Over one-third of blind and partially sighted people said that they sometimes, frequently or always experience negative attitudes from the public in relation to their sight loss especially when using a white cane (My Voice, RNIB).
Watch our film that 'explains the cane'; and find out how Jana, Robert, Emma, Shuraiya, Maya-Liam and Georgie use theirs.
Find out more about what our six cane users think. All have very different opinions!
"I would like for the public to have a general awareness of the cane and to know that it does not mean one particular thing or define the person relying on it." - Robert, long cane user.
Why not record or write about your own experiences? To share your story, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to find out more about key issues like this one? RNIB Connect is a free community where you can share your thoughts and issues with a wider, stronger community of blind and partially sighted people.
You can email us at email@example.com or call 0303 123 9999, or click the button below.
Would you like posters of the different types of cane for your office, surgery or other communal area?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request bundles of 5 or 10 A4 posters. We have a limited amount available so make sure to get your request in as soon as possible.
Can you name all four canes?
We want to increase awareness with the general public, to help blind and partially sighted people feel more at ease when using their canes. To do this, we've created a simple infographic that demonstrates what the different types of cane are, and what you'd use them for. You can download a fully accessible PDF of the infographic here (65.62 KB) . Or read on to find out more about canes.
To say you have low but useful vision
You hold the symbol cane in front of you to let people around you know that you’re partially sighted. It’s particularly useful in busy places.
To find obstacles before they find you!
You hold a guide cane diagonally across your body and then use it to find obstacles in front of you such as kerbs or steps.
To avoid obstacles if you have restricted or no vision
Once you’ve been trained to use a long cane, you roll or tap it from side to side as you walk, to find your way and avoid obstacles.
To show you have low hearing and vision
Red and white banded canes of all types show that you have a hearing impairment as well as sight loss.