Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge Teams with EnChroma to Enhance Experience for Color Blind Visitors
- EnChroma® Lenses Help Color Blind Guests Enjoy the Detroit River’s Colorful Beauty -
Detroit, MI & Berkeley, CA – June 13, 2023 – Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge and EnChroma® – creators of glasses for color blindness – today announced a collaboration to improve the experience for color blind visitors to the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge (DRIW). Guests who are red-green color blind can now use newly installed special SeeCoast viewer scopes, adapted with EnChroma lenses for color blindness, to enjoy nature in the Refuge in clear, vibrant color for the first time.
One in 12 men (8%) and one in 200 women (.5%) are Color Vision Deficient (CVD); an estimated 13 million in the United States, 350 million worldwide and roughly 425,000 in Michigan. While people with normal color vision see over one million shades of color, those with Color Vision Deficiency only see an estimated 10% of hues and shades (see images below). As a result, colors can appear dull, indistinct and difficult to discern.
Located along the lower Detroit River and western shoreline of Lake Erie - just 20 miles south of Detroit - and operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge is the only international wildlife refuge in North America. Click here to see more images of the Refuge’s colors as they appear to the color blind.
“The chance to help provide expanded access to the beauty of the colors of nature is a true privilege,” said Todd Weston, park ranger at the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. “This is just one step along the path to making the outdoors equitable for all.”
“The ability to see all the colors in nature is taken for granted, but that’s not the reality for millions of visitors to our nation’s parks,” said Erik Ritchie, CEO of EnChroma. “Fifteen states, at nearly 40 state and national park locations, have already recognized this and support accessibility for color blind visitors by offering EnChroma-adapted scenic viewers and/or glasses for the color blind. We are very pleased that Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge is the seventh park in Michigan alone to do so.”
EnChroma Color Accessibility Program™
EnChroma is the lead advocate for “color accessibility” through its EnChroma Color Accessibility Program™. The program helps over 200 schools, universities, state and national parks, libraries, museums, and other organizations purchase and loan EnChroma glasses to color blind students and guests. Through partnerships with leading vendors, scenic viewers adapted for the color blind with EnChroma lenses are also available. EnChroma’s program is also open to employers.
EnChroma’s patented lens technology is engineered with special optical filters that enable people with red-green color blindness to see an expanded range of colors more vibrantly, clearly and distinctly. More media materials are available here.
About Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge
The only international wildlife refuge in North America, Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge in southeast Michigan was established by Congress in 2001 to build a sustainable future for the Detroit River and western Lake Erie ecosystems. These 6,000 acres of marshes, shoals and waterfront also provide welcome access to nature and recreation for residents of the metro Detroit area. Thanks to region-wide pollution prevention and habitat restoration efforts, the area has made an impressive environmental recovery and created places where Detroiters can fish, boat and enjoy wildlife viewing. Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge is open and accessible to everyone. National wildlife refuges are managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. To learn more, please visit www.fws.gov/refuge/detroit-river.
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. Call 510-497-0048 or visit enchroma.com to learn more.
Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge
Vice President, Communications & Partnerships