What are the different types of cane, do I need one and where can I get one from?

You don't necessarily need a cane if you are blind or partially sighted, although many people do find them very useful.

Different types of Canes

There are four types of cane, each one has a different use:

Symbol Canes which show you have low but useful vision. You hold the cane in front of you to let people around you know you are partially sighted. Its particularly useful in busy, crowded places.

Guide Canes help you to find obstacles, before they find you! You hold it in front of yourself, diagonally across your body and then use it to find approaching obstacles such as kerbs and steps.

Long Canes require training and can be used by rolling or tapping from side to side, as you walk, to help you find and avoid obstacles.

Red and white banded Canes all types of cane are also available with red and white banding, which indicate that you have a hearing impairment as well as sight loss.

Buying long or guide canes

Your local social services should be able to provide you with a cane for free. They should also be able to give you mobility training so that you know how to use one to get about safely.

Find your nearest social services on the Sightline Directory, by entering your postcode and the search words 'social services'.

If you would prefer to buy your own RNIB have a range available on their online shop, you can also find them on ebay and Amazon.

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