Visual messages from Blind People

People on the blindness spectrum may be trying to communicate with sighted people using various symbols.

The message is "I am on the blindness spectrum".

Some may choose not to use a symbol and so they communicate this information verbally when they feel it's necessary.

Here are some of the symbols..

White Cane

The White Cane

This is the most well understood symbol for blindness. However, there are a few types, some of which are less well understood: The mobility cane, sometimes called the long cane, is one that is used as a tool with which a person can feel for obstacles and landmarks. They can be rigid or collapsible and can have several different types of tips.Most people recognize the message of “blindness” when they see a person using a mobility cane in the side to side sweeping method. The original purpose of a white cane was to serve as a safety beacon in the increasing vehicular traffic of the early 20th century. Today they may have a colored, often red tip, to increase visibility particularly when the ground is snow covered. The ID cane or symbol cane is also a white cane that may or may not have a colored tip. It is usually shorter than a mobility cane as it is not intended to feel the path ahead. This cane is, as its name implies, simply carried to communicate the fact that its user is on the blindness spectrum. It is a great option as a traffic safety beacon and may also be used just to increase the recognition of its users hidden disability.

White cane

The White Support Cane

If a person uses a cane to support some weight and also has a degree of blindness they may use a support cane that is white. This gives the same message as any other white cane; the user is on the blindness spectrum.

The Checkered Eye

The Checkered Eye

This symbol originated in Canada in 2000. It is a wearable symbol that communicates the fact that its wearer is on the blindness spectrum. It is in use in Canada, The U.S., New Zealand, Switzerland, England, and Thailand. It is available in English, French, and Thai.

German Blind Symbol

German symbol. This symbol originated in the 1940s and has an unfortunate perceived association with the Nazis. We haven’t been able to confirm the validity of that perception. It is worn as an arm band and indicates that its wearer is on the blindness spectrum.

Shaded eye

Shaded Eye

Developed in England in 1982, it is the intellectual property of the Partially Sighted Society They refer to it as the International Symbol of Vision Disability. In 2012 The Partially Sighted Society began making it available as a wearable symbol, communicating the fact that its wearer is on the blindness spectrum. It is in use in the UK.

Tengo Baja Vision

Spanish Symbol

This symbol originated in 2014 in Spain. Its awareness effort is called "tengo baja vision". It is a wearable symbol that communicates its wearer is on the blindness spectrum. It is available with English text, Spanish, and Catalan. It is in use in Spain.

I have low vision

"I have low vision"button

Various companies who make buttons have come up with items like this. They are wearable messages serving the same purpose as the others that communicate the fact that their wearer is on the blindness spectrum. They do not have awareness efforts supporting them.