehensive training. It usually includes all aspects of living independently, cooking, Braille, adaptive technology, cane travel and other daily living needs. Here Chasity shares her experience with training at a residential program School aged children usually meet with a resource professional during the school day to work on learning the long white cane. For adults who don’t have the time or inclination to go to a live-in program there are teachers that can come to your home. Every state has rehabilitation services for blind and visually impaired people. Check around to see what’s available in your area. Here’s a list of resources to get you started: blindness rehabilitation programs