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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Oct. 28, 2021) – Tennessee is known for its stunning fall foliage with bright oranges, vibrant yellows and deep reds. Now, there’s beauty for all to see as the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development today unveiled its 13th colorblind viewfinder at Radnor Lake State Park and Natural Area in Nashville. The ADA accessible viewfinder, made by SeeCoast Manufacturing, is equipped with spectral lens technology from EnChroma designed to help those with red-green color deficiency experience the brilliant fall colors.
In 2017, Tennessee Tourism installed EnChroma lenses in viewfinders at 12 scenic locations across the state, including Ober Gatlinburg, Ruby Falls and Chickasaw State Park. Tennessee Tourism and its ad agency, VMLY&R, won three Cannes Lions Awards for the campaign.
“Tennessee has some of the most beautiful fall colors in the world,” said Mark Ezell, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. “We want to ensure everyone has the opportunity to experience the brilliant display, including more than 13 million colorblind Americans. It’s truly a tear-jerking experience to watch colorblind people see captivating colors in our state parks and attractions for the first time.”
“This technology provides such an extraordinary experience, it can be emotional for the viewers,” Jim Bryson, deputy commissioner of the Department of Environment and Conservation, said. “We have seen at some of our other Tennessee State Parks what impact these viewfinders can have. The state parks are beautiful anytime of the year, but the fall foliage is special for many visitors. We are grateful to the Department of Tourist Development for this partnership.”
Radnor Lake State Park and Natural Area is the first ADA accessible viewfinder with a complete handicap accessible experience. Radnor has a rugged motorized wheelchair they rent out to guests for free. Other Tennessee State Parks currently with viewfinders include Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park, Chickasaw State Park, South Cumberland State Park, Standing Stone State Park and Fall Creek Falls State Park.
This cutting-edge technology is available year-round, so it helps visitors enjoy the fall colors and the blooming flowers and plant life during the spring. The experience of looking through the viewfinders for a person who is colorblind is different for everyone. Typically, they immediately see a broader array and greater vibrancy of colors. Some visitors have a more dramatic experience, depending on whether they have a mild to severe color deficiency.
“EnChroma is thrilled the state of Tennessee continues to lead in accessibility for those with color vision deficiencies,” said Erik Ritchie, CEO of EnChroma. “We encourage other park systems, museums, schools and libraries to join Tennessee and EnChroma in affording access to more of life’s colorful moments to those who are color blind.”
One in 12 men (8%) and one in 200 women (.5%) are color blind – 350 million worldwide and 13 million in the US. 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. Common color confusions include green and yellow, gray and pink, purple and blue, and red can appear brown and colorblind people see colors as more muted and dull. Click here for images of how colorblind people see colors in Tennessee State Parks.
If visitors aren’t sure if they are color blind, schedule an appointment with an optometrist or ophthalmologist. You can also visit Enchroma.com to take their online test in under two minutes.
ABOUT TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF TOURIST DEVELOPMENT
Tennessee is the home of the blues, bluegrass, country, gospel, soul, rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll— delivering an unparalleled experience of beauty, history and family adventure, infused with music that creates a vacation that is the “Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee.” Explore more at tnvacation.com and join other Tennessee travelers by following “TNVacation” on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube and “Tennessee” on Snapchat.
ABOUT TENNESSEE STATE PARKS
From their beginning in 1937, Tennessee State Parks were established to protect and preserve the unique natural, cultural, and historic resources of Tennessee. The public interest has also been served by a variety of benefits for citizens and communities produced by our state park system, promoting stronger communities and healthier citizens across the state through diverse resource-based recreation. Tennessee State Parks is one of only two state park systems in the nation to receive accreditation through the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA). For more information, visit tnstateparks.com.
Based in Berkeley, Calif., EnChroma produces leading-edge eyewear for color blindness and low vision, and other solutions for color vision, sold online and through Authorized Retailers worldwide. Invented in 2010, EnChroma’s patented eyewear for color blindness combines the latest in color perception, neuroscience, and lens innovation to improve the lives of people with color vision deficiency around the world. EnChroma received an SBIR grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It earned the 2016 Tibbetts Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration in recognition of the firm’s innovative impact on the human experience through technology, and the 2020 Innovation Award in Life Sciences from the Bay Area’s East Bay Economic Development Alliance. For more information call 510-497-0048 or visit enchroma.com.
EnChroma Color Accessibility Program
The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development is making EnChroma glasses available for guests to borrow through the EnChroma Color Accessibility Program. The program helps public venues, schools, state parks, libraries, museums, and other organizations purchase and loan EnChroma glasses to color blind students and guests to help make schoolwork that involves color, colorful exhibits, nature, attractions and/or experiences accessible to the color blind.
Tennessee Department of Tourist Development Media Contacts:
Mary Katelyn Price
Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation & Tennessee State Parks Media Contact:
Enchroma Media Contact: