Long cane practices and the self-representation of blind people

Natalie Geese

Blind people are not alone in public spaces. There they are accompanied by assistive technologies, such as a long white cane, which support them in their mobility. But the technologies are more than just mobility assistants as they contribute to self-representation. Specifically, assistive technology often make certain characteristics visible to others. In my project, I will analyse the self-portrayal of human-long cane-teams in public space and compare it with that of teams of blind people using digital mobility assistants. How do they present themselves? To what extent does the question of the self-representation of blind people determine the use of assistive technologies? What roles do the characteristics of mobility assistants play in self-representation? I answer my questions with the help of existing studies and auto-ethnographic data.