This is a book written by ten-year-old Malachi who inherited colour blindness from his grandfather via his mother who carries the gene. Significantly Malachi does not perceive the way he sees colours as a disability. However, he does recognise that his seeing colours differently from other people presents him with certain visual challenges, some of which would be overcome if there was a greater consideration of how colour blindness effects people on a day to day basis.
This book is really illuminating because he illustrates what it is like for people like him by giving real life examples for us to consider. Such as when two football teams on television are wearing green and red strips, he cannot distinguish between the teams which must be rather frustrating! Reading maps, playing snooker and even some popular some board games present problems for obvious reasons – when you stop to think about it. Only most of us don’t think or understand and that is his point. It is the general lack of awareness that motivated him to write a book that he hopes will help people to be better informed. He does not invite sympathy or special treatment.
As a direct consequence of his desire to raise awareness of this relatively common condition experienced by 1:12 men and 1:200 women, he has written this short, glossy pamphlet-style book. He even designed his own font and he adds factual information about the condition’s genetic causes and adds some practical tips that he uses to minimise the negative impact of his condition. Coloured pencils can look very similar to him so he labels them as shown in the photograph which makes art classes less embarrassing. He also offers careers advice to people so their expectations can be managed if they aspire to be electricians or pilots.
The publication is available to buy from a number of different retailers (see links at the foot of this post) and rather impressively his school has arranged for a copy of his book to be sent to 316 primary schools in County Durham in September.
If you are interested in finding out more I unreservedly recommend you buy a copy of Malachi’s book as he explains how he sees the world articulately, unemotionally and with a maturity beyond his years. Every school library would do well to have a copy of it on its shelf as statistically there will be children who are effected by colour blindness as Malachi is.
For further information about colour blindness please visit the Colour Blindness website.
You can currently order a copy of Colour Blindness and Me from these retailers:
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