Types of White Canes, White Cane Week 2018

Types of White Canes


To commemorate White Cane Week in 2018 I will post daily articles giving readers some insight as to the types, history and importance of this vital tool used for mobility by blind citizens of the world.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



An identification cane

Long Cane: This “traditional” white cane, also known as a “Hoover” cane, after Dr. Richard Hoover, is designed primarily as a mobility tool used to detect objects in the path of a user. Cane length depends upon the height of a user, and traditionally extends from the floor to the user’s sternum. Some organisations favor the use of much longer canes.[1]

Guide Cane: This is a shorter cane – generally extending from the floor to the user’s waist – with a more limited mobility function. It is used to scan for kerbs and steps. The guide cane can also be used diagonally across the body for protection, warning the user of obstacles immediately ahead.

Identification Cane (or Symbol Cane in British English): The ID cane is used primarily to alert others as to the bearer’s visual impairment. It is often lighter and shorter than the long cane, and has no use as a mobility tool.

Support Cane: The white support cane is designed primarily to offer physical stability to a visually impaired user. By virtue of its colour, the cane also works as a means of identification. This tool has very limited potential as a mobility device.

Kiddie Cane: This version works the same as an adult’s Long Cane but is designed for use by children.

Green Cane: Used in some countries to designate that the user has low vision while the white cane designates that a user is blind.[2]

Mobility canes are often made from aluminium, graphite-reinforced plastic or other fibre-reinforced plastic, and can come with a wide variety of tips depending upon user preference.


White canes can be either collapsible or straight, with both versions having pros and cons. The National Federation of the Blind in the United States affirms that the lightness and greater length of the straight canes allows greater mobility and safety, though collapsible canes can be stored with more ease, giving them advantage in crowded areas such as classrooms and public events.


CCB Backgrounder:


The CCB was founded in 1944 by a coalition of blind war veterans, schools of the blind and local chapters to create a national self-governing organization. The CCB was incorporated by Letters Patent on May 10, 1950 and is a registered charity under the provisions of the Income Tax Act (Canada).

The purpose of the CCB is to give people with vision loss a distinctive and unique perspective before governments.  CCB deals with the ongoing effects of vision loss by encouraging active living and rehabilitation through peer support and social and recreational activities.

CCB promotes measures to conserve sight, create a close relationship with the sighted community and provide employment opportunities.


The CCB recognizes that vision loss has no boundaries with respect to gender, income, ethnicity, culture, other disabilities or age.

The CCB understands in many instances vision loss is preventable and sometimes is symptomatic of other health issues.  For the 21st century, the CCB is committed to an integrated proactive health approach for early detection to improve the quality of life for all Canadians.

As the largest membership organization of the blind and partially sighted in Canada the CCB is the “Voice of the Blind™”.



CCB National Office

100-20 James Street Ottawa ON  K2P 0T6

Toll Free: 1-877-304-0968 Email: info@ccbnational.net URL: www.ccbnational.net



2 thoughts on “Types of White Canes, White Cane Week 2018

  1. Hi all, and what does this have to do with technology, should I just unsubscribe from this list until next week when white cane week is over? This list is very high traffic as is and it does not need any non-tech related clutter. Voyager Seeing Eye dog and I want to know, respectfully submitted, Ed Barnes


    1. Sorry about this Ed. As Kim noted on the GTTSupport list this morning, canes are considered to be a low tech device, and WCW gives us an opportunity to get a little attention about the needs and capabilities of blind people.


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