Military Vet Donates Glasses to Color Blind Rio Rancho Students

Third Straight Year Helping Color Blind Schoolkids Navigate Learning Challenges

Rio Rancho, NM & Berkeley, CA April 8, 2024 EnChroma – makers of glasses for color blindness – and Rio Rancho Public Schools, today announced that for the third year in a row resident Ron Neldon has purchased EnChroma glasses for color blind students to help them manage the obstacles color blindness poses to learning. The EnChroma glasses will help 15 color blind students better see color-coded information on tests, projects and assignments for which correctly interpreting color plays a role.

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 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.

color blind map

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 projected to be color blind. 

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 Ron’s 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, according to Ron. This inspired Ron to make a positive impact on young people’s lives, so every year he buys 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.

“We deeply thank Ron for his service, for helping color blind kids in his community and for elevating awareness of the prevalence and effects of Color Vision Deficiency,” said Erik Ritchie, CEO of EnChroma. “We hope that other schools will take note, implement color blindness testing of students, and accommodate CVD students through a deeper understanding of the condition, thoughtful use of color and patterns in educational materials, and providing assistive eyewear when appropriate.”

EnChroma is the lead advocate for “color accessibility,” donating a pair of glasses for each pair purchased by public venues. 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 glasses are engineered with special optical filters that help approximately 80% of people with red-green color blindness see an expanded range of visible colors and distinguish shades more accurately, making schoolwork that involves color, art, nature and other experiences more ‘color accessible.’ A study by the University of California, Davis, and France’s INSERM Stem Cell and Brain Research Institute, demonstrated the effectiveness of the glasses. Importantly, EnChroma glasses do not cure color blindness and results and reaction times vary. They are intended to work for those with Protanomaly and Deuteranomaly forms of color vision deficiency. 

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. 

Ron Neldon pictured at Dhahran Air Force Base in Saudi Arabia

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.

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:
Rio Rancho Public Schools
Wyndham Kemsley
Communications Director
Phone: 505.614.6872
wyndham.kemsley@rrps.net


Media Contacts:
EnChroma
Kent Streeb
Vice President, Communications & Partnerships
P: 530.908.9225
kent@enchroma.com