Do I need a white stick and where can I get one from?

You don’t necessarily need a white stick or cane if you are blind or partially sighted, although many people do find them very useful.

There are four types of white sticks or canes:

Symbol Canes which show you have low but useful vision. You hold the cane in front of you to let people around you know you are partially sighted.  Its particularly useful in busy, crowed places.

Guide Canes help you to find obstacles, before they find you! You hold it in front of yourself, diagonally across your body and then use it to find approaching obstacles such as kerbs and steps.

Long Canes require training and can be used by rolling or tapping from side to side, as you walk, to help you find and avoid obstacles.

Red and white banded Canes all types of cane are also available with red and white banding, which indicate that you have a hearing impairment as well as sight loss.

Buying a white cane

You can buy different types and sizes of white canes from our online shop; however we recommend you contact your local social services as they should be able to provide you with a cane for free.  They should also be able to give you mobility training so that you know how to use one to get about safely.

Find your nearest social services on the Sightline Directory, by entering your postcode and the search words 'social services'.

You can also contact our Helpline:

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Right now we can only reach one in three of the people who need our help most.

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