White Cane Week – Types of White Canes

White Cane Types 

Did you know that there are different kinds of white canes?

Identity Canes

These are used to identify their users with no or low vision. They are small and light, and can be folded up when not in use.

Guide Canes

Generally extend from the floor to the user’s waist, providing information about surroundings around a step ahead. It can be used to scan for curbs and steps. The guide can also be used diagonally across the body for protection, warning the user of obstacles immediately ahead.  They too can be folded up when not in use.

A Guide Cane and Identity Cane resting against a brick wall.
A Guide Can on the left and an Identity Cane on the right.

Mobility/Long Canes

Designed primarily as a mobility tool used to detect objects and provide information about the environment to the user about two steps ahead of them. The cane’s length depends on the user’s height, and traditionally extends from the floor to the user’s sternum. It differs from the guide cane in that a long cane’s end has a tip of some kind – either rolling or pointed.

Support Canes

These canes do not typically fold up. They help people with both vision and mobility issues by providing extra support for getting around

Fun Fact

White canes are typically all white, with a red section at the bottom, but some people have personalized their cane in different colours.  The white cane with a red base is the most widely recognized worldwide. 

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