Thursday, January 10, 2008

The following is from an email I received from a woman who suffers from coloboma
fom cololamboma
The following is an email I recieved from a woman who suffers

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Anwser to Questions

Tell me about your involvement with Stop It Now.
Until new, most of my involvement has been simply passing the word. I’m finally in a position to help by donating a percentage of my royalties. I have also been involved in getting a branch set up in my area. Stop It Now has a unique approach to childhood hood sexual abuse. They work with any one involved, or who could be involved and try to prevent harm than just treat it.

What does your mini zoo consist of?
I have a Labrador retriever (Sam) seven cats (Sierra, Topaz, Carmel, Sprit, Ash Othello, Luna) three doves, too cockatiels and a chinchilla.

What is Wings?
The letters stand for Writers -- Nurturing, Growing, Surviving. We are a group of writers who believe using our words can help make the world a better, safer place. We are concentrating on the issues of domestic violence, childhood sexual abuse, animal welfare, homelessness, veterans affairs, Native American rights and health care issues. Our website and newsletter will cover resources available, ways society can help these issues and ways the government can help. Eventually, we hope to move into the political aspect to get laws in place that will make these situations to become better.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Visually Handicapped Author Visits This Blog

Joyce A. Anthony has coloboma -- a condition so rare that opthalmologists examine her just to see the condition. She has no depth perception and she's considerered legally blind. She has no peripheral vision and she reports that she is now having trouble distinguisting between blue/purple red/orange and blue/green. Yet, she is an author of "Storm." And she'll likely take the world by storm with this book, a spiritual fantasy that bring to light some serious issues like childhood sexual abuse, homelessness and disillusionment.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007



That is a question I have been asked many times. Since I am one of eight of ten men that are color-blind (really color deficient) there isn't a way I can explain to another how I see colors. I know that grass is green, the flag is red, for I have been told so since childhood.

So I would like to to step into the eyes of a person with this handicap.

It was in the third grade and the teacher said to color the barn red. The other pupils "dug" into their crayon box, sorted through and came up with a red crayon and went about colorling the barn red. I had to try and find a red crayon among the orange, maroon, pink and etc. crayons. But you see, I had to tear my crayon's label down from each end, for it was imperiative that I save the precious identification that was printed on the middle. Result: slower work in "art" class, even though my other grades were above normal.

About 7th grade or so, the teacher would pull down the map portion of the world and state that a particular country was shown in a rose color. So I quickly "scanned" the area and finally located it when the instructor called out its name. Now you "see" the rose color -- or do you? Why is that 'rose' blends in with the color of an adjacent country?

I was probably 12 or so when I found out way they called one dollar bills "greenbacks". I thought they were printed with black ink. I had no idea they were green -- just not very black.

Other simiolar confusing things to solve: Chemistry-litmus test. When does it turn to the desired color? Test tube mixture -- is it purple or sorta blue-red. Try and locate a green book -- name not given -- among the brown ones! Why are there so many same colors in a rainbow or in the light refracted by a prism?


It was in the second year of optometry school that we were being taught the facts about color deficient persons. An overnight assignment was to learn the different medods of the testing: the Holmgren yarn test, the psuo-isochromatic charts, as those of Dvorne and Ishihara. In the latter, the person had to idenify the number "hidden" among the colored (confusion) dots on the page. I dutifully went to the library and found the test book encased in the heavy paper folder. The appearance of the folder told me that it had been used many times through the years. Upon opening the book, also well used, I read the guide of "how to test". The first page had a number everyone could recognize. The second page wasn't so easy -- I didn't see any number. How come? The guide said it was 57 -- and I don't see a number 57. Hmmm. My "honest to God thought: THE BOOK IS FADED!! It LOOKED faded I turned to my roommate and asked him and his immediate answer was 57. Oh no! Now, I know why I had trouble in the third grade.

I went on to graduate. I spent hours matching colors so I could "pass" the Holmgren yarn test and learned to fly in the U.S. Army Air Corps Reserve during WW II. The program was cancelled after a short time. Fearing my color blindness might take the lives of others, I was relieved. Ater 3/12 years in the service, I opened my optometry practice and retired 42 years later. But you can rest assured that EVERY MALE in my office was tested for color blindness and I made certain that the school nurses that I could contact performed a test for this defect in their visual screening tests. Incidentally, I only found one female to be color blind in all those years. (Editor's note: I found more to be colorblind! AE)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Seniors and Colorblindness

I have an article in the December, 2006 issue of The American Legion magazine. Since that article was published, I have heard from five men whose lives were touched by colorblineness.
Acquired Color Vision Deficiencies

Aging can produce subtle changes in color vision. The most common color change results from the development of cataracts, or “foggy” lenses in the eye, which interfere with visual acuity and color vision, making some colors dull, especially blue and yellow. After having cataract surgery where a foggy lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens, people commonly comment that everything appears more colorful.

Seniors are also more likely to take medications that may distort or reduce color vision. Blue-yellow color vision can be altered by certain medications used in seizure control and other medications used to treat heart ailments and arthritis. Aspirin and quinine can affect red-red color vision, as can some drugs used in the treatment of psychosis. Rarely, color vision may be adversely affected by trauma, such as a blow on the head.

Acquired color vision deficiencies can sometimes be medically treated.
Senior men with colorblindness often have a grandson with the same condition.
Celebrities Who are Colorblind
Many celebrities have color vision deficiency (CVD) or colorblindness, including Bill Clinton and Bob Dole. During their debates, colors normally used had to be altered. Also affected are Matt Laurer, Paul Newman, Jack Nicklaus and the late Bing Crosby.
People who are Colorblind and Occupations
Many people with colorblindness find minor annoyances in the work place just as they do in other situations. Other people may discover they're not suited to a particular occupation.

For instance, agricultural workers, especially those who pick and sort produce, may find they have difficulty. Artists who can't tell one color from another will have difficulty. Photographers who need to take pictures in color will have a problem, as will electrical workers who need to sort by color.

In many other occupations, people will have difficulties; however, different policies lead to a lack of uniformity in hiring within the same occupation. For instance, law inforcement. Some areas have strict requirements whereas others may be more lax. What can be done about this?

Monday, June 05, 2006

Dear Ms Evans,
My daughter , Debbie Williams ( informed me of your request for stories for your book on colorblindness.
I'll try to relate some of the experience that affected my life and how I dealt with them. I will say that it is hard to explain to people that have good color vision, that we see color, but have to deal in shades of light and dark. Blue, yellow, and orange I can see. These pastel colors are not in our visual vocabulary.

To begin with, I grew up in the 30's and 40's in a small rural town and went to a small rural school . I did not know I was colorblind until I was given a color test during my induction into the Army when I was 27 yr old. It was quite a shock to find out I was colorblind since I had been employed by Western Electric Co as an installation technician and had to deal with a lot of color coded wiring. Failing this test kept me from getting into the Signal Corps, which would have benefited me with training.

It started to make sense of some of the problems I had with discerning colors. In the lower grades, I had trouble with coloring pictures. I could see blue and orange, but red, green, and brown appeared the same, unless the red was a bright hue. My pictures would have red or brown grass and the foliage of trees wasn't any better. I was reminded that in the upper grades, when visual aides that were colored such as maps and charts, I had to get help to identify the areas of red, green, and brown. As far as academics, I don't think it was much of a hindrance. In retrospect I could never have been a Pilot nor a Dr. I would mention I had trouble with stop lights and associated the lights by their position.The newer lights evidently use a little blue in the green and orange in the red. I always treat amber as red since from a distance I cannot identify it.

I had problems with meeting quotas with wire connecting as a wireman. I had to keep the cables from separating to be able to take the wires in sequence. I was frustrated that my co workers could take breaks and goof off while I had to continue working to meet the connection quotas. I didn't know they could reach into a swarm of wires and identify them by color. At this time, I still didn't know I was colorblind, but I knew wiring wasn't my forte. This motivated me to get into more technical aspects of the installation process.

I went back to work for WECO upon returning from the service since they bridged my time. I was afraid if they found out I was color blind, they would release me. I was motivated to go to radio school on my own so as to get a better job. To make a long story short, the technical training gave me the confidence and knowledge to become a pretty good technician. Since I could figure most of the technical changes without having to be sent for training, I excelled in my field. My skills became in demand and I was approached by the Telephone Co (SWB) and offered a job as a Technical Supv. I retired after 35 years with SWB and enjoyed my work with a lot of job satisfaction.

As a postscript, I became an oil painter after retiring. I had always been intimidated by mixing color, but loved to draw and use charcoal. Since I can't mix color by eye, I found that by sketching and noting another artist's formula from a book, I can do a pretty good job and get acceptable results. My wife of over 50yr is my proof reader on color and I have yet to explain to her that I don't see the color that she sees.

Hopefully this can help some one understand that being colorblind is the "norm" for us and the knowledge we are, just makes us learn to adjust and use alternate means to meet our goals.

Sincerely, Paul Kiar

Sunday, March 12, 2006

About CVD

While working as a school nurse, I discovered how common colorblindness is and the challenges people face because of the disorder. When I couldn't find literature for children or teens on the condition, I wrote Seeing Color: It's My Rainbow, Too for children and Color is in the Eye of the Beholder for teens and adults.

Most people don't realize that 1:12 males and 1:200 females have some degree of color vision deficiency (CVD) or colorblindness. Colorblind is probably not a good term because even those with severe CVD can usually see blue and yellow. See: for further information.

As I mention in Color is in the Eye of the Beholder, a website exists for the 1:33,000 people who have acromatopsia. People who have this genetic condition generally see the world in black and white, plus they suffer from other eye disorders. However, no website exists for the 1:12 males and 1:200 females in most countries of the world who have CVD.

This is a blog for those people with CVD to share frustrations and helpful tips about everyday living. It is also a blog for people to make recommendations to professionals, in particular teachers to establish principles regarding color vision education for teachers in training. Because different policies lead to a lack of uniformity in hiring with the same occupation, an important function of this blog is for standardization in occupations that that require accurant color vision. It's possible, in some occupations, that requirements for typical color vision in some jobs are simply outdated.