Joanna is doing a project on color blindness. She wants to create a guidebook for parents to help them in the diagnosis of their child’s color vision. To fulfill her project she created an online survey to research and discuss the topic of color vision deficiency.
The proposed content of her guidebook sounds very promising. It will probably include the following topics:
- When to identify – age group
- How to identify – developing tests for kids
- What to do – step by step for parents (doctor visit, school – what to tell/give the teacher)
- How to equip house/classroom (safety first)
- How to educate friends/family/community
- How to teach their child to navigate neighbourhoods/MRT/shops/traffic lights etc…
- Identifying danger hotspots
As I am strongly color blind, I would like to present you in the following my answers to the survey:
When did you first discover you were colorblind?
At the age of about six in my first year at school.
How did you discover you were colorblind?
We had to paint a picture with color crayons. I painted the sky very solid—in pink. I thought it was blue until somebody told me that I was wrong. Only then, after a closer look at the color, I also realized that I’ve chosen the wrong color.
What are the issues/problems you have faced being colorblind? (as a child, navigating, identifying, naming, differentiating colors etc…)
As a child I new the colors of my crayons by heart. So far no problem. But if we had to paint I didn’t really like it so much because knowing the right colors or even mixing them was and still is a big issue.
Later at school I specially remember my chemistry lessons. We had to use some color coding to find certain elements, I never really could master this part.
While I was looking around for an apprenticeship I was interested to become an electrician. But I had to many problems with the color coding of the resistors, so I withdrew that thought.
These days I struggle with fitting clothes colors, any form of LED colors, seeing if something is occupied (red) or not (green), seeing nice flowers, seeing fruits and know if they are ripe or not and of course with naming any sort of color. I just guess colors or know them by heart, but I never really see colors, or I’m to unsure to know if it is right or not.
How did you overcome the shortcomings? (ways/solutions you found helped you in the process? how? who helped you?)
I think my only real technique to overcome my color blindness is to ask. Ask friends, work mates, family members and sometimes even some sale assistants. They help me besides making some jokes from time to time.
Lately I found out about a little big helper called Seekey. A great little tool specially if it comes to identifying LED colors.
What else can be included/excluded in the guide book for parents other than the ones described above to make it more comprehensive?
I think the most important thing is that parents should relax. Let your child first a chance to develop its color vision. And after that if you really find out that your child is color blind, don’t panic. There are millions of color blind people around the world who master their life perfectly. Yes I know, your child might not be able to become a pilot, police officer or firefighter. But think about it, this is not the end and many others also don’t have that chance because of a lot of other handicaps.
If you are also colorblind please consider filling out the online survey at The Color Blindness Project Questionnaire and help Joanna on the way to produce her parents guidebook about color vision deficiency.