Is Color Blindness A Disability? Find Out Here

To get social security payments in the United States, color blindness is considered a medical condition but not a legal disability.

While it is recognized as a medical disability, you might not be eligible for welfare benefits. 

This article explores why color blindness is not considered a work disability and what you should know about color blindness. 

What is color blindness? 

Color vision impairment or color blindness is the lowered capacity to recognize color or variations in color. It can also be described as having lower color discernment when compared to the norm for healthy human color vision.


A color-blind person typically has trouble separating particular hues, such as pink and gray, green and brown, yellow and orange, or blue and purple.

These misconceptions are characteristic of a condition known as “red-green color blindness.”

People who are color blind can only see variations of black and white. This unusual condition, achromatopsia, is extremely uncommon. 

In contrast, red-green color blindness is the most common type and is also called protan (“protan”) and deutan (“do-tan”) color blindness.

Can you be denied a job for being color blind?

No, an employer cannot deny you a job just because you have colorblindness. A qualified individual with a handicap, such as blindness or low vision (B/LV), cannot be subjected to job discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

Why is color blindness not considered a disability?

Color blindness is not a disability because it doesn’t affect your capacity to work or your mental and physical health. Hence, you cannot receive Social Security Disability benefits that require you to have a disability that prevents you from working. 

Social Security does not simply give out money for any disability. They make sure you don’t have any other choices.

There won’t be a hearing to decide your eligibility unless you have a severe restriction caused by your handicap that is well-documented and proven.

You, your legal representative, an “administrative law judge” (ALJ), and a vocational expert will all be present during the hearing to prove your disability.

The ALJ will examine your case and interview you extensively. The career expert may also quiz you before providing a list of occupations that you are qualified for. Your claim will be rejected if there are any legitimate tasks that you could perform.

The case will be dismissed if you are colorblind since someone who is colorblind can do a wide variety of jobs, such as sitting at a desk and answering phones, carpentry, or even welding. 

In fact, numerous jobs exist that a colorblind person could do with some reasonable modifications. That is why colorblindness is not considered a disability eligible for welfare benefits.

What causes color blindness?

Whether complete or partial, the lack of cones in the retina results in color blindness. Cones detect red, green, and blue hues.

Color blindness, under certain circumstances, may occur later in life. Circumstances that can lead to color blindness include:

  1. Vascular, metabolic, or eye diseases can lead to color blindness.
  2. The natural aging of the eye, low vision conditions like glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and metabolic and vascular diseases can all contribute to color blindness and color vision deficiencies.
  3. Drug side effects or exposure to neurotoxic substances like styrene, perchloroethylene, toluene, carbon disulfide, n-hexane, and mercury can also cause color blindness.
  4. Brain or eye damage 

How do you know you are color blind?

Making mistakes when distinguishing colors or having trouble separating colors are the main signs of color blindness

Color blindness symptoms might differ from person to person. Many people don’t realize they have a color deficiency since their symptoms are so subtle.

Color confusion, or the inability to distinguish between colors that persons with “normal color vision” can see, is the main symptom of color blindness. 

When details or objects have a color that is mistaken for another color in the surrounding visual scene, they may be missed or difficult to see, which is another indication.

Rarely, individuals who are severely color blind may also have symptoms like nystagmus (rapid, involuntary eye movements) or light sensitivity.

How do you test for color blindness?

A straightforward eye test can also be used to identify red-green color blindness. Children’s color blindness is also frequently examined by optometrists (eye doctors) as part of a routine vision examination.

The most common technique for determining color blindness is the Ishihara color test. Several plates or pages will be displayed to you. Each will have a circle of dots of at least two different colors.

Your eye doctor will inquire as to what number you see. There are some numbers that red-green colorblind people will have problems seeing.

Which gender is color blindness common in?

Men experience color blindness more frequently than women do. This is because the genes for the most prevalent hereditary color blindness are on the X chromosome.

Only 1 in 200 women are color blind, compared to about 1 in 12 men who are color blind. In terms of color vision, there is a significant gender discrepancy, and heredity is to blame.

What race is color blindness most common in?

The majority of Caucasian boys are colorblind while African-Americans were found to have the lowest cases of colorblindness.

Ophthalmology research examined the prevalence of color blindness, also known as color vision deficiency (CVD), among preschool-aged children in the United States.

Out of the four major ethnic groups, Caucasian male children have the highest rate of color blindness, with 1 in 20 tests positive. This is according to the first important study on color blindness in a multiethnic preschool population.

Researchers also discovered that African-American boys have the lowest rates of color blindness or vision deficit. They also validated that girls experience color blindness at considerably lower rates than boys.

Can color blindness be cured? 

While inherited color blindness cannot be cured, color blindness gotten through underlying conditions like drug side effects can be cured

There are no known cures for hereditary color blindness, however, you can use special corrective glasses to see the differences between the colors. 

When does color blindness develop?

Hereditary color blindness generally manifests from birth as it is inherited from the parents. However, certain conditions can cause color blindness to manifest later in life.

These conditions include chemical or physical damage to parts of the brain, optic nerves, or the eye. 


What color blindness do dogs have?

A dog’s normal vision is most similar to that of a person who is red-green colorblind in terms of color perception.

Dogs only have two types of cones and can distinguish between blue and yellow. This restricted color vision is referred to as dichromatic vision. 

What colors can color-blind people not see?

Blue, yellow, red, and green are typically difficult for colorblind people to see.

Achromatopsia, on the other hand, is a condition in which a person is completely color blind and can only see shades of grey, black, and white.


Although a medical disability, color blindness cannot be considered a work disability as adjustments can be made to accommodate it. This means you can still work in certain jobs that do not require you to distinguish colors. 

For example, colorblind patients can work as carpenters, secretaries, or customer care/call center operatives. Additionally, your employers can modify the workplace to accommodate your disabilities regardless of your job field. 

If you’re incapable of seeing certain colors, your employer can ensure that colors not affected by your disability are used. You can also be given duties that do not require you to identify colors. 

I hope you found this article helpful. You can also check out the best jobs that someone living with PTSD can perform well in.

Thanks for reading.