Group of Wisconsinites see colors for the first time

A group of Wisconsinites got to see the world in a much more vibrant way Monday after they were fitted with special glasses that let them see color for the first time.

Elliot Ruiz of Madison made the trip to Sturtevant on Monday with a mix of emotions.

"I'm kind of apprehensive, yet excited."

That's because Ruiz is color blind. He traveled to Twenty-Twenty Family Vision Center for an opportunity to open his eyes to a floodgate of colors.

"I'm about to learn what I've been missing out on for almost the past forty years," he said.

Color blindness isn't uncommon for men. About one in 12 have a limited range of color vision, but it is rare for women, at one in every 200.

"I have trouble with reds, greens, browns, blues, purples, pinks and grays," said Terie Carpenter of Racine.

The condition is usually inherited, that's the case for Carpenter.

"I am a preschool teacher so teaching colors can be a little precarious at times," said Carpenter.

"In the past we really haven't been able to do anything to help these people," said Dr. Meg Richardson.

Richardson recently heard about a company that produces special glasses for those who are color blind called Encroma.

"They have a spectral filtration technology which filters out the areas of confusion for people with colorblindness," Richardson explained. "It allows them to appreciate a larger spectrum of colors."

On Monday afternoon, three Wisconsinites got to be the first in the state to try them out. A trip outside turned ordinary views like street lights and plants into the extraordinary for Ruiz.

"It was really hard not to cry out there honestly," Ruiz said.

Ruiz was in awe as he described the radiant colors he had never seen before. It was a life changing experience that has him ready to explore.

"What I'm excited about is going home and seeing what color my girlfriend's eyes are," he said.

Richardson said Enchroma lenses range from $349-$429.

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