© 2020 SAFE TODDLES

Blindness is not a motor impairment

When children age five and younger who are blind or mobility visually impaired wear their belt canes most of the day, they can meet their gross motor milestones on time.

  • Nine months -- crawling, standing

  • Twelve months – cruising, walks with assistance

  • Fifteen months -- Walks alone feet wide, hands up, often falls, bumps into furniture

  • Eighteen months -- walks well with arms down, runs carefully but cannot avoid obstacles

  • Twenty-four months -- runs avoiding obstacles.

What are the benefits of belt canes?

  • Belt canes provide consistent, reliable tactile path information in a form that is easy for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and children with additional disabilities to use.

  • Adults easily integrate belt canes into structured and unstructured activities.

  • Children five and younger with mobility visual impairment and blindness (MVI/B) obtain independent tactile feedback about the path ahead: such as "clear path", "blocked path", "elevation change".

  • Learners with MVI/B, who wear their belt canes most of the day, gain confidence with consistent path information and improve in motor, concepts, language and social skills.

Who needs belt canes?

Children five and younger with cortical visual impairment (CVI), optic nerve hypoplasia, or who are otherwise mobility visually impaired or blind need to wear their belt canes. Mobility visual impairment and blindness (MVI/B) robs children of visual path information. Wearable canes provide children with MVI/B with consistent tactile path information. Path information is essential for gaining confidence in one's next step. 

Usage guidelines: Children five and younger with MVI/B should wear their canes everyday, all day to enable free exploration and confidence in the path ahead.

How to obtain belt canes?

A free belt cane can be requested by family members. Early intervention, preschool or other service providers for children with mobility visual impairment and blindness (MVI/B) can also use purchase orders to obtain one or more wearable canes.