Testimony Aziz on the Tom Pouce
17 years of practice
At the end of 2018 I will be at 17 years of practice with the electronic white cane. In hindsight I tell myself how much the equipment has evolved and how many miles I have been able to travel all this time with the Tom Thumb. One thing is certain though, I spent more years traveling with the electronic cane than with a traditional white cane. That is to say if I believe in the technological efficiency brought by this device and to answer a few technophobes that I crossed and who thought themselves allowed to give their opinion without knowing it by affirming that: "it is a dangerous device, it does not work "... I answer them very simply that I would have never held 17 years of practice, nor even that I could never have ventured on unknown courses. I remember my first course on which I had started by challenge and also with the assurance of having with me an indispensable device to explore the environment. The Chatelet station for those who know is a pet peeve in terms of orientation and indication whether we are seeing or not. Moreover, before having the electronic white cane, I made all sorts of detour to avoid the correspondence by Chatelet and then one day I try the experiment by going from the line 7 until the forum of the halls. It is equivalent to a distance between 2 stations in the middle of which there are: 3 stairs, 3 escalatores, 2 treadmills, long corridors and 2 ticket check zones. There are also shops on the way and all that indoors. This enriching experience afterwards was not easy, I had moments of anxiety, doubts but what I remember is that to learn a route, I had to accept the idea of losing myself in the corridors to build a strong mental map.
A few years later, accessible phones arrived and GPS applications too. I immediately saw an opportunity to extend the range of possibilities in terms of autonomy even more, so that when I have to travel to the provinces for work, I take great pleasure in making the unknown journey between the train station and my hotel by helping me with the Navitact GPS app. In Paris and its surroundings I do not miss to use it. The electronic cane and GPS couple offers a great freedom that I am not ready to question.