The long white cane is a popular choice for the visually impaired to assist in mobility. Not only does it assist in mobility but it can help identify to others that the person using the can has a sight problem.

There are five different types of 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. Long canes should only be used by people who have attended specialist training with a rehab worker or mobility trainer to attain a high level of safe and independent travel.

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. It is also a good training cane to prepare people for the long cane.

Symbol Cane

This cane is used primarily to alert others as to the bearer’s visual impairment.

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.

Child’s Cane

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

Please read Ellie Clark’s story, an inspiration toddler who is quickly mastering the art of using the cane.


One thought on “Cane

  1. Hi,

    I know that the long cane is usually white and is used to alert others as to the bearer’s visual impairment, but my 13 year old daughter absolutely hates it and will only use it in school!
    We recently went to the RNIB in central London and found that you can actually get canes in different colours and we have ordered one for my daughter in bright pink! I am hoping that other people will still realise what its main purpose is, but if it makes my daughter feel more happy to use it then I am happy, and it will keep her safer whatever the colour .

    Julie x

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