Tennessee Spends Government Money on Colorblind Viewfinders

Tennessee officials spent $24,000 to install 12 viewfinders at parks around the state.

The viewfinders are specifically tailored to help colorblind people, according to various media reports.

But there are less expensive options for colorblind consumers to purchase with their own money, specifically custom-made glasses. According to a Google search, those glasses range in cost from $90 to $350.

Tennessee Department of Tourist Development officials say the goal is to help park visitors take in the different parks’ lush scenery.

According to the Jackson-based WBBJTV, the new colorblind viewfinders have lenses designed to alleviate red-green color blindness.

State officials installed the first viewfinder in October of last year at the Great Smoky Mountains. They recently installed another viewfinder at Chickasaw State Park in Chester County.

The Houston-based KHOU, meanwhile, reports other color-blind viewfinders are available at Ober Gatlinburg, in Gatlinburg, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area near Oneida, and at the Westbound Interstate 26 overlook near Erwin in Unicoi County.

Southern Living covered this story as well.

“State officials believe their viewfinders are the first time the innovation has been used in a viewfinder,” according to Southern Living.

All About Vision reports color blind glasses will not cure color blindness.

“They give colorblind individuals an opportunity to see the world more accurately and experience a greater spectrum of colors while wearing the glasses,” the website said.

“People with color vision deficiencies who try color blind glasses for the first time often are amazed by what they see. Typically, they immediately see a broader array of colors and greater vibrancy of colors than what was ‘normal’ for them without the glasses.”

As many as 80 percent of people with color vision problems may be helped by the lens technology, the website went on to say.

A variety of YouTube videos also demonstrate the glasses.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]





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One Thought to “Tennessee Spends Government Money on Colorblind Viewfinders”

  1. Chris

    Do you have any idea how many people are drawn to these parks by family members of a color blind person. .i was one of those persons .we would never go to the park if it were not for the viewer they put in now we go 3 times a year ..that 24000.00 they made back in less than 3 months .