The Checkered Eye symbol was created by Libby Thaw, who lost a significant portion of her eyesight in adolescence. Libby was instructed to use a white cane to increase her visibility in traffic. She found if she was still carrying the cane while shopping or in other consumer activities, it was sometimes easier to get the help she needed. However, since Libby is able to see quite a bit, the cane was just as often misunderstood and ineffective in these face to face situations. Others with low vision say that the ID cane makes them feel conspicuous and vulnerable. There are also people with low vision who have other disabilities, which make using an ID cane difficult or impossible; for example, those who use wheelchairs or walkers.
In response to these and other concerns, the Checkered Eye emblem was created.
WHAT IS IT?
The checkered eye itself is a simple line drawing of an eye, the center of which, the iris, is black and white checkers. The wearable symbol bears the Checkered Eye and the text "LOW VISION". It has been translated to French, Spanish and Thai as well. The background is white, the outline, emblem and text are black.
The symbol is round and is available in several sizes as a pin, patch, pendant, and clothing safe sticker.
WHO CAN WEAR IT?
People with low vision may wear the checkered eye. Low vision is significantly less than average sight which is NOT CORRECTABLE back to average, with regular glasses or contact lenses. People with many levels of blindnesss may choose to use the Checkered Eye.
WHAT NOT TO DO.
DO NOT use the Checkered Eye to replace a white cane for safety purposes.
If your vision is impaired to the point where it puts your safety at risk, this symbol will not alert drivers or pedestrians to your situation. It is intended for face to face scenarios only.
Do Not wear the symbol to show support for the awareness effort. Wearing the emblem is not for average sighted people. Like the white cane, the Checkered Eye is reserved for those wishing to self identify as being somewhere on the blindness spectrum. For those wishing to show support for the project, t-shirts are available.
Do Not use it as a legal identifier. The Checkered Eye is not recognized as an official show of qualification for services or discounts offered to blind people. It is not a method of identifying one as being legally blind.
Do Not wear the symbol, or any close likeness, as an accessory. We realize that the Checkered Eye has an attractive and stylish look, particularly without the words, however, wearing the symbol for anything other than its intended purpose compromises its meaning.
Do Not wear the symbol as a joke. It may appear funny to put it on glasses for a costume, or to use it to "punk" someone, but again, this may compromise the difficult process of educating the public about it's intended meaning.
We appreciate your regard and cooperation.
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