Advice for Teachers
How Teachers can deal with Colorblind kids at school.
First of all, never assume you don't have any children who are colorblind. More than likely you have at least one. Teachers need to be aware that statistically speaking, there will be at least one color blind child in every (mixed maintained sector) classroom, and the proportion will be much higher in all-boys schools. Numerous problems can occur which arise from insufficient forethought by teachers and suppliers of educational teaching aids. These problems could easily be overcome as no special provision is needed in the content of what is taught, but what is required is awareness and willingness on the part of the teacher to vary the teaching aids used for some tasks to take account of the needs of the colour blind.
How to Help a Colorblind Child in the Classroom
- Use white chalk on the chalkboard. Although some teachers prefer yellow or pink chalk, against a green chalkboard, these colors are sometimes hard for a colorblind child to see, especially if there is a glare. Always use white chalk.
- Xerox all textbook and educational items that are colored in black and white. Although a child cannot separate the items on paper, by copying them in black and white they will be able to see all the different sections properly. Always Xerox on white paper.
- Teach colorblind students the colors of common items. Oranges are orange. The sun is yellow. Although the student will not be able to see the differences, they will have a frame of reference when people are discussing colors.
- Be patient with colorblind students on classroom activities. It's easy to get frustrated or think a child is not trying when they guess on certain activities. If a child has not been diagnosed, yet you see them panicking when asked to work with pie charts or color coded maps, insist that child be tested for color blindness.
- Stop color-coding items, or write the color below it. Do not use color-coding for paperwork, classroom items, or on homework or testing. If you do, write the color below.
- Help a child with standardized tests. Standardized tests are not colorblind friendly. If there are charts or color-coded items, write out the colors below the appropriate colors so the child will not be at a disadvantage.
- Label all craft items that have color like markers, crayons and paper. So the child will not fall behind in art, or struggle, make sure everything is appropriately marked.
- Teach what colorblindness is. Children who do not suffer from colorblindness will have a hard time understanding what it is. There are images you can use to show a child how things look to a child that sees normally versus a child that cannot see all colors properly.