MINISTRY OF INFRASTRUCTURE AND WATER STATEMENT, Head of the Road Safety Department sees no objection to a luminous white cane

I received this in response to my letter to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management:

I hereby respond to your question to the National Government Information about the white cane that you use as a visually impaired person when you participate in traffic. You ask if you can use a cane that is luminous, because the ordinary white cane is not visible in the dark and in bad weather.

Thank you for putting this question to me. It is very unfortunate to hear that you have been hit and I understand that you are looking for ways to prevent this in the future.

The white cane should contribute to your safety in traffic. In Article 49, paragraph 1, of the 1990 Traffic Rules and Signs Regulations (https://wetten.overheid.nl/jci1.3:c:BWBR0004825&hoofdstuk=II&paragraaf=19&artikel=49&z=2017-07-01&g=2017-07-01 ) state: “Drivers must let the blind, equipped with a white cane with one or more red rings, and let all persons with difficulty move ahead.” Thanks to the blind guide cane, other road users see that a blind person is approaching and they must let him go.

The legislation does not further define the white cane with one or more red rings, the white cane for the blind. We must therefore start from common usage. A white cane that emits white light and has one or more red rings still looks like a “white cane with one or more red rings”. From “one or more” you could infer that the legislator would not want to see just one design as a “white cane for the blind”.

It is super nice to know this!

Making of: Debby’s Heroes and Friends Amsterdam VR Movie

Aankondiging VR filmpje

The collaboration between Debby and the Heroes & Friends of Amsterdam has resulted in a Virtual Reality (VR) movie about Debby’s experience as a VIP.

Click on the image below to view the “Behind the scenes” teaser.

The video will premiere in the Evening Programme on the 20th of June 2019 at the “Entrepeneurial Solutions for a Sustainable City Event“.

The event is hosted at the Impact Hub of the Heroes and Friends of Amsterdam, the evening programme starts at 19:00 hrs.

Address

Impact Hub

Linnaeusstraat 2c

1092 CK Amsterdam

 

Debby is featured on Eyes on Success Podcast

Debby was interviewed in the studios of the Amsterdam TV / Radio Station AT5 for the American internet platform “Eyes of Success”. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey had heard about het exploits and took great effort to do to a very professional interview with Debby indeed!. Here is the podcast. The purpose of the “Eyes on Success” internet platform is to discusses products, services and daily living tips for people with vision loss, all from their smartphone or PC. The “Eyes on Success” website excels in simplicity and accessibility. Nancy and Peter did a great interview and also gave Debby lots of tips and tricks to enhance her internet presence. Great people, fantastic interview. We have fantastic people in our VIP communicty, you just have to find them!

Debby experiments with balance

Debby is always in motion. She is tinkering with the idea to find balance of the cane that would make moving it from side to side easier. She took some pipe insulation foam as a handle, a couple of padlocks to place weight at the back of the flashlight, some duck tape and she is off!

Right now she is just checking if  not having to lift the nose heavy cane is actually offset by the back-end weight. Instinctively one would assume that he added weight would add stress to the wrist.

Well, Debby like to test assumptions and she feels that if you do not try, you really do not know. The picture below shows that the center of gravity of the regular blind stick is far ahead of the handle. That gives enormous pressure on the wrist to lift the stick.

 

The center of gravity of the back-end loaded blind cane is much closer to the handle as the regular one. What the effect in terms of comfort and ergonomics will be will result from further tests.

 

Correctbook = Ideabook

Correctbook deserves yout attention. What is Correctbook for me? It is my Ideabook and an opportunity for children in Africa and Latin America to learn to read and write.

How do you work with ideas? You write something on a piece of paper, or something you happen to have with you, you scratch something, throw papers away and then it is there!

Just that is a shame about the messy paper with all scratched ideas and especially a shame about wasting all that precious paper! This is where Correctbook, an endless rewritable notebook comes in. Think of a mini-whiteboard that you can always use, never worry about empty batteries and never look for papers again. And what comes with it makes it completely! Correctbook donates 25% of the Business to Consumer and 10% Business to Business to Correctbooks for children in Africa and Latin America.

I do not want to be without it, it worked for me!

Visit Correctbook and reward yourself with endles writing!

Road test

Debby executed a road test in busy Amsterdam close to the Central Station, where she had the accident that set off the project.
As she raised her lighted can, people responded instantly.

How cool is that?

On 15 october 2018 Debby had her reveal of the “Marchena Cane”. It was a success, now she is forging ahead to fulfill her dream.

MakeHealth Meetup: The day of the White Cane

During the first MakeHealth: Prototyping series participant Debby Marchena developed a light-giving white stick in FabLab Amsterdam. During this MakeHealth Meetup on the International Day of the White Stick Debby presents her prototype and ambitions. For visitors there is the possibility to purchase one of the first prototypes of the ‘Merchana Bright White Cane 1.0’ as an early adopter. For further development Debby is looking for feedback from users and their environment. Through the open source sharing of her knowledge and experience, Debby ultimately wants to spread light around the world and increase the safety of people with visual impairments.

Register here for free for this event.

Pimp my cane
Debby Marchena lives in Amsterdam and has a visual impairment. She was hit earlier this year by a motorist who had not seen her in the dark. To increase the visibility of people with a visual impairment for their environment, her white stick is provided with light. The lighted white stick, Jedi style, should help prevent accidents of this kind.

Debby is further developing and improving her prototype. On 15 October, Debby will launch a public campaign to share its model open source. Her ambition is to prevent accidents of this kind, to allow people with visual impairments to use this model and that in 2030 the algorithms in self-driving cars will recognize her stick and respond to it. The program consists of a presentation of the development trajectory and realization of the luminous white stick and a brainstorm about preconditions and further development.

About Made4You
In Made4You, citizens, healthcare professionals and makers work together to design and develop personalized care applications. Care has changed radically in the past century. A growing group of citizens experiences that products and services in healthcare are too expensive, do not match their needs, or simply do not exist (yet). With the advent of technology, the possibilities for developing digital healthcare applications have been increased. With MakeHealth we want to develop new, open design applications and publish them online.

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