CHICAGO — On Wednesday three men who are color blind were able to see color for the first time at the Art of Brick exhibit at the Museum of Industry and Science Chicago (MSI) with special EnChroma glasses.

James Johnson, 50, was one of three participants. Johnson is from New Lenox and is an auto body specialist who says color blindness led him to “buy purple pants that I thought were blue but turns out they were ‘Barney’ purple-colored, and no one told me for six months!”

When describing the effects of being color blind Johnson says, “I can’t tint paint cars myself at work; I have to ask for help. Wiring can be an issue at times as the wires can be different colors. I miss out on things. People will say ‘Look at that green car!’ but it looks black to me. Purple cars look blue to me.”

Philip Prince, 32, was also a participant. Prince is from Chicago and is a civil engineer.

“One time I thought a girl was wearing blue and I made a comment on how I liked her blue dress and she replied that it was purple, which was embarrassing,” said Prince.

When asked how being color blind has affected him Prince says, “If a contractor uses fluorescent pink paint to mark grades on stone, I cannot see it. I require them to use orange or white paint that I can see.”

Another participant was Brandon Mills, 47, from Iowa City. Mills is a graphic designer, IT pro, and a father of four teenagers.

“[Color blindness] affects me when doing detailed web work or trying to match clothes or attempt to have any fashion sense,” says Mills.

EnChroma glasses are already offered at more than 40 museums worldwide including the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, several Smithsonian entities, the Georgia O’Keeffee Museum, US Botanic Gardens, the Meadows, Nelson-Atkins, Timken, Crystal Bridges museums and many others.

The EnChroma Color Accessibility Program teams with public institutions to help promote accessibility and inclusion for those who are color blind by offering significant discounts on EnChroma glasses and supporting educational materials.