Can Be My Eyes Help People who are Color Blind?
Sep 04, 2020, Can Be My Eyes Help People who are Color Blind?

Can Be My Eyes Help People who are Color Blind?

Many people think that visual assistance through Be My Eyes is just for people who are blind and visually impaired. But the truth is anyone experiencing difficulties with their sight can reach out for visual assistance.
By Cecilie Skou Andersen, Communications Officer
A Be My Eyes call where the caller is trying to distinguish between three different colored shirts.

You might have found yourself in a situation where you could have benefited from having a pair of sighted eyes through Be My Eyes, but quickly brushed away after thinking something like, “isn’t that the app for blind people? I’m not blind”. 

But there are many people out there who do not identify as being blind or low-vision, but could benefit from visual assistance sometimes, no matter what the reason for that is. Be My Eyes is also for the people who have deteriorating eyesight that comes with getting older and who struggle reading small print. Be My Eyes can be valuable for those who have a form of dyslexia or experience trouble reading. And Be My Eyes is also for people with various degrees of color vision deficiency to help distinguish colors.

September 6 is Color Blindness Awareness Day, and we want to use this opportunity to ensure people who are color blind that the Be My Eyes Community is there for you too. We often receive questions from people who are color blind asking if they’re allowed to use Be My Eyes, as they are not blind or visually impaired, but sometimes they could really benefit from that pair of eyes to distinguish and explain color. 

And the answer is a clear “Yes of course!” - Be My Eyes is for anyone who can benefit from visual assistance at any point in their lives.

Though not color blind herself, Charlotte Williams has experienced life with color blindness first hand for most of her life, as both her husband and her father are severely protan color blind, more commonly known as red/green color blindness. For people who are blind or visually impaired, the goal when using accessibility tools most commonly is to gain independence, but that might not be the case for people with color blindness. “For a color blind person, independence isn't as much of a factor, but confidence is. My husband and my father have both mentioned that they were made to feel ‘color stupid’ not color blind. They are hesitant to reveal their condition out of fear of embarrassment”, Charlotte explains.

Even though they have very different life situations, Charlotte shares that both her father and husband experiences a lack of confidence in their daily lives due to their color blindness. Her father is now retired, but used to have a fishing boat business that he had to give up because he couldn’t get his captain’s license renewed due to the fact that he could not distinguish the color of signs at night. Now, he mostly struggles with determining colors of clothes, which often results in him wearing highly color clashing outfits. Her husband works in information technology and often struggles with deciphering color based graphs and charts, dashboards and manuals, and color codes and highlights. 

Budget report with color coded charts and graphs.

Using a resource like Be My Eyes can help people like Charlotte’s husband and father tackle such daily tasks with a lot more confidence. “It would allow them an opportunity to build confidence”, Charlotte says and continues: “By being able to ask an anonymous volunteer for help in deciphering colors whether that be in an online graphic or in their wardrobe, that would give them more confidence in engaging people on those subjects. To find out too late that you made a poor choice [...] is embarrassing and erodes your self esteem.”

If you, like Charlotte’s husband and father, struggle with identifying or distinguishing colors, Be My Eyes is there for you. We already hear tons of stories from our users who are blind and visually impaired on how useful the service is for matching and identifying clothing colors. So why not give it a shot? Our more than 4 million volunteers would love to give you the boost you need to go through the day with confidence!