Colorblind People Feel Handicapped

I was trying to find out, if color blindness does handicap you in your everyday life or if you get along without this feeling. Thank you very much for participating in this poll which was started ten days ago with the question: Do You Feel Handicapped by Your Color Blindness?

Answer Votes
Yes, sometimes 35
No, not really 17
Not colorblind 9

We had just over 60 people sharing their feelings about their color blindness with us. Nine of them aren’t colorblind themselves but still voted. This tells me that there are also a lot of people looking for information about color vision deficiency without suffering from it themselves. Thank you.

The other 52 votes can almost be split into two third/one third. Twice as many people feel handicapped as rather not. Of course this are very subjective impressions but that’s exactly what it is meant to be. Only if you are colorblind yourself you can judge about how it feels to carry this deficiency around with you every single day. And no academical study can ever prove it differently.

Colorblind Poll Results
Colorblind Poll Results

Looking at the numbers it is a very clear result we got here. To tell you the truth, when I started the poll I thought it would be maybe half/half between felling handicapped and not. But this results teach me that I was wrong.

There is also something else we have to take into account. Not everybody suffers the same severity of color blindness. And I suppose people with a less severe form would more likely vote for not feeling handicapped than people with some severe forms like dichromatism (red-, green- or blue-blind persons).

All together this tells you, that colorblind people definitely feel handicapped in their everyday life. There are so many situations and stories to tell where color blindness is a little or even a big burden.

And even so there is no organization or foundation, no real entry point for people looking for information about color blindness; and even more important, nobody represents the concerns of colorblind people towards the government, schools, employers…

13 responses on “Colorblind People Feel Handicapped

  1. Vasile Tomoiaga

    In romania we are legally hadicaped by the government, not being able to have a dirving licence, even a personal one. And yes, we are not represented toward the state, though we are 4% of the total population.

    Regarding the results of the poll, I think a lot of people don’t know they are colorblid, or don;t think about it, and such they don’t fee handicaped. Those who look for information in the internet are aware of their anomaly and it is a higher probability that those who inform themselves feel like that.

  2. Leonora

    Wow! I wouldn’t have thought so many people would feel seriously disadvantaged by being colour blind. Makes me curious: do you consider yourselves having a disability that society doesn’t ‘cater’ for? Do you think women should find out whether they are carriers before having children (and in case they are, maybe only have girls?)? To me that seems a bit drastic, but this poll seems to suggest it’s more problematic than I thought.

  3. Daniel Flück Post author

    Leonora, I personally think that color blindness is a disability which is just not recognized in our society. We can handle our life, that’s no problem. But others could think more often about this problem when designing, naming, talking, … about things.

    And please no, women shouldn’t test themselves on color blindness just because they don’t wont give birth to a colorblind child. Looking at it from this perspective you might can say, it isn’t a disability.

  4. azmole

    I would agree colorblindness should be a disability in this color coded world. Perhaps colorblindness was once an advantage when we were hunter / gathers. My guess is that is why more men are colorblind than women the advantage being able to see shapes better when hunting when we lived in caves. However in the modern world being colorlbind can present many problems in performing an occupation.If it were “officially” a disablity many more tools would come available to help the colorblind determine colors. Bill Clinton the former president of the United States was in fact colorblind it is too bad he did not try to enact legislation to have colorlbindness listed as disabilty.

  5. Leonora

    Hi Daniel, thanks for your reply. I absolutely agree colour blindness is no reason for genetic testing or counselling. I just mentioned this point because, if it were formally registered as a disability (with disability benefits, registration as partially sighted etc.), these issues are bound to come up. Thus, I suppose labelling it as a disability might not be very fortunate.

    However, before reading your website I hadn’t realized how much of a problem colour blindness can still be. It’s often treated as a joke and sometimes it’s still a sort of social stigma (many men won’t admit they are colour blind). Certainly society should be more sensible and considerate in this respect.

  6. cindy

    my son is extremly colored blind. he sees shades of gray. hes 16 and trying to figure out what type of future work he can do. i homeschooled him all through school because of the problems my older son had. he is also colored blind.they both need help with planning their futuer.

  7. Derk Griffin

    im a colorblind 21 male from ohio….ive grown up being color blind and so has parts of my family. but i have studied business at bowling green state university and have traveled from moscow to italy visiting and meeting people from all over the world. colorblindness has effected my life in a million ways. im looking to start a foundation to help children and adults understand colorblindness and how to answer question when others bug with nagging questions…”what color is this?” “your lying” haha those are great. i have come from seeing limited colors to training myself to learn just about everycolor….im interested to helping others do the same….

  8. Rob Bailes

    Derk, I can relate with the exception that I haven’t traveled all over the world. There have been so many situations where I couldn’t knowledgebly make the correct decision of which way to go or whether to push a button or do I have reception or not, etc… but I have been able to persue what I have put my mind to by training my mind to understand the colors. There have been alot of bumps and laughs along the way though. One thing that I’ll always regret is that I couldn’t become a doctor. It was always my childhood dream. Instead I have turned that passion towards helping others to heal from the emotional and spiritual wounds they have following my own experiences. One other thing I really regreted was finding out I couldn’t complete my flying classes in 1979 after attending the first two classes. We were told to get our eyes examined and this is when I first found out I was colorblind at the age of 17. I did study emergency medicine and was able to work on a rescue squad for two years undetected. It fullfilled some of my dream but I saw too many situations where the paramedic said he saw something that I couldn’t have so I dropped out of it during my paramedic training for the safety of the accident victims. It wasn’t worth risking someones life any longer. I appreciate what your doing here. My first time to search the web for solutions to my colorblindness and I just opened your site first.

  9. UncleFunk

    As someone who is very colorblind I can honestly say I have NEVER felt handicapped in any way. I’ll occasionally come across something that rubs it in that I’m colorblind, like a poor palette choice in a video game, but I never think “Oh I’m handicapped”. I just think “dumbass” in regards to the developers and move on.

    I was actually chosen to beta test several video games due to my color blindness.

  10. Jordan

    First off great info and links, and the link that sent me here. I’m 28 and I first found out about my colorblindness when I was 12 or 13, I can remember when I was younger hearing over and over ” what are you color blind or something?” “you can’t see that” “yeah right whatever” and so on. Then my mother brought home some info about being colorblind and some simple test. Which I failed. I always felt bad as a kid whenever the subject of color came up(often) and today as an adult it is still somewhat embarrassing in some situations. I know no different than the way I see, and neither do the ones who disbelieve me or shrug it off. Im not sure if I am missing much by being color blind but I do understand that Im part of a small group of the population that has gone through the same situations. – -Rob Bailes — I also found being a paramedic difficult for many reasons one of them being all the color coded charts and drug dosages, everything in a rescue truck is color coded and numbered.(some call it Fire Fighter Proof) Even when something is numbered for me depending on the outline color and the background color i may or may not see it well, Anyway sorry to see you had to give it up, I gave it up as well not for the same reasons though.
    Anyway it is something that bothers me, but only when its brought up, like hey are you really going to buy that shirt? Or you cant put that shirt with those pants? I stick to black clothes and then I move on.
    Being ColorBlind is something that I will always be. hey maybe the other guys are the strange ones, Walking around seeing crazy colors all day!

  11. katherine

    I have been having trouble with my son’s school dept. They will not give him a 504 which would allow him to have books with black and white print and make it so he was not graded on color coded testing. The school dept. refuses to give him transportation eventhough I have numerous doctors letters saying it is unsafe for him to walk (numerous lights on and off ramp onto highways not an easy walk) some of the lights do not even work. I have tried to hire an attorney however they want 3,500.00 just to start I appealed to the RI dept of education and was denied saying that my doctors notes did not state how my son being colorblind would affect him walking to school. Also the school hired a mobility expert and vision expert that did not agree with them so I have not seen from them or been allowed to use the reports in the hearings.
    As many might know RI is well the most corrupt state in the us. I have been treated terribly and been threatened with court and jail as I cannot walk or drive my son to school as I am very ill. There is no compassion and they have wasted so much money fighting me when 4 buses pass by my house everyday. If anyone has any advice or a lawyer anything I would greatly appreciate it. thank you for your time