Research to Prevent Blindness

Test for Color Blindness

We live in a color-coded world. Our global community increasingly relies on color to communicate. Yet 8% to 10% of all men and .5% of all women are color-blind. In a classroom of 20 children, it is likely that at least one will have a problem discerning color.

The test for red/green color blindness, below, is called the Neitz Test of Color Vision. It is a revolutionary new approach to testing for color blindness, created by an RPB grantee. It can be used with people of any age, including very young children. This online version of the test is meant only to provide an indication of whether or not someone might have a color vision deficiency, based on two example items from the Neitz test. Accurate testing must be done with the actual printed Neitz test, which is precisely calibrated. Only an eye care specialist trained in testing for color blindness can provide a thorough evaluation.

Instructions for taking the sample test

This is a color vision test. There are two large gray circles. Below each large circle is an answer row indicating the possible shapes that you might see formed by colored dots. You might see a circle, a triangle, a square, or a diamond. Try to find a colored shape in each of the two large gray circles. If you see more than one shape in a circle, choose the shape that has a color most different from gray as the correct answer. You should try to find a shape for each of the two gray circles.

Implications of Color Blindness

Color vision deficiencies range from mild to severe. A full, accurately calibrated test can distinguish between different levels of severity.


Individuals identified as having mild color vision deficiencies will make a few mistakes on color vision tests. Their color vision deficiency is unlikely to cause difficulties, even on color related tasks. Except for those jobs requiring perfect color vision, most career choices will be open to people with the mildest color vision deficiencies.


Those identified as having a moderate color vision deficiency will consistently make mistakes on color vision tests. Their color discrimination is sufficiently impaired that it may cause difficulty at school or work when the task involves color, especially if time limits are imposed. Careers requiring perfect color vision may present significant and possibly insurmountable difficulties for such individuals.


Even though they are able to differentiate some colors, individuals with severe color vision defects have great difficulty distinguishing many colors from each other. Those with severe color vision deficiencies are expected to experience difficulty with schoolwork or other work that involves color related tasks. They also may not qualify for any job that has a color vision requirement


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