Ashlyn Thompson's father recently received an invitation to see the vibrant red, yellow and orange colors of fall. As a colorblind person, it's something he's never seen before.
Montgomery Parks recently purchased special color-correcting glasses for visitors with color deficiencies, and the agency conducted a trial last month that included Thompson's father.
“We invited six volunteers to try these glasses for the first time,” said Thompson, who is also a community outreach and inclusion specialist at the agency. "It was a lot of 'Oh my God, is this what you see every day?' “It was incredibly comforting.”
Color blindness is a difficulty seeing the difference between certain colors, especially red and green. Some people with color deficiency also have difficulty distinguishing blue, green, and yellow objects. The condition is usually hereditary and has no cure.
The glasses were developed by EnChroma, a company based in California. Thompson said he was introduced to the glasses by another colleague and immediately approached EnChroma about establishing a partnership.
Montgomery County paid for six of the glasses, ranging from $300 to $1,200 each. The company donated another six glasses.
"We have a total of 12," Thompson said. “Six of them will stay at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton and six will stay in the program access office. “Visitors can request their use in any of our parks.”
Colorblind visitors can borrow the glasses free of charge.
Thompson said another reason the county acquired the glasses is how common color blindness is. About 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women have color deficiency, she said.
"I had no idea until we contacted EnChroma," he said. "We just don't recognize it unless you know someone." [con daltonismo]».