WeWalk Together

I’m giddy with excitement because we just released our favorite episode of Living The Blind Life. In Episode 4, “How Many Canes Does A Blind Guy Need,” I talk all about the three different canes I wield during my life travels. I’ve developed a special relationship with each of them and I tell you all about it in Episode 4.

Here’s a question for you: which of my three canes has anti-ball crushing technology? Watch the episode and you’ll know the answer. This is very important to know especially if you are a man. I always remember the day when my mobility instructor took me to practice on the sidewalks of West Hartford, CT. He had me counting driveways as a method to keep track of where I was. I soon learned that this was also meant to let me experience what happens when your cane gets caught in a crack in the sidewalk. As I was focused on counting driveways, my cane went into a rut, my hand jerked back and my body kept moving forward. The immediate result was that my male parts got rattled like wind chimes in a hurricane. I went down and my mobility instructor said, “Yeah, that’s a lesson all the blind guys have to learn.”

Today, I am much better at proper cane techniques. I’ve even gotten comfortable with having to use my canes wherever I go. I used to hate my white canes, but now we’re connecting on a deeper level. Then my wifey threw me a curveball. 

“Husband, have you heard of the WeWALK?”

“Sure, those are the little furry creatures in Star Wars, I explained.”

“No, not an Ewok, a WeWALK, she said.”

“A WeWALK? Where are we walking?”

“Will you stop being an idiot and listen to me?”

My beautiful wifey then told me that there is a new cane on the market. The WeWALK takes the crude white cane and brings it to the modern era. It’s loaded with new technology where it provides locations, describes the surrounding areas and perhaps what I like best is that it has sensors in the handle that alerts me to objects that are above the detection area of my cane. I stand a little over six feet tall so getting hit in the face by branches, gym equipment, street signs, awnings, street decorations, open cabinets and all sorts of other objects, can be a daily occurrence for me. I just feel it’s all part of living the blind life. I’ll give you an example of what happened just yesterday at work. I was swiping my cane down the hallway where I work as a school counselor at a public middle school. The custodian left his trash barrel in the middle of the hallway. No big deal, I’m good enough with my cane where I was able to detect the trash barrel and move around it. However, what I couldn’t detect, was the metal broom handle that was sticking out of the barrel and leaning to the side and therefore whacked me right above the right eye. I still have a mark from the hit.

I’m happy that new innovators are recognizing that the blind community can use some help navigating our daily lives. It’s amazing with all of the technology that now exists that we are either walking around with guide animals or white sticks that have not been updated for decades. Unfortunately, these new inventions can be rather expensive. When my wifey told me that the WeWALK cane sells for around $500 that was more like a WeWOW! However, I am still happy that we are now getting other options and that there are people out there trying to help us and I hope this trend continues. For now, I’ll still be using my simple white cane, but with every swipe I take, there is now more hope for the future. 

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