How can teachers help if a child has a colour deficiency?
Label pencils, crayons, paints and other materials in your classroom. Not only will this assist the student with a colour vision deficiency, it will also reinforce vocabulary for all of your students.
Use black pens, not coloured, on the board to maximize contrast. Avoid yellow, orange, red, green or brown pens on Whiteboards or IWBs. If you need to highlight certain things, draw circles or boxes around them rather than using different colours.
Photocopy parts of textbooks or other instructional materials printed with coloured ink. Sometimes photocopying the page is all that's necessary for the student with a colour deficiency: the shades of grey will guide them in understanding the information. Otherwise, circle important information.
Avoid black print on red or green paper. It may appear as black on black to some students with colour deficiency.
Label a picture with words or symbols when the response requires colour recognition. If standardised test contain information that the student would not be able to perceive, write the name of the colour on the material.
Assign a classmate to work with the student on assignments which require colour recognition - for example - colour coding different countries on a world map.
Teach the student the colour of common objects. Knowing what colour things are can help them in their daily tasks. Example: when asked to colour a picture, they will know to use the crayon "labelled" green for the grass, blue for the sky, etc.
Try teaching children "all" the colours. Remember, most students with colour deficiency can identify pure primary colours. It is normally just different shades or tints that give them problems. If they can not learn certain colours, let them know you understand some colours look the same to them and it is OK".
Let them know that perception of colours is a physical issue and has nothing to do with their ability to be excellent students.
For the younger student with a Colour Vision Deficiency, it may be useful to have a collection of sample colours with the names clearly printed on them (see image below). They can use these as a portable comparison to assist them to correctly identify colours when required.