North Dakota Assistive

ND Assistive | Assistive Technology Blog

Don’t let rough terrain stop your cane travel; use the Dakota Disk to climb those mountains or trek through the snow

Several years ago I worked at ND Vision Services/School for the Blind and was a co-worker with Paul Olson who was then the Orientation and Mobility (O & M) Instructor.  Now Paul is the superintendent of the school but is still very involved with O & M.  In fact, he invented a new cane tip, called the Dakota Disk, which works well over rough terrain such as gravel, grass, or snow.

We all know that North Dakota is not the only place you’d run into terrain such as this.  Too often a person who is blind is frustrated when his cane jabs him in the ribcage as the tip gets stuck on an uneven surface.  The Dakota Disk which is shaped like a small plastic Frisbee is a cane tip which glides easily over a variety of surfaces.


Red Dakota Disk

Dakota Disk photo

When Paul came up with a prototype, he turned to Ambutech, a Winnipeg, Manitoba company who manufactures canes.  They began manufacturing the cane, and it has been on the market for almost a year.   Pam Parker, a mobility specialist in Washington, will be presenting on the Dakota Disk in Dublin, Ireland in June and at the International O&M Conference in Pittsburg, PA in July.


Paul never asked for financial benefit from the development from this cane tip.  “My reward has been the fun I have had developing it with Ambutech and the satisfaction of knowing that it works well and is being used in many countries already.  I really wanted to help people who are blind and visually impaired be more independent and adventurous in the great outdoors,” said Paul.


A video about the Dakota Disk can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ER88qczlFVw

The Dakota Disk costs less than $10 and can be found at


Further Reading

Collaboration On the Road

IPAT strives to work with others in our field because it is the best way to assure we deliver the best services possible. It is very simple - the more we put our heads together the better AT solutions...

IPAT Attends National Federation of the Blind of ND Meeting

IPAT had the privilege of presenting at the National Federation of the Blind of North Dakota (NFBND) state convention on September 19th. Also attending the event were representatives from the ND State...

Assistive Celebrates Vision Rehabilitation Therapist Week

Assistive is pleased to recognize Vision Rehabilitation Therapist Week April 8-14 and are happy to celebrate it with all of our partners who are Vision Rehabilitation Therapists. The ND Department of...

ND School for the Blind Foundation Announces Grant Program

The North Dakota School for the Blind Foundation has announced a grant program, especially designed to help meet the needs of students and adults with visual impairments.  Ten or more grants, each one...

Comments are closed.