We serve families who, for far too long, have been blamed for the failure of their blind babies to achieve gross motor milestones on time. The only advice for centuries is "make the child walk" even though because blind babies cannot see the path ahead walking results in them colliding with obstacles without warning. These collisions are to blame for lack of independent gross motor attainment, not the families or the child.
The belt cane is the first device to prevent harmful collisions and is equivalent to the help a wheelchair provide children who are paralyzed. That is because a paralyzed child needs wheels to move independently and a blind child needs consistent tactile path information to move safely and build self-confidence.
We are a group of committed orientation and mobility and engineering professionals from The City University of New York (CUNY). The amazing group of biomedical engineers work seamlessly together at Shames Professor of Biomedical Engineering Marom Bikson's neural labs located at the Center for Discovery and Innovation on the City University of New York campus.
Dr. Ambrose-Zaken is project coordinator of and professor for the graduate program of orientation and mobility at Hunter College of CUNY. She does the outreach to professionals and families, conducts outcomes research, and coordinates belt cane adoption and usage activities.
Our diversity brings a wealth of energy, enthusiasm and brain power to the process of promoting, building and shipping these one-of-a kind canes around the world. Blind toddlers who wear their belt canes can stop being afraid of walking and start feeling confident enough to explore independently.