Friday, October 7, 2011

Learning a New Cane Technique - 新しい白杖の使い方を習う

Daniel Showing a Cane Technique

After panel exercise, Daniel and I move on the cane use technique.

He asked me how I hold a cane and how I use it.
I told him what I was taught by mobility instructors in Japan: Hold a cane right in front of my belly button and swing the cane to tap the ground.

As soon as Daniel heard this, he said he would have thought so, and he bets I use a short cane that come to my chest height. He say, he will fix all of that!

Daniel took my short, heavy cane that I have brought from Japan away, and handed an interim, longer cane with lighter construction to me.

Then, he proceeds to explain how I hold a cane.








Daniel explained that in America, there are some old-school institutions that teaches with old method; using a 'short' cane that come to belly-to-chest level and hold a cane right in the middle of body. But he recommends that we use long canes that come to one's chin to nose length.
Indeed, my interim cane comes to my chin.

Then, he showed me how to hold a long cane.
Since we both blind, he shows me how to hold a cane by touching my hands.
If I am sighted, I can 'see' his action, but what I could do is feel his hands and imitate his movement.

Daniel told me to hold the cane as if I am shaking a hand with it, and let the cane through between the thumb and index fingers.
When holding, use a thumb and index fingers and balance the cane with only two fingers.
I was told I may use other fingers to support the weight of cane if my thumb and index finger are getting tired.

Daniel also noted, there are many ways to hold a cane, and I do not have to stick with one way, but I shall not forget I treat my cane as the extension of my arm, I should feel that the cane is part of my body, arm, and hand.

I realised Daniel is not only a echolocation master, but a certified mobility instructor for blind people!

Holding a Cane Hands Closeup





Daniel Showing the Cane Technique

Then, Daniel showed me how to use the long white cane effectively.

Unlike short canes that are designed to tap the ground, making enough noise to alert (and scare?) other people, Daniel demonstrated that he slide the cane gently, right-to-left, and left-to-right, barely touching the surface.

Daniel calls this cane technique 'feather touch'.
While doing this, arm is in motion but not twisting wrists.

When I learned the Japanese or Old-fashioned cane technique, I was told not to move my arm, and swing my cane right in front of belly button by snapping my wrist.

It's totally a different cane use technique I've taught, it would take some time to get used to this...





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