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Seeking info: diving w/ Color Deficiency

Discussion in 'Special Needs' started by SeaStar1, Oct 21, 2012.

  1. SeaStar1

    SeaStar1 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: USA
    14
    4
    0
    I'm seeking info/advice from anyone who has experience about getting certified w/ color deficiency. A young member of our family has recently been diagnosed as broad spectrum color deficient (red/black, red/green, green/brown/orange, and blue/purple/pink). On the plus side, he has excellent contrast vision, an uncanny abilty to "decode" camouflage, excellent depth perception, and ability to distinguish practically every hue of gray. (I expect that one day he'll be an excellent night diver. :wink:

    He will be a jr. open water diver, thus for now, he will always be accompanied by an experienced adult diver so it may seem like we are putting the cart before the horse, but we want to know what to "teach" him along the way addressing color defiency in diving.

    I'm not talking about explaining the pretty colors underwater or improvising for photography. Our family is new to CD (we found out a long lost grand-father had it), so we really didn't know what we should address during his training to make him a safer diver as he matures.

    We've done plenty of research on color defiency and understand a lot of the tweaks necessary in every day life, but we haven't found anything that is diving related.

    Thank you.
     
  2. west0ne

    west0ne Angel Fish

    30
    2
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    I have Deuteranopia and have to admit that I didn't even think about it when getting certified. I can honestly say my less than perfect colour vision hasn't proven to be an issue when diving. Of course you only ever realise you have a problem with colour vision when someone else points it out to you.

    Thinking about the course and my diving since I can't think of anything where my less than perfect colour vision has caused me a problem.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  3. SeaStar1

    SeaStar1 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: USA
    14
    4
    0
    Westone, thank you. That is reassuring. As I said, we are new to CD as no one in the family has ever been diagnosed before. Hopefully, our only concern is him not getting too sunburned on the boat, as he does have a difficult time distinguishing any redness of the skin. :)
     
  4. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    16,833
    8,486
    113
    The only real negative I can think of is that he may not be able to distiguish a dangerous or hazardous lifeform. But the answer to that is simple. Reinforce the idea that touching anything is not a good idea. Coupled with the importance of good buoyancy control. On the other hand he may be able to pick out subtle things you or I would miss. Depth washes out colors gradually. So he may not be at that big of a disadvantage.
     
  5. SeaStar1

    SeaStar1 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: USA
    14
    4
    0
    Thank you, Jim. Yes, properly identifying marine life will be a consideration, but as you said the best option is simply don't touch.

    I know that map reading (and sometimes diagrams) can be challenging for him, especially when they are color coded and the "trouble colors" are used together.

    He's getting the lessons as a birthday present, and we've chosen an instructor who's extremely patient and knows of the CD of his new pupil, though he admits that this is the first student that he knows of who is CD. He asked us to scope out advice from other CD divers and that he would do the same, although like you all, he doesn't suspect many, certianly not major, obstacles.

    I guess we were concerned b/c our fellow has such a broad spectrum of "trouble colors" whereas most have just a certian color combination trouble area.

    It's odd that he was just diagnosed - though we "knew" he had color issues, we simply didn't realize the numerous colors it impacted. I guess it's similar to how people mask illiteracy until adulthood w/o friends or family realizing it.

    BTW, he's not my son, but his mother doesn't dive, and she wanted us to seek advice for her peace of mind as well.
     
  6. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    16,833
    8,486
    113
    I understand the map/diagram issue. Heck I have trouble with the way some are drawn! But in reality the answer is quite simple as far as diving goes. With some assistance he can draw his own in colors that do not pose a problem for him. And create his own diagrams. Use them as a learning experience and make it fun. Let him "improve" on the mistakes of others who draw such hard to use stuff. I see it as a confidence builder as well.

    Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk 2
     
    SeaStar1 likes this.
  7. SeaStar1

    SeaStar1 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: USA
    14
    4
    0
    Thank you, Jim. That's an awesome idea. Sometimes when one is too close to the problem, the simplest answer escapes us. I appreciate your suggestion.
     
  8. clownfishsydney

    clownfishsydney Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Sydney Australia
    1,329
    763
    113
    Only thing may be that some colour computers and gauges have red and green sections/warnings so he might need to take this into account. For example, my computer has figures that change to red to indicate a warning/error, this may be hard to pick up if red/green colour blind.
     
  9. SeaStar1

    SeaStar1 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: USA
    14
    4
    0
    ClownfishSidney, thank you! I honestly didn't think of that.That is so true. We won't be purchasing his gear right away, but it his something to think about especially with rental gear. This is the kind of information we are seeking because unless one is in the same circumstance, we tend to take our senses for granted. :)

    We do know that most light simply looks white to him at night, so noting starboard and portside lights and such at night will be an issue. However, we've learned from experience w/him and speaking to other color deficient people we've consulted, LED lights are often visually perceived in the correct "color-hue-family" by most CD folks. Just thought I'd share in case some one else is taking notes for a similar concern.

    I appreciate everyone's input. :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012

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