Passing obstacles before turning or resuming line of travel
When using the cane to follow and find the end of a curb or obstacle, it is important to know that the cane reaches the end before you do.
If you turn toward the curb or obstacle before you yourself reach the end of it, you may trip on it.
The following seems to be an effective way to teach people to do this well (as illustrated in the video below):
Exercise 1 -- how far ahead is the cane?
Have the students walk toward a wall while holding the cane forward in the traditional manner but without moving it in an arc.
When the cane tip touches the wall, have the students reach and then walk forward until they can reach the wall, to demonstrate how far ahead the cane tip is.
Exercise 2 -- how far ahead does the cane go around the corner?
Have the students walk along a wall toward an outside corner, with one hand along the wall and the other hand holding the cane forward in the traditional position but with the tip gliding along the floor at the edge of the wall (make sure the students understand that this is for demonstration purposes only -- having the tip glide along the edge of the wall does NOT provide good protection!).
When the cane goes around the corner, the students should keep walking with their hand on the wall so they can learn how far they have to walk before they are past the corner themselves.
Exercise 3 -- practice, practice!
Find a sidewalk or carpet that has an edge approaching a corner or intersection.
Have the students walk along the edge of the sidewalk or carpet toward the corner, using the cane in constant-contact to shoreline along the edge.
When the cane goes around the corner of the carpet or sidewalk intersection, the students should keep walking (still using the cane to preview the area around the corner) until they think they are past the corner and can turn.
If they step on the grass or carpet, they know they didn't walk far enough before turning.
Exercise 4 -- practice, but now with a little challenge
Find a short planter or a curb with a corner. Have the students walk along the curb or planter, shorelining with the cane to find the corner or opening, and then get around the corner without tripping or bumping into the curb or planter.