What We Believe

The White Cane

Issue: Identification symbols with respect to low vision

Statement: CNIB recognizes the white cane as the international symbol for vision loss generally, including low vision.

Founded in 1918, CNIB is a nationwide, community-based, registered charity committed to research, public education and vision health for all Canadians. CNIB is also a member of the international blindness and vision loss community, supporting the vision health of the world’s population.

As a member of this global effort, CNIB supports international symbols for vision loss that are recognized throughout the world. CNIB is willing to consider and support the use of any symbols that international blindness organizations may develop and adopt worldwide for low vision. In particular, CNIB is a member of the World Blind Union (WBU), which is recognized as the voice of people with vision loss worldwide. CNIB will respect and provide careful consideration to any such symbol that the WBU may develop and endorse in future.

Currently the white cane is the only widely recognized international symbol for vision loss of any kind, and it is therefore the one that CNIB supports. CNIB’s policy is to recognize symbols that are widely acknowledged and therefore of the greatest possible benefit to both the public and people with vision loss.

Released: March 2006