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Seventy-Five Percent of Colour Blind People Experience Challenges at Work, EnChroma Study Finds

– Survey Illustrates Workplace Frustrations of Colour Vision Deficiency on the Job; EnChroma Outlines Accommodation Steps for Employers –

Berkeley, CA July 26, 2021 – In the largest known study of its kind, EnChroma – creators of glasses for colour blindness – today announced the results of a workforce survey spotlighting the frustration and obstacles that tens of millions of workers with colour blindness face every day at work. Key findings include that nine of 10 people with colour vision deficiency (CVD) stated that identifying colours correctly plays a role in their job; 75% report that being colour blind slows them down at work; 65% have trouble interpreting colour-coded materials; and over 20% can’t perform certain work that requires accurate colour-identification. 

“I work in the nuclear power industry where colour has many important roles, from safety signage and red/green indicator lights to being able to differentiate between coloured wires, and I've always had to have someone check my work,” said Zachary Rowland, a colour blind maintenance supervisor for a nuclear power plant and National Guardsman.

For the one in 12 men (8%) and one in 200 women (.5%) who are colour blind – 350 million worldwide – comprehending colourful information at work can cause frustration, impede productivity and create potential safety issues. From April to May 2021, 810 colour blind people responded to an EnChroma survey measuring the effect of their condition on the job, with 688 relaying anecdotes from their work experiences. 

“This study is critical for educating HR, safety and accessibility managers about colour blindness and how, by implementing some simple guidelines, they can make the workplace more accessible for all employees,” said Erik Ritchie, CEO of EnChroma. “Colour blind people are just as successful and productive as any employee, but they can use a hand to reduce the everyday nuisances and obstacles they experience related to colour in the workplace.” Click here to read workplace experiences shared by colour blind survey respondents. 

Highlights from the EnChroma survey include:

Recommended Steps for Employers:

EnChroma’s Colour Accessibility Program™ encourages employers to implement simple guidelines to adapt work materials and workplace environments to accommodate red-green colour vision deficient staff, such as:

  1. Avoid using colours containing red or green in presentations, spreadsheets, graphs, safety signage, operational controls, instructional and other materials.
  2. Educate managers, creative teams and staff about the prevalence of colour blindness and its effects. Avoid using problematic colours like red and green.
  3. Label colours in workplace materials to facilitate correct colour-identification for colour blind staff.
  4. Consider making reasonable workplace accommodation assistive tools available to colour blind employees, like EnChroma glasses for colour blindness.

The 810 survey respondents are colour blind people who work in fields in which they occasionally or routinely wear safety glasses, such as chemists, military medics, electricians, utility workers, law enforcement officers, warehouse pickers and others. 

EnChroma recently launched the world’s first line of EnChroma Safety Glasses to help people with red-green colour blindness overcome daily frustrations and obstacles at work related to correctly identifying and interpreting colours. EnChroma safety, and regular, glasses for indoor and outdoor use enable the colour blind to better see coloured information as well as bright warning signs and labels, while reducing everyday challenges. “I have worn regular EnChroma glasses for six years and they have been life-changing,” continued Rowland. “In my job in the power industry the ability to now wear safety glasses that allow me to see colour is an absolute game-changer.”

EnChroma’s patented lens technology is engineered with special optical filters that help the colour blind see an expanded range of colours more vibrantly, clearly and distinctly. A recent study by the University of California, Davis, and France’s INSERM Stem Cell and Brain Research Institute, demonstrated the effectiveness of EnChroma glasses. 

Product shots, still images and interactive GIFs illustrating the challenges on the job for those with colour vision deficiencies can be downloaded by clicking here.

About EnChroma

Based in Berkeley, Calif., EnChroma produces leading-edge eyewear for colour blindness and low vision, and other solutions for colour vision, sold online and through Authorized Retailers worldwide. Invented in 2010, EnChroma’s patented eyewear for colour blindness combines the latest in colour perception, neuroscience and lens innovation to improve the lives of people with colour 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.

Kent Streeb
Director of Public Relations and Partnerships
P: 530.908.9225
kent@enchroma.com