I’m Red-Green Colorblind, and it embarrasses me.
I didn’t realize I was red-green colorblind until I enlisted in the Army. During my trip to MEPS, I took a red-green colorblind test for my Military Occupational Specialty (A fancy phrase for ‘Job’) 13F (Another fancy code that means ‘Forward Observer’).
I failed the test.
I’m not sure how I was still placed in that job, because by all rights someone should have stopped the placement — but who am I to argue? I enjoyed the hell out of my time in the Army and am really glad someone screwed up their job that day.
That was the day I woke up; the day I found out I’d been missing something all those years. I was 17.
I’m 27 now. Being fully aware of my disability I have to ask my fiancee if what I’m wearing ‘works’. She spends extra time ribbing me for this. I think she’s getting paid to do it. She mutters something about kindergarteners knowing their colors. I wonder why I fell in love with a teacher.
Being red-green colorblind means that I can’t tell red and green apart when they’re together.
Christmas is a nightmare for me.
There are different levels to color-blindness, I happen to fall in the deuteranopic category. That means that dark green looks black to me, and red and greens resemble each other when they’re close together. I can tell a shade difference at times, but it’s only for specific shades.
It’s embarrassing because whenever I think of my colorblindness, I think of how we’re an unrepresented minority, almost forgotten in the web-design landscape. You often hear Web designers talk about accessibility for blind people, but how often do you hear them talk about accessible websites for colorblind individuals?
Where you see a cascade of colors, I see grey.
Where you see joy and festivities around the holidays, I dread parties because I might comment on someone’s red dress and then find out it is green.
Where you look at clever color schemes and see that the voting mechanism is seperated by more than one dimension, I’m constantly reminded of what I cannot see.
Is it the end of the world? No. Does it royally suck? Yeah.
Tell someone in a wheelchair that they can’t have access to the building simply because it’s old and doesn’t have a ramp. See how far that gets you. We cater to all other disabilities, but if you’re colorblind, you get nothing.
If you’re a web developer, design for colorblindness.You wouldn’t antagonize any other disability, so antagonize us?
Spend time in our shoes: see what it’s like to be colorblind on the internet.