The Cane Debate

Mobility aid or fashion accessory?

There's a big debate in the blind and partially sighted community about whether canes should always be white, or if they can be colourful to represent a person’s individuality.

Snazzy, safe, or both? We asked five cane users to tell us what they think.

Where do you stand in the Cane Debate?

Tell us what you think and share your photos and videos on FacebookTwitter or Instagram, using the hashtag #HowISee.



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What are your thoughts?

Maya-Liam: “I really think that the purple colour kind of expresses, that kind of alternative, rocker side to me, and I do get people saying, "Ooh what a lovely cane, what does it mean?" and it opens up conversations.”

Robert: “My eyesight tends to be worse at night, so I don’t think I would feel as safe at night with it being customized.”

Leah: “I really like that people are starting to customise their mobility aids, for any disability I think to be able to express who you are, to be able to make it feel less medical.”

Sassy: “Unless it’s accented, the tip and the handle, I think a cane should be white, because it’s the universal colour of understanding about visual impairment.”

Chloe: “I love that I can make it match my outfit or I can, like, be known as the person with the yellow walking stick, rather than the person who uses a walking stick.”

What does the white cane mean to you?

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.