MANDAN, N.D. (KXNET) — Over 350 million people are affected by color blindness worldwide, which can make things difficult for some of them who may wish to get a clearer and better view of the world.
Now, our state is stepping up to make doing so a little easier, and they’re starting at Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park.
Seeing colors properly is something that many people might take for granted, but for those with color blindness, it can have a startling effect on their everyday lives.
“I had a career in GIS and remote sensing, so you’re looking at green and infrared imagery maps all the time,” said Elizabeth Marshall, who struggles with the condition. “I always had them switched over to blue and yellow because if it was green and red, I couldn’t see the difference in the imagery I was looking at.”
EnChroma glasses can help people who are colorblind see a full range of colors, and during Wednesday’s proceedings, some individuals were able to use them to see Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park in its full glory for the first time
“I see a lot more color,” said Enchroma recipient Graham Ostendorf. “A lot more red and green than I thought.”
“When I put these on, I see a whole lot of reds and oranges all through these trees, so it’s much more colorful,” said Marshall. “Even the ground, I see all this red now, where, it just looks green, it all looks green to me. And then I put these on, and I see these little red leaves. It’s pretty fun.”
Of course, we couldn’t let such an opportunity pass without trying these glasses out for ourselves, either, and a representative from KX was more than happy to do so.
“Actually now, that tree over there, it looks less green, it looks more gray,” said KX News’ production assistant Silas Jackson. “I kind of wonder, maybe I should just have some of these to wear all the time.”
The recipients of these goggles say they’re excited to experience life again, and this time, doing so in full color.
“I’ve sewn things that are completely not the color I thought they were, and now I see the color in fabrics” explained Marshall. “I always wear black and white, so, maybe understanding how to actually dress in color would be fun.”
North Dakota is the only state in the nation to offer these glasses at every one of our state parks. There are six pairs available at each park to borrow for free.
If you’d like to see what colors in our state parks would look like if you were colorblind, you can click the link here.