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Assistive technology

Mobility Aids

Guide Dogs NSW/ACT supplies people who are blind or vision impaired with mobility aids that enable or improve independent travel. Importantly, our Orientation & Mobility (O&M) specialists also provide world-class training on how to safely move through different environments, using these mobility aids.

Long Canes

Long canes are designed to physically detect obstacles as well as changes in height of the ground in front of the individual. Long canes can be solid, folding, or telescopic with the latter two canes being easy to slip into a handbag or backpack when not in use. Long canes are also light, have a range of replaceable cane tips for travelling over different surfaces.

Zara being taught how to use a white cane by her O&M Specialist

Identification Canes

Identification canes (also called ID canes) are smaller than long canes and their white and red colours let other people know that the person holding the cane has reduced vision. Identification canes can be useful in difficult situations such as negotiating crowds or crossing roads.

A lady holding an ID cane next to a footpath

Support Canes

Support canes can be useful for people who experience problems with their balance when walking. Our support canes are adjustable in length to ensure that each participant gets the perfect fit. Just like our long canes and identification canes, our support canes also have a white and red coating that lets others know that the user has difficulty with their vision. This can be particularly beneficial when using public transport, shopping or when walking in crowds. Even better, our white and red coating is reflective which makes the user more visible – and safer - when travelling in low light conditions.

D'Arcy waiting at a bus stop with his support cane and O&M specialist

Guide Dogs

Our Guide Dogs are trained to enhance the mobility of people with impaired vision by avoiding obstacles and stopping at steps, kerbs and other important changes in the surface of the path ahead.

Guide Dogs can be trained to locate objects such as seats, traffic light poles, doors and shop counters. Guide Dogs can also be trained to assist people to get to the destinations that they use regularly such as school, work, shops and community venues.

Please note: NDIS participants can apply to receive funding for the ongoing costs associated with owning a Guide Dog such as food, vet bills and pet insurance.

A woman walks along a city sidewalk with her Guide Dog

Miniguides

Miniguides are handheld electronic devices that detect objects in the environment using sound waves. Designed to be used with a long cane or Guide Dog, Miniguides are great for detecting objects such as poles, seats or obstacles at head height. Miniguides can even be used to find doorways or gaps between buildings.

Image of a client usinga a mini guide

Technology

Trekker Breeze GPS

The Trekker Breeze is a handheld GPS device specifically designed for people who are blind or vision impaired. The device speaks the names of streets, intersections and other important places in the environment while the user is travelling on foot or in a vehicle. The Trekker Breeze can also provide the user with information about shops and services that are nearby with the press of a button.

Salma using her Trekker Breeze while sitting next to her Guide Dog

GPS on the iPhone

Guide Dogs NSW/ACT can offer participants short term loans of Apple iPhones while they learn to use navigation Apps such as our industry leading GPS App. Our O&M specialists also provide assessments and training so that participants get the right device, software and have the skills required to use them well. Download the free iPhone app from the iTunes store

image of someone using the Guide Dogs GPS on an iPhone

More information

If you would like further information about any of the aids or devices outlined above, or would like to request an appointment with one of our O&M specialists, please either call us on 1800 484 333 or fill out an enquiry form.

Request for a service