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Long Cane Technique

White cane touching ridges on a curb

Orientation and mobility for the blind – long cane technique

Traveling with a long cane represents the basic technique of orientation and mobility of blind people.

Orientation and mobility programme starts with the assessment of clients in the Centre Silver and at the place of residence.The training in independent traveling is individual and takes 7 weeks (6 weeks in Silver Centre and a week at the place of residence of the client), and includes:

  • Travel with a sighted guide – proper posture and walking with a sighted guide in various situations.
  • Mastering diagonal technique – used for walking indoors, and suitable for the beginners as well as for persons with low intellectual abilities.
  • Mastering touch technique – getting the information about the environment in two possible variants: slide technique and two-point touch technique.

Apart from mastering the techniques mentioned, this programme includes learning the  orientation skills, which represents the basics of safe travel.

Slika-osobe-oštećena-vida-koja-se-koristi-bijelim-štapomAfter learning the basic long cane mobility skills, the following phase is the estimation of traffic situations, orientation at crossroads with different traffic regulations (traffic signs, traffic lights, etc.) and independent crossing. Stair-climbing techniques and public transportation are separate learning units.

The establishing of routes at the place of residence of the client follows after mastering the long cane technique programme. In this period, the blind person with the help of an O&M instructor is trained to apply the acquired techniques in the area of their mobility (orientation marks, safety of routes, etc.).

The users of this programme stay in touch with the O&M instructor because of possible changes in the area or life conditions, and because of the need to improve old or establish new routes. Long cane proficiency represents a quality basis for an independent living, successful professional rehabilitation and the development of consciousness about own abilities.

“Tom Pouce” Electronic Travel Aid Device use training programme“Tom Pouce” Electronic Travel Aid Device is an infrared proximeter that detects obstacles in the covered fields of view (including those above a fixed threshold) and vibrates to alert the visually impaired person, thus providing an additional protection and security. The precondition for the participation in this programme is the ability of a person to use the slide technique with a long cane and to have independent mobility experience.

This programme is individually carried out in the Silver Centre during the period of 2 weeks. The education programme includes the previous assessment of mobility and the ability of a visually impaired person to use this device.