Military Vet Donates Glasses for Color Blindness to Rio Rancho Schoolchildren Who Are Color Vision Deficient
– Generous Donation Helps Color Blind Students Overcome Learning Challenges in School –
Rio Rancho, NM & Berkeley, CA – April 24, 2023 – EnChroma, Inc. – makers of glasses for color blindness – and Rio Rancho Public Schools, today announced that a generous local military veteran has purchased EnChroma glasses for color blind students to overcome the obstacles color blindness poses to learning. The EnChroma glasses will help the color blind students better understand color-coded information on tests, projects or assignments for which correctly interpreting color plays a role.
One in 12 boys (8%) and one in 200 girls (.5%) are red-green color blind; an estimated 13 million in the US and 350 million worldwide. With nearly 17,000 students in the district, over 700 Rio Rancho students are likely 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 understanding colored 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 donor of the glasses, Ron Neldon, is motivated by both tragedy and a unique inspiration. On June 25, 1996, terrorists backed by Iran detonated a truck bomb outside of the Khobar Towers housing complex in Saudi Arabia, where Ron was stationed with the Air Force. The blast killed 19 US service members and injured hundreds. On behalf of the victims, the US government successfully sued Iran for its role. With some of the money he received from the settlement, Ron has sought ways to help others.
“One of my colleagues injured in the blast eventually had a son who was born deaf and received cochlear implants so he could hear, which completely changed his life,” said Neldon. “I started watching videos of people hearing for the first time and eventually became fascinated by people seeing color for the first time with EnChroma glasses. They inspired me to make a positive impact on young people’s lives, so every year I buy EnChroma glasses to help color blind students in the Rio Rancho Public School District." To read more about Neldon’s experience and motivation to help others, or to download his photo, click here.
Engineered with special optical filters, EnChroma glasses help those with red-green color blindness see an expanded range of colors more vibrantly, clearly, and distinctly.
“Only 11 of 50 states currently test schoolchildren for color blindness, so many kids go undiagnosed through much of their education unaware of their condition or its effects,” said Erik Ritchie, CEO of EnChroma. “We applaud the generosity of Mr. Neldon, thank him for his service, and encourage other school districts to test for color vision deficiency and get EnChroma glasses to support color blind students.”
EnChroma Color Accessibility Program™
EnChroma is the lead advocate for “color accessibility” through its EnChroma Color Accessibility Program™. Via the program, EnChroma donates a pair of glasses for each pair purchased by public venues. In New Mexico, EnChroma glasses have been offered since 2019 to color blind visitors to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe to enable them to experience the colors in O’Keeffe’s iconic works.
Over 200 organizations participate in the program including schools, universities, parks, libraries, museums, and others to loan the glasses to color blind students and guests. In addition to its free color blindness test, EnChroma offers materials for schools to share with teachers, parents and students to educate them about color blindness and how to support color blind students. The program is also open to employers.
EnChroma encourages parents and educators to have students take EnChroma’s free online color blindness test at enchroma.com, which takes less than two minutes. A study by the University of California, Davis, and France’s INSERM Stem Cell and Brain Research Institute, demonstrated the effectiveness of EnChroma glasses.
Media: Product shots, b-roll, videos and images can be downloaded here. EnChroma’s CEO, and Rio Ranch Public Schools officials, are available for interviews.
About Rio Rancho Public Schools
Rio Rancho Public Schools is a school district based in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, serving the municipality of Rio Rancho. The school district has a total of 20 schools and nearly 17,000 students. The district has two high schools, two alternative high schools, four middle schools, 11 elementary schools and one preschool. Visit www.rrps.net or call 505.896.0667 for more information.
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.
Rio Rancho Public Schools
Vice President, Communications & Partnerships