Was Katrina Colorblind?

Richard Valenty a writer of the Colorado Daily News raises in a recent news story the question:

“Might post-Katrina rescue efforts have been better if the citizens of New Orleans were predominantly white or of a higher socioeconomic class?”

Even as somebody not directly involved, living in another part of the world, this makes me think and I hope it is not true.

This kind of color blindness is different to a color vision deficiency. But both share some similaraties which have to be reconsidered.

  • Both can and often are inherited from parents to their children. White or black, higher or lower class is often a mental attitude passed on from parents to their children. It is not present all of a sudden, it grows slowly and steadily.
  • Both can see colors but have problems to classify them correctly. It is not about not being able to see the colors but about categorizing, sorting and classifying.
  • Both are not talked about in public. People are hiding behind flowery phrases, don’t want to admit it and play it down.

I hope everybody can learn from Katrina and hopefully make it better if something like this ever happens again. It doesn’t only happen in this enormity. No. Sadly color blindness can be observed everyday on the roads and at work. Everybody has to work on it in the small to change it slowly but steadily in the large.

Direct link to the news story: Was Katrina Colorblind

Coloring Easter Eggs

Coloring Easter Eggs
Coloring Easter Eggs

Today is Good Friday and everybody enjoys Easter vacation. Eggs are getting colored, hidden, searched for and found – most of the time.

I was just wondering what some fellow bloggers say about Coloring Easter Eggs. As there are so many possibilities to do it and so many colors to choose from it would be interesting to learn some more about it. Here you go.

Very very nice. Our easter eggs are already colored and some of them already filled my stomach. Yummie.

What do you think about: How to color your Easter eggs, that your colorblind son (or husband) will never find them? Or what is your favourite color, coloring and especially hide technique?

Related articles:
Supporting a Colorblind Husband
Green versus Orange

Web Site Accessibility

ClearFlite Air Purifiers improved the accessibility of their web site. According to the news ClearFlite Air Purifiers Announces W3C Compliant Visually Impaired Web Site the company just released a new Accessible section on their site designed for people not only with severe visual impairment but also for those affected by color blindness.

Visiting their site including the Accessible section and speaking from a colorblind point of view I would like to share some universally valid conclusions.

  • Defective Color Vision ≠ Visual Impairment
    Don’t lump together people affected by color blindness and people with a severe visual impairment. A color vision deficiency doesn’t conclude poor eyesight. Therefore there is no sense in putting up a page written in large letters and suppose that somebody affected by color blindness makes use of it.
  • Design your Main Sites Colorblind Friendly
    If you want to improve the accessibility for people affected by color blindness think about redesigning your main site. Remember approximately every tenth men has some kind of color blindness and choosing some colorblind friendly color combinations usually doesn’t hurt that much.
  • Point out your Efforts
    There is no reason why you shouldn’t point out to all visitors that you made some special efforts to improve the accessibility of your site. People appreciate it, the one’s who can make use of it can easily find and understand your efforts and with all other’s you will score well.

Think about these points when you have plans improving the accessibility of your web site.

Related articles:
Colorblind Web Page Filter
Simulating Colorblind Vision
Choosing the Right Colors

Direct link to the news article: ClearFlite Air Purifiers Announces W3C Compliant Visually Impaired Web Site

Improve your English Skills

The previous week Colblindor was featured at ProBlogger in the blog case studies series. Many comments were posted to give me some really good advice.

Improving my English skills I will take to heart. It will not be easy because English is not my mother tongue. But as one reason for this blog is to improve my written English I will keep an eye on it through:

But nevertheless I will stick to the spelling color (American English) and will not change it to colour (British English). I love British English don’t get me wrong on that. But after checking the two spellings with some keyword analyze tools I concluded that more people are looking up the word color than colour. Just some SEO here.

One last point: Doesn’t color blindness excuse for spelling and grammar mistakes?

Related articles:
Blog Case Study
Colorblind People are Wise Persons
5 Misbeliefs about Color Blindness

Colorblind Web Page Filter

The Colorblind Web Page Filter is a great web application to get an impression how a web page is viewed by people affected by any kind of color blindness. After indicating the URL and choosing the appropriate color filter the view is directly shown inside the browser window.

Colorblind Web Page Filter
Filters and Settings Box

In addition to the web page a settings box is shown on top of the page. This box offers all the different color filters and does switch the view after choosing a new filter. As well some settings concerning scripts, images and CSS can directly be adjusted. Turning off images makes the transformation process remarkably faster. But this usually isn’t appropriate because images are an important design element in web pages which shouldn’t be underestimated.

To get an impression what it looks like try one of these direct links:

Maybe you should check your own web page or blog to find some potentially blind spots. Remember, there are between 8% and 12% of men affected by some kind of color blindness. If you count on visitors, count on the colorblinds too.

Related articles:
Choosing the Right Colors
Battle Against Color Blindness With EyePilot
Imagine the Green is Red
Japan’s Public Facilities Making Life Easier for Colorblind

Direct link to Colorblind Web Page Filter.

Daltonism – Named after John Dalton

John Dalton was the first scientist to take academic interest in the subject of color blindness. He was born September 6, 1766 in Eaglesfield, England and died July 27, 1844 of paralysis. One of the first scientific papers John Dalton published was titled “Extraordinary facts relating to the vision of colours” and released in 1793.

John Dalton
John Dalton

Starting his career as a teacher he got interested in meteorology and mathematics. As Jonathan, his seven years older brother and John himself both were affected by red-green color blindness he also started some observations and researches about color vision.

“That part of the image which others call red appears to me little more than a shade or defect of light. After that the orange, yellow and green seem one colour which descends pretty uniformly from an intense to a rare yellow, making what I should call different shades of yellow”

He postulated that shortage in color perception was caused by discoloration of the liquid medium of the eyeball called aqueous humour. According to his research he believed that the aqueous humour was bluish and therefore filtered out all the colors. His observations and writings formed the expression Daltonism as a common wording for color blindness.

Through his lifetime John Dalton became a well known and respectable chemist and physicist and was one of the early proponents of the Atomic Theory. One of his last wills was to get an autopsy of his eyes after death. Unfortunately there wasn’t any bluish liquid found. It was his final experiment and proved that the condition called Daltonism is not caused by the eye itself, but some deficient sensory power.

Further readings:
WWNFF: John Dalton
Biography of John Dalton
Wikipedia: John Dalton
Notable Names Database: John Dalton

Related articles:
Mars in the Eyes of Colorblind Astronomer Schiaparellli
5 Misbeliefs about Color Blindness

Shopping for my Boy

We have something going on here in Switzerland called Children Cloth Exchange (Kleiderbörse). Almost every village organizes some of those exchanges during the year. You can bring the children cloths you don’t need anymore, add a price tag and hope somebody will buy it. And of course you can buy clothes from others at very cheap prices. It’s kind of a secondhand party for children.

Last week one of those exchanges was organized just around the corner. And we made a big deal: we bought a bike trailer seating two children, very cheap and in very good condition (color: yellow).

When I went along to the place to pick up the trailer, I had a look around for some other clothes. Our boy is now just over 8 month and he needs new clothes all the time. I found two nice shirts, bought them and placed them proudly on the table at home so my wife can see my catch when she gets home from work.

She got home, looked at them and said: “Well nice. But the color…”

Related articles:
A Colorblind Decides on Colors
Bread Wrapped up in Colors
Khaki – the Color of the Colorblinds

Colorblind People are Dumb

Colorblind People are Dumb
Colorblind People
are Dumb

Please all read aloud: Colorblind People are Dumb. Now this is from a man of genius. It is written with green letters on a red background — a nightmare for red-green colorblinds.

But I can read it. (Think). My doctor says I am very much colorblind. And even some color blindness tests show me that I am definitely not only slightly red-green colorblind.

What about you? Anybody here who can’t read it?

A smart guy with a smart idea and a dump realisation. Maybe he should have asked a colorblind friend of him (and he will definitely have one as there are so many affected) before he released the picture at flickr.

Related articles:
What the Doctor says
Color Blindness Test by Dr Shinobu Ishihara
Fuck the Colorblind