Color Overlays

Category: Education

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Color Overlays for Reading : 

Color Overlays for Reading Sacha Demby Fall 2009

Slide 2: 

Do you ever suffer from……….

Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome : 

Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome Helen Irlen conducted interviews with 1500 adequate readers who complained of perceptual distortions, visual stress, headaches, sore and tired eyes, or issues with the glare due to reading. Her findings resulted in the term Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome (SSS) and a published book - “Reading by the Colors”.

Irlen vs Colorimeter : 

Irlen vs Colorimeter Purpose is to tint lenses for difficulties in reading, learning, attention, copying, math, depth perception, sports, and night driving A variety of tasks are conducted with the guidance of an administrator to help with problems and make recommendations Purpose is to tint lenses for reading difficulties The client looks into a box with nonsense words and turns a dial to experience different colors. There is no evaluator or professional assistance

Slide 5: 

Although SSS is not recognized as a medical condition, it is described as a visual-perceptual dysfunction that involves the sensitivity of the retina to particular frequencies of light. SSS has been called the Irlen Syndrome and has been researched throughout the world, which has yielded results indicating that many people suffer from the Syndrome that prevents them from reading, perceiving, and/or functioning efficiently.

Still Skeptical? See how the brains take it! : 

Still Skeptical? See how the brains take it! The following images show areas of the brain that are over-stimulated when having to fight with the contrast of black on white text The images on the right show the areas of the brain that are simply working with what the text is saying, rather than fight through the harsh contrasts

Slide 8: 

Single click on the passage to see how some read in black and white contrast.

Slide 9: 

More difficulty with black on white contrast

Slide 10: 

Wait and watch as the initial contrast gets easier with color!

Slide 11: 

Wait and watch the “jibberish” to see how when color is added, the confusion clears up!

Disabilities Impacted by Color Overlays! : 

Disabilities Impacted by Color Overlays! Dyslexia (problems with written word) Dyscalculia (problems with math) Dyspraxia (problem with movement “clumsiness”) Dysphasic (problems with language) Autism/Aspergers ADD/ADHD Migraines and Headaches Sensitivity to light

Forms of Dyslexia : 

Forms of Dyslexia Children labeled “dyslexic” demonstrate problems with reading that can be helped by the use of color overlays. This is a positive find, because once a correct color is chosen, many individuals show immediate increases in reading and/or co-ordination abilities.

Autism and Aspergers : 

Autism and Aspergers alienation poor concentration impaired social skills low self esteem poor body awareness Seventy percent of what the individual receives comes in through the eyes and must be correctly interpreted by the brain. Those with Autism can suffer from over-stimulation of the brain, causing unwelcome reactions in one or more senses.


ADD/ADHD ADD/ADHD symptoms include high levels of activity and/or difficulties in attending to tasks. Such kids are frequently prescribed pyschostimulant medication such as Ritalin to suppress their inappropriate behavior, but many who have Irlen Syndrome often find relief from wearing Irlen lenses. Poor concentration Lack of attention Lack of social skills Poor reading and writing Headaches Anger Frustration

Migraines and Headaches : 

Migraines and Headaches Can be triggered by certain lighting situations, environmental issues, bright colors, high contrast, stripes, or patterns Many have found that medication does not bring relief Problems with night driving Symptoms include discomfort in certain lighting situations, interaction with bright or fluorescent colors or patters Problems with glare from snow, water, rain, or haze Stress or headaches from computer screens

Links, Sites, and Tips! : 

Links, Sites, and Tips! Click the smiley to get connected to Irlen Research Click this smiley to get information on overlays and ordering options Color transparencies or overlays may be used with the test items. Color transparencies or overlays are colored sheets of transparent paper that can be used to help the student focus on or read text on a page. The sheets may cover the whole pager or sentence.

So - what do you think is your color? Click on one that to see how it changes your vision! Look for the star to come back…. : 

So - what do you think is your color? Click on one that to see how it changes your vision! Look for the star to come back….