ST. PETERSBURG, FLA.- The Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg
(MFA) has announced its work with EnChroma
, the creators of glasses for color blindness, to offer an enhanced art-viewing experience for visitors with Color Vision Deficiency (CVD). The MFA was the first museum in the Tampa Bay Area to prioritize color accessibility through this initiative, and EnChroma glasses have been available to all MFA visitors since March 2021. The MFA recently highlighted the technology during a free community event to promote International Color Blindness Awareness Month in September, offering free color blindness testing and welcoming participants to try the glasses and enter a giveaway to win their own free pair. EnChroma glasses at the museum are available in adult and childrens sizes, as well as in fit-over glasses for those who also wear prescription lenses.
This initiative is one of many that demonstrates the MFAs commitment to expanding accessibility for museum audiences. It provides visitors with CVD the opportunity to experience the museums galleries, gardens, and public programs in a new, exciting way. CVD affects one in 12 men (8%) and one in 200 women (.5%) an estimated 13 million in the US, 30 million in Europe and 350 million worldwide. While people with normal color vision see over one million shades of color, the color blind only see an estimated 10% of hues and shades. To them, green and yellow, gray and pink, purple and blue, red and brown look similar, and colors appear muted, dull and blend together. This can cause challenges in daily life, frustrate color blind students when doing schoolwork that contains colors, and make visits to colorful attractions like museums, parks, gardens and other destinations less enjoyable.
As an art institution, we are thrilled to have this resource readily available to those who need them, said Anne-Marie Russell, Interim Executive Director. We cant thank EnChroma enough for their dedication to the Color Blind community and we are honored to partner with them to open up new ways of viewing and experiencing the art in our collection and exhibitions.
EnChroma strives to educate employers, accessibility, safety and human resources directors, and teachers, about Color Vision Deficiency by partnering with other organizations and brands that are committed to accessibility, said Erik Ritchie, CEO of EnChroma. We applaud the support of the MFA in this worthy endeavor.
The MFA at 255 Beach Drive NE is the largest encyclopedic art museum in Florida. The collection includes works of art from ancient times to the present day and from around the world, including ancient Greek and Roman, Egyptian, Asian, African, pre-Columbian, Native American, European, American, and contemporary art. The photography collection is one of the largest and finest in the Southeast. For more information, please visit mfastpete.org and follow @mfastpete on social media.
EnChroma is the lead advocate for color accessibility through its EnChroma Color Accessibility Program. The program helps public venues, museums, schools, state parks, libraries, tourism bureaus and others purchase and loan EnChroma glasses to color blind students and guests to help make schoolwork that involves color, colorful exhibits, attractions and/or experiences accessible to those with CVD. Nearly 100 organizations participate in the program. Click here to email EnChroma to learn more.
EnChroma glasses expand the range of colors the color blind can see and make colors more vibrant, clear and distinct. Studies published by vision scientists at the University of California, Davis and Frances INSERM Stem Cell and Brain Research Institute, and the University of the Incarnate Word, have verified the effectiveness of the glasses.