Detroit, MI & Berkeley, CA – October 1, 2022 – The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced today the launch of two scenic viewers from SeeCoast Manufacturing engineered with special EnChroma lenses to enable color blind people to experience the vibrant colors of the Detroit Riverfront. The special viewers, located in William G. Milliken State Park, were funded by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge.
“Were excited to offer this accommodation to those in the community who are color blind,” said Scott Pratt, Chief of Southern Field Operations, Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR). “The scopes are located on the highest point along the riverfront, so the public will get to enjoy particularly expansive, colorful views.”
Color blindness affects one in 12 men (8%) and one in 200 women (.5%); 350 million people worldwide, 13 million in the US and roughly 425,000 in Michigan. While people with normal color vision see over one million shades of color, those with Color Vision Deficiency (CVD) only see an estimated 10% of hues and shades. Common color confusions include green appearing yellow, tan or gray; pink looking gray; purple like blue; and red viewed as brown.
Ambassador Bridge from DRFC as seen with regular color vision and in red-green color blind view. Image courtesy of Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Color blind view conversion by EnChroma.
Click here for scenes from William G. Milliken State Park as they appear to color blind people, and here for images of everyday life from the color blind perspective. The special SeeCoast viewers with EnChroma lenses help those with red-green color blindness to better see the rich panoply of colors at federal wildlife refuges, state parks, scenic overlooks, and other attractions. Those with normal color vision will experience more vibrant colors when looking through the viewers.
“EnChroma is pleased that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources continues to champion accessibility by giving those with color vision deficiencies the opportunity to more fully experience the beautiful colors of nature,” said Erik Ritchie, CEO of EnChroma. “We hope that their example inspires more state and federal parks to partner with us to improve the experiences of the 350 million blind people in the world.”
EnChroma Color Accessibility Program
EnChroma is the lead advocate for “color accessibility” through its EnChroma Color Accessibility Program, in which over 160 organizations participate including state and federal park systems in 11 states. The program helps public venues such as schools, parks, libraries, museums, tourism bureaus, resorts and others loan EnChroma glasses to color blind students and guests to help make schoolwork that involves color, colorful exhibits, attractions and/or experiences accessible to the color blind.
EnChroma’s patented lens technology helps people with red-green color blindness see an expanded range of colors and see them more vibrantly, clearly and distinctly. The company makes glasses for color blindness and partners with scenic viewer makers to adapt their products for those with CVD. Studies by world-renowned color vision scientists at the University of California, Davis and France’s INSERM Stem Cell and Brain Research Institute, and the University of the Incarnate Word, have demonstrated the effectiveness of EnChroma’s lenses.
About the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the agency of the state of Michigan charged with maintaining natural resources such as state parks, state forests, and recreation areas. The DNR has about 1,400 permanent employees, and over 1,600 seasonal employees. To learn more visit https://www.michigan.gov/dnr.
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. Visit enchroma.com to learn more.
Vice President, Communications & Partnerships