Using a cane

Using a white cane to get around can make a huge difference to the day-to-day lives of people with sight loss. Whether it’s navigating a busy café, getting the kids to school or hopping on the right bus, our videos show how a white cane can help people with sight loss to get around and lead active lives.

Why use a White Cane?

With over two million people in the UK living with sight loss, white canes are an indispensable navigation and symbol tool for everyday life.

There are several types of white canes available, ranging from a symbol cane, which lets others know that you’re blind or partially sighted, through to a long cane which is used to navigate obstacles in your path, such as bollards, stairs and curbs.

Find out more about different canes and which could help you here


How can I choose a White Cane?

White canes come in different styles, lengths, and even colours. Both the material they’re made from and whether they’re foldable will affect the weight of your new cane.

If you’re not sure which type of cane you need, call the RNIB on 0303 123 9999 or visit the RNIB shop



Blind man with a cane holding a woman by the arm in the park. Improve your White Cane skills

Build your confidence and improve your cane skills for independent and safe travel by taking Orientation and Mobility training.

To obtain training, please contact your local sensory team. RNIB can also help you receive training from your local social services department – call their helpline on 0303 123 9999 or email



Find out more about Orientation and Mobility training here


Registering as blind or partially sighted

An optometrist, or high street optician, is the first person you will encounter if you have issues with vision, and everyone should have regular check-ups – every two years. They will refer you to a specialist eye clinic if they think it necessary for an examination by an ophthalmologist. If your vision is impaired to a certain level, a Certificate of Visual Impairment (CVI) will be issued and your local services team will contact you to find out if you would like to register as blind or partially sighted.

Registration is a voluntary and completely confidential process and will make it easier to access some of the help and support you need. Find out more here: A Guide to Registration


What will people think about me if I use a White Cane?


Take a look at this article that explores various viewpoints of cane users

How I See

Not everyone who uses a white cane is completely blind. This short video gives accounts of individuals with different levels of vision, all registered as blind or partially sighted. Just because they might use a cane or a guide dog, it doesn’t mean they can’t see.

Watch the video here

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