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White cane

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A White Cane is a mobility device used by people who are blind to locate obstacles in the walking path. The white cane is also a symbol of independence to members of the blind community.

History

The invention of the white cane is a source of controversy. James Biggs of Bristol claims to have invented the white cane in 1921. According to Biggs, he became blind after a car accident and was becoming increasingly concerned with the amount of traffic outside of his home. He decided that painting his cane white would make him more visible to motorists, and thus, the "white cane" was born. He wrote to various organisations, Chief Constables and newspapers, explaining his idea.[1]

Other sources contend that, Guilly d'Herbemont, a member of French high society who devoted much of her time and fortune to the welfare of the blind, began the "white stick" movement in 1931. The campaign was taken up by the press and the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) promoted the idea. In 1932, the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) started selling white sticks.[2]


References

  1. "Sight Loss - FAQs." Royal National Institute of Blind People. January 21, 2008. Accessed on February 25, 2008.
  2. "Sight Loss - FAQs." Royal National Institute of Blind People. January 21, 2008. Accessed on February 25, 2008.