Talking Vision: White Cane Day Special Episode

12 October 2018

With International White Cane set to happen next week, this week’s Talking Vision is all about the mobility aid and what it means to the blind and low vision community.

On the special white cane themed episode, we hear from cane users on why they keep up their skills, what their cane means to them and where their canes have taken them.

First up on the show is Vision Australia Ambassador Donna Dyson who discusses her experiences as a white cane user, including why she took up using the mobility aid.

“My sight went very suddenly. Literally, my sight went in a millisecond. I had no gradual decline, the stroke just took my sight,” Donna said.

“There is a humorous part in it that I’m too fast for a dog. People that walk with me are very aware of how fast I move, even with my cane. It became essential to have the can as an aid,” she said.

Next we hear from Vision Australia Government Relations Manager Chris Edwards who explains why he keeps up his cane skills even though he’s partnered up with Odie, a Seeing Eye Dog.

“Using dog and cane are very different skills. Seeing Eye Dogs are obstacle avoiders, you rely on them to go around obstacles and avoid them, while a cane is an obstacle detector,” Chris said.

“As you go along you will feel different obstacles, whether it’s a stair or something else in your way and have to interpret that yourself and determine what to do, whereas the dog will do that for you,” he said.

The episode also features Lauren Henley, who discusses how her white cane gave her back her independence after losing her vision in a car accident and Janian Baron tells us where her white cane takes her.

VA Orientation and Mobility Specialist Wendy Doyle also joins to discuss the types of white canes available and more in general about the cane.

You can listen to this week’s Talking Vision here, or on the player below: