How to Explain Color to a Blind Person

Most people take the ability to see colors for granted as a part of their everyday life. Colors like red, yellow, blue, black among others, do not seem so special to us sometimes, and this is mostly because we grew up seeing them and interacting with them. But what about blind people? How can we make them understand what colors are?

How to Explain Color to a Blind Person

1. Using Feelings to Explain Colors

Let blind people touch something that is related with a certain color. You need to use things that usually have the similar color at one time. This way it will be easy for a blind person to relate certain materials or feelings to a color.

For instance:

  • The color blue is usually soothing and you can explain this to a blind person by letting him or her touch water.
  • The color white can be related to snow or ice which is cold, pure and clean substance.
  • Color brown can be related to earth, dead leaves, and tree trunks. 
  • Green can be described as something full of life like healthy leaves and grass.
  • Red can be associated with danger, like the heat coming from a fire that can cause a skin burn.
  • Yellow can be related to energy and a warm feeling like the one coming from the sun.
  • Rocks are usually gray; they are hard and rusty which can be related to firmness and strength. 

You can let the person hold these things while you explain the color to him or her.

2. Using Taste and Smell to Explain Colors

How to explain color to a blind person? You can use the sense of taste!

  • Sweet aromas like those from a coconut or an apple can be associated with white-meat fruits.
  • Citrus aromas and tastes can come from orange or yellow fruits like oranges or lemons.
  • Spicy food is often red and it will also burn their mouth, like a fire that can burn the skin.
  • Green foods like arugula or spinach leaves will taste a little bitter and will be crisp sometimes, and they can also taste acid like limes.
  • A forest will smell moist, pure and sometimes with a faint acid aroma from the brown soil and the green leaves.
  • The beach will smell salty, fresh and relaxing from the blue water and the grainy brown or white sand.
  • The color black can be associated with a plain strong coffee.
  • Color purple can be described as a sweet and feminine aroma like the one coming from lavender flowers.

You can let the blind people taste a food and help him/her associate the taste with a certain color.

3. Using Sounds to Explain Colors

  • Let the blind people hear a river or a wave crashing on a beach shore, and that relaxing sound can be associated to the color blue of the water.
  • The sound of a siren or a burning fire can be related to the color red because these things indicate danger.
  • Crash two small rocks together to make a dense and hard sound like the one coming from walking on a rocky terrain, or you can let them hear a storm with rain, this is how you can explain them the color gray.
  • Color green can be associated with leaves from a tree moving because of an air current.

4. Using Emotions to Explain Color

How to explain color to a blind person? Except from the above ones, you can also relate colors to an emotional state for blind people. For instance:

  • Blue is the color associated with a calm and relaxed emotion.
  • Red is the color that usually appears when feeling anger, sexual excitement or danger.
  • Yellow is for when people feel happy, friendly and optimistic.
  • Green is for feeling healthy, peaceful and balanced.
  • Grey is normally the color for when people feel sad and with a lack of confidence.
  • Black can be associated with positive emotions like glamour and elegance, or negative emotions like depression and death.
  • Golden is related to luxury and opulence.
  • White can be for feelings like purity, serenity, cleanliness and coldness.
  • Orange is associated with abundance and warmth.
  • Brown is related to earthiness and dirtiness.

People’s Suggestions on Describing Common Colors to Blind People

This color yellow can be easily related to happiness, energy, and optimism. It is the bright color of the sun, sweet corn, bananas, canaries and sunflower petals.  

They can relate color yellow to the feeling of touching a soft sunflower petal or hearing a canary singing, or perhaps to the warm feeling from when the sun rays touch their skin. You can simply walk them out to face the rising sun on a cold morning and explain that the warm sensation and happy feeling they are perceiving at that moment is how the color yellow can be explained.

Red is a color often associated with danger, but it can also mean passion. It can be related to the burning sensation jalapenos leave in the mouth while eating them, the feeling of being in a very hot place or to the heat coming from being too near to an open fire.

It can also be associated to the sweet aroma of roses. You can put a red rose in their hands and let them smell it, and then explain that the rose they are holding is a red one, this way they can relate the color to roses. Explain that not all roses are red, but that the ones with a red color are related to passion and often make part of a bride’s bouquet.

How to explain color to a blind person? We have many ways. For example, green is the color of leaves and nature, and the color of healthy things. Let them taste the spinach, arugula, green tea, and limes, and explain that green is a little bitter and at the same time acid. Green is associated with forests and meadows. Green means freedom and life itself.

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