Tips for Teachers/Schools with Colorblind Students

Do you have a colorblind student in your classroom and you need to know how you can help him/her?

Color blindness is very common, affecting more than 350 million people worldwide, 1 in 12 boys and 1 in 200 girls are colorblind. There could be at least one colorblind child in every classroom. Colorblind People Population


Color blindness is caused by a difference in how one or more of the light-sensitive cells found in the retina of the eye respond to certain colors. Usually, color blindness is a genetic condition and an inherited one.





There are several different types of color blindness that exist due to genetic variation. Many people think anyone labeled as “colorblind” only sees black and white. But this is a big misconception and not true for a majority of colorblind folks. In fact, it is extremely rare to be totally colorblind.

People with color vision deficiency can see color, but not the whole spectrum of it.

Despite the broad reach, colorblind students remain neglected. From kindergarten to universities, color training for art, science, and business applications is taught by people who can see color, leaving the colorblind guessing their way through school, work, and daily life.


Children who are colorblind face many challenges and have special educational needs. Most color-deficient children can identify pure, primary colors (they don't see the world in black and white). However, it’s the different shades and tints that can cause them problems.


Color deficient children may consider red, orange, yellow, and green all names for the same hue. Children could also believe the same about the colors violet, lavender, purple and blue, for example, grass might look orange or red to them or they will ‘see’ purple as blue because they cannot perceive the red element of the light spectrum which is added to blue to form the color purple.


How Can I Help My Child With Color Blindness?


Most colorblind children will try to hide their condition for fear of being marked out as different and it is therefore extremely important that classroom practices take account of the needs of colorblind pupils.


Students who are colorblind may:

  • be unable to tell the difference between certain colors or shades of similar colors

  • have trouble with certain assignments or projects that require them to use color

  • be sensitive to light in the classroom and need seating accommodations

  • feel self-conscious or frustrated about their color blindness

  • be at risk for teasing or bullying because of color blindness


Many children feel embarrassed about not being able to choose the appropriate crayon or color of paint or to accurately describe things around them. They may be slower to follow instructions, because those relating to color may make very little sense. Indeed, they may seem ‘slow’ or ‘hesitant’ in many situations, because they can and will be perplexed by the need to make choices based on something they simply cannot see.

 

If Your Child Is Colorblind Download This Step-By-Step Guide for Parents. K-12


A step by step guide for parents with co
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Download • 434KB
 

Some of the most commonly confused color combos are pink/gray, orange/red, , green/brown, blue-green/gray, green/yellow, and beige/green. Also hard to differentiate are pastels and muted tones.



WHAT TEACHERS CAN DO?

  • The first step is getting to know and understand what colorblind students can and cannot see — from this blog, parents or students themselves — will help you understand and meet their needs much better.


  • Children tend to mirror everything we do, including our emotions and emotional reactions. If you look sad or feel unwell about your colorblind student, give it a few minutes before you decide to talk with your student. It is very important that you let go of any negative feelings because it will change the way you behave.


  • Lighting is important. Bright, low, inside, or natural light can affect color recognition. The brighter the light the easier it is to recognize color. Seat colorblind children in good natural light.


  • Teach color-deficient students the color of common objects. Knowing what color things are can help them in their daily tasks. (grass is green, bananas are yellow, etc.)


  • Label all craft items that have colors like markers, crayons, and paper. So the child will not fall behind in art or struggle.


  • Write using a black marker on a whiteboard and avoid any colored markers, or use white chalk on the blackboard instead of colored chalk to maximize contrast. Try to avoid using yellow, orange, or light tan chalk on green chalkboards.



  • Educate all students on what colorblindness is – it’s usually easier to be accepting of a problem when you understand what it is. There are images you can use to show a child how things look to a child that sees normally versus a child that cannot see all colors properly. For this purpose, we’ve made a special video about people with supervision, that explains color blindness in a positive and easy-to-understand way. If you want to access this video today, please, contact us to get the link: info@colorwill.org


  • Try not to use color coding (such as on a bar graph, map or other objects). If you do, write the color with the item that might represent it, to aid your colorblind student.


  • In sports and games (including board games), ensure that children can see who is on his or her ‘team’.



  • Assign a classmate to help color-deficient students when assignments require color recognition. Example – color coding different countries on a world map.


  • Graphs and charts use color to illustrate facts. Use secondary indicators such as patterns rather than, color .


  • For art class, you should organize a color palette for the student to remember where different colors are located. Label all craft items that have colors like markers, crayons and paper.


  • Be patient with colorblind students during classroom activities. It's easy to get frustrated or think a child is not trying when they guess their way through certain activities.


There is an online course available for colorblind children that can help students and parents deal with color blindness in the right way. Filled with interactive videos and useful information, this course aims to help.


A GUIDE TO COLOR VISION DEFICIENCY

CHILDREN/PARENTS

A Step-By-Step Guide for Parents and Children with Color blindness. Click Here


Learn More:


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Amir Kosari is a colorblind architect and designer with more than 15 years of experience.

He is the creator of the world's first online training programs for colorblind people. These training programs helped thousands of colorblind people (children, adults, designers) who used to struggle with colors. 

If you have any questions related to color blindness or our programs, schedule a FREE call with us, or send a message using the contact form.

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