Learn More About Pediatric Belt Canes

Grace Ambrose squating behind a three-year-old girl with CVI who is wearing a belt cane and appears to be surprised by something in front of her.
CHARGE Syndrome Pilot study: Initial results
Dr. Grace Ambrose-Zaken stands in front of the TSBVI Conference table holding two belt canes and smiling.

Upcoming Presentations

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The Importance of Safe Mobility to Achieving Developmental Milestones for Children Who Are Congenitally Blind/Severely Visually Impaired
Day: Thursday

Date: August, 5 2021

Start time: 11.00am

Finish time: 12.00pm

The format for all sessions will be a recorded presentation followed by a live question and answer session. I will forward you instructions regarding length of video etc. later today.

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AER I&P session: “Opening Doors”

August 5th 1:30-2:30 EST


Exploring the Link Between Safe Independent Exploration and Learning in Toddlers and Preschool Learners with Congenital Visual Impairments and Blindness

Ambrose-Zaken's Theory Safe Mobility is Essential to Achieve Developmental Potential
Ambrose-Zakens theory of Safe Mobility bottom row "physiological needs" food-shelter-health; row above "Safety Needs" Stability - order- freedom from fear, safe mobility; Three boxes on top of that row "self-determination, compensatory functional, sensory efficiency; row above "belonging-love", three boxes above; recreation/leisure skills, independent travel skills, social interaction, row above Self-worth, box above three terms- independent living, career, assistive tech, top row - self-actualization.

Maslow’s hierarchy places safety as second in order of needs for learning. The first need is physiological- meaning we first need to trust that we’re going to be fed and have a place to call home. The next most important need is safety. We all need to feel safe to achieve our potential. Blind toddlers who cannot see where they are going are inherently unsafe. Each time blind toddlers take independent steps; they are at risk for an unavoidable collision.

Learning from Lily: Growing up Mobility Visually Impaired
Lily was born in 2012 with optic nerve hypoplasia. She received early cane instruction, rectangular cane instruction and lots of love and support from her family. Lily's experiences help us learn three lessons
The history of orientation and mobility for children who are blind and visually impaired: A rationale for the pediatric belt cane (aka toddler cane)
Comparing 100 steps cane arc coverage of 3-year-old using her long cane and when wearing her belt cane
A very brief history of long, white canes and mobility tools for walking with a visual impairment

Video of presentation on pediatric belt canes (aka toddler canes)



Ambrose-Zaken, G., Fallahrad, M., Bernstein, H., Wall Emerson, R. & Bikson, M.

     (2019). Wearable Cane and App System for Improving Mobility in 

     Toddlers/Pre-schoolers With Visual Impairment. Frontiers in Education, 4, 01.

Ambrose-Zaken, G.V. (2020). A study of Improving Independent Walking

     Outcomes in Children Age Five and Younger who are Blind and Visually

     Impaired. Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, under review.

Ambrose-Zaken, G.V. (2020). Teaching O&M to Learners with Cognitive

     Impairments and Vision Loss. In W. Wiener, B. Blasch, R. Wall-Emerson (Eds.),

     Foundations of Orientation and Mobility (4th Ed., Vol. 2. Chpt 19). Louisville, KY:



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renwick center podcast episode 15 Grace Ambrose - Wha is a wearable cane?
Portland State O&M podcast: On the go SPED 510 episode 06; Dr. Grace Ambrose Zaken

Compare her hands

Four pictures showing 3-year-old girl who is blind walkig, her hands are held above her waist, taught fingers, arched wrists.
Same little girl who is blind wearing her belt cane, steps up ont a gravel step from the grass, two hands hold the cane.