Cane Technique 201
by Jessica Eichfeld, COMS
Lesson 1: Approaching StairsAnchor Cane: When student approaches stairs whether going up or down, he or she should anchor their cane against the first step until first foot approaches the step. This gives a reference of where the step is located and how steep the steps are.
* After approach, if right hand is used for the cane then cane should be switched to left hand to allow use of the railing.
Lesson 2: Stairs - Cane Grip and Arm PositionAscending:
Grip: Thumbs down, thumb is on the flat part of the grip.
Arm Position: Extended at least one step ahead and cane is at a slight angle to the right. Some may need to lower hand on the grip if cane is to long.
Grip: Index finger grip (See Correct Cane Technique 101)
Arm Position: Extended at least one step ahead and cane is at a slight angle to the right.
Lesson 3: Ascending and Descending StairsAscending Stairs: Cane is always at least one step ahead to eliminate tripping. The cane tip lightly bounces off the lip of each step until it reaches the landing, where it floats into open space. Student will at that time go back to index finger grip.
Descending Stairs: Cane is again one step ahead; the tip should lightly tap each step until the cane glides along the landing.
Lesson 4: DoorsApproach: When door is found, anchor cane against door and find door handle. If right hand is used for cane, cane needs to be switched into left hand and right hand is used to open the door; if double doors also use right side.
Going Through Door: Cane goes through door first, to locate any obstacles or drop offs. Once student is through the door he or she can switch cane hands if needed.