The Debate on Colored Canes
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I’ve only been using a cane since 2009 so I haven’t been in on “the great debate” of cane users. Reading about the debate is like having moved to a foreign country and being thrust in the middle of an internal struggle only the locals truly know about. I don’t have much of my own input to share but I sure am learning a lot by observing others who “walk the walk” with any kind of cane.
Cane users worry about this issue. The old and younger generation have different ideas as do the traditional and the liberals.
But, as Lynda points out, all seem to agree – that a non-traditional color cane is better than no cane at all.
It not only reminds me of entering a foreign country where I’m just learning the lifestyle, it reminds me of politics. People get heated and have strong opinions. I love how thorough my colleague, Lynda Jones, was in researching this topic. She interviewed cane users, cane designers, orientation and mobility instructors and those involved in national blind organizations, who are well-versed on the subject.
Knowing this article was in the works, I interviewed my own specialist friend, Shelley, who is an orientation and mobility instructor. Her opinion on the issue is “Yep, go ahead. Change the color if you want to.” She has a pink cane. She explains, “I work with some kids at a camp. We put all kinds of stickers on their canes to personalize it–Star Wars, flowers, spiders, cartoon characters. It doesn’t matter, as long at that child is feeling ownership to that cane. Go for it! We add on reflective strips for safety.”
I think I see a neon colored cane in my future!
Lynda provides an excellent background description on the role of orientation and mobility instructors, how their expertise and training impacts a new or newly-retraining cane user. Then she sweeps into the topic, both feet, of cane colors.
You may know more than me about this foreign turf. If you do, join in on the discussion. I’d love to hear your opinion! But I’m still learning here as some of you will be.
Let’s get moving … onto Lynda’s well crafted article posted on VisionAware.com
Click on this link if you missed Part 1: Historical evolution of the white cane, click on the link.
You can also read both articles on the VisionAware Site
As a motorist, do you think you would be more observant if someone has a white cane or would you pay as much attention if they used a colored cane crossing street? If you’re a cane user, do you tend to be more traditional, middle of the road or liberal?
You have just read Perpsectives on using a colored cane by Lynda Jones, peer mentor. Copyright Lynda Jones. Don’t forget to leave a comment!