Blind seven year old girl refused walking cane at school.

Sep 24, 2008
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I'm sorry if this comes off to be insensitive. It really isn't intended to be. I'm just flabbergasted by this.

Can't the other students and facility... I don't know... be able to see the cane and take the appropriate measures not to trip over it? I mean, that's what I use my sight for.

We have sight. She uses the cane to make up for the sight she lacks.

I'm really confused to why is this even a thing. Is the cane invisible? Can people just not be able to see it and move out of the way like they probably did a couple of dozen times to even get to the school?!
 

Lil_Rimmy

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ObsidianJones said:
I'm sorry if this comes off to be insensitive. It really isn't intended to be. I'm just flabbergasted by this.

Can't the other students and facility... I don't know... be able to see the cane and take the appropriate measures not to trip over it? I mean, that's what I use my sight for.

We have sight. She uses the cane to make up for the sight she lacks.

I'm really confused to why is this even a thing. Is the cane invisible? Can people just not be able to see it and move out of the way like they probably did a couple of dozen times to even get to the school?!
Well, I was too when I first saw this on Reddit, but apparently the full story isn't that she was banned from having the cane (at least, the article that was featured) but that she was not allowed a very long cane, I'm assuming that blind people use it for longer reach or whatever, but the school said it was too long and to bring a shorter one.

The parent (I'm assuming, because 7 year olds don't often commit civil disobedience) sent her to school with the extra long cane still so the school said that instead, she has to have a guide (assuming that would force the parent to just give her the shorter damn cane) but instead, media shitstorm with a clickbait title.

Of course, I could be totally wrong too, but hey, it's the internet.
 

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime

Lolita Style, The Best Style!
Jan 12, 2010
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Lil_Rimmy said:
ObsidianJones said:
I'm sorry if this comes off to be insensitive. It really isn't intended to be. I'm just flabbergasted by this.

Can't the other students and facility... I don't know... be able to see the cane and take the appropriate measures not to trip over it? I mean, that's what I use my sight for.

We have sight. She uses the cane to make up for the sight she lacks.

I'm really confused to why is this even a thing. Is the cane invisible? Can people just not be able to see it and move out of the way like they probably did a couple of dozen times to even get to the school?!
Well, I was too when I first saw this on Reddit, but apparently the full story isn't that she was banned from having the cane (at least, the article that was featured) but that she was not allowed a very long cane, I'm assuming that blind people use it for longer reach or whatever, but the school said it was too long and to bring a shorter one.

The parent (I'm assuming, because 7 year olds don't often commit civil disobedience) sent her to school with the extra long cane still so the school said that instead, she has to have a guide (assuming that would force the parent to just give her the shorter damn cane) but instead, media shitstorm with a clickbait title.

Of course, I could be totally wrong too, but hey, it's the internet.
Short canes are basically useless for the blind, as the cane is not for leaning on but rather for detecting obstacles, walls, corners, doorways, trip hazards, and basically everything a blind person needs. A short cane can't do the job especially when the person is used to a standard length cane. Also I've never seen a sort cane for the blind they're always pretty long with a weight on the end that clacks loudly when it hits something. I went to school with a several blind kids, they all had very long canes.
 

Lil_Rimmy

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KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime said:
Lil_Rimmy said:
ObsidianJones said:
I'm sorry if this comes off to be insensitive. It really isn't intended to be. I'm just flabbergasted by this.

Can't the other students and facility... I don't know... be able to see the cane and take the appropriate measures not to trip over it? I mean, that's what I use my sight for.

We have sight. She uses the cane to make up for the sight she lacks.

I'm really confused to why is this even a thing. Is the cane invisible? Can people just not be able to see it and move out of the way like they probably did a couple of dozen times to even get to the school?!
Well, I was too when I first saw this on Reddit, but apparently the full story isn't that she was banned from having the cane (at least, the article that was featured) but that she was not allowed a very long cane, I'm assuming that blind people use it for longer reach or whatever, but the school said it was too long and to bring a shorter one.

The parent (I'm assuming, because 7 year olds don't often commit civil disobedience) sent her to school with the extra long cane still so the school said that instead, she has to have a guide (assuming that would force the parent to just give her the shorter damn cane) but instead, media shitstorm with a clickbait title.

Of course, I could be totally wrong too, but hey, it's the internet.
Short canes are basically useless for the blind, as the cane is not for leaning on but rather for detecting obstacles, walls, corners, doorways, trip hazards, and basically everything a blind person needs. A short cane can't do the job especially when the person is used to a standard length cane. Also I've never seen a sort cane for the blind they're always pretty long with a weight on the end that clacks loudly when it hits something. I went to school with a several blind kids, they all had very long canes.
Again, apparently the cane was extra long and a hazard because a 7 year old walking with a stick is ok, but when they start swinging the "Broadstick of the Starks" it might get a bit dangerous. Again again, APPARENTLY. This story has already taken off and frankly it could be anything at this point.

But I get what you mean about super short canes, but I could kind of guess that the cane wasn't used for leaning on. I meant that there would be different lengths of cane, and that the one she took was of the longest variety while the school wanted one of the medium variety. You seem to assume I said standard length reduced to short, but the way I heard it was an extra-long one reduced to standard.

Still seems like a shitty move from the school unless the kid was already causing issues.
 

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime

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Jan 12, 2010
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Lil_Rimmy said:
Again, apparently the cane was extra long and a hazard because a 7 year old walking with a stick is ok, but when they start swinging the "Broadstick of the Starks" it might get a bit dangerous. Again again, APPARENTLY. This story has already taken off and frankly it could be anything at this point.

But I get what you mean about super short canes, but I could kind of guess that the cane wasn't used for leaning on. I meant that there would be different lengths of cane, and that the one she took was of the longest variety while the school wanted one of the medium variety. You seem to assume I said standard length reduced to short, but the way I heard it was an extra-long one reduced to standard.

Still seems like a shitty move from the school unless the kid was already causing issues.
Even if the kid was causing issues, the school really doesn't have the right to take away essential medical equipment, or demand a change of equipment. The canes the blind use to adapt might come in different lengths, but it's still basically impossible to adapt to a sudden change in cane length. If the blind people I've talked to throughout my life aren't lying.

Either way this is putting the thought "maybe this cane can trip someone", before the needs of a disabled student. It just smacks of a nanny state, which the UK patently is, treating the general population like it's too stupid to avoid killing themselves in reasonable situations.
 

Kiall

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The Health and Safety executive is a statutory body setup to ensure compliance with legislation in regards to health and saftey in the workplace and public spaces. The NTSB in the is similar sort of body in the US, but in charge of overseeing transport saftey.

The law states that the school has to have a risk assessment carried out by a qualified person. In the opinion of that person the cane is trip hazard then the school has no choice but to ban it. If any teacher or pupil trips and falls the school could not defend any personal injury claim and also risks further legal action by the Health and Safety Executive for failing to comply with the law. The real issue is not the decision but the way the law is written that does not allow for leeway or judgment dependant on circumstances
Actually, that isn't quite the case. I work in construction management in the UK and not surprisingly a large chunk of the job is risk management. Firstly, a risk assessment is to be carried out by a 'competent person' not a qualified person. Additionally, risk is not so black and white. While it is true the first step after identifying a risk is to see if it can be avoided altogether i.e. in this instance banning the cane is has to be balanced against what is 'reasonable.' For example, I could negate the risk of falling from a scaffold by having a tether attached to every worker but would be so impractical we settle for handrails, toe-boards etc.

Same as in the case of the cane. It's not practical to hire a person just to lead the girl around and deprive said girl of her independence just to prevent the relativity minor possibility of a trip/fall. Instead, the competent person would then be expected to find ways to reduce the risk (95% of risk management is not avoiding risk altogether but simply reducing it).

I believe it's this mistaken reasoning on risk which has led the school to act in such a way not realising that the law actually protects them as long as they have followed the correct procedure and made some efforts to moderate risk.
 

Lil devils x_v1legacy

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May 17, 2011
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Lil_Rimmy said:
KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime said:
Lil_Rimmy said:
ObsidianJones said:
I'm sorry if this comes off to be insensitive. It really isn't intended to be. I'm just flabbergasted by this.

Can't the other students and facility... I don't know... be able to see the cane and take the appropriate measures not to trip over it? I mean, that's what I use my sight for.

We have sight. She uses the cane to make up for the sight she lacks.

I'm really confused to why is this even a thing. Is the cane invisible? Can people just not be able to see it and move out of the way like they probably did a couple of dozen times to even get to the school?!
Well, I was too when I first saw this on Reddit, but apparently the full story isn't that she was banned from having the cane (at least, the article that was featured) but that she was not allowed a very long cane, I'm assuming that blind people use it for longer reach or whatever, but the school said it was too long and to bring a shorter one.

The parent (I'm assuming, because 7 year olds don't often commit civil disobedience) sent her to school with the extra long cane still so the school said that instead, she has to have a guide (assuming that would force the parent to just give her the shorter damn cane) but instead, media shitstorm with a clickbait title.

Of course, I could be totally wrong too, but hey, it's the internet.
Short canes are basically useless for the blind, as the cane is not for leaning on but rather for detecting obstacles, walls, corners, doorways, trip hazards, and basically everything a blind person needs. A short cane can't do the job especially when the person is used to a standard length cane. Also I've never seen a sort cane for the blind they're always pretty long with a weight on the end that clacks loudly when it hits something. I went to school with a several blind kids, they all had very long canes.
Again, apparently the cane was extra long and a hazard because a 7 year old walking with a stick is ok, but when they start swinging the "Broadstick of the Starks" it might get a bit dangerous. Again again, APPARENTLY. This story has already taken off and frankly it could be anything at this point.

But I get what you mean about super short canes, but I could kind of guess that the cane wasn't used for leaning on. I meant that there would be different lengths of cane, and that the one she took was of the longest variety while the school wanted one of the medium variety. You seem to assume I said standard length reduced to short, but the way I heard it was an extra-long one reduced to standard.

Still seems like a shitty move from the school unless the kid was already causing issues.
No, the cane was not extra long, it is a standard cane that is used by the blind, as shown in her pictures:
http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Regulator-rubbishes-health-safety-claims-denied/story-28193039-detail/story.html#2
She did not try to use anything other than the standard cane.. not some " super long cane" as they called it. It is clearly a bad call on the part of the school, and they brought any negative publicity they receive from this on themselves.
 

Unia

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Only reason I could even think of them complaining about the cane was if the girl was waving it around haphazardly at face level like she was practicing fencing. Somehow I doubt that's the case. Dickish paper-pushers seems more feasible.

Reminds me of my own school days when there was a wheelchair-bound girl zooming around the hallways like a Sonic wannabe. Other students complained about the very real danger to their toes and teachers had a little heart-to-heart with the lil' racer about consideration of others. *assumes lecturing crone voice* See, in those days we solved problems by talking them out, instead of issuing nonsense regulations.
 

Adam Jensen_v1legacy

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Sep 8, 2011
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aba1 said:
wouldn't the more obvious solution be to have teachers actually pay attention to where they are walking.
That's 100% what would happen. Have you ever seen a blind person walking? EVERYBODY gives them enough room to walk. There's absolutely no danger of cane tripping anyone. These people are idiots.
 

Loonyyy

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Jul 10, 2009
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Lil_Rimmy said:
KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime said:
Lil_Rimmy said:
ObsidianJones said:
I'm sorry if this comes off to be insensitive. It really isn't intended to be. I'm just flabbergasted by this.

Can't the other students and facility... I don't know... be able to see the cane and take the appropriate measures not to trip over it? I mean, that's what I use my sight for.

We have sight. She uses the cane to make up for the sight she lacks.

I'm really confused to why is this even a thing. Is the cane invisible? Can people just not be able to see it and move out of the way like they probably did a couple of dozen times to even get to the school?!
Well, I was too when I first saw this on Reddit, but apparently the full story isn't that she was banned from having the cane (at least, the article that was featured) but that she was not allowed a very long cane, I'm assuming that blind people use it for longer reach or whatever, but the school said it was too long and to bring a shorter one.

The parent (I'm assuming, because 7 year olds don't often commit civil disobedience) sent her to school with the extra long cane still so the school said that instead, she has to have a guide (assuming that would force the parent to just give her the shorter damn cane) but instead, media shitstorm with a clickbait title.

Of course, I could be totally wrong too, but hey, it's the internet.
Short canes are basically useless for the blind, as the cane is not for leaning on but rather for detecting obstacles, walls, corners, doorways, trip hazards, and basically everything a blind person needs. A short cane can't do the job especially when the person is used to a standard length cane. Also I've never seen a sort cane for the blind they're always pretty long with a weight on the end that clacks loudly when it hits something. I went to school with a several blind kids, they all had very long canes.
Again, apparently the cane was extra long and a hazard because a 7 year old walking with a stick is ok, but when they start swinging the "Broadstick of the Starks" it might get a bit dangerous. Again again, APPARENTLY. This story has already taken off and frankly it could be anything at this point.

But I get what you mean about super short canes, but I could kind of guess that the cane wasn't used for leaning on. I meant that there would be different lengths of cane, and that the one she took was of the longest variety while the school wanted one of the medium variety. You seem to assume I said standard length reduced to short, but the way I heard it was an extra-long one reduced to standard.

Still seems like a shitty move from the school unless the kid was already causing issues.
Not trying to dogpile you here, but the visually impaired actually need that long cane. Indeed, it's sometimes been referred to as that. It's used like echolocation, you move it around in front of you, and detect things by bumping into them with it. You need that reach, otherwise you can't move as quickly, you're in danger of tripping, of bumping into people. There are different lengths of cane, but using a shorter one is basically cutting down their effective vision.

The cane can occassionally bump people, but it's not a serious hazard. They're coloured specifically for visibility, and to indicate to others that the user is visually impaired, and it's kind of hard to trip over. It's not being braced, it's being held gently in the hands of a 7 year old girl. If anything, she's going to lose her cane.

In the followup, the school said they'd ask the parent about what cane is needed (Because they don't know), and work with them (Because it's not a health and safety regulation, but just their health and safety concern, and their concerns are frankly irrelevant, because as we've noted, they don't know shit).

More primary schools being primary schools.
 

Loonyyy

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Unia said:
Dickish paper-pushers seems more feasible.
I doubt it was even a paper pusher. More likely some useless primary teacher, who doesn't know how to look after a child with special needs (Because most of them don't, it's not always a part of their training, and there's not always a dedicated support teacher to manage them), who got overly maternal/paternal about "safety" and went about "fixing" it, because they thought they knew best.

It's kind of creepy how schools operate, as their own little bubble, until finally the real world comes crashing down on top of them. Let me put it this way-I don't think we'd be wrong in guessing there's at least a few people here who've been bullied, some physically. Think of that in the real world, think of what would happen if anyone were to do that to a child, or to another adult. It's unthinkable. The police would be involved. Certainly, nobody in their right mind would be chastising the victim, or telling them they're not to fight back(AKA, we failed at our job and obligation, and you've been assaulted, and we don't want you to fight back, because reasons, fighting is bad mmmkaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy). Yet this is exactly how it occurs in schools, and they honestly think they have the authority to deal with it internally.

It's not all of them, but there's a fair chunk of people in that sort of education who get a little too used to being the only adult in a room full of children. They think they know more about being a 7 year old girl with a visual impairment than a 7 year old girl with a visual impairment. Surely you don't need a cane thaaat long. I wouldn't need that, not that I'm blind. Talk to enough primary school teachers and you'll notice it. Better yet, read say, The Guardian's "Secret Teacher". These clowns are a laugh a minute.

So I take a perverse pleasure from them getting exposed to far more important and knowledgeable adults, and being on the other end of that dynamic. Bad teacher! Bad principal! Go sit in time out and think about what you've done!
 

RaikuFA

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Sooooooooooooo... a teacher is too lazy to look where shes walking and a disabled child is suffering for it.

This world...
 

Pseudonym

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I'm going to agree with most people here that people just need to watch where they are going. Not bumping into other people and their stuff (regardless of whether they are blind) is something that adults, such as teachers, should easily be capable off. If you are incapable of not tripping over other people, that is your problem to work out.