Cane Technique

I was in my 30’s before I learned how to use a cane.  At the time I was living in Calgary, Alberta.   I went to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind and was taught cane technique.

Cane Technique Podcast
A white cane is prescribed based on a person’s height.    You need a cane that is long enough to give you enough warning of a potential obstacle.   But the cane can’t be too long as it would become a problem or to heavy to manage.   There are many types of canes aluminum fiberglass and graphite.   Also you can choose from a folding or fixed cane and to be obnoxious you can have 5 or 6 joints in your folding cane.    Then there are the tips there are a wide assortment and I refer you to Ambutech website if you’re that curious.    I have always used a marshmallow tip which is slightly larger than a standard tip.   My preference is a graphic cane historically with a marshmallow tip now with a wheel tip.

Recently I’ve switched to a wheel which I really like.   Typically you’re supposed to swing the cane back and forth in front of you.  At any given time the cane at its widest point in the arc of the swing needs to be in front of the foot that is not out stretched but in the pushing part of the stride.   This gives you enough warning of obstacles to adjust your stride or stop to avoid the danger.     Some people tap the cane on the ground to get the extra information of the surface they are on.   Good way to tell if you’re on the sidewalk the grass or god forbid the road.

I’ve always been a lazy cane user and I generally slide the cane on the ground out in front of me.   Sometimes I’ll get bitten by not scanning from side to side with my cane but not often enough to change my cane technique.

The canes handle is like a golf club but you don’t hold a cane like a golf club.   You put your index finger on the flat side of the handle running your finger along the length of the shaft of the cane.    This allows you to get as much information about the surface and surface changes you are walking into.   Keeping you safe.

Don’t be too proud.  I am still recovering from surgery to rebuild my ankle after breaking it or spraining or straining it so many times.    I’d rather have used the cane then spent 4 months on a kneeling scooter, and another 4 months in a walking boot.

About the Author:

Kyle has ocular albinism and has been legally blind since birth. Kyle leads a very active live and is besides his professional career involved in many projects for persons who are different.

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