First week of Cane class

Posted June 3, 2011 by Mandy Smith in


As I’ve said before I am studying to become an Orientation and Mobility Specialist.  This requires nine 3 hour courses through Texas Tech Univeristy (where I’m at right now) and two of those classes are white cane technique classes.

My first class started on June 1st and we didn’t touch the canes much at all except to modify them.  We are using a rigid Typhlocane with a crook handle.  It has a grip that can be related to a golf club grip but has one flat side on it.  We cut them to the correct length by measuring it from the ground to our sternum.  I then found out that you put the white reflective tape on it (it’s made out of aluminum) which is much harder than it sounds to do it without getting any wrinkles or tears!  We also put on red reflective tape on the bottom which I did my in strips so I could identify my cane from the other students.

The next day we started using our canes more and learned how to go up and down stairs using it.  While my instructor and partner were outside during a lesson I was sitting in a lounge area on the campus with my Mindfold on and holding my cane.  I heard some students in the hallway beside me whispering something and start giggling.  I smiled!  I didn’t care if they were laughing at me because I know what I’m doing and I LOVE what I’m doing.  In a couple of weeks I’m going to have the skills to instruct another person how to grip his/her cane to travel somewhere!

I have really enjoyed the first three days of class and I’m looking forward to the next four weeks to enhance my skills!

To be continued…

Mandy Smith

Mandy has worked at RCIL since June of 2009. She is a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist and provides services in 32 counties to individuals who are blind or have low vision and are 55 years and older.

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