[nabs-l] a couple more questions about travel/cane technique

Jewel S. herekittykat2 at gmail.com
Tue Aug 17 02:30:41 UTC 2010

When following, I soemteims follow behind and sometimes beside the
person. It depends on several things. If it is someone I know, I'll
place a hand on their shoulder or upper arm to keep in contact with
them and keep them in my "sight" and walk beside them. A stranger, I
might as for an elbow or tell them that I can follow behind them. I
don't tell them I can follow behind if I know I can't. I know I can
follow behind if they have 1) brightly coloured clothes, 2) a
distinctive smell, or 3) high heels or other noisy shoes. It is a
matter of preference, really. I prefer to walk beside the person or
behind, not touching or using sighted guide. This is mainly because of
my poor balance that has caused some people to be knocked off balance
by me and the nerve damage in my body that makes it hurt to be
touched. Try it both ways a few times and see what is easier for you.
There's no hard fast rule.

As for the arcing...I always use a "pencil grip." Wrap your hand
around the cane with your thumb and index finger on opposite sides.
Grip the cane with all fingers except the index finger, which is
pointing down the shaft of the cane (as if you are pointing at where
your cane is pointing). It's hard to describe, but you know how you
hold a pen to sign a paper? That's how I hold my cane. This allows me
to swing the cane with only my wrist, and on good days, I swing it
with just the two fingers, using the middle finger as a sort of rest
on which the cane sits...hard to describe, which I could just show
you. And when my  hands are very full, I have actually used just my
index finger to sweep the cane back and forth (rolling with a roller
tip, not arcing) and holding the cane against my hand with whatever
I'm carrying.

I hope this makes some sense...ask someone in your area if there is
anyone? I'm sure they'd be willing to show you how they hold their
cane. Ask them if they use a "pencil grip." In my opinion, that is the
best grip, as it gives the most fluid movement of the wrist and most
stable hold on the cane.


On 8/16/10, Kerri Kosten <kerrik2006 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi All!
> I have a couple of more questions about travel, and proper arc/cane
> technique.
> When you follow
> someone, do you usually walk behind them or beside them? Do you find it
> harder to hear the person if you are following behind them as they are
> usually walking ahead of you with their back turned to you? Is it
> easier to hear someone if you walk beside them?
> Also, when doing a proper arc with the two-point touch technique is it
> supposed to be/feel wide since it is covering both sides from shoulder
> to shoulder? When doing a proper arc for the first time should it feel
> a little strained/unnatural/too wide at first?
> How do most of you do the open-palm technique? I was taught it once
> very briefly at convention...the way I do it is I keep my palm facing
> up, as flat as possible holding the cane with all my fingers wrapped
> around it. I then move the cane with both my wrist and hand. I read
> that your supposed to move the cane with only three fingers...but I
> can't figure this out...it seems tricky and doesn't feel as
> comfortable as moving both my hand and wrist does. How do all of you
> do it?
> Thanks,
> Kerri
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