Each year on 6 September, like-minded individuals and organisations across the globe come together to celebrate Colour Blind Awareness Day - a day to raise wider awareness and remove the stigma around colour blindness.

Colour Blindness, or Colour Vision Deficiency (CVD), is a condition wherein the individual cannot differentiate between certain colours. Statistically one in 12 men and one in 200 women will be colourblind.

The most common form of colour blindness typically affects how a person sees red and green, though other forms of colour blindness will impact other colours.

Protanopia affects how a person sees red light, deuteranopia affects green light, and tritanopia affects blue light. Monochromacy, which is extremely rare, is a form of total colour blindness.

To help to illustrate the differences between forms of colour blindness, the below images of CAFE's Max Access mascot have been simulated. The first images show Max Access in full colour, the second shows how someone with deutranopia would see Max, and the third image shows a simulation of protanopia.

A simulation of the CAFE mascot Max Access to show how colour blind people see the graphic - the first image is full colour, second with a deutranopia simulation, the third with a protanopia simulation

A simulation of the CAFE mascot Max Access wearing a large foam hand to show how colour blind people see the graphic - the first image is full colour, second with a deutranopia simulation, the third with a protanopia simulation

Colour Blindness can affect anything in life, from traffic lights and other areas of transport, the workplace in regard to looking at data, and can even affect people’s diet as it can make food look less appealing – particularly vegetables. As it is an “invisible disability,” it can often go under the radar despite affecting people’s everyday lives and opportunities.

The impact of colour blindness in a footballing context is clear - from playing kit and training equipment, pitch markings and even the ball itself, it is vital that organisers consider the experiences of colour blind players and supporters.

Studies focusing particularly on athletes found that, using 118 male football athletes in the United Kingdom and Denmark, at least 1 player in every team screened was colour blind or had CVD. Notable players and coaches who have shared their experiences of colour blindness include Danish midfielder Thomas Delaney, former Irish player and now commentator Matt Holland, and Lars Lagerback - one of football's most experienced international managers.

For fans attending games, there can be difficulty identifying appropriate signage, lighting, facilities and the football kits worn if the colours used clash with their form of colour blindness. Fans may struggle to follow which player is from which team depending on their view and the lack of contrast in strips, which can ruin their matchday experience.

CAFE works in partnership with Colour Blind Awareness, an organisation working to support and raise awareness of the requirements of colour blind people in the community.

Their founder, Kathryn Albany-Ward, said, "We are proud to work alongside CAFE to ensure European football is more accessible to everyone and we are delighted they are able to support Colour Blind Awareness Day again this year. Our message is slowly getting out, but there remains a huge amount of work still to be done to ensure players at all levels are fully supported together with affected fans and those working in football. Stadium service and safety provision also needs to be improved, and it is great to know we have the support of CAFE in all these areas".

As part of CAFE's industry-leading stadium access appraisal programme, experiences of colour blind people are considered in all areas of your stadium. Common areas of consideration include signage and maps, evacuation policies and food and drink stalls, and we would always encourage stadiums to seek the advice and guidance of experts such as Colour Blind Awareness to ensure an inclusive experience for all colour blind fans.

CAFE is keen to find out more about the experiences of colour blind supporters. If you are colour blind and wish to share your story with us, please complete our online form and a member of the team will be back in touch shortly.

To find out more, please visit the Colour Blind Awareness website.

Published 6/9/2023