The Cane Explained

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has produced a short film, explaining how sight impaired people navigate using the white cane.

Prior to getting my first guide dog, Nixon (no jokes about Watergate please), I used a white cane to navigate. I well remember people not paying attention to what was going on around them and tripping over my cane.

Admittedly, when I was in the process of learning to navigate using a cane, some of the tripping stemmed from my imperfect utilisation of it. However, as my technique improved, the tripping incidents which did happen flowed from the lack of attention demonstrated by sighted people (I apologised none the less)!

I am now working with my fourth guide dog, Trigger so my use of the cane is extremely rare.

However, back in 2016 Trigger had several lumps removed (fortunately all where found to be benign). While he recovered (a period of some 2 weeks), I used my cane.

Having fallen out of practice I had several bumps and scrapes as a consequence of my imperfect technique. I was, however soon back in the saddle and my acquaintance with telegraph poles and other obstacles became a distant memory.

For RNIB’s film on the cane please visit

My collection of poetry, “Lost in the Labyrinth of My Mind” is available, as a braille book from RNIB “Lost” can also be obtained, in print and ebook formats from Moyhill

I am working with RNIB to make my recently published collection of poetry, “My Old Clock I Wind” available in braille. Once “My Old Clock” has been added to RNIB’s shelves, an announcement will appear here.

In the meantime “My Old Clock” can be purchased, in ebook and paperback formats from Moyhill

4 thoughts on “The Cane Explained

  1. ellem63

    Thank you for the link to the RNIB film, Kevin. It explained so much and was most helpful. It’s only in the last few years that I’ve become aware that there are varying levels of vision ability, and I think there’s much confusion with people who think someone is either blind or not. I also didn’t know about the different kinds of sticks available and I agree with the young lad who believes it can express one’s personality.

    1. drewdog2060drewdog2060 Post author

      I’m glad you found the link helpful and interesting. Certainly there is a lot of confusion regarding visual impairment, with some labouring under the false belief that blindness necessarily equates to being totally without sight while, in reality it ranges from those who can see nothing whatever, through to those with useful vision. Thanks for your comment.

  2. Victoria Zigler (@VictoriaZigler)

    That’s great that your books are being produced in braille.

    I could have a guide dog. I’ve been offered one. But I prefer to use the cane.

    Regarding the comment about people assuming visually impaired people are always totally blind: I’ve found that’s the case for people who see me in the street, yet companies I deal with who are aware of my vision impairment seem to take the opposite approach, and assume that I have enough sight for large print to be of use to me (no matter how many times I attempt to explain otherwise).

    1. drewdog2060drewdog2060 Post author

      I am delighted that “Lost” is already available in braille and that “My Old Clock” is in the process of being transcribed.
      I agree with you that utility companies and other organisations often don’t fully comprehend the needs of their disabled customers. The Disability Discrimination Act (now the Equalities Act) helped. There is, however much still to be done. Thanks for your comment, Tori.


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