In a brain storming session for some awareness posters related to the checkered eye, it was suggested that we address the question: okay, now I know what it means, what do I do?
My immediate reaction was “nothing”. Wearing a checkered eye or carrying an I.D. cane is not supposed to elicit action from onlookers. It is to add the little bit of information “I can’t see well”. The cane is mostly to communicate this to drivers and the wearable checkered eye is to inform people I’m engaging with face to face.
The whole idea that a disability necessarily indicates “help” is needed drives me nuts. This is not to say that help is never needed, but the idea that having a disability means that help is always needed rubs me the wrong way.
I had to agree however, that people do want to know “how does this effect me”. So I have begun a list of bullet points under the heading “What can sighted people do”.
- Help spread awareness of the symbol.
- Businesses train staff to “check for the checkered eye”
- If it seems the person needs assistance, ask first.
- In restaurants, offer accessible menus such as large print, braille, electronic.
- Common courtesy is often all that is needed. Sensitivity to special needs is always appreciated.
Can you suggest other points?
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