[blindkid] Working on our technique!

holly miller hollym12 at gmail.com
Mon Apr 12 16:41:04 UTC 2010

That is the tip I'm talking about, not sure what the official name for it

Hank does have a one piece carbon fiber NFB cane as well, that was actually
his first cane.  We started experimenting with folding/collapsible canes
after spending the first half of HS football season (older son in marching
band) retrieving said non-folding cane when it kept falling through the
bleachers LOL!

Right now we let him choose which cane he wants to take when we go out. He's
still a bit resentful about needing a cane, we've found it helps his
attitude when he has some control over the matter by picking from his cane
"wardrobe".  If we are going on really rough terrain, like a walk in the
woods, I remind him the straight cane won't collapse on him.  If he chooses
the telescoping anyway and starts to grumble when it does indeed collapse, I
remind him that it was his choice.

For him, the tactile/sound differences between different canes aren't as
crucial as it may be to others because he does have enough vision to see the
big picture around him. He won't run into a wall or furniture, he can see
where a doorway is.  What trips him up is poor depth perception and the
inability to see what's going on down by his feet, ie..is that a curb or a
painted stripe?  Is that an open doorway or a glass door? We've found any of
the cane types give him the information he needs to be safe so we're happy
to let him take control when it's appropriate.

It just popped into my mind that we are right around his first year
"cane-versery" He has yet to receive any formal O&M training but it was just
about this time last year that we met Carol who gave us a demonstration and
lent us a cane until we could buy our own.  It's been a lot of trial &
error, a whole lot of grumbling but the difference in his confidence level
with a cane vs without one is amazing, even without official training.

I love the NFB (big huge smile)


On Mon, Apr 12, 2010 at 9:37 AM, Richard Holloway <rholloway at gopbc.org>wrote:

> I think that's the same tip. Many NFB / NOPBC people favor this as it is
> actually the NFB's own design and it is a very good design as well.
> Certainly there are cases where roller tips may be useful but they are heavy
> and as Joe Cutter put it, they tend to "roll over" information that the
> NFB-style tip would convey to the cane user. Another problem many have with
> them is that the same thing that makes them roll over helpful information
> also makes them roll off to one side and some kids tend to leave them there
> when that happens.
> As far as auditory feedback and information, you'd be hard pressed to find
> anything that comes close to the NFB design-- that crisp, clear click can
> reveal much about the environment. For a short time, our daughter decided
> she did not like the NFB cane design. We let her use something else because
> a cane in hand that is being used will always be better than a cane left
> behind or dragged along behind a child. Pretty soon she came back to an NFB
> cane. She was probably trying to be like her O&M instructor who was using a
> heavier golf-grip, roller tip cane as well as I recall. Ultimately, we got
> the instructor to switch to an NFB cane instead; (we were very pleased with
> that!)
> The main complaint I hear about the telescoping canes themselves has
> already been mentioned-- they can collapse. They are a good travel design
> though and an excellent choice for an easily stored backup cane. Holly, you
> might want to try having a one-piece NFB cane on hand for him as well as the
> "light saber" cane and perhaps he'll gradually want to use the solid one
> more. One piece canes are lighter and also offer more tactile information
> that especially folding canes (and even telescoping ones) reduce or omit
> entirely-- vibrations bend the joints and never make it to the user's hand.
> Folding canes make this worse because the little bungee-style cord inside of
> the canes also further dampens resonance (and adds a little more weight
> too).
> I don't think my daughter cares yet, but I personally find that carbon
> fiber feels a lot crisper than fiberglass. Strangely, the NFB canes for kids
> seem to alternate between fiberglass & carbon fiber in increasing lengths so
> right now, the size she needs is apparently only offered in fiberglass. I
> could cut down a carbon fiber cane I suppose but she'll "grow back into"
> carbon fiber pretty soon anyhow...
> I do agree entirely that cane choice is ultimately a personal decision
> though and the more options that are available, the better for each of us.
> At conventions, I always find it interesting to compare as many cannes as I
> can side-by-side just so I get a better feel of how they work and the
> differences between them. After all, we tend to like what we become
> accustomed to. You never know when something better may have appeared in the
> marketplace that you may never have run across before!
> Richard
> On Apr 12, 2010, at 9:03 AM, Heather wrote:
>  A disk tip?  Is it different from the standard tip that comes with a lot
>> of the canes and is a circle about as big around as a quarter, but as thick
>> as two or three quarters, with an attached sort of sleeve that the last half
>> an inch of the cane pushes into?  Or, is it something different entirely?
>>  They have come out with a lot of new materials and designs since I was
>> actively cane shopping for myself.

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