Many people with sensory impairments use a cane to help them when they’re out and about. Canes can be used to:
Tell other people that you have a visual impairment or that you are deafblind
Some people carry a cane to tell other people about their condition. Generally in the UK a white cane indicates that the user has a sight impairment and a red and white striped cane indicates that the user has a sight and hearing impairment (deafblind).
A short cane, known as a symbol cane, is often carried by people who only want to use the cane for this purpose.
Help to find your way around
Longer canes can be used to help you navigate your way with confidence. By sweeping the cane in front of you from left to right you can detect objects that may be in your way. You can also use the cane to identify the kerb, to make sure you don’t walk into the road, or to identify key landmarks. For example, you may know that when the wall ends, the post box is a few steps to the left.
If you think that you might benefit from using a cane, contact your rehabilitation officer at your local authority. They will be able to advise you of the right cane for you and they will show you how to use it.
Don’t forget, there are other options to help with mobility such as assistance dogs or communicator guides. Contact us for more information and advice about mobility aids.