According to the colourblindawareness.org 1 out of 12 males and 1 out of 200 females are colour blind. I am one of them. Being colour blind does not mean you cannot see colours (seeing black and white is really rare), it just means you may not be able to see some colours and shades (usually red/green). I am not going to go into medical details though because:
1.I am not a doctor and
2.that's not what this post is about.
I am partially colour blind and today, I will try to give you a glimpse of what my life is like. So, how big a deal is it to not be able to see colours? Let's see.
My life: my challenges
As a 39-year-old gal, shopping is a challenge. I am unable to shop 90% of the time!! I have no idea what colour the clothes I buy are. I always ask a sales assistant for help or I choose to shop from stores that have the colour written on the tag. If none of these are an option, then I end up buying something that turns out to be a random colour, I then I go back to the store and return it (story of my life). Buying makeup is an ordeal. I love makeup, but I can't really buy it. Most companies choose to name their products, not based on what colour they are, but based on a catchy title. What do I mean? Cosmetics companies choose to give weird names to their eye shadows, nail varnish, and lip sticks. Why does for example, a pink lip stick need to be called "A day in the park" or "love me do" (names chosen randomly) and not just say: Pink/ light pink/ dark pink/ fuchsia etc.? You may ask, "Yes, but you do not see it's pink, so what you going on about woman?" Well,I don't see it's pink, but I know what pink goes with!! Once again, I ask for help, or buy egg yellow eye shadows and end up returning them.
Loads of magazines, newspapers and even books choose to write a text on a background that clashes, making it extremely or almost impossible for me to read. Black on red is the worst!
Going to the bank
You know the electronic display that shows priority in banks? I cannot read that. I take a ticket, wait in a line, and then ask a person to help me and tell me what number is next. Do you know how many times I missed my turn back in the days when I felt embarrassed to ask for help?
I don't drive. I think I will have a problem with road signs more than actual traffic lights. I have never tried to learn to drive. Never will.
Following any type of instructions that is based on colours is hard. Take out the lilac book, follow the green line, open the pink door (which is the ladies' room).I am completely lost. Then there's the tube. I never travel on the London tube alone. So many colours mixed up on a little map.
Pie charts/tables and graphs
They are very difficult to read because people use similar colours when they make them. I had difficulty watching the Greek election results a while back cause the 'election' map had green and blue all over. I have difficulty seeing the difference.
For 39 years I have lived without 'seeing' colours. I manage fine. Does it make my life difficult? Yes! Impossible? No. I ask people for help and they help. I often get upset though. Being colour blind does not hold me back. I would like it if people/companies/organisations were a bit more considerate though. Please help us with colours. Have a look around you. What colours do you see? Now, put yourself in my.... red (?) pumps.If you are interested in reading about people's typical reactions, press here.