Just curious! What's up with the fold up/white tipped cane being incorrect? I wanna make sure when i draw a character with a cane--that it's the proper one.
Oh sure, no problem!
So it’s not actually inaccurate, it’s just not the norm and by far not the best tool. They are often only used by people who were taught by sighted school officials who don’t really understand the pros and cons of different cane types, but if you go to a blindness organization run by blind people, the straight cane is so, so heavily endorsed because it is the absolute most effective type of cfane for feedback and navigation, and always with the little metal and rubber tip.
Allow me to explain a bit:
The way a cane works is both auditory and tactile. You want your cane to be long enough to always be reaching out two full steps ahead of you, so usually somewhere between chin and eye height. When using a cane, its purpose is to give you tactile information about the ground you touch, as well as to give you auditory information about the area around you, and this only works best with a straight cane with a metal tip using two-point tap technique.
Every time you put a joint in a cane to fold it, that joint slows down the vibrations going to your hand, and the more joints it has, the less information will ever actually reach your hand. With a straight, non-folding cane, there is nothing inbetween the tip of the cane and your hand, and everything goes straight up to your hand. This is also affected by the type of tip you use. Plastic is not nearly as good at generating tactile feedback as metal, so a small, circular metal tip is used on a straight cane. You can pick up an incredible amount of detail through a metal tip on a totally straight white cane.
Cane technique is also important, though. Many blind people newer to canes or with less instruction will use rolling tips and roll their cane back and forth in front of them, but this first of all affects your tactile feedback because rolling tips are often plastic, and secondly, it takes away most of your possible auditory feedback. Plastic tips are very quiet, and while many newer travelers prefer this due to nerves and being afraid to be noticed too much, it certainly doesn’t tell you much about your surroundings.
So seasoned travelers and people with lots of good instruction almost always use the two-point tap method, where you tap the little metal tip of your straight cane in time with your steps, the cane tapping the opposite side of the foot that is stepping. Your arc should be just wider than your shoulders, no smaller and not super big. Metal is fantastic for making noise, so the little metal tap is fantastic at telling you all sorts of info about your surroundings from nearby obstacles to the length of a hallway that has tile flooring and how high the ceiling is and all sorts of information.
The carbon fiber and fiber glass straight white canes with metal tips and two-point tap were also developed by the blind themselves, by the way, and it is the strict standard for cane instruction that they themselves teach in their blind-run training centers for the blind and is always the instruction they advocate for in other areas such as public schools. So it was all created by the blind, for the blind, by the only people who know what works the best for their own people, not by some sighted guy at Harvard who wanted to make money on a new patent.
So there you have it, the importance of prioritizing the straight white cane!
(P.S.: There are also confidence-building reasons behind the straight cane if you’re interested!)