[nabs-l] NFB and canes and travel

Ashley Bramlett bookwormahb at earthlink.net
Mon Jan 20 00:28:37 UTC 2014

I've used both canes; some on my own and when I needed to to as sort of a 
almost requirement at our state center; I say almost a requirement as its 
not a policy but they prefer it.

You were taught right for your type of cane. In constant contact, the  index 
finger is pointed down the flat side of the grip.
NFB canes are made of something different, fiber glass I think. They are 
lighter, straight, and have a metal tip. Yes I did find it harder to use 
constant contact with a metal tip.

The nfb canes are held with an open palm technique. As others said, the 
advantage is the light weight which is great for long periods of travel. It 
is also more sensative  in feedback than other canes. Also, if you tap the 
cane from side to side, you will likely hear more echos from its tip. The 
metal tip gives you more auditory feedback.

If you are happy with your cane, then it is fine, but if you find the weight 
a problem, I suggest giving nfb canes a try; order one from the website.
Also, I have switched from the heavy aluminum canes I received as a kid in 
school and have not gone back. Now I use a light weight graphite cane from 
advantage canes.


-----Original Message----- 
From: Patrick Bennet
Sent: Sunday, January 19, 2014 3:49 PM
To: patrick.bennet807 at gmail.com
Subject: [nabs-l] NFB and canes and travel

Hey everyone,

I just joined the list. I have some questions about cane travel and I
hope you might be able to help me with this. Before I ask, I should
probably explain.

For years I received instruction in O&M through my school district. I
was given a folding cane with a standard rolling tip, which seems to
be pretty commonly ordered by most agencies and districts. I think
they come from a place in Canada .... but don't quote me on that. That
is what I've always been used to. They seem decent enough.

But, I've read some online literature from the NFB about cane travel,
including structured discovery (as opposed to routes) and a different
kind of cane you use that is lighter an uses a metal tip. I've also
heard about something called a rainshine tip. Maybe they are the same

Anyway, I've always been taught to hold the cane with the palm of the
hand over it, with the index finger pointing down the flat side. This
allows the cane with a roller tip to stay on the ground, also called
constant contact. Is this not correct? From what I've read on the NFB
website, your canes have metal tips, which would seem harder to slide
over rough or cracked areas but would give more feedback. I also read
somewhere that the grip is supposed to be different. In short, I'm
wondering what the differences and advantages are. If so, I'd like to
learn more. I've already read that they are lighter. Do you use them
or hold them differently with another grip? Can NFB canes take roller
tips and use constant contact, and if not, why? Is there really that
much of an advantage to a cane that doesn't fold? I'm curious to learn
about the differences, because I've never heard about them otherwise.


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