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Teacher union looks to tackle colour blindness

Education union the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) has been praised for forwarding a motion to support colour blind children in schools at its Spring Conference late last month.

A research project by ATL had found a shortfall in awareness and diagnosis of colour blindness in learning institutions.

The Colour Blind Awareness organisation described colour vision deficiency as a hidden disability that was often not tested for, while worksheets and educational products were not being designed with colour blind pupils in mind.

Kathryn Albany-Ward, founder of Colour Blind Awareness, said: ‘We are pleased to support ATL’s recent research into the awareness of colour blindness amongst its members. The ATL research reveals that despite our recent #1ineveryclassroom campaign receiving widespread media coverage, including television, only 15% of ATL Members surveyed said they have one or more pupils in their educational setting who require some support with learning because of their colour blindness.’

This was at odds with the statistical occurrence of inherited colour blindness, which affects 1 in 12 boys and 1 in 200 girls, she said. The association’s research also found 53.3 per cent of members were aware of how colour blindness affects learning but did not have a pupil with the condition.

Albany-Ward said: ‘These survey results confirm our own research and we have long said if you ask any teacher how many colour blind pupils they’ve taught, their answer will usually be ‘one or two’ but statistics demonstrate that it is more likely to have been one in every class they’ve ever taught.’

She added that because colour vision testing was not a statutory part of the NHS eye test for children, optical practices often ignored the test.

NB. The Big Optician would like to emphasise that we are happy to undertake colour vision testing at The Big Optician as part of the eye test.

(Taken From by Joe Ayling)

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