Here are two short stories from members on their experiences using a white cane.
You Don't Look Blind
Some years ago, I had to go to my local Emergency Room. My cane was folded beside me on the stretcher and the nurse who was caring for me, asked me what it was and why I needed it.
"Oh, you don't look blind," she said.
I did get a small chuckle about that and thought, that was a silly thing to happen I think.
Breaking Down Social Barriers
Most people in my area are very aware of what a white cane represents. Many ask if I require assistance and often they direct me by saying for example "over to the left.”
I completed the O & M Immersion course provided by Guide Dogs for the Blind or GDB for short. I generally walk up the middle of the sidewalk and sweep my cane equally on either side of my body. I also sweep it equally on either side when crossing streets and this helps to keep me straight.
I find that many say hello to me when using my cane as opposed to when I use a dog. I think people know that they cannot interact with me when using a dog, but they’re more comfortable with speaking or interacting when they see a cane.
IMAGE ALT TEXT: 2 people crossing a street together; one person has a white cane.