White canes are a nearly universal symbol of blindness.
A person with a visual impairment may use a white cane to better survey their surroundings, making note of potential obstacles or hazards.
Using a white cane doesnâ€™t just benefit the blind, though. It is also useful for sighted onlookers, who gain awareness that someone blind is in their presence and may need support in staying safe.
Looking to invest in a white cane for yourself or a loved one? Here are a few great options to get you started:
1. Aluminum Folding Cane by VISONU
This aluminum folding white cane is lightweight, affordable, and can be folded up easily for compact storage when not in use. This cane features white and red reflective for visibility at night time.
2. NO JAB White Cane NO JAB
This white cane is 50 inches in length and features a shock absorbing handle which recoils when the cane hits a sharp object, allowing for hand and wrist comfort. This white cane is highly durable and is designed for use in all weather conditions, including snow
3. Folding Walking Stick by TIMISHON
This foldable white cane is specifically designed for hiking. This simple white cane is easily foldable and contains a wrist strap and a non-slip handle.
4. Lumex Folding White Cane Lumex
This folding white cane is comprised of aluminum and is offered in two different lengths: 41 inches and 46 inches. This cane features a textured plastic handle for easy gripping.
5. Offset Walking Cane by King of Canes
This white cane is designed for comfort with a gray foam handle. This cane is easily adjustable from 30 inches to 39 inches and is lightweight yet sturdy.
6. Wooden Medical-Supply White Cane
This wooden white cane features a red end for visibility and a metal tip. This cane is 40 inches in length and is eligible for FSA or HSA reimbursement.
7. Aluminum Telescopic Cane by VISIONU
This telescopic white cane is designed for mobility rather than support. This cane is lightweight and is adjustable in size from 15.4 inches to 48.4 inches.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When were white canes invented?
A: The white cane was first introduced in 1921 by a blind photographer named James Biggs, who painted his walking stick white in order to gain visibility.
Q: What is the White Cane Law?
A: The White Cane Law states that drivers must come to a complete stop when they see someone with a white cane crossing a street; because of this, in some U.S. states it is actually illegal to publicly use a white cane if you are not visually impaired. While white canes can vary somewhat in height, it is generally advised to invest in white cane that is approximately four inches shorter than the user.
Q: What are white canes made from?
A: White canes are made from a variety of different materials, from lightweight aluminum to metal to wood. Which material is best for you depends on your specific needs and the terrain you will be covering.
Q: When should a white cane be used?
A: White canes can be used for support, for scoping out new terrain, or to indicate to onlookers that you are blind and need your safety prioritized.
Q: What are smart white canes?
A: White canes have advanced dramatically in the century that has passed since then. In fact, several companies are currently working to develop electronic â€œsmart canesâ€ that will incorporate a Google maps feature.
how do i know what length to buy for my son who is 6’3
HOWARD CHUN says
seek help with your local chapter of LIGHT HOUSE FOR THE BLIND. they have a staff that will measure your son and provide the necessary info. I’ve been going to light house for many years seeking help and information for my son. there are many institutes that will provide classes to the blind . my son been to several classes . these classes were provided free.
Irene Kulbacki says
There has been absolutely no help from the Light House For The Blind. Last January 2020 my 44 yr old son who lives in the bay area still has not received a blind cane with training nor any other assistance with housing, food stamps, transportation, phone for the blind etc. So tragic that there’s no help for him and others who are disabled. There’s no section 8 housing being given for the disabled in California. Mostly lottery. So one must become homeless since the disability check doesn’t pay for even a studio nor food, transportation, and on and on. Where is the help from government for those disabled helpless individuals. No one hears their cry for help so they become homeless and people say they are druggies and it’s what they chose. In some cases they become druggies or alcoholics when the government fails to come to their aid.
Tragedy can unexpectedly befall anyone so compassion is needed to assist each other. Love in action and not selfishness.
Kathy Michael says
Hi, Ted. The measurement of the cane for your son, not only depends on his height but on how proficient he is at independent travel. Usually that means measurement can start between mid chest and center forehead to the ground. Faster travelers use longer canes. I have had tiny students use canes only up to mid-chest because they walk more slowly and use the cane to explore the area immediately before them. Faster, more independent travelers need to explore territory farther away from them. I had a student whose cane was over six feet long because he was very fast but only about 5′ 10″ tall. An Orientation and Mobility specialist is the person you want to contact to evaluate and determine what kind of traveler your son is and thus how long his cane needs to be. O&M specialist can be found at many Lighthouse for the Blind locations, residential schools for the blind, contracted workers in public school systems, rehabilitative service centers, and by social workers for the disabled.
Kathy Michael says
Look up your local chapter of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). They are proficient in self-advocacy, and in educating other people with visual impairments of their rights and services. There are chapters everywhere in the US. As for a cane for traveling the NFB has a free cane program. Just go to their website for details on how to make measurements, send in the form and one will be mailed free of charge. I have had to do this for my students as someone who can verify their visual impairments. Often, by the time they are teens sometimes they want the fancy canes. Another good resource is the American Foundation for the Blind. I would check for local rehabilitation services for the blind in your state as well. All states have them. I can imagine that under a pandemic some places have had to cut back on services and physical contact. Check with the local hospitals where that information is also shared as well as contact with an appropriate social worker. I have former students who work in them in several states as folks who assist in rehabilitating other folks with visual impairments. A verifying physician can help him receive SSI as blindness is one of those disabilities that folks with VI fought for since it is difficult to get hired by people who don’t realize they are employable. I don’t understand why this information was not given to your son when he lost his vision. When he is able to work, the SSI income is adjusted accordingly. Get his ophthalmologist to sign the form verifying that he is blind. The worse thing for him to do is to sit and feel sorry for himself. For inspiration, check out some of my friends on YouTube. One is Anthony Parker with a channel called “3rd Eye Visions.” He’s also on Facebook and Instagram. Another is Alvaro and his channel is “Low Vision Bureau.” Then there is Otis Wilson, Jr. whom I have known since he was in 2nd grade. He counsels and teaches adult newly blind and has a podcast called “Boundless.” His email address is on his podcast sight.