An extra one this month as today is #WhiteCaneDay sometimes also known as White Cane Safety Day.
Vicky: I was in town the other day and spotted an older gentleman walking along with a symbol cane held out directly in front of him at right angles to his body (as if he was jousting with a sword). Now far be it from me to say how a sight impaired person should use their cane, I did feel this was a little dangerous and it also raises the question of whether that person had received any support or guidance from a rehabilitation worker with regard to using canes safely etc. There’s also then the fact that other sighted people might get the wrong impression about how canes should be used and what they’re for. There’s a great @RNIB article about how people use their canes and an explanation of the different types available https://www.rnib.org.uk/cane-explained?utm_campaign=whitecanesafetyday&utm_medium=social-media&utm_source=facebook&utm_content=rnibconnect&utm_term=post
Dave: There is a correct technique for using all of the various types of canes with training on how to use them given by a rehabilitation officer. It took me several sessions to master using a long cane and get the green light to use it correctly and safely but I have tweaked the way I use it to suit me – just like when you’ve passed your driving test (I know that people don’t drive like they were taught after passing their test). However, swinging a cane at right angles is really dangerous and not very effective for the vision impaired person either… maybe if you see someone doing this you should suggest to them that they might need some further training (after ducking that is).
We’re always interested to know about other people’s experiences and thoughts. Please share these by commenting…
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Our VIDA Insights...
Following our experiences from delivering our Vision Impairment Awareness training days over the past couple of years, we know that there’s loads more that we could talk about and examples we could have shared. Whilst these won’t be a substitute for our training, they will give you an insight (hence the name!) into our thoughts, observations and experiences from each of our perspectives - Dave’s living with sight loss and Vicky’s from being a sighted person and working alongside and supporting people who have sight loss.