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December 27, 1985

Confusing With Color (The Hour of Listening Miserably, Part 21)

JAMA. 1985;254(24):3425. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360240037028

To the Editor.—  Since the advent of computer graphics many of the speakers at medical meetings use multicolored slides to illustrate their lectures. While some of these slides are pleasing to the eye, they present problems to those of us that are color blind. I recently sat through a lecture, the slides of which were presented as red text and diagrams against a black background. As I am protanomalic and have difficulty perceiving red, I could not understand this lecture at all. I mentioned this to several other physicians in the audience and was surprised when several others had also noted difficulty in seeing the slides because of color blindness. Eight percent of the male population is red-green color blind. I suggest that speakers take this into consideration when they are preparing their slides.