How to use the different types of white cane

Canes are a form of mobility aid which help aid visually impaired pedestrians get about their daily business. Henshaws Rehab Officer Simon explains what the different canes are intended for, and how to use them.


In this video, Simon, a visually impaired Rehab Officer, explains the different types of white canes used by individuals with sight loss. He first introduces a symbol cane, which is useful for those with residual vision to indicate their visual impairment to others. It is held diagonally or across the front, making it visible to people around them.

Next, Simon demonstrates a guide cane, a stronger and longer mobility device that reaches the floor. It provides more protection and coverage, allowing users to navigate and investigate their surroundings. Guide canes come in various sizes, with longer ones preferred for better mobility.

Simon then presents his personal choice, a long cane, which is even longer and used for faster walking. It offers greater versatility, helping users navigate stairs, find objects, and explore their environment. The long cane usually has a significant ball at the end to facilitate tapping or rolling on the ground.

He mentions the invention of aluminium canes, which are foldable and lightweight, making them easy to carry. However, Simon suggests using a white cane for better recognition by others.

Training is essential for using both guide and long canes effectively. Mobility training is especially crucial for long cane users since they cannot see beyond its end.

Simon advises users to consider carrying a backpack (rucksack) to keep their hands free while using the cane.

In conclusion, white canes serve as crucial tools for individuals with visual impairments, providing them with increased mobility, safety, and independence. Training is necessary to use the canes effectively, and choosing the right type of cane depends on an individual’s visual abilities and needs.

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