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One segment of the colorblind population that is often under-supported and misunderstood is colorblind women. One in 200 women are color vision deficient. This means that while people with normal color vision see over one million shades of color, these women see only about 10% of those hues and shades. Red green color blindness (an umbrella category for deutan and protan color blindness) is the most common, causing color vision deficient people to see a less vibrant world. It also causes “color confusion” at times.
This means that in school, for example, some of a person’s most formative years, colourblind people can run into unexpected and inexplicable difficulties. Because of a lack of testing, young women, more often than men, can go years without realizing that some difficulties they encounter in school are due to color blindness. According to a recent survey of colorblind women by EnChroma, maker of cutting-edge colorblind glasses, color blindness can have a negative impact on educational experiences. Nearly 25% (18 of 82) of female respondents did not learn they were color blind until after the age of 15. The average respondent learned when she was 11 years old. “Even my color blind relatives didn’t believe I was color blind because I’m a girl and thought I just wanted attention, so I didn’t get diagnosed until high school,” says Piper Bodden, a museum curator. One woman did not learn she was color blind until age 44. In the survey, 81% of women believe they endured extra struggles or delays before doctors, educators or their parents suspected and/or accepted that they were colorblind. Two-thirds were teased in school for being color blind. Because color blindness is relatively uncommon in women, nearly half say they face more challenges than color vision deficient men.