LONDON A University of East Anglia Computer Science researcher is developing technology that makes websites more accessible to those with colour blindness. One in 12 of the male population is colour blind, yet many websites use colour combinations that make it very difficult for colour blind people to see and understand.
Colour blindness is the reduced ability to distinguish between certain colours. It's usually inherited and is more common in men. Types vary and although vision itself isn't affected, the ability to distinguish between certain colours is.
While studying full-time for his PhD Jefferson won an Enterprise Development Award worth £10,000 from university-to-business experts i10, a partnership of 10 top Universities and Higher Education Colleges in the East of England, which enabled him to take a break from his studies to push this idea forward and evaluate its commercial potential.
He is now developing software that can be used as a plug-in to a colour blind person’s computer to adjust the colours according to their type of colour blindness. He is also looking to develop accessibility tools for designers to help them choose colour combinations that are user-friendly for colour blind people.
Jefferson is currently looking for those with colour blindness and or those with specialist knowledge of the condition to partake in further studies so that he can take the concept to and beyond the prototype stage, and ensure that it meets the particular and often individual needs, of end-users.
The i10 universities are Anglia Polytechnic University, University of Cambridge, Cranfield University, University of East Anglia, University of Essex, University of Hertfordshire, University of Luton, Norwich School of Art and Design, Open University in the East of England, Writtle College. i10 is a government-funded project which allows universities in the East of England to leverage their knowledge and expertise to provide business support in the region.