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for the Blind

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Canes...?

Hey guys, :) I'm Katie :)
I'm fifteen
I have albinism which is basically a genetic condition that causes me to be legally blind... My acuity 20/400.
Anyway, I have been using a cane for a year. I really love it.
The reason as to why I am posting about canes is because I am curious. Do you guys use canes? if so, can you share your vision acuity. I am just curious :) Thanks guys :)

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Re: Canes...?



I prefer a dog over a cane.


Re:Canes...?



Hello Karen!

I have RP, I am down to less than one percent of my vision and maybe 2 degrees at most in each eye, probably less.

Wow, it is great that you are realizing early on that a cane might be a good idea. How old are you? Can't remember if you mentioned that, are you in high school? Different answers depending on your age.

Do you have a teacher of the visually impaired or an IEP with your school, if in high school? There is a person that is called an orientation and mobility instructor. Their job is to train persons to use a cane properly. Canes are fitted to your height and their are different types. If you are in school, you should talk to your TVI or your special education department to find out if there is an O & M instructor.

Another option:
Contact your local rehabilitation agency -- on www.afb.org you can find a directory of services to get you started in your state. These organizations typically work with community rehabilitation providers in the local areas that provide training in orientation and mobility.

I can tell you that I started out using my cane when traveling at night, but transitioned to using it in dark buildings and stairwells. I kept it with me all of the time. Then, I started using it all of the time after taking a step off a curb that turned out ot be a 4 foot drop off, and I was okay, but scared. I had a second similar experience at the beach. It was a transition, as I had to explain why I was using a cane to people who never knew or realized. I never went back after starting to use my cane. I love my cane and feel naked without it. I actually was an O & M instructor. I wrote a blog post for White Cane Day that will be posted online in October -- fun to write about me and my cane.

Canes are prescribed by your height and once you know that then you can purchase them from companies like Ambutech at www.ambutech.com or www.maxiaids.com. There is a different type of cane from the National Federation of the Blind -- a little lighter and most are rigid meaning that they don't fold. They are all great options. Contact your local organization and speak to your school, if you are in school.

Sincerely,
Joe S.
AFB Staff


Re:Canes...?



Hello,
My name is Karen, I have RP and am down to 40% of my vision left. I am forever running into people, and they look at me like I did it on purpose. I was wondering if I should get a cane. I'm hoping someone can tell me how to go about getting one.


Re:Canes...?



Hello,
My name is Karen, I have RP and am down to 40% of my vision left. I am forever running into people, and they look at me like I did it on purpose. I was wondering if I should get a cane. I'm hoping someone can tell me how to go about getting one.


Re:Canes...?



Hi am Randal I have R.P. too but I have less then 30 degrees of my filed I hope you get used to your cane. :)


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I have an example. So this boy pushed me in the hall on purpose a couple of weeks ago, so I push him back so hard and strong, that I send him flying across the hall with a back flip and he cork screwed to a hard landing! After that, I just ran threw that hallway with my cane!


Re:Canes...?



Of course I am going to give my opinion!
-I do think a guide dog is definitely in an equal category, however I do not want one because of my lifestyle. Unlike a cane, a dog is a responsibility and you need to be willing to take that on
-I love the tactile/audible feedback from my cane. It actually comforts me in situations where I have no vision whatsoever or I have difficulty seeing
-I live about 90minutes from NYC and I don't like using my cane in crowds. Most NYC people (and NY people in general) do not care if you are walking with a cane because they are very focused and aggresive about what they have to do. My parents always told me-dont expect people to move mountains for you because you are legally blind, you have to move them yourself!


Re:Canes...?



This truly has been a great discussion, I also think the use of the cane depends on the individual. When I say cane, I would also include the use of a dog as equal or in the same category (even though they are vastly different, used for the same purpose.). I would say that not everyone needs to use a cane depending on their vision, skills/abilities, purpose, and lifestyle (Rebecca, would agree with you on lifestyle to a point).

The cane is said to have multiple purposes:
1) Identification: to identifly that you are visually impaired. This can be beneficial when traveling because people are more likely to ask if you need assistance, keeps drivers more aware of you when you are crossing streets (or if you are at a street corner preparing to cross), and otherwise you may look like you are a bit intoxicated or just really clumsy. Do you know what I mean about the clumsy thing? Some travelers without canes bump into things or assessing and such (people see them and are confused, they may think they are a bit strange).
People will also look out for you because of the cane. I used to travel in Jersey City, Newark, and New York City; persons would tell me after a long time of traveling through that were looking out for me (such as police officers and such). I even heard this from gang members and some people who were a bit less fortunate (without home).
2. Protection: preventing injury from objects in your path. It also could be used to protect you, that is a whole different type of protection.
3. Mobility: Traveling and utilizing to help you navigate and more.
4. Audible feedback, which isn't usually mentioned. You can get the audible feedback from the tapping. Echolocation possibly.
5. Tactual feedback from the tip of the cane.


Re:Canes...?



Hey,
In accordance with what Joe S said, my disorder is similar to RP-however I can't see anything in both low light/no light or very bright lighting. Also, I have two friends with albinism. One uses a cane and the other has never used one. I am a true believer that the necessity of a cane depends upon your lifestyle.
Rebecca


Re:Canes...?



(r). (r) is a rainbow.


Re:Canes...?



My acuity is around 20/200 with correction, but my field is extremely small, only a couple of degrees. My acuity was around 20/70 for the longest time, but because of the amount of my retina that has been affected, my acuity will continue to get worse.
As typical with RP, I don't see much of anything without good lighting.

Hope that helps!

Enjoy your Sunday evening!

Joe S.


Re:Canes...?



Hello,
My name is rebecca. I am fifteen (but I will be 16 in a week from monday). My visual acuity is 20/200 in best lighting however I am extremely light and color sensitive (getting worse).
I use a cane when I am walking independently or I am not with people who are aware of the extent of my visual impairment and know when to warn me about low contrast steps, curbs, etc. I am not a fan of using it full time but it does help. I have been finding that actually wearing my sunglasses (given the few times I used to use them because I was embarrased about how different they looked). However, it looked even worse when I could not open my eyes at all because of the light. Using the cane is definitely a step-but it helps alot :)


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:-*


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:)


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your so welcome Katie cupcake.


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thank you so much guys :)
whats ur acuity now joe?


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i just recently started learninghow to use a cane,and it is kind ofa hard adujment.


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I love that you call me Kansas. I love it. What nick name can I call you? I hope you have a great weekend too. I am totally blind. Have you looked at my profile on here?


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Nope, I was diagnosed with RP at 11, legally blind by 19 or 20. I have a tiny pin hole of vision in each. Just a total of a couple of degrees. Kind of like a tunnel that just got smaller and smaller. I really didn't notice it most of the time, until I would miss something.

I hope you have a great weekend Kansas. I hope you don't mind me calling you that, seems like a cool nick name.

Enjoy!

Joe S.


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thanks Joe. Have you been blind scince birth?


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I us my cane all the time, but it was an adjustment. It didn't happen over night. I started by usin gmy cane at night, then added traveling to unfamiliar places, and then more often. Trust has to be built.

It really hit me that I needed to use it all the time when I was walking on a sidewalk and went to step off the curb (white sidewalk and white curb). I stepped off and it was a four foot drop on to another sidewalk. I was okay and landed on my feet and caught myself with my hands too. It scared me a lot. I realized it was time to be using my cane at all times. I can remember hitting my shins on low things like fire hydrants, coffee tables, and such.

A professor who worked in the field of blindness (he wrote the first textbook on teaching orientation & mobility) that you can tell someone to use a cane, but they really have to want to use it.

It is all part of our adjustment process, some people will adjust to using the cane quicker then others. I know I am safer now that I use a cane, less injuries and I am a much more competent traveler.

It is a tough thing, but when you do make that choice to use your cane, it can open up the world to you. It allows you to be more efficient and safe in your environment.

I wish you both the best in your travels and be safe when traveling!

Joe S.


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Well, I don't trust my cane as oftin as I should.


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