Study Finds Overwhelming Evidence That Colour Blindness Hinders Learning in School
– Study Finds Overwhelming Evidence That Colour Blindness Hinders Learning in School, Reports EnChroma –
– Variety of challenges for students with colour blindness unearthed in groundbreaking study; several major universities partner to support colour blind students on campus –
Berkeley, CA – October 25, 2021 – EnChroma – creators of glasses for colour blindness – today released the results of a landmark study that clearly demonstrates the negative effect colour blindness has on learning for millions of students. The data strongly indicates that schools are failing to identify colour blind students and that parents, educators and legislators need to better support these students.
In early 2020, nearly 1,000 colour blind people, including the parents of colour blind children, shared their opinions about how Colour Vision Deficiency (CVD) affected their educational experiences. Seventy-eight percent said they were often frustrated or confused by colours in school assignments and activities. One in three say colour blindness affected their confidence in school, and 30% felt like they might be a “slow learner” before discovering they’re colour blind.
A contributing factor is the lack of testing for colour blindness in schools. According to EnChroma, only 11 of 50 states test for CVD. As a result, many students do not realize they’re colour blind. In fact, nearly half of colour blind people said they didn’t learn they’re colour blind until after 7th grade, almost one in three while in high school or later, and one in five don’t find out until after high school or college.
“The evidence is overwhelming that colour blindness creates learning challenges for colour blind students and that parents, educators, and politicians must become more aware of the prevalence of colour vision deficiency, and its impact, and take action,” said Erik Ritchie, CEO of EnChroma. “Too many kids go deep into their educations without the student, their parents or teachers knowing they’re colour blind. Testing for colour blindness has to become universal in schools in all states and countries, and learning materials adapted to accommodate and create a level playing field for CVD students.”
One in 12 men (8%) and one in 200 women (.5%) are colour blind – 13 million in the US, 30 million in Europe, and 350 million worldwide. For them, understanding colourful information in school, at work and in daily life can cause obstacles. While people with normal colour vision see over one million shades of colour, the colour blind only see an estimated 10% of hues and shades. Common colour confusions include green and yellow, gray and pink, purple and blue, and red and brown, with colours appearing muted and dull. Since 80% of information is conveyed visually, this creates issues for colour blind students.
Numerous renowned universities plan to offer EnChroma glasses to colour blind students to borrow on their campuses, and to educate staff to adapt materials to accommodate CVD students. They include Boston University, North Carolina State University, Alfred University and Francis Marion University, with others joining soon.
Click here for more images of how the colour blind see colours.
“A teacher discovered I was colour blind in the third grade. Up to that point I was often referred to as “stupid” because I couldn’t colour primary colours correctly,” said one colour blind survey respondent. Another relayed: “I was unable to pass chromatography lessons in organic chemistry because I couldn't distinguish the colours accurately. I had to drop the class and eventually change majors.”
Highlights from the EnChroma survey include:
- Four out of ten colour blind students try to avoid schoolwork and activities involving colour, and nearly half are less interested in painting, drawing, nature walks and field trips to art museums
- More than 1 in three colour blind people say teachers got frustrated with them when they couldn’t understand schoolwork involving colour
- Only one in four parents tell teachers that their child is colour blind, and only 20% of teachers adapt schoolwork to accommodate colour vision deficient students
- 81% believe teachers should adapt teaching materials for colour blind students
- 87% support mandatory testing of schoolchildren for colour vision deficiency
- One in four were teased by classmates or teachers due to being colour blind
- Two of three parents worry about colour blindness affecting their child’s education
EnChroma encourages schools to quickly and easily test students in under two minutes for colour blindness via our free online test available here and at enchroma.com. To read comments from colour blind respondents about their educational experiences click here.
EnChroma Colour Accessibility Program
EnChroma is the lead advocate for “colour accessibility” through its EnChroma Colour Accessibility Program. The program helps public venues, schools, state parks, libraries, museums, and other organizations purchase and loan EnChroma glasses to colour blind students and guests to help make schoolwork that involves colour, colourful exhibits, attractions and/or experiences accessible to the CVD. In addition to our free colour blindness test, EnChroma also offers materials for schools to share with teachers, parents and students to educate them about colour blindness, its effects, and how to support colour blind students. EnChroma offers a similar program for employers.
EnChroma glasses are engineered with special optical filters that help the colour blind see an expanded range of colours more vibrantly, clearly and distinctly. A recent study by the University of California, Davis, and France’s INSERM Stem Cell and Brain Research Institute, demonstrated the effectiveness of EnChroma glasses.
Media: Product shots, images and interactive GIFs illustrating the challenges to learning for those with colour vision deficiencies can be downloaded here. EnChroma’s CEO, survey respondents, and university and K-12 educators and parents, are available for interviews. Of the nearly 1,000 respondents to the survey, nearly three-fourths are colour blind (740) and the other 247 the parents of colour blind children.
Based in Berkeley, Calif., EnChroma produces leading-edge eyewear for colour blindness and low vision, and other solutions for colour vision, sold online and through Authorized Retailers worldwide. Invented in 2010, EnChroma’s patented eyewear for colour blindness combines the latest in colour perception, neuroscience and lens innovation to improve the lives of people with colour vision deficiency around the world. EnChroma received an SBIR grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It earned the 2016 Tibbetts Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration in recognition of the firm’s innovative impact on the human experience through technology, and the 2020 Innovation Award in Life Sciences from the Bay Area’s East Bay Economic Development Alliance. For more information call 510-497-0048 or visit enchroma.com.
Director of Public Relations and Partnerships