Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Color Vision and Young Learners

Think about all the reading and spelling support materials you have seen. You probably take it for granted that color distinctions are used to emphasize new words, letter combinations and associations. Many math materials do the same thing.

Now imagine you are a 4- or 5-year-old trying to keep up without benefit of the color clues included on the learning materials you are using. While we can probably all think of ways impaired colored vision might impact the daily life of an adult, it can make learning in school a tedious and frustrating experience for young children.

Seven percent of males in the United States and about 1% of females are color blind, and, like everything else connected with learning issues, identifying a child’s color vision issues as early as possible is key. The sooner a child is identified as being color-vision- impaired, the sooner that child’s teacher and parents can take steps to minimize the impact on the child’s learning. Using prompts other than color to assist the child with reading and learning lessons is a simple response to this issue, as long as the issue has been identified!

As the buyer for Special Needs products at Achievement Products, I knew the Color Vision Perception Kit was not only a very fun way for all children to experiment with color vision, but could also be a tool for teachers and parents to quickly identify children with color vision issues. Plus, the kit can be used to help that child’s peers understand their difference, and experience it themselves in a very unique way.

Have any of you had experience with a child who was struggling due to color vision issues? Or do you think a child you currently see struggling could be impacted by color blindness? We would love to hear your stories.