International Legislation about White canes, White Cane Week 2018

Legislation about 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


While the white cane is commonly accepted as a “symbol of blindness”, different countries still have different rules concerning what constitutes a “cane for the blind”.


In the United Kingdom, the white cane indicates that the individual has a visual impairment; with two red bands added it indicates that the user is deafblind.


In the United States, laws vary from state to state, but in all cases, those carrying white canes are afforded the right-of-way when crossing a road. They are afforded the right to use their cane in any public place as well. In some cases, it is illegal for a non-blind person to use a white cane with the intent of being given right-of-way.[13][14]


In November 2002, Argentina passed a law recognizing the use of green canes by people with low vision, stating that the nation would “Adopt from this law, the use of a green cane in the whole of Argentina as a means of orientation and mobility for people with low vision. It will have the same characteristics in weight, length, elastic grip and fluorescent ring as do white canes used by the blind.”[2]


In Germany, people carrying a white cane are excepted from the Vertrauensgrundsatz (de) (trust principle), therefore meaning that other traffic participants should not rely on them to adhere to all traffic regulations and practices. Although there is no general duty to mark oneself as blind or otherwise disabled, a blind or visually impaired person involved in a traffic accident without having marked themselves may be held responsible for damages unless they prove that their lack of marking was not causal or otherwise related to the accident.


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: URL: