Color blindness is widespread but the awareness around it isn’t that great. In India color blindness leads to rejection in any defence related jobs be it Army, Air Force or Navy. A color blind is disqualified in mining related jobs as well. Just until last year people with Color Vision Deficiency (CVD) were not allowed to be doctors as per MCI rules. There has been some hearing in Supreme Court to pave the way for students with CVD not to be discriminated against.
CVD is quite common and 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women suffer from it across the world. If there was a country for color blinds there will be around 680 million which will be third most populous country in the world.
People with CVD need the world to see it through our eyes and make it place which in more immersing than what it normally is.
Here are my personal experiences living with color blindness. I was born in a middle class home and spend my childhood days in Arunachal Pradesh, India. My CVD was only identified by a doctor while doing check with Ishihara’s test during physical examination just before taking admission into engineering. And thats when everyone realized why I used ask my mom for the Yellow T-Shirt when it really was green. Since then on I have been more open to color blindness and have been forthcoming about it.
Issues that I get into on a daily basis
- Computer based infographics based on color which is quite difficult and confusing for me. Like I had trouble while doing a Data Interpretation Question during CAT examination’s computer based test.
- Highlighting of excel spreadsheets with different colors based on conditional formatting
- I work as a hardware designer and have difficulties in identifying the color of waveforms on the oscilloscopes. I can manage Oscilloscopes as there are only 4 channels. Real problem crop up with logic analyzers with a data bus to be monitored.
- Selecting a shirt or any dress. Normally I go for off-white, gray & blue. There are times I took pink thinking it to be blue
- Teaching kids colors with crayons. I myself am lost (haven’t got my own kid yet)
- Traffic signals with arrow signs are always welcome. They bring more confidence while deciding the directions.
- Identifying a person based on the color they are wearing. Its very common in our younger days when friends say “See that girl in the red dress going” and me totally confused and by the time try to find the girl is already gone.
- Quality management systems based on colors schemes. Japanese companies has pioneered it but it may be a good thing for normal people but not for people with CVD
- LED color and blinking on various products like Wi-Fi routers, Servers, PC and many more.
I could think of more but then if during the development of a product or a service if we can just think of CVD as an aspect of the design it can be so easy.
There is this bond that we should make strong and get institutions and companies to consider CVD while doing bunch of these things. This will make world more inclusive.
Idea is not to get reservation of sorts. We can do all that a normal person can do but if given a little thought on people with such deficiencies it will make life very easy. There are enough examples of people have illustrious life even being CVD.