RNIB All Terrain Cane image

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has launched the All-Terrain Cane (ATC) from AwareWolf Gear, which aims to change the game for blind and partially sighted cane users.

Exclusive to RNIB, the cane is lightweight with a strong titanium alloy to help blind and partially sighted people to feel confident and enjoy hiking and navigating unfamiliar terrain.

The ATC was designed by a retired firefighter, Dave Epstein, from Sedona, Arizona, who is a keen hiker of Arizona trails.

Dave was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) in 1982 by his father who was an ophthalmologist. RP is an inherited eye condition which affects the light sensitive cells in the retina at the back the eyes, which over time causes progressive sight loss.

Dave was inspired to create the ATC when he was training with his orientation and mobility instructor in 2018.

Dave said: “One afternoon, I was hiking with my wife and as the sun set below the mountain range, the trail became difficult to navigate. I wasn’t willing to give up hiking and I knew needed a mobility device that could keep me on the trails.

“So, I visited hiking stores but there wasn’t anything on the market for blind hikers, other than flashlights and first aid kits. I left the store with a pair of trekking poles and a bunch of ideas. Shortly after, the first prototype of the ATC was created.”

The assistive technology is designed for people to take it anywhere they want: a stroll to the shops, a walk on the beach, or country trails.

“The ATC and AwareWolf Gear is my life and passion,” added Dave. “My mission is to get blind and partially sighted people out and on the move. As someone who also has sight loss, I’d like to encourage others to find the tools they need to help them get where they want to be and to continue to do what they love.”

The ATC is available to buy from £99 excluding VAT or £118.80 including VAT here.

Claire Maxwell, RNIB Product Manager, commented: “We are thrilled to be working with AwareWolf Gear to bring the innovative All-Terrain Cane to blind and partially sighted people in the UK.

“As someone who is living with sight loss, it’s so important for everyone to have the freedom to enjoy the great outdoors safely, but this can be challenging. The ATC will support people with sight loss to navigate safely and to live the life we want to lead.”

People can book demonstrations of products at the Products for Life stores in London, Edinburgh, and Belfast. Demonstrations are via appointment only and can be in store, by phone, or video call. To book a slot, click here or call the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999.

RNIB recently showcased assistive technology products for blind and partially sighted people at an event in Northern Ireland.

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