[blindkid] Working on our technique!

Heather craney07 at rochester.rr.com
Mon Apr 12 04:20:50 UTC 2010

The technique you describe for stairs is what I was taught as a child and 
used until I switched to a guide dog as a young adult.  Great job describing 
it by the way, technically accurate and artistic to boot.  As long as the 
beginning cane user gets it back out infront of them upon reaching the top 
of the stairs, this is a very good grip and technique for asending stairs, 
but not descending, of course, as that requires a different technique.  How 
many times have I written the word technique?  *Nah, not going to count, 
laughs*.  I used to do this and I have seen many younger blind kids come 
charging up the stairs using this method, *ha, I didn't say technique, damn, 
now I did, shrugs* only to slam into another kid on the landing, because 
they didn't take the millisecond pause to reposition the cane to navigate 
the landing for the next set of stairs or the hallway if there are no more 
stairs.  There is a lot of momentum in a confident, exuberant child, blind 
or sighted and powering up a flight of stairs increases this, so making sure 
to reposition the grip and cane 's orientation to one's body is essential. 
Have a nice evening all, I'm beyond tired and I'm going to bed.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Richard Holloway" <rholloway at gopbc.org>
To: <empwrn at bellsouth.net>; "NFBnet Blind Kid Mailing List,(for parents of 
blind children)" <blindkid at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Sunday, April 11, 2010 10:16 PM
Subject: Re: [blindkid] Working on our technique!

>I love seeing any photos of blind kids exploring their world with 
> I don't know if the term is commonplace or not but I have heard this 
> referred to as a "staff grip" which for us came up first when walking  up 
> stairs-- Kendra would hold the cane like this and push or lightly  twist 
> the bottom away from herself. Every time you go up a step the  cane jumps 
> forward (as you clear a step) and bumps into the next  higher step so you 
> know you have another step to go. This helps avoid  the frustrating 
> situation where you try to "step up" onto one more  stair than there 
> really is (or kicking a stair when you're not al the  way up). Once you 
> reach the top, the cane "floats" out so you know  that's the landing then 
> you can switch to a more appropriate grip to  travel on.
> There may be other good uses for that grip and better approaches for  the 
> stairs too, but as far as I'm concerned, especially with a young  child 
> new to cane travel, ANY additional feedback they get from a cane  (as 
> opposed to having no cane) is useful and good. Over time,  techniques and 
> grips can be refined and improved but we don't need our  kids to sit and 
> wait to become mobile until they have "mastered" all  techniques.
> Keep up the good work, Jack! (You too Marie!)
> Richard
> On Apr 10, 2010, at 12:03 PM, Marie wrote:
>> Is this sort of like the pencil grip?
>> Marie (mother of Jack, 4 years old with Apert Syndrome)
>> http://allaccesspasstojack.blogspot.com
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