I used to think that I was just bad at colors and it was something I had to practice to get better at. It was not until I was an adult and failed several colorblind tests, that I finally found out all the confusion I had throughout my life with colors was something entirely beyond my control. Why couldn't someone have helped me figure this out when I was a kid coloring in oceans with purple crayons...
My name is Justin Berlin and I am red-green colorblind. For 24 years of my life, I walked the face of the earth blissfully ignorant of my latent condition. The lush green rainforests of Costa Rica, the blistering red rock arches of Utah, the crisp green conifers of Alaska--silently deprived of their true beauty, I was. Who knows how many other countless treasures my vexed vision has misinterpreted? And who knows how many other victims are out there just like me?
It was not until I ventured to my opthamologist for my annual visit that I finally learned of my plight. The topic of colorblindness came up in casual conversation and my doctor propositioned me to take a brief test. I agreed, jocularly, and casually interpretted the hidden numbers within multi-colored dot matrices. My dismissive attitude stopped dead in its tracks when I came upon a matrix that I was unable to interpret. I squinted, I strained, I panicked at the thought. How could I be colorblind? My grasp on color seemed so forthright for so long. As much as it pained me to think about, it all started to make sense. I always thought some shades of green seemed rather gray to me. A comment or two about a mismatched outfit of mine popped in to my memory. The blurred line between dark orange and bright red came so much more naturally for others.
My story is all too common. Now that I am aprised of my condition, I am more comfortable in my approach to the topic. I no longer have unshaken confidence in my color coordination and enjoy a light-hearted reliance on the acute chromatic control of my colleagues. And now, I am glad to know that the rest of the world can see what the world is like through the rose-colorless glasses of Colorblinder.
As a youngster i had trouble playing checkers, I couldn’t tell the red from the black most of the time. My sisters would get mad at me for moving the wrong pieces.
It was in high school that I realised that I was color blind because they had tests with circles and I got them wrong.The traffic lights presented another challenge. I finally adjusted by realizing that the white light was green to everyone else and I just called the white light green.
I am 73 now and my sisters still talk about the time my Mother let me go shopping alone as a teenager and I came home with pink pants.
The thing I hate the most is when someone finds out you are color blind the first thing they say is, “What color is this?”
I discovered I was colorblind when I was a young child; thankfully, my mother had noticed the signs of mismatched clothing and issues coloring "this part blue, that part green, etc." All of my live, however, I have been called a liar because I am not only colorblind, but also a female. There are so very many people who believe that you cannot be colorblind and a woman, and it just astounds me: anyone from teachers to friends to work associates to store clerks (who laugh when I ask what color something is) believed that I said I was colorblind for the "extra attention" or that I'm "lazy" for refusing to color-code or being unable to match. Yes, all of the typical issues of being colorblind do affect women the same way.
I am lucky to have a family who accepts me, and a boyfriend who will happily pick out decor or clothing so I do not make the usual mistakes that all colorblind people make. He even says that he loves being able to pick out my clothes and accessories for our home. I am also lucky enough to finally have a boss who is also understanding of this "genetic quirk".
If only everyone was able to accept that, yes, women can be colorblind, too, and that we are still able to function as normal people (for the most part).
I was recently in Longueuil, Quebec and I saw that they were using symbolic traffic lights – traffic lights that have different shapes for each colour. The red light is square, the yellow light is a diamond, and the green light is a circle, or an arrow. They were made to assist colourblind people. I also saw an article that confirmed that using symbolic traffic lights reduce accidents by 80% at intersections. I’m currently doing a research project about symbolic traffic lights and I would appreciate it if someone from the NAACBP could contact me.
Hello im raymond and im from Phillippines and im a color blind man my defect color is red green and yellow..
i graduate a marine engineering course and at my situation its so hard for me cause in ship the other company wont accpt a color blind like me and i notice now a days thers are a glasses for color blind person and im wishing that glas.. if some one will give me that glass im very thank full..
and if ur willing to contact me just serach me in facebook
Hi my son is red/green color deficient. As far back as I can remember, when he was first learning colors in preschool, he had trouble. It never occurred to me that he may have had a color deficiency, nor was it ever a suggestion for us to consider. We have no known maternal family history of colorblindness. Looking back, I have felt like a terrible parent on several occasions. He was always smart and learned everything he needed to know pretty easily. I honestly thought he was not paying attention when it came to learning his colors. Little did I know, how hard that must have been for him at the time. If you think about it, most 3 or 4 year olds are presented with some pretty basic colors to start out such as Red, Orange, Yellow, Blue, and Green. All the while, Wade was learning the slight nuances between Fawn, Hazelnut, flaxen, and Biscotti!! Doesn’t that seem like a tall order for a 4 year old? In my opinion, we probably should have focused on only three colors with him, most likely including blue, yellow, and green for his deficiency. While continually educating him with what was happening with his color vision and how what others are seeing in color stand out more for them. That way he could begin to know that there is a difference and that he will need to learn to ask for help if he feels like it's especially hard. Gradually introducing the colors that are close in shade, as opposed to throwing them all in at once would have been better. In my opinion, learning multiple shades of one color came a bit later, when the school supply list had a box of 48 crayons listed...maybe 3rd grade. He is 12 now and is starting to experiment with apps to use in the classroom like CB buddy. It's a great one. I just hope that the identification (and education for the child and not just the parents) of color difficency is happening way sooner than when I found out about my son at 10 years old. It could have saved us years of him not feeling confident because of swimming in the colorblind world all by himself. We are still helping him to realize that if something seems super difficult, it could very well be due to a color issue. He has always struggled with differentiating when to ask for help. Almost like he doesn't realize how EASY it is for most other people who can see color normally...and if they don't ask for help..why would he. Early education and not just detection seems to be key.
I recently found out last year that I am colourblind. I have Tritanopia (I have trouble with Blue, Yellow and Purple). My story is somewhat strange, I was originally diagnosed when I was 10, I am 45 now. My family was very good at keeping a secret from me for 35 years. Apparently my father and grandfather were both colourblind and I didn't know it. As an adult when I first realised that something was wrong, was when I got into a nattering match with a friend at the colour of a Mary Kay car.
I mentioned to her that it was strange that the Mary Kay car in front of us was creamy white coloured. She said that car wasn't white, that it was pink, just like the shirt I had on. I told her my shirt was red. During that argument, she said "You need to have your eyes checked. You have to be colourblind".
It was time for my bi-anual eye exam anyway, so I made an appointment. I asked my doctor to check me for colourblindness. Needless to say I failed the test. He came back into the exam room and told me that in his opinion, I had the second to the worst type of colourblindness. He said that mine was more than likely inherited and that chances are my father or grandfather were colourblind.
I called my grandmother and she indeed confirmed that my father and grandfather were both colourblind. I asked her if I was ever tested and she wasn't sure and said I needed to contact my stepmother. I did just that. I called Michelle and asked her if I was ever checked for colourblindness. She told me I was tested when I was 10 and was diagnosed with Tritanopia then. I asked why they never told me. She told me that my father didn't want me to know until I got older because he didn't want me to go through the same torment and teasing that he went through as a child. With so much going on, she apologised about that and said that life got in the way and they simply forgot to tell me.
I am now 45 and looking back on the past years, I am now second guessing most of all my colour decisions. Including my "red" shirt mentioned earlier, which turns out is a HOT PINK shirt! Fortunately, I was able to get some glasses that help. Although I could see Red and Green quite well, I had trouble with different hues of those colours. Blue, Yellow and Purple have become my nemeses. When I don't have my glasses on, I have trouble picking out a bunch of bananas, because yellow looks like a dull white.
Needless to say, I realise that I see the world differently than most people do. I don't know if ignorance was bliss or not. I just know I was never frustrated or depressed before I found out I am colourblind. I am grateful for the glasses that I have because now I can see hues and colours I had never seen before, but it has become a double edged sword. Now I only wear my glasses when I need to make absolute colour decisions, especially when it comes to food and clothing.
Thank you for listening to my story. It is very cathartic to talk about it and to hear other stories.