You are here:

White cane, black canes -- what's in a colour?

I currently use a black cane as I am between guide dogs. I will not have a new dog guide for about two years due to the waiting list. As such I am tip tapping it. So, I have elected to use the black cane.

I got my first black cane a few years ago and travelled with it. I found that that no matter where I went folks could figure out that I was blind, the cane worked exactly like the white one but I did not get the pity party. Nor did I get any nonsense from folks as I tip tapped by them.

As a person with no sight I do not need the public to distract me when I am concentrating on my surroundings and traversing from one place to another. So, I am promoting the black cane to celebrate independence and to move out of the “ohhh poor you” category and into a practical no nonsense approach to mobility.

You do not need a white cane to have folks know you are blind. Folks can figure this out very quickly themselves!!

When I was in San Diego using the black cane I got into an elevator. An older adult asked me… Are you from Canada? I had not said a word at up to that point. Before I answered I asked my question… Why do you ask that? The adult said… Well, you have a black cane. A bit dumbfounded, I answered okay, yes, I am from Canada but why did you think Canadians use a black cane. The adult then said because with all that snow if you dropped your cane it would be easier to find. Now, that really cracked me up!!!

So folks, join the Black Cane club and enjoy the freedom of being you not just a blind person needing assistance or unwanted pity. Enjoy the mobility of that black cane as you tip tap to your destination.

Disclaimer:

The thoughts and opinions expressed in the Blind Canadians Blog are those of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the AEBC, its members, or any of its donors and fundraising partners.

Comments

I too am having trouble understanding how a black cane is likely to change whether a sighted person feels pity or not. One possibility is that the people on the street don't recognize a black cane as one that a blind person uses, and so the expressions of pity that often accompany blindness are not evident, but that would create its own set of problems.

If some people want to use black canes, all the power to them. My guess is that the way the cane is used would indicate that it is being used to aid a person to detect obssticles. However, I don't see how the colour of the cane is going to change very deep and long-held attitudes about blindness.

This is the first I have heard of a black mobility cane for visually impaired persons – interesting I must say. And I do like this unconventional thinking.
I too am a long-time long-cane user; always white. And, I will say, that I will likely stay with the white. Convention I suppose; like you say, what is in a colour. Except, there is a certain amount of recognition in that colour. I don't get the pity thing; I think that is more attributable to the individual than the general situation. And, if it aint broke, why fix it …
I'm willing to be convinced, but for the moment, I'll stick with the white – even in today's blizzard that is blowing out there.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.