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Re: Color vision for network techs
From: William Astle <lost () l-w ca>
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2012 08:39:35 -0600

On 12-08-31 08:15 AM, Berry Mobley wrote:

Do any of you do any color vision screening in your interview process?
How do those of you with color vision impairments compensate? I'd never
considered this until I was in one of our facilities with my son (who
has limited color vision) and we had a discussion about the LEDs. He
could only determine on/off - not amber/red/green on the equipment we
had. I'm wondering if we need a color vision requirement (or test) as
part of our hiring requirements.

I'm red/green deficient. It's not total - I can identify high saturation reds and greens that cover a large enough area. However, it is enough that when I look at a multi-colour status indicator, I'm left scratching my head. Many times, I've said to myself, "There ought to be a law against using only the colour of light to indicate status." Of course, you know what they say about "there ought to be a law...."

Screening for colour vision is dubious, no matter how much it would help with grokking the status lights. Even without the discrimination angle, consider that a very nontrivial proportion of men are colour deficient (on the order of 5% if my information is correct). You would be reducing your possible talent pool.

Instead of a colour vision requirement or policy, I would start screaming at equipment manufacturers for using only the colour of an indicator to show information. A tristate can easily be shown with steady, slow blink, and fast blink if there really is some compelling reason not to have multiple indicators. If everyone, especially large organizations, put pressure on equipment manufacturers, the problem could be largely eliminated.

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