Looking through the lens of EnChroma glasses


Mr. Joel Padilla sees the world in full color for the first time while wearing EnChroma glasses. Karina Badey ’19

The world is made up of an array of rich colors and shades. However, there are people who have never been able to see them. Color blindness affects up to 300 million people worldwide, approximately one in 12 men and one in 200 women. In order to find a solution, EnChroma joined forces with Valspar Paint to create a pair of glasses that would bring color to the color blind.
The root of color blindness, also known as color vision deficiency, is within the eye itself. People with this disability have abnormal photopigments, or light-sensitive molecules, that help people see colors. Thus, their color vision photoreceptors, or cones, are defective. The specific cones responsible for blue, green, and red light cross over each other, preventing an individual from differentiating between correlative colors, according to enchroma.com
Individuals with color vision deficiency see shades that are significantly duller and more muted. Sunsets are not as vibrant, grass is not as green, and skies are not quite as blue. For someone who is color blind, it is almost impossible to tell the difference between color pairs such as pink and gray, and blue and purple because they are too similar.

Mr. Joel Padilla sees the world in full color for the first time while wearing EnChroma glasses. Karina Badey '19
Mr. Joel Padilla sees the world in full color for the first time while wearing EnChroma glasses.
Karina Badey ’19

The lenses of the new EnChroma glasses enhance the way people view colors by separating light into its initial spectral components before it even reaches the eye. This allows people to differentiate between colors. However, enduring the effects of color blindness in everyday life is the biggest obstacle for those with a color deficiency.
Many may overlook color blindness, but it is a serious limitation in the workplace, in the classroom, and in everyday life. In school and at work, reading color-coded graphs, pie charts, and other statistics can be difficult when a person cannot differentiate between colors. People with this challenge also face certain professional restrictions. Government laws prohibit them from working as firemen, policemen, and electricians. People with this disability even struggle with simple everyday tasks such as matching a tie to a shirt.
Mr. Andy Schmeder, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of EnChroma, decided to find a solution to help individuals cope with color vision deficiency, according to enchroma.com. Mr. Schmeder received a B.A. in mathematics from the University of California. Working with Don McPherson, Ph.D., Mr. Schmeder was able to create a pair of glasses that allows color blind people to see color for the first time.
Color blind members of the Sacred Heart Greenwich community, such as Upper School Math Teacher Mr. Joel Padilla, will welcome color into their lives with EnChroma. Mr. Padilla is fascinated with seeing the world with a full spectrum of color. 
“I think that’s like asking somebody who sees all the regular colors to imagine a new color that they’ve never seen before in their life,” Mr. Padilla said. 

-Karina Badey, Staff Writer