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Karthryn Albany-Ward gives talk on the Colour Blind Awareness organisation
Health Series: Announcements

Helping people with colour vision deficiency in health, employment and education

City’s Centre for Applied Vision Research held the Colour in Health and Employment Symposium for an international community of academics and professionals to share the latest research and tests in the field.

by Shamim Quadir (Senior Communications Officer)

Last week, City, University of London’s Centre for Applied Vision Research (CAVR) held the Colour in Health and Employment Symposium, an opportunity for researchers and professionals in the field of colour vision research and testing to discuss the latest advances in the field, share challenges they have had, and breakthroughs they have made toward their goals of improving the education, employability, safety and health of people with deficiencies of colour vision across the world.

The international symposium included presentations from a wide range of speakers followed by a group discussion on next steps for the community and a tour of the CAVRs laboratory facilities. The symposium was organised by Dr Marisa Carmona-Rodriguez and Professor John Barbur of CAVR.

Not enough support for colour vision deficient children in the classroom


Kathryn Albany-Ward, CEO of Colour Blind Awareness shared how little support there is for school children with colour vision deficiencies in the classroom.  A mother of a colour-blind son herself, she has campaigned for a higher awareness of obstacles to learning that colour blind children experience in the classroom, and some of the simple solutions to help them, such as using hatching and other patterns to differentiate segments of graphs in visual materials, rather than solely using colours which some children may not be able to differentiate.

How are occupational vision standards set?

Stephen Dain, Emeritus Professor of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of South Wales, shared his wealth of experience consulting with private and government employers in Australia on occupational vision standards. He described the development of the various practices and systems used in institutions such as the Australian Federal Police, the military and aviation safety, state police, ambulance services, fire brigades, railways and standards for driving licences, and the role of tribunals in effecting change in standards.

A new fast and effective colour vision testing

Professor John Barbur of the CAVR at City shared his proposal for a time-efficient two-step process for advanced colour vision testing, based on the Colour Assessment and Diagnosis (CAD) test. Comprising of a newly developed and quicker CAD ‘screener’ test as the first step, only those who fail the screener go on to receive full colour assessment such as with the standard CAD test, ensuring that fewer people require full, and more costly assessment.

Can filter lenses help those with colour vision deficiency?

Cat Pattie, PhD candidate at the University of Newcastle presented her findings suggesting that commercially available EnChroma colour filter lenses do not help colour blind individuals to discriminate between more colours.  Her talk was followed by that of Professor Kenneth Knoblauch whose research suggests that the use of the same EnChroma colour filters may help colour vision deficient people with their perception of contrast.

Lab tour

The tour of the CAVR lab facilities included a demonstration of the new CAD screener test by Professor Barbur, and demonstrations by Benjamin Evans and Dr Marisa Carmona-Rodriguez of the CAVR team.

Find out more

To find out more about the Centre of Applied Vision Research, visit the CAVR webpage.

The Advanced Vision and Optometric Tests (AVOT) centre is led by Professor Barbur, and further detail about tests it offers commercially can be found on the AVOT webpage.


Full list of presentations and speakers

The real-life complexities of occupational colour vision standard setting – Antipodean perspectives
Dr John Parkes, University of Melbourne, Australia

The importance of early colour vision screening of school children
Kathryn Albany-Ward, Founder/CEO, Colour Blind Awareness CIC

ColourSpot: a new tablet-based app for assessing colour vision in young children
Dr Jenny Bosten, Teresa Tang, Leticia Alvaro, James Alvarez, Brenda Meyer, John Maule and Anna Franklin. University of Sussex, United Kingdom.

A series of case studies: Occupational colour vision protocols and the Farnsworth D-15
Benjamin Evans, Marisa Rodriguez-Carmona and John Barbur, Centre for Applied Vision Research, School of Health Sciences, City, University of London, United Kingdom

Model to predict Farnsworth D-15 performance under fluorescent and daylight illumination

Dr Sergejs Fomins, Renārs Trukša, Kaiva Juraševska, Līva Strade

Accurate and efficient colour assessment protocols for visually demanding occupations
Prof John Barbur, Benjamin Evans, Marisa Rodriguez-Carmona
Centre for Applied Vision Research, School of Health Sciences, City, University of London, United Kingdom

Occupational colour vision standards: an Australian experience

Stephen Dain, Emeritus Professor
School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

Accurate and efficient colour assessment protocols for visually demanding occupations
Dr Alessandro Farini
Laboratorio di Psicofisica ed Ergonomia della Visione Istituto Nazionale di Ottica - CNR, Firenze, Italia

Do the EnChroma glasses help colour blind individuals to discriminate between more colours?
Cat Pattie, PhD candidate
University of Newcastle, United Kingdom

Fast estimates of contrast response functions in normal and anomalous observers and some effects of long-term filter use

Prof Kenneth Knoblauch
Inserm, Stem Cell and Brain Research Institute, France. National Centre for Optics, Vision and Eye Care, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, University of South‐Eastern Norway, Kongsberg, Norway.

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