Libby Thaw
Libby Thaw – Creator of The Checkered Eye, Educator and Blues Singer

Libby Thaw’s Checkered Eye and ‘Doing Fine’


The Joy of Networking

I have to say one thing — traveling along the road on this sight loss journey nowadays the view is quite different that it used to be.  I love networking with others going through similar vision problems and seeing how they handle it and what they’re doing to be pro-active. It’s amazing because I traveled this road alone for more than twenty years. Today people are sharing their life journeys and working together to bring awareness to the causes of sight loss, the challenges and what they want others to know. We are reaching out to each other.  We’re stronger – yes, much stronger together.

Who is Libby Thaw?

Libby Thaw is a Canadian, a mother, a housewife, the founder of the Checkered Eye Project and a citizen with low vision. I met her through Stephanae McCoy, who I featured last Friday. If you missed Steph’s post, you can catch up here: White Cane Safety Day

I’m not sure what’s causing Libby’s vision loss but I do know is that, like me, she has low vision and she’s not letting it get her down.  On her website www.checkeredeye.com Libby describes the situation she faced with her cane. She was told to use a white cane to identify herself to others as someone with low vision. But she could still see, too, so she often ended up carrying her cane with but didn’t always use it. While it gave her greater visibility, carrying her cane confused people. Could she or couldn’t she see? 

The Checkered Eye

Libby Thaw
The checkered eye is a symbol for Low Vision

In 2000, when she began to confront her vision loss, she decided she needed to have a “hand’s free” way of indicating she had low vision and might need some assistance. That’s when she came up with the idea for the checkered eye and she designed the following symbol: 

Wow! I really like the symbol. Another way of visually identifying someone with partial vision – something that is not as intrusive as a white cane. And I like the black and white checkered center of the eye representing the “holes” or missing vision. 

She founded a whole movement there in Canada called “The Checkered Eye Project” which you can read about at www.checkered eye.com

Libby’s Bluesy Song and Video, ‘Doing Fine’

Last October, Libby introduced a blues video promoting awareness of living a positive life with vision loss.  (She refers to it as an ‘awareness booster.’) The song  captures the problems of partial or low vision as well as introduces the checkered eye symbol. She sings her original song, “Doing Fine.” with help from Donnie Walsh of the Downchild Blues Band and Crash Test Dummies drummer Mitch Dorge.  Written.

Cool Upbeat Song and Message

This is such a cool upbeat song! I don’t think anyone can resist singing along or snapping their fingers to the beat. Kudos to her for creating this catchy tune, which showcase a vital message – she’s doing fine!  I’M doing fine! With the right tools and attitudes, people with low or partial vision can and do live full lives. The lyrics de-bunk myths of what it’s like to live with a vision impairment and build bridges to understanding. 

I can’t stop listening  to it … you’re going to love this song too! 

What do you think?! Be sure to shoot us a comment about the post, the Checkered Eye Project, the song or the lyrics! 

You’ve just read “Libby Thaw’s Bluesy ‘Doing Fine'” © Amy L. Bovaird, October 9, 2017.  Day 9 of International Blindness Awareness Month. 

Libby Thaw’s Checkered Eye and ‘Doing Fine’
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