A success in the Netherlands: Green ‘corona vests’ for keeping 1,5 m distance

When you are blind or partially sighted, it can be difficult to keep the 1,5m distance. Often other people don’t take your visual impairment seriously. In March 2020, several blind and partially sighted who worried about keeping the distance of 1,5 meters phoned the Dutch Eye Association (Oogvereniging).

People were criticised because others thought they came too close on purpose. In a Zoom meeting a few days later, the team decided we had to do something about this. We found out that vests with a text couldn’t be ignored. We chose reflecting green vests - yellow vests have another connotation over the last year – with the text ‘I can´t see you, could you keep your distance?’ on the front and the back. The vests were free for members of the Dutch Eye Association, others could receive one for €7,50.

It was a big success: now, 7 months later 1500 jackets have been sent to people all over the Netherlands (and some to Belgium). Even schools and rehabilitation centres asked for the vests for their mobility lessons!

Ellen van Herk, Team Oogvereniging