Even though people who are not visually impaired are aware of the appearance of a particular colour, how would you describe that colour to someone who is blind? When you consider that even people who are blind perceive colours in different ways, this subjective task can be challenging. A wide variety of colours, on the other hand, can be associated with specific smells, tastes, sounds, or feelings. Here are some pointers on how to describe colour to someone who is visually impaired.
Part 1 Using Other Senses to Describe Color
1. Colors are described through the use of touch. Ask the person to hold certain objects while you describe the colour of each object to them. It might be beneficial to think about using objects that are almost always the same colour as the background.
Explain to the person that different pieces of wood, the bark of a tree, and dirt on the ground are all brown, and that these things are all similar.
Use the following phrase: “Brown has a texture that feels like the earth or dead parts of things that grew out of the dirt from the earth.”
Give the person some green leaves or blades of grass to hold and explain that these are the colours of the colour green and yellow. Green corresponds to the parts of plants that are alive, because when plants are green, it indicates that they are alive. You could even hand out some dead leaves and explain the difference between green and brown leaves to your students.
Describe the smoothness and suppleness of the leaves as follows: “Green feels like life; green feels like green.” Instead of being crispy like these other ones, crisp leaves indicate that they have turned brown and no longer contain life.”
Encourage them to dip their hands into a bowl of cool water and explain that the water is blue. Share your knowledge with them about how small amounts of water are very light blue, almost clear and devoid of colour, while large amounts of water, such as rivers or the ocean, are extremely deep blue.
“How blue feels is similar to how you feel when you’re swimming in water, the cool wetness that is both refreshing and relaxing.”
Introduce the concept of red heat, which includes things like a fire or a candle flame or a hot stove burner. The colour red is typically associated with heat or even a burning sensation.
“If you’ve ever had a sunburn, you’ve probably noticed that your skin turns a bright red colour.” Alternatively, if you have been embarrassed and blushed, the heat on your cheeks appears to be turning red.”
Make it clear that grey concrete, such as that found on walls or sidewalks, is to be avoided. Metal is also grey – inform them that grey is often hard to the touch and can be either cool or hot depending on whether or not the sun is shining.
“Grey is a very hard and powerful colour,” you say. It feels solid under your feet, or like a wall against which you can lean, but it is not alive, does not grow, and does not have feelings.”
2. Consider the senses of smell and taste when describing colours. Colors can undoubtedly be associated with specific smells and tastes, as well.
Explain that spicy foods, as well as the peppers used in spicy foods, are frequently red in colour. Strawberries, raspberries, and cherries are examples of foods that are also red in colour. Explain that the colour red represents how intense the flavours are and how sweet they are.
“Just as you can get a flushed face from being exposed to heat, you can get a hot and spicy taste from eating something hot and spicy.”
Giving someone an orange and explaining that oranges are the colour orange is a good way to start. Instruct them to pay close attention to the smell and taste of the food.
“Oranges are typically described as refreshing, sweet, and tropical; the sun is orange, and many orange foods require a great deal of sunlight to grow,” you might say.
Do the same thing with a lemon and a banana, and explain to the children that lemons and bananas are both yellow in colour. Despite the fact that they have distinct flavours, both are yellow, and yellow can taste sour and citrusy or sweet and nourishing, depending on the variety.
“Yellow foods require a lot of sunlight as well, as they are bright and cheerful.”
Give the individual some salad leaves (lettuce and spinach) and explain that they should always be green in colour. Generally speaking, green smells and tastes clean and crisp, like plants from the earth, and they can occasionally be a little bitter in flavour. Green is not typically sweet in the same way that fruit is; it is often bitter or has other aromas.
Give the person a variety of herbs to smell, such as mint, and tell them that “green smells like this – fresh, clean, and healthy.”
Explain once more that leaves and grass are green and water is blue when it comes to non-food smells in nature. The colours of the sand and water are blue, and the smells of the water and sand are brown or white. Explain that flowers can be any colour, and that the same type of flower can often be found in a variety of colours, but that they are not usually green, brown, grey, or black in colour.
3. Consider how different sounds could describe different colours. Certain tones can unquestionably be associated with specific colours and hues.
Explain to them that sirens should cause them to think of the colour red because red is a colour that is used to attract people’s attention, and many fire trucks, police cars, and ambulance lights are painted in this colour.
“When you hear a siren, it is intended to cause people to become alert and pay attention immediately because there may be a threat.” It’s like that with red – it’s urgent and immediately draws your attention.”
The sound of running water, particularly a bubbling stream or the crashing of ocean waves, should prompt them to consider the colour blue.
“Blue is calming and pleasant, like the way the sound of running water makes you feel relaxed.”
The rustling of leaves or the chirping of birds could be considered a sound associated with green. Explain that not all birds are green, but that because birds live in trees, the sounds of birds are often associated with the colour green in the minds of people.
“When you hear the rustling of leaves and the singing of birds, that is what it sounds like when it is green.”
The sounds of a storm can be described as grey. In the presence of thunder and heavy rain, the sky becomes grey, which further darkens the overall atmosphere.
“The storms are grey,” you might say. It appears grey outside due to the sounds of thunder and rain, and it is a little dark and depressing due to the fact that the sun isn’t shining.”
4. Describe how the colours make you feel on a psychological level. Several studies have been conducted on the associations between colour and emotional or other psychological states, and many of these studies have found that people commonly associate certain colours with specific emotional or other psychological states. Explain to the individual the most common ones, including:
Red is typically associated with emotions such as anger, sexual excitement, physical strength, or aggression.
Orange symbolises physical comfort, having enough food, warmth, and security, as well as frustration at times in life.
Yellow represents friendliness, cheerfulness, optimism, confidence, and at times, apprehension.
Green symbolises balance, renewal, harmony, environmental awareness, and peace.
Blue is associated with intelligence, coolness, calmness, serenity, and logic.
Purple is associated with spiritual awareness, mystery, luxury, and truth; it is frequently used in dreams.
In the colour black, one can either find sophistication and glamour (a positive attribute) or heaviness, menace, or oppression (negative)
White connotes cleanliness, clarity, purity, and straightforwardness.
Brown represents earthiness, dependability, and supportiveness.
Grey represents neutrality, a lack of self-confidence or energy, and depression.
Pink symbolises nurturing, warmth, femininity, and love.
Part 2 Using Numbers to Describe Colors
1. As there are an infinite number of numbers, there are an infinite number of colours, and so forth. Consider the following examples: if number one is red and number two is yellow, you can find the following numbers between one and two: “1.21, 1.21, 1.22, 1.3, 1.4, 1.45…” When it comes to colours, there is an infinite number of colours between every two colours, which is what gives us the ability to differentiate between them.
Part 3 Finding Out the Person’s Impairment Background
1. Determine the type of visual impairment that the individual has. Although most people with visual impairments have some useful vision, even if it is only the perception of light, the vast majority of them are not blind. It is estimated that only 18 percent of people who are visually impaired are classified as totally blind, and the vast majority of them are able to distinguish between light and dark.
The ability to distinguish between light and darkness can be used to explain the difference between black and white, by stating that black represents darkness and white represents the presence of light.
2. Determine whether the individual has been blind since birth. The fact that almost all blindness (in the United States) is caused by eye disease means that many people with visual impairment have had their vision restored at some point in their lives. As a result, by describing certain things they used to see, you may be able to assist them in recalling them.
3. Determine whether or not the individual is colorblind. Color blindness is a specific type of visual impairment in which a person can see objects, but many colours are confused or not seen in the same way that the majority of people see them. The majority of the time, people who are colour blind see red, orange, yellow, and green as all being the same hue, and they see blue and purple as being the same hue as well. When working with or conversing with someone who is colour blind, you can simply name the colours of everyday objects that they are familiar with.
Teachers of students who are colour blind should make a point of using white paper and white chalk whenever possible in order to maximise contrast for their students. It would also be beneficial to label various writing utensils and art supplies (such as crayons, markers, coloured paper, and so on).
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