North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department (NDPRD) today announced that it has become the first park system in the country to support “color accessibility” for color blind visitors at all of its parks via a collaboration with EnChroma®, creators of glasses for color blindness. Each state park has received a “kit” of EnChroma glasses for red-green color blind guests to borrow during visits to enjoy North Dakota’s colorful beauty. In addition, next summer Lewis and Clark State Park will install two SeeCoast viewfinders adapted with special EnChroma lenses for color blindness.
“We’re incredibly excited that our visitors with colorblindness can now experience the full beauty of our parks,” said North Dakota Parks and Recreation Director Cody Schulz. “Providing the EnChroma glasses is another part of our continuous efforts to make our state parks as accessible and welcoming as possible to everyone.”
One in 12 men (8%) and one in 200 women (.5%) are Color Vision Deficient (CVD), an estimated 13 million in the United States, 350 million worldwide and roughly 33,150 in North Dakota. Last year, the state welcomed 22 million visitors, an estimated 935,000 of whom were color blind.
While people with normal color vision see over one million shades of color, the color blind only see an estimated 10% of hues and shades. As a result, colors can appear dull, indistinct and difficult to discern, with red appearing brown; green seemingly gray, tan or yellow; pink looking gray; and purple the same as blue.
“With everything from colorful wooded valleys and rolling hills to lakes, rivers, and the rugged Badlands, North Dakota Parks offer an array of rich and rewarding adventures to visitors,” said Erik Ritchie, CEO of EnChroma. “Now that North Dakota is the first state in the US to offer EnChroma glasses at all parks, those adventures will be even richer, more accessible, and more colorful for color blind visitors.”
The mission of the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department is to enrich generations through experiences that connect people and places.
Based in Berkeley, Calif., EnChroma produces leading-edge eyewear for color blindness and low vision, and other solutions for color vision. Invented in 2010, EnChroma’s patented eyewear combines the latest in color perception, neuroscience and lens innovation to improve the lives of people with color vision deficiency. EnChroma received an SBIR grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It earned the 2016 Tibbetts Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration in recognition of the firm’s innovative impact on the human experience through technology, and the 2020 Innovation Award in Life Sciences from the Bay Area’s East Bay Economic Development Alliance. For more information, visit enchroma.com.