Free White Cane Program

The National Federation of the Blind has distributed more than 64,000 free white canes since 2008.

A blind man helps a blind girl use her long white cane.The white cane gives blind people the ability to achieve a full and independent life, allowing us to travel freely and safely. We started our free white cane program because we believe that no blind person should be without a white cane, regardless of his or her ability to pay for it.

Your gift of a white cane could not have come at a better time for me! My wonderful wife of forty-three years, who has Alzheimer’s, has moved to an assisted living facility. The only place I could find to get a cane was a fourteen hour round trip for me and I can’t drive anymore. What you have done for me I will remember for the rest of my life.

Request a Free White Cane

To request a white cane, you can fill out our online application or mail a completed application to our office.

Any blind individual in the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico can request a cane for their personal use. Requests can be made as often as every six months.

How to Choose Your Cane Size

The canes distributed through our free white cane program are straight fiberglass canes (i.e., not folding or telescoping). All canes are white with a loop on top of the handle and come with a cane tip.

For adult first-time cane users, we recommend measuring from your shoulders to the floor. The cane needs to reach about two steps in front of where you are stepping. The speed of your pace and length of your stride will make a difference. More experienced cane travelers may wish to have a longer cane, measuring at least chin height.

For children, teens, and young adults who are first-time cane users, we recommend measuring from your chin to the floor. More experienced cane travelers may wish to have a longer cane, measuring at least nose height.

Cane Travel Training

Because we are committed to ensuring that every blind person can acquire the training he or she needs to use the white cane, we are proudly affiliated with top-notch model training centers. The innovative training programs we have pioneered at these centers are increasingly being replicated by other rehabilitation agencies and providers.

For more information on cane travel and techniques, we invite you to read, "Care and Feeding of the Long White Cane: Instructions in Cane Travel for Blind People."

More Information

For more information, please contact us at freecane@nfb.org or 410-659-9314.