BERKELEY, Calif. & COTTONWOOD, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--EnChroma, Inc. – creators of the only science-backed eyewear for color blindness – today announced that color blind students at Lakeview School District in Minnesota will have access to EnChroma glasses for color blindness to help them surmount the challenges color vision deficiency can pose to learning. One in 12 men (8%) and 1 in 200 women (.5%) are color vision deficient; 13 million in the United States alone.
Inspired by Jonathan Jones, a color blind seventh grader at Lakeview School, whose launching of a GoFundMe page to raise funds to purchase EnChroma glasses to give to other color blind people has received international media attention, EnChroma has committed to donate a pair to match every pair he buys. EnChroma has also contributed glasses for color blind students at Lakeview Public School. Access to EnChroma eyewear will enable color blind students to borrow and wear the glasses for tests, projects, classes or assignments for which correctly interpreting color plays a role.
“EnChroma is proud to support the initiative and thoughtfulness this young man has demonstrated in trying to help other color vision deficient students benefit from our glasses,” said Andrew Schmeder, Co-founder and CEO of EnChroma. “We are pleased to help color blind students at Lakeview Schools and grateful for the support of the school’s color blind principal, Mr. Hanson. Unfortunately, only 11 of 50 states currently test schoolchildren for color blindness, so many kids go undiagnosed and their parents and teachers are unaware of their condition or its effects. We strongly believe that all states should test students for color vision deficiency and encourage parents and educators to have students take EnChroma’s color blindness test at enchroma.com.”
“Lakeview School is appreciative of the glasses EnChroma has provided for our color blind students,” said Scott Hanson, Principal of Lakeview Schools. “I can recall some of my own struggles as a color blind student, so from my firsthand perspective I appreciate how these glasses will prove helpful in the classroom.”
Red-green color blindness is caused by an excessive overlap in the signals from red- and green-sensitive retinal cone cells in the eye, which causes colors that are normally seen as distinct and different to appear highly similar and confusing. Common color confusions include green and yellow, gray and pink, purple and blue, and red can appear brown. People with color vision deficiency are estimated to see about 10% of the one million shades that a person with normal color vision can see. Since an estimated 80% of information is conveyed visually, and much of it contains colors that delineate specific meanings, a color blind student can struggle to understand information that requires accurately identifying colors.
Color blindness is far more prevalent than most people realize and can create obstacles and frustrations for students. An estimated 350 million people worldwide are red-green color blind. In a class of 35 students, approximately two students may struggle to follow information containing color in graphs, charts, PowerPoint presentations, color-coded maps and/or material written in certain colors. To view images of colorful classroom activities as they appear to color blind students, click here.
According to EnChroma’s research, only 11 states test schoolchildren for color vision deficiency: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Louisiana, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and Wyoming. With 670 students, Lakeview Public Schools has an estimated 30 students who are color blind and can benefit from wearing EnChroma glasses.
“This school year, the advocacy of a single parent led the Roanoke, Virginia school district to team with its local Lions Club to implement color vision deficiency testing for all of its 9,000+ students,” added Schmeder. “More school districts should follow Roanoke’s lead – and that of Lakeview Schools – on this under-appreciated issue affecting learning.”
EnChroma’s patented lens technology is engineered with special optical filters to remove wavelengths of light where the red and green cones in the eye of the color blind overlap excessively. This enhances the separation between color channels to help them see colors more vibrantly, clearly and distinctly, helping them to overcome everyday obstacles and access more of life’s colorful experiences.
EnChroma continues to lead in advocating for “color accessibility” with the launch of the EnChroma Color Accessibility Program. The program helps public venues, schools, state parks, libraries, museums and other organizations purchase and loan EnChroma glasses to color blind students and guests to make schoolwork that involves color, colorful exhibits, attractions and/or experiences accessible to the color blind. To learn more about the program contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Lakeview Public Schools
Located in Cottonwood, Minnesota, Lakeview School is comprised of two communities: Cottonwood and Wood Lake. The Lakeview Schools District’s mission is to equip each student with the tools needed for life by providing a quality education that is innovative, comprehensive, and individualized, creating experiences that challenge our students to achieve their full potential. Lakeview's enrollment is approximately 670 students in K-12. Lakeview School received the Bronze Award in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012 as an outstanding High School in the U.S. News and World Report survey of our nation's best High Schools. Lakeview Elementary was recognized as a Reward School by the Minnesota Department of Education in 2013 and 2014. www.lakeview2167.com.
Based in Berkeley, California, EnChroma makes cutting-edge lens technology and eyewear for color blindness. Established in 2010 by a Ph.D. glass scientist and a mathematician, EnChroma’s revolutionary glasses combine the latest in color perception neuroscience and lens innovation to improve the lives of people with color vision deficiency around the world. EnChroma received a SBIR grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and 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. EnChroma also received the 2017 Beacons of the Photonics Industry Award from Photonics Media. For more information call 510-497-0048 or visit EnChroma.com.