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Springfield Art Museum offers new glasses to improve art experience for visitors with color vision deficiencies

Published: Aug. 1, 2021 at 10:43 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The Springfield Art Museum recently rolled out a new assistive technology, EnChroma glasses, allowing art to be more vibrant and colorful for those who experience color vision deficiencies (also known as color blindness.)

Joshua Best is the Museum Affairs Officer for Audience Development. He explained that the Springfield Art Museum is the third museum in Missouri to offer this technology behind the The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art in Kansas City.

“It was important for us to bring this technology into the community,” said Best “What we do is display art; and we want people to be able to experience it in the most full, joyous and vibrant way possible.”

There are four pairs of EnChroma glasses available for people to use when enjoying the exhibitions. Best said there are glasses for adults, children, or those with smaller faces available. He said there are also frames available that can be used over your prescription glasses sponsored by Springfield Family Vision.

While the glasses are great, Best warned that they don’t always work immediately for people. He said some people see a difference right away, and that’s magical to witness. However, it may take a little time for others, because they have to look at multiple things while their brain adjusts, readdress, and interpret the signals.

“People who have tried them on maybe have never seen red before, or they’ve never seen green before,” explained Best. “What they’ve seen before is like a shade of brown or yellow. So in a lot of ways, they have to learn new vocabulary. Even seeing red, they may not be able to tell the difference between now red, pink, fuchsia, magenta, so it’s really a learning experience and we’re here to help facilitate that.”

Having the EnChroma glasses is just one thing in a series of new initiatives that the museum embraced to try to reach as many patrons as possible.

“We offer magnifiers for folks with other visual impairments,” said Best. “We offer gender-neutral restrooms, we offer ASL interpretation for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.”

Click here to see if EnChroma glasses will work for you, when you visit Springfield Art Museum.

Click here for more information about the Springfield Art Museum.

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