Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Coolest "White" Canes--EVER!!

Hi friends! I am SO excited about this fun find while I was making new friends at the Seeing Beyond the Horizon conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia. CHECK OUT THESE CANES!! They are made by Ambutech and I think they are brilliant!! The grips are in different colors with the tips in a variety of colors as well. The main shaft of the cane is still traditional white. Now I know there are some out there that don't like this idea but I ask you, wouldn't this help some of our kids (and teens) use their canes more? The canes still are the same look and feel but with COLOR!

I was just so excited when I saw these canes! I met Gordon Hudek from Ambutech at the conference. He did a great job of showing me the new line. I did give the suggestion that if you can customize your cane with color and stickers, it would be cool if you can use customized stickers with your name on it. I have all my students' canes tagged with their names (we use painters tape) the moment they arrive at camp (can you imagine 60+ canes and trying to figure out whose it who real quick--yikes!).

 I believe Gordon told me these hot new canes would be available in the US in June. You have to excuse me with that detail. My precious new baby still keeps me awake with feedings during the night and I often feel that I have eggs for brains ;).

I have to admit, I am a little skeptical with the model. I think it would be cool to find some actual cane users (this model might be one but I'd rather see actual users...). I just think this is such a fun idea for our kids. I think it really brings a coolness factor that our kids are looking for with the cane identification. 


  1. I have been a cane traveler now for some years. I have a small bit of residual vision and surprisingly my color reception is quite good for someone who has the amount of reduced vision I have. I have always been somewhat of a connoisseur of canes.... I love to find and use canes of various types. My top 3 favorite canes at the moment are: 1) the NFB folding model Chris Park designed 2) the NFB straight model also by Chris Park, and 3) the AmbuTech graphite model with a pencil tip (which I wish were just a tad lighter). I had been aware that AmbuTech would apply other colors to the surface of canes for a while. I even wrote and asked if they would give me more exact info on the colors, which they did very promptly. However, I have opted not to try it for a couple of reasons. First, some states' white cane laws may not honor a cane that isn't white (or at least partially white). Second, the presence of all the colors may confuse the sighted public, many of whom are just getting used to associating the presence of a white cane with someone who has a lack of eyesight. I realize that there are some kids, teenagers, and even adults who don't want the "stigma" that a cane might represent and the color choices have been great for getting these folks to accept and use a cane. I totally get that and it's better to use some type of cane than none. However, I was quite intrigued to find that with this new concept, the color is on the grip, tip, and other working parts of the cane and most of the shaft is still white. This may be the best of both having a creative "edge" and still allow for it to be identified for what it is... a tool for independence.

    1. I think the new cane design should still be acceptable by state law as only the grip, reflective tape, and tips will be in color. The shift of the new canes are still white. As far as how the public will view them though I am a bit skeptical about too. I also have some usable vision and when I use a cane I often find that people assume I have no vision. With the new colored cane design it is going to be even more difficult for fully sighted people to comprehend the meaning of the white cane.

  2. Thanks for your perspective! I loved reading your reply.

  3. Well it has over a year since this article was published and we still don't have the new cane design! I am one who is quite looking forward to it too. I am 17 and have 29/200 vision so I don't normally use a cane, but when I need one for identification or in the rare situation that I have trouble navigating by vision alone I would much prefer to have a "cool" looking cane rather than the plain old white and black design. The different colors will also help me identify my cane when I go to summer camps and other activities with other visually impaired folks where there can easily be upwards of 10 canes all together.

    I also hope that Ambutech extends the new design to all of their cane models and not just the traditional mobility cane. I prefer using a slim line cane since it is mostly for identification and sometimes even a dedicated identification cane. If Ambutech only makes the mobility cane available in the new design I will probably use it over my slim line cane just for the look but I certainly hope I don't have to make that choice!