President’s Service Blog: Testing the I-CANE for the Visually Impaired, the Netherlands
Helping those with visual impairments live richer lives is a cause our clubs have championed for decades. More than 90 years ago, the white cane was invented as a way for the public to recognize the legally blind. In 1930, Lion George A. Bonham introduced it in the United States.
When I visited the Netherlands, I had a chance to test one of the 20 prototypes of a white cane innovation that’s sure to improve lives. Developed with the assistance of a Lions Clubs International Foundation grant, the I-CANE combines GPS and surface-scanning sensors to bring the white cane into the modern era. I was impressed that it alerted me to upcoming obstacles, but still had the identifying look of a white cane.
I believe that Lions will play an important role in bringing this critical piece of technology to the blind and visually impaired. This innovation will help people with visual impairments experience greater mobility and independence.