checkeredeye 560The Checkered Eye symbol, something founder Libby Thaw wants to be as recognizable as the white cane in indicating vision impairment. 

Hub Staff

Libby Thaw, founder of The Checkered Eye Project has been raising awareness about the wearable symbol for 17 years and her latest inspiration came by way of a song with the hopes of further boosting understanding.

The symbol, often worn in the form of a button or a patch, indicates that its wearer, like Thaw, has low vision or vision impairment.

Thaw has been legally blind since the age of 18 as a result of Stargardt’s Disease, the most common form of inherited juvenile macular degeneration that effects the central portion of the retina. Thaw said that she appears fully sighted and even though it may look as though she’s making eye contact she can’t see your face. “Just the nature of my vision impairment... I have a blind spot in the middle,” she said. “If I’m in a store and need help, it’s better that people understand why I need help.”

Thaw currently has distributors across Canada and the United States. “It’s in five countries so far but we need way more people to know about it.”

The idea to write the song, titled Doing Fine, was inspired by another song Thaw heard called My White Cane, written and performed by students at a school for the blind. Thaw, who is no stranger to the music scene, through a musical connection and a chance meeting, commandeered the help of Crash Dummies drummer Mitch Dorge and Downchild Blues Band founder Donnie Walsh to lay some musical tracks.

“Blackboard Sound right here in Port Elgin, they donated all of their time, they recorded me, they recorded the bass player, the backup vocalist,” said Thaw, adding that Christina Edwards, a piano teacher and administrator at Blackboard Sound, also added a piano track.

“Every single person involved did it for free, did it just to help the effort,” she said. “Super, warm fuzzies all over the place.”

The song and video is ready just in time for White Cane Week, which takes place February 5 to 11, 2017. The white cane, along with the Checkered Eye, are both symbols indicating blindness and vision impairment.

For more information about The Checkered Eye Project visit