Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Friday, October 07, 2011

ColorTest Colors the World for the Blind

by Kristie Smith-Armand, M.Ed, CTVI

I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful,
Like a rainbow

By: Cyndi Lauper

APH has done it again! Adaptations and accommodations through amazing products like the ColorTest II help people who are blind to see colors in the world.

Excellent assistive technology like the ColorTest II are excellent for children or adults to be able to identify colors in the world as well as in their own closets. Features of this incredible device include:

  • A clear human voice announces the color of any object placed in contact with its tip
  • Senses over 1,000 nuances of color and detects patterns, brightness, and contrast
  • Provides color analysis with specific values for brightness, hue, and saturation
  • Talking clock, calendar, timer, thermometer, and three games
  • Earphone jack and holes to accommodate a neck loop (earphones not included)
  • Built-in rechargeable battery

As a teacher of the blind and visually impaired, I discovered how important it was for my brilliant student to be able to identify the color of her hair, eyes and skin as well as and the color of her clothes. When she told me the color of the grass was purple, I began creating a curriculum that taught her colors in the world, so that others would not misconstrue a visual impairment with other disabilities.

None of my students or friends who have a visual impairment need not worry about how they can organize colors in their closet, sort materials, or be able to engage in conversations about colors now that they, too, can have access to the ColorTest II.

Students have a blast when they place the small lightweight device straight down and listen while it tells them the color of anything or anybody. It’s awesome! One student walked around the school with his vision teacher zapping everything and everybody. The secretary began laughing when the ColorTest said that her hair was a dark grey and then said it was murky brown. He and the staff at this school as well as classmates were having a great time with his new equipment.

There are many fun expanded core curriculum activities for the ColorTest II that will help students who are visually impaired to accomplish a multitude of IEP goals or objectives.

Activities for the ColorTest II Color Reading Device:

  1. Ask students to use the ColorTest II to read the color of index cards. (Choose four different colors) Ask the child to use the ColorTest to sort the index cards and then have them stuff envelopes with the colored cards.
  2. Place five different colored shirts on a table. Ask the student to identify the blue shirt first, then the red and last the purple. Children will learn how to hang clothes on a hanger as well as recognize positional words for other skills.
  3. Have colored markers in a box. Students will see or feel large print or Braille for the order of the markers and place the markers in the box according to the directions.
  4. Bring cans, drinks, and two types of pudding from home. Ask the child which flavor of pudding he wants to make. He will use the ColorTest II and identify which drink, can and pudding he would like.

By using the ColorTest II, students will not only see their true colors shining through but will increase their confidence in understanding the world around them.

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