Rivercrest School District First in Arkansas to Support Color Blind Students with EnChroma Glasses

– Special Glasses for Color Blindness Help Students Overcome Learning Challenges –

Wilson, AR & Berkeley, CA April 25, 2022 EnChroma – creators of EnChroma glasses for color blindness – and Rivercrest School District, today announced that the district will make EnChroma glasses available to color blind students to help address the frustrations color blindness can pose to learning. Color blind students will be able to borrow the glasses for tests, assignments and subjects for which correctly interpreting color is a factor.

One in 12 boys (8%) and one in 200 girls (.5%) are color blind; an estimated 13 million in the US and 350 million worldwide. With 1,220 students in the district, over 50 Rivercrest students are color blind. With a population of approximately three million, an estimated 127,500 Arkansans are color blind.

While people with normal color vision see over one million hues and shades, the color blind only see an estimated 10% of them. As a result, colors can appear dull, indistinct, and difficult to discern. This can make interpreting color-coded information in graphs, charts, presentations, maps, and material written in certain colors problematic. Click here to see how schoolwork containing colors appear to red-green color blind students. 

“The look on the face of one of my color blind first graders when he put on the EnChroma glasses was priceless,” said Merideth Elder, an art teacher for Rivercrest Schools. “I asked him, “What is it like with the glasses and without the glasses?" He said, "When I don't have on the glasses those (colored) balloons looked empty.” I found "EMPTY" a pretty powerful description coming from a first grader.”

    Engineered with special optical filters, EnChroma glasses help those with red-green color blindness see an expanded range of colors and to colors more vibrantly, clearly, and distinctly. “We are pleased to be the first school district in Arkansas to support the needs of students who are color vision deficient, a condition that can impact learning but is not often considered,” said Shantele Raper, Assistant Superintendent, Rivercrest School District. “We look forward to our color blind students benefitting from EnChroma glasses in our schools.”

    “Arkansas is one of only 11 states that test schoolchildren for color vision deficiency,” said Erik Ritchie, CEO of EnChroma. “As more educators and parents become aware of the effects of color blindness on learning, we hope more schools will follow the lead of Rivercrest School District to address this issue.”

    Educators and parents can quickly test students’ color vision via EnChroma’s free online test at enchroma.com, which takes less than two minutes to complete. A study by the University of California, Davis, and France’s INSERM Stem Cell and Brain Research Institute, demonstrated the effectiveness of EnChroma glasses. A separate recent study by the University of Incarnate Word, published in the scientific publication Eye-Nature, also highlights the benefits of the glasses.

    EnChroma continues to lead in advocating for “color accessibility” through its EnChroma Color Accessibility Program. The program helps public venues like schools, state parks, libraries, museums, and other organizations purchase and loan EnChroma glasses to color blind students and guests to help make schoolwork, colorful exhibits, attractions and/or experiences accessible to the color blind. The glasses are already loaned out by nearly 40 museums, 15 school districts, numerous universities such as Boston University and North Carolina State University, and 15 library systems and parks.

    About Rivercrest School District

    The Rivercrest School District is a consolidated, rural district located in the northeast Arkansas Delta region covering 371 square miles that serves a diverse population of 1,220 students in grades Pre-Kindergarten-12. Students from five different communities - Dyess, Joiner, Keiser, Luxora, and Wilson - attend Rivercrest Schools. Learn more at rivercrestcolts.org.

    About EnChroma

    Based in Berkeley, Calif., EnChroma produces leading-edge eyewear for color blindness and low vision, and other solutions for color vision, sold online and through Authorized Retailers worldwide. Invented in 2010, EnChroma’s patented eyewear combines the latest in color perception, neuroscience and lens innovation to improve the lives of people with color vision deficiency around the world. EnChroma received an SBIR grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It 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, and the 2020 Innovation Award in Life Sciences from the Bay Area’s East Bay Economic Development Alliance. For more information call 510-497-0048 or visit enchroma.com.

    Media Contacts:

    Rivercrest School District
    Shantele Raper
    Assistant Superintendent, Rivercrest School District
    P: 870.740.5930


    Kent Streeb
    Vice President, Communications & Partnerships
    P: 530.908.9225