[nfbwatlk] 10 fascinating facts about the white cane, Perkins.org, October 15 2015
b.butterfly at comcast.net
Mon Oct 19 18:51:34 UTC 2015
Is number 5 correct? That only 2 to 8 percent of us blind use a white cane?
That is so hard to believe. I don't believe that number. Even the elderly
blind who barely got any real O and M will say they use their white cane,
even though holding the arm of a sighted person. We have a gal in town that
is 89 years old. She will walk down the sidewalk to a dock area with just
her white cane. But around town or doctor appointments she prefers sighted
guide. Now of course we all have met the blind who think they don't need a
white cane. I pulled such a lady out of the street when the light turned.
She was a neighbor of mine in full denial of her blindness. But come on that
2 to 8 percent can't be close to right, can it?
Becky and her automatic
From: nfbwatlk [mailto:nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of
Nightingale, Noel via nfbwatlk
Sent: Monday, October 19, 2015 10:31 AM
To: nfbwatlk at nfbnet.org
Cc: Nightingale, Noel <Noel.Nightingale at ed.gov>; rehab at nfbnet.org
Subject: [nfbwatlk] 10 fascinating facts about the white cane, Perkins.org,
October 15 2015
10 fascinating facts about the white cane To celebrate National White Cane
Safety Day, here are some little-known facts about the iconic white cane
October 15 is national White Cane Safety Day, which acknowledges the
independence and skill of people with visual impairments who use a white
cane to navigate.
October 15, 2015
Byline: BILL WINTER
Tap tap tap. That's the sound of independence.
That's the sound of people with visual impairments around the United States
- and all over the world - using a white cane to confidently navigate to
work, around their neighborhoods or to wherever their plans take them.
There's no better day to celebrate the power of the white cane than October
15 - White Cane Safety
Day<http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/white-cane-safety-day>. It's the
day set aside by the federal government to recognize the independence and
skill of people who use white canes. It's also a reminder that laws in all
50 states require drivers to yield the right of way to people with white
canes, even when they're not on a crosswalk.
In honor of White Cane Safety Day, here are 10 quirky facts about the white
1. Yes, it's legal to take a white cane through security at an
airport<http://www.tsa.gov/travel/special-procedures>, according to the TSA,
but it has to go through the X-ray machine.
2. White canes are white because of George A.
Bonham<http://www.lionsclubs.org/resources/EN/pdfs/iad413.pdf>. In 1930,
Bonham, president of the Peoria Lions Club (Illinois), watched a man who was
blind attempting to cross a street. The man's cane was black and motorists
couldn't see it, so Bonham proposed painting the cane white with a red
stripe to make it more noticeable. The idea quickly caught on around the
3. White canes are going high-tech. Inventors in
Britain<https://www.ultracane.com/> and France<http://handisco.com/en/> have
equipped white canes with ultrasonic devices that detect obstacles up to
nine feet away. Vibrations in the cane's handle warn users of potential
hazards in their path.
4. The standard technique for using a white
cane<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_cane#History> was pioneered in 1944
by Richard E. Hoover, a World War II veteran rehabilitation specialist. His
technique of holding a long cane in the center of the body and swinging it
back and forth before each step to detect obstacles is still called the
5. Most people who are visually impaired don't use a white cane. In
fact, only an estimated 2
percent<http://www.dsb.wa.gov/resources/dispellingmyths.shtml> to 8
percent<http://www.whitecaneday.org/canes/> do. The rest rely on their
useable vision, a guide dog or a sighted guide.
6. There are actually three different kinds of white
There's the standard mobility cane, used to navigate. There's the support
cane, used by people with visual impairments who also have mobility
challenges. And there's the ID cane, a small, foldable cane used by people
with partial sight to let others know they have a visual impairment.
7. Unless you're willing to "walk the walk," you can't become a
certified Orientation & Mobility specialist. O&M specialists teach white
cane technique to people who are blind, but to become certified, you must
spend at least 120 hours
n-their-students-shoes>, navigating with a white cane.
8. Today's modern, lightweight
/1235> are usually made from aluminum, fiberglass or carbon fiber, and can
weigh as little as seven ounces. Some white cane users prefer straight
canes, which are more durable, while others prefer collapsible canes, which
can be folded and stored more easily.
9. White caning can be fun. The Braille Institute sponsors an annual
Cane Quest<http://www.brailleinstitute.org/cane-quest-home.html>, where
youngsters aged 3-12 compete to quickly and safely navigate a route in their
community using their white canes. The contest helps kids master proper
white cane techniques and encourages independence.
10. In some states, it's illegal for a person who is not legally
blind<http://acb.org/whitecane> to use a white cane to gain right-of-way
while crossing a street. Get caught in Florida, for example, and you'll face
second-degree misdemeanor charges and up to 60 days in prison.
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